We Shall Be Monsters IS ALIIIIIVE

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Exciting news for all of you who have been waiting while we assembled this beautiful monster piece by piece – We Shall Be Monsters IS ALIIIIIVE!!

We Shall Be Monsters is our homage to the brilliant Mary Shelley and her monstrous creation Frankenstein. We Shall Be Monsters honours the 200 year legacy of Mary Shelley’s publication of Frankenstein, a novel that has shifted, changed, and been adapted throughout that time period. Frankenstein is a tale that endures through time, telling something new to each new generation that encounters is.

We Shall Be Monsters collects diverse voices on the topic of Frankenstein, reimagining the text for today’s audience, illustrating the versatility and changeability of this text. Each writer reimagined the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster for a new audience, playing with ideas in the text and adding their own bits of knowledge, experience, and creativity to a monster that is already an assemblage of multiple different parts. We stitched together aspects of the new monster with aspects of the classic monster of Mary Shelley’s creation to create something that speaks to a new age, a new era of the monster’s existence.

The authors in this collection integrate under-represented voices to the Frankenstein tale, drawing on experiences of disability, indigeneity, ethnicity, Queer and Trans identities. Frankenstein is a tale of oppression, so the voices of authors who have experienced oppression were important for shaping this collection.

You can now get your own copy of We Shall Be Monsters at Renaissance Press’ website at https://renaissancebookpress.com/product/we-shall-be-monsters/

We Shall Be Monsters is edited by 9 time Aurora Award Winning Editor Derek Newman-Stille and contains the works of authors like

Day Al-Mohamed

Lena Ng

Andrew Wilmot

Alex Acks

Evelyn Deshane

D. Simon Turner

Jennifer Lee Rossman

Randall G. Arnold

Liam Hogan

KC Grigant

Cait Gordon

Halli Lilburn

JF Garrard

Kev Harrison

Corey Redekop

Max D. Stanton

Eric Choi

Joseph McGinty

Joshua Bartolome

Arianna Verbree

Priya Sridhar

Lisa Carreiro

Kaitlin Tremblay

Victoria K. Martin

Ashley Caranto Morford

Kate Story

And remember, you can get your copy of We Shall Be Monsters at Renaissance Press’ website at https://renaissancebookpress.com/product/we-shall-be-monsters/

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We Shall Be MonstersNominated for a Prix Aurora Award

I want to share some exciting news with all of you: We Shall Be Monsters has been nominated for a Prix Aurora Award, the top award in Canadian Speculative Fiction!!

We Shall Be Monsters is a powerful manuscript that comes out of collaboration. Like I said in our kickstarter, it is like Frankenstein’s monster itself – composed of stitched together different bodies. We Shall Be Monsters is similarly stitched together, not from different bodies, but from the work of different people. We Shall Be Monsters was created by all of you who supported the project, by the incredibly authors who submitted stories to the anthology, and by the publisher and folks at Renaissance Press who put work into shaping this collection into the beautiful monster it has become.

I want to thank all of you for creating a collection that is incredible to read, and that sparks so much passion, excitement, and dialogue – an anthology of stories that entertains while it gets us to think. It is also an anthology that came to include a lot of voices of marginalized authors and under-represented people because so many of us identify with the figure of the monster who is treated as an outsider.

Ottawa Double Book Launch for Over the Rainbow and We Shall Be Monsters

By Derek Newman-Stille

It was extremely satisfying and exciting to have the chance to launch both of my new anthologies in Ottawa. There is something incredibly magical about seeing one’s work come together and bringing together numerous voices that were part of these books. I always find that there is much more context that an author’s voice adds to their story, so I was excited to get the chance to hear so many works in their own voices. I was able to get a sense of the nuances of their stories and the feeling behind their words.

We had multiple readers at our Ottawa launch, each adding new voice to their stories and answering questions about their tales from the audience (and occasionally from me as well). We were able to alternate back and forth between stories from each anthology – fairies and monsters, fairies and monsters, allowing the audience to dip into multiple magical worlds and spaces of imagination. We had the chance to listen to slam poetry as part of our tale, to listen to the words of a professional storyteller, and to hear academic perspectives on these texts in addition to the readings.

The launch took place at the Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin Street in Ottawa.

There were readings by Nicole Lavigne, Ashley Caranto Morford, Liz Westbrook Trenholm, Victoria K. Martin, Kate Heartford, Arianna Verbree, and Richard Keelan. We also had Sean Moreland in attendance to sign books. Not everyone was able to make it, so I want to also acknowledge that Nathan Frechette and Cait Gordon were there in spirit, but not in physical form.

I want to thank all of the readers, the audience, Renaissance Press, the Lieutenant’s Pump, and Dwayne Collins for all of their support in making this an exciting and successful event.

Derek Newman-Stille
Nicole Lavigne
Ashley Caranto Morford
Liz Westbrook Trenholm
Victoria K Martin
Kate Heartfield
Arianna Verbree
Richard Keelan
The readers from Over the Rainbow: Folk and Fairy Tales From The Margins
The readers from We Shall Be Monsters
All of our fabulous readers

Chrysalis

Speculating Canada reviews Lena Ng’s Love Transcendent from We Shall Be Monsters. Check out the review here.

