Title: Giants in the Earth
Author: Dale Bailey
In: The Monstrous (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy
Dates read: 13th February 2020
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: “Maybe it’s hibernating,” he said, abruptly reminded of something he had heard at Rona’s church – a story of an epoch impossibly distant, when graves would vomit forth the dead.
Down a deep mine in a nowhere town, a man finds an creature that is the most beautiful thing he’s ever laid eyes on. But what people do to the beauty that they don’t understand is truly monstrous…
The mine setting of this story is kind of brilliant. It is a little creepy, kind of intense and definitely eerie. Something that I think works perfectly in a story which features monsters. It also adds to this feeling of tragedy throughout the story. Something about being deep underground and working in the worst of conditions for the love of his family…
This felt like a very tragic, bittersweet story. Tragic not because of what happens to the being they find in the mines… but because of what people’s reactions to something they don’t understand is. What do we do when we are confronted with things that we don’t understand? Why do we fear that unknown? Particularly if that unknown is so tragically, amazingly beautiful as in this story.
This story also highlights that sometimes we’ll do what we know is wrong when pushed to it. That feelings of powerlessness against another, lesser person is an entirely different experience. I would like to say that I wouldn’t succumb, but I would seriously wonder about my own actions…