J. M. McDermott Releases Women and Monsters Short Story Collection For Free!

Ever wonder what happened to the women of myths and legend? You can find out in J.M. McDermott's series of surreal digital short stories. Serialized on the web, the collection Women and Monsters, is available at womenandmonsters.wordpress.com with a new story posted every Monday. In these tales, McDermott will feature the writer's take on a woman or monster of classic Greek mythology. From Eurydice to Charybdis, McDermott's Women and Monsters lets the voiceless finally speak for themselves. 

The non-traditional collection has an equally non-traditional path to publication. Once a week another free short story will be added to the author's blog. At the blog you can also choose to donate money for the project, or select the online retailer of your choice, Smashwords, Amazon or Barnes and Noble and download the entire book in digital format. After each short story has been posted, the entire anthology will be available in print. 

The collection's inaugural story "Korey" is McDermott’s re-imagining of the Persephone myth from the young woman’s point of view. "Korey" follows a young woman on the cusp of spreading her wings for the first time when she leaves for college. A traveling carnival inspires Korey to test her freedom and despite her mother's disapproval she heads to the illicit summertime amusement.

What's exceptional about this tale is the way McDermott perfectly captures the feel of small-town life. Korey struggles with the slow pace, longing for a future that although so near, seems to her to be very far away. The carnival opens up Korey’s world in ways that she could never imagine — and ways that may surprise readers.  

Although I found this story slightly unsettling, I cannot deny that it left me wishing for a taste of a caramel apple and the unusual, unexpected and undeniably fascinating sights and sounds of a carnival.

You can read the short story here and let me know what you thought in the comments below. For more coverage of what’s happening in the genre, be sure to check out our Everything Science Fiction and Fantasy Page!