Title: A Natural History of Autumn
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Japanese mythology, Monsters
Dates read: 2nd May 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Riku fired, but the face flinched away in an instant, and once the bullet went wide and filled a neat hole in the door, the creature returned and said, “Tomodachi.”
Riku and Michi are spending a night away together in a mysterious location. But, before they see dawn, they’re going ot face up to some of the worst demons… both inside and out.
I really enjoyed this short story. it was a great introduction to the idea of monsters in a monster collection, and that sometimes they’re not always as they seem. I think if I was a bit more familiar with Japanese folklore, I would have picked up more in this story and a bit more of the symbolism. But even without that understanding, this was a great, fun and engaging read. One that I was kind of sad to see finished. And especially sad to find out that it’s not part of a greater series.
Autumn is one of those months that doesn’t really seem to get much attention… the other three all have traditions and histories, and, unless you’re American, Autumn just seems to pass on by. But there is something that is a little bit magical about the month. A little bit sinister. And a little bit dark and twisty. Which makes it the perfect setting for this monstrous adventure. It’s not entirely a dark story, but it’s also not all spring and sunshine either.
I like the twist at the end of this tale. I’m still not sure that I fully understand it, but I know that I enjoyed it. And it is one of those tales that on a reread will probably reveal clues that I never noticed before.