A 21st Century Bestiary

Few tomes are as magical as bestiaries, those encyclopedias of real animals, mythological creatures, and everything in between. From Aristotle to Pliny the Elder, from Saint Isidore of Seville to Anne Walshe, from Jorge Luis Borges to Gary Gygax, from ancient China’s The Classic of Mountains and Seas to the forthcoming 13th Age Bestiary, the greatest minds have produced monstrous taxonomies as timeless as they are fabulous. Now, as illuminated manuscripts have given way to ebooks, the time has come for a new addition to this worthy canon: A 21st Century Bestiary, from Stone Skin Press.

Author and editor Heather Wood has taken on the fearless task of compiling this illustrated volume, a rare literary chimera in the same genus as our previous The Lion and the Aardvark. Unlike any previously discovered bestiary, this collection will include both classic beasts that have evolved to cope in the modern world and the heretofore undiscovered creatures that thrive in the 21st century. Some entries are warmly evocative of the bestiaries of yore, while others are styled as decidedly modern short stories. This lexicon displays a range of tones from the amusing to the horrific, from the thoughtful to the diverting.

We’re keeping most of the contributors a secret for now, but since the manticore is out of the bag we can let a few names slips: Ed Greenwood, Emily Care Boss, Julia Bond Ellingboe, Dave Gross, Kyla Ward,  Robin D. Laws, Nancy Kilpatrick, Kenneth Hite, and John Tynes are but a few of the noted literary naturalists and beast-watchers who are taking part. A 21st Century Bestiary is sure to delight any reader who appreciates the marvelous and the unique. Look for it in the wild later this year…

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