Speculating Canada: Canadian Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy

Chrysalis
A review of Lena Ng’s Love Transcendent in We Shall Be Monsters (Renaissance Press, 2018)
By Derek Newman-Stille

Lena Ng’s Love Transcendent is a belle mort tale of transformation. Exploring the Ancient Greek image of the soul represented as a butterfly, Ng explores the idea of death itself as a process of beautiful transformation, as a chrysalis in which the caterpillar of life becomes something majestic and winged after life.

This beautifully macabre tale explores the role of a young doctor seeking to understand the body, who ultimately becomes fascinated with what exists beyond the physical. As much as he is fascinated by the inner workings of the body, he is fascinated by the aesthetics of embodiment. Life evokes a passion for discovery in him that is all-consuming, a desire to understand things that are unfathomable.
This is a tale of a doctor’s obsession born of death and his…

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Immortality Piece by Piece

Immortality Piece by Piece
A review of Day Al-Mohamed’s “Ashes to Ashes” in We Shall Be Monsters (Renaissance Press, 2018).

By Derek Newman-Stille

Day Al-Mohamed’s “Ashes to Ashes” is a contemplation of immortality, but not the simple, pretty immortality that is generally presented in stories, rather this immortality is messy, complicated, and, at its core, rotten. Al-Mohamed’s protagonist is a doctor firmly rooted in science and firmly disinterested in the supernatural… so what happens when that doctor awakens in a body that is clearly dead? How does the doctor reconcile the firm scientific belief that there is nothing beyond this life with the strange animation of his flesh?

Most people fear death. Most people would opt for immortality if given the opportunity, but Al-Mohamed’s tale is an exploration of the horrors of eternal life. It is a discourse on decay and rot and the fear of losing everything that makes life meaningful and worth living. Al-Mohamed explores the isolation and loneliness that comes with immortality, the loss of normalcy, and the fear of further bodily losses.

This Frankensteinian tale entwines the medical and the monstrous, combining Dr. Frankenstein and his monster into one body seeking survival while driven by the passion to discover. 

To find out more about Day Al-Moahmed, visit http://dayalmohamed.com

To discover more about We Shall Be Monsters, visit Renaissance Press’ website at https://renaissancebookpress.com/product/we-shall-be-monsters/

Eyes of a Monster

Eyes of a Monster

A review of Junji Ito’s Frankenstein (VIZ Media, 2013)

By Derek Newman-Stille

Dialogue is important in Junji Ito’s Frankenstein, but it is the eyes of the characters that speak louder. Whole worlds of suffering and histories of torment speak through the eyes of the characters in Junji Ito’s adaptation. The monster has strange, gaslit eyes that speak of an otherworldliness that is far more distancing than the green skin, electrodes or stitches of the Universal Studios Frankenstein. And yet, despite the otherworldly look of the monster’s eyes, Dr. Frankenstein’s eyes are far more haunted. Junji Ito manages to imbue the doctor’s eyes with years of torment, but also with a distant look of someone who has spent his life looking off into the next horizon. Victor’s eyes are draped in shadow, sunken to illustrate what obsession does to a person. It’s as though his body is consuming itself with its passion for discovery… and later with its horror at that same discovery.

The manga’s use of black and white has the power to focus the reader’s attention on shadows and depth, which Junji Ito uses to his advantage to create haunting, inescapable scenes.

Junji Ito’s monster is a hulking, awkward, bandaged figure that seems to mock humanity with its presence on the page. As much as it emulates the human form, the monster sits on the page like an insectile monster, its limbs resembling that of a praying mantis. Junji Ito marbles the flesh of the monster with rot, giving texture to every part of the monster’s body that is revealed through the bandages.

Although I tend to read Mary Shelley’s monster as sympathetic, there is none of this sympathy to be evoked from Junji Ito’s monster. There is none of the pathos or emotional connection. Junji Ito’s monster is a murderer who just wants to hurt humanity whenever possible. Part of this may be the shortened scene of the monster’s interaction with Felix, Safie, the old man, and their family. Instead of getting a sense of the monster wanting to learn from humanity only to be spurned at his only source of connection to humanity, this monster’s encounter with the family feels shortened and Junji Ito focusses far more on the murders that the monster perpetrates. Although, like Shelley’s monster, Junji Ito’s monster is eloquent, he has far fewer opportunities to talk or share his feelings and understandings of the world with his reader. We don’t, for example, hear the monster’s discourse about his own abjection and the horrors of loneliness.

Junji Ito gives us a more horror-filled tale of monstrosity without the complicated pathos that is frequently seen through recent adaptations of Mary Shelley’s text. This monster is meant to evoke terror.

To find out more about Junji Ito’s Frankenstein, go to https://www.viz.com/frankenstein-junji-ito-story-collection

An Interview with Frankenstein Scholar Sarah Milner

An Interview with Frankenstein scholar Sarah Milner, Trent University.

By Derek Newman-Stille

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Sarah Milner is a researcher at Trent University. Her interests include textual adaptations, transformative texts, film studies, and the filmography of James Whale in addition to her studies of Frankenstein. Milner is also a bluegrass musician, a performer, and radio personality.

 

In our interview, Sarah Milner discusses Frankenstein’s monster as an outsider, the Universal Frankenstein films, the work of director James Whale, gender, textual adaptation, Frankenstein stories for children, and humanizing the monster.

 

Click on the link below to check out our scholarly interview with Sarah Milner:

We Shall Be Monsters scholarly interviews