The strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. Each story builds a new world all its own: a group of children steal a haunted doll; a runaway bride encounters a sea monster; a vendor sells toy boxes that seemingly control the passage of time; an insomniac is seduced by the Sandman. These visions of modern life wrestle with themes of death and technological consequence, guilt and sexuality, and unmask the contradictions that exist within all of us.
A wildly imaginative collection in which elements of science fiction, fantasy, and even crime fiction blend together in a maelstrom of entertaining darkness that peels away layers of normalcy to reveal the weird, creepy things at the core of each story ... Stories that are very different from each other but that share cohesive elements that give the collection a sense of unity ... Something Fu does time and again — setting up a wild premise and then using it to make a deeper statement ... While each story in Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century takes place in a different world and feels unique, Fu's obsession with infusing the normal with the supernatural, the weird, the bad side of technology, or the grotesque gives the collection a wonderful sense of cohesion ... Full of surprises and strange new things — and those make for truly addictive reading. This collection cements Fu as one of the most exciting short story writers in contemporary literature.
Wonderful ... An endlessly entertaining bestiary from one of the country's most exciting practitioners of fiction ... Fu has a formidable talent for misdirection, and it lends her stories a sly air of the unforeseen ... Nearly every story in Fu's collection is a standout ... There's nothing to fault in this book; it's an endlessly inventive collection from a real talent.
Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century...offers the kind of payout you hope for when picking up a collection by an author with whom you are unfamiliar ... an engaging, thought-provoking collection of stories. A dozen works of speculative exploration that utilize and subvert genre tropes in equal measure. These are stories that venture into the shadows without fear and travel darkened pathways with resolute boldness. Smart and sharp, riddled with unsettling bleak humor and emotional impact, Lesser Known Monsters is a first-rate collection for any fan of speculative fiction ... These are stories that manage to be both heavy and buoyant at once, stirring up shadows without ever losing sight of the light. Compelling, thoughtful fiction like this would be difficult enough to generate once; doing it a dozen times is a true feat.