Writer in Training


Writer in Training

Reading Around the World Challenge


You may remember that I decided to expand my reading horizons and challenge myself to read one book a month written by non-UK/US writers. Well it's time to start and I'm starting with a book that promises to be great! Asian Monsters is the third instalment in the Monsters Books series from Fox Spirit Books. Edited by Margret Helgadottir and contributed to by writers such as Aliette de Bodard, Ken Liu and Xia Jia, the book seeks to explore the monsters of Asia.

The Monsters books were the brainchild of Margret Helgadottir and Jo Thomas. They wanted to give monsters a renaissance, make them scary again and show the wide variety of monsters to be found all around the world.

You may have noticed that this book ticks two of my 'preferred reading' boxes. First of all, the majority of writers and artists contributing to this book are either living in Asia, from there, or have some other strong tie to the area. So we have a variety of diverse voices, even including a story in translation. As you know, I think its important to read works written by authors from cultures other than the UK and US, which seem to dominate the market here.

The other important thing about this book is that it was published by Fox Spirit, a small, independent press. I've written before about how important I think small presses are and why so I won't bore you by repeating it all here but producing this type of book is an excellent example. I've read a few Fox Spirit books now and I've been hugely impressed with the work they produce - enough so that I've added them to my personal 'want to be published by' list.

I'll be reviewing Asian Monsters both here and for BFS so look out for that - and do consider buying a copy of the book and reading along.

Want to join in with the challenge? Have a book to recommend for inclusion? Just leave a note in the comments!