Josh Woods 

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Josh Woods is an author, editor, professor, and podcaster. He loves monsters, myth, storytelling, comedy, combat, and crafts. In addition to his novel, The Black Palace, he has edited three anthologies of fiction and has published genre and literary short stories, creative non-fiction, and craft essays in numerous journals, magazines, and collections. His awards include Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year, Press 53 Open Awards for Genre Fiction, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. He teaches in Illinois and hails from Kentucky. More information can be found on his website,

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O Monstrous World! by Josh Woods

Winner of the 2019 International Book Awards for Fiction: Short Story

ISBN 978-1-941209-93-6

8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 170 pages

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An engrossing, fanciful collection of stories, written with insight, wisdom, and humor, O Monstrous World! is full of cinematic plot twists and literary miracles. These are stories about lawmakers, karate teachers, antique dealers, monster hunters, and even professors told with authority and humor. Josh Woods skillfully melds fantasy with reality, putting his characters to the test, determined to find their moral compass. In the end, he finds their hearts. There are monsters among us, but, more often, there are unlikely heroes. A joy to read from start to finish.

—Margaret McMullan, author of Where The Angels Lived: One Family’s Story of Loss, Exile, and Return


Josh Woods builds his horror stories at the molecular level, so you won’t find any cookie-cutter scares in this collection—expect to be surprised, shocked, and in awe of this collection of terrors and nightmares that can wriggle into the psyche of even the most ardent horror fan.
—Fred Venturini, author of The Heart Does Not Grow Back


The stories in this wonderful debut collection are, first and foremost, a big old hoot. They’re funny (both funny-strange and funny-haha) and entertaining, and they read like lightning. Those surface virtues, which are nothing to sneeze at, are just the tip of the iceberg, though: these tales are frequently shockingly deep, drawn from ancient sources and from inky wells of human understanding. And the message is this: there are monsters all around us, and the worst of them might just be you. Enjoy, and beware.

—Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other Stories