Journal of Writing & Environment

Web Rove: Monsters and the Writers Who Love Them

by Chloe Clark

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of the show “Supernatural,” which hits on things that I can’t ever seem to get enough of.  Exhibit A: well-conceived monsters. So I started thinking about monsters in stories and poems. How do writers create their monsters? Why do they use monsters in their stories? They can’t all be me and just think monsters are the greatest (maybe, they all do…), can they?

This pondering led me to start looking for poems and stories that feature literal monsters, none of them metaphorical vampires, and so this webrove is dedicated to the gleefully monstrous!

Secretario by Catherynne M. Valente (From Weird Tales)

This short story plays on the tropes of noir by bringing in not only devils and summoning spells, but its own take on where the monsters lurk…

Things that Float by Suzanne Samples (from Jersey Devil Press—a journal named after one of cryptozoology’s better known monsters).

The presence of monsters in this piece is arguable.  But it has a pleasantly creepy sadness to it.

Clockwork Chickens by Seanan McGuire (From Apex Magazine).

Any poem that pulls in necromancy, mechanical chickens, and the possibility of zombie hamsters has to be the best thing ever. That McGuire manages to make the poem have an undercurrent of lovely sweetness amongst the strangeness makes it even better.

China Mièville and Monsters by Jeff VanderMeer (from Weird Fiction Review)

One of my favorite authors of all time is the unique and wonderful China Mièville. He also is the creator of some truly perfect monsters in literature. And so, what would this webrove be without an interview with Mr. Mièville?