The Baen Big Book of Monsters
Something lurks in the water near an undersea Russian energy project. Every cinematic monster somehow comes to life at once. A madman and his pet hide in a local swamp. An insurance adjustor crosses paths with weird government agents in the aftermath of a monster attack. Fire snails could end the world. A lone samurai is Japan’s only hope against a mountain-sized monster. An intergalactic stowaway leads a crew to a planet where huge insects run amok. A giant baffles the citizens of Earth.
A straight-up monster book is a rare treat, especially one that spans nearly a century of writing and includes names like Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Bloch. From dime novel yarns of heroism to insidious stories of transformation, from alien intruders to magical monstrosities, anything and everything monster can be found in these pages.
Admittedly the stories of smaller horrors initially seem out of place with so many tales of gigantic beasts lumbering around — especially given the Godzillian creature on the book’s cover — the editor’s dedication to offering as many varieties of monster as possible is admirable. The Baen Big Book of Monsters is everything advertised (with a few surprises as well).