Heroes and monsters are the dichotomy at the centre of so many stories, the partnered thump-thump heartbeat that drives the hot blood of a burning narrative. What use a hero without a monster? What more compelling a monster than one conflicted, at war with itself, part hero despite its dark soul?
Not only do the seventeen stories in this issue make it the biggest issue yet, they explore the theme to its fullest. From new takes on classic heroes and mythical monsters to role reversals – heroes with hideous hidden sides, and seeming monsters with chivalrous souls. Tales from the monster’s point of view, or from the hero’s point of view, seeing himself as anything but.
Not everything here is as it seems, and your journey through this issue should surprise, tantalise and terrorise you in equal measures. Champions are corrupt, forests are out to get you, doctors have sinister agendas and you might not even trust yourself, but maybe the monster under the bed will save you yet.
In all the best stories we see parts of ourselves, in the heroes and the monsters, it’s what makes them so compelling. We all have a little of both inside us, it’s part of being human, it is the eternal internal conflict, and I think we’ve managed to capture some of that here.
Keep scrolling down for the stories (or bring up whole the issue here).
Or you can download it all as a handy electronic magazine in .pdf format, perfect for reading later, for the bus, the plane, a lunch break, or under the covers when it's past your bedtime... Download that here.