Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within

Yesterday I was wandering through the bookstore, sipping on the strongest iced coffee in existence, checking out werewolf books in the “Occult” section and getting bummed out by the fact that I own 99% of the non-fiction werewolf books (I need moar!), but then I stumbled across a werewolf book tucked behind a book on zombies titled Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within edited by John Skipp. The book is actually an anthology of sick, twisted, funny and highly entertaining werewolf stories written by some of the best authors out there. As to why it was in the non-fiction occult section, that’s because it also contains a few essays and lists on werewolves.

Book description:

“Werewolves and shapeshifters have morphed into the latest pop culture stars.  This mind-bending collection includes thirty-two new and classic stories from the best writers in the genre.

Werewolves and shapeshifters are the latest literary craze following vampires and zombies.  The phenomenal success of the Twilight series, and the blockbuster movies that followed, has spawned a new obsession with these supernatural beings.  From John Skipp, the master of horror, comes this definitive collection of thirty-two classic and new stories, written by favorites of the genre including George R.R. Martin, Charlaine Harris, Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft, Joe R. Lansdale, Angela Carter, David J. Schow, Kathe Koja, Bentley Little, and more. Skipp provides fascinating insight and details, through two nonfiction essays, into the history and presence of shape shifting in popular culture.  Resources at the end of the book include lists of the genre’s best long-form fiction, as well as movies, websites, and writers.”

I only skimmed the book for about 10 minutes since I have the attention span of a 6-year-old girl and was distracted by comics and magical children’s books, but what little I did read impressed me. Skipp’s foreword and intro’s were highly insightful as well as entertaining. It’s definitely a book I plan on buying in the not-too-distant future. I have this sick, morbid curiosity for Chuck Palahniuk’s work, I know his books make me feel like hell, but I read them anyway. I can’t even imagine how crazy a werewolf/shapeshifter story by him would be, but I will find out.

What do you guys think, do you plan on picking this one up? If you have read it already did you enjoy it?

– Moonlight

About the Author
Moonlight loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to werewolves and other supernatural beasties. She writes for top genre sites like Vampires.com and Werewolves.com. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and you may lose a limb. You can stalk her via her Twitter.

By moonlight

One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.


  1. I’ve thought about it, but the book recieved mediocre reviews (this is from Goodreads, mind you, not Amazon!). I’ll wait until I hear more–possibly from here or from anyone else I know in person, since it sounds like one of those books you’ll either detest or absolutely love. >.<

    (Which leads me to wonder if this site should have a book review section! XD)

    1. From what I have read people didn’t like it because of how dark the stories were. Horror isn’t for everyone, some like flowery romantic werewolves and others like horrific ones.

      1. I know better than that, actually XD. I’ve read a few that said the book was an extreme mixed back to begin with, though.

  2. Why would Chuck Palahniuk’s work make you feel like hell? Sorry, I’m not very well informed when it comes to werewolves :)

    1. Chuck Palahniuk isn’t usually a werewolf writer – he’s the guy that wrote Fight Club and Choke. All of the books of his that I have read have been serious mind-fuck books. They are really dark and depressing. He is a fantastic writer, but his books definitely don’t leave you feeling happy. That’s why his work makes me feel like hell, they are really disturbing and depressing.

  3. I’m gonna pick it up just on the fact George rr Martin wrote something in it that’s awesome plus I fucking love werewolves

  4. I have yet to read it but will likely check it out.

    Some cheap finds I found in the bargain area that people may want to keep an eye out for are Running with the Wolves a werewolf anthology edited by Ekaterina Sedia in tade paperback and the other is a hardcover book on werewolves called Werewolves by Zachary Graves. both have 2010 copyright dates so they are still fairly new books.

  5. I read this and I loved it! This is the cutting edge of werewolf/shapeshifter fiction. The overall tone is very dark, not a single paranormal romance story to be found here. And that suited me just fine! It was a lot of fun seeing some Bizarro authors mixed in with the usual more conventional horror authors. I think people who don’t like the book 1) have a problem with the dark tone, 2) were expecting some paranormal romance, 3) weren’t expecting the Bizarro stories, which are more interesting and creative than scary, and/or 4) wanted either more or less shapeshifter stories than werewolf stories. Basically this book really pushes several boundaries and some people just aren’t ready for that.

    I’ve read 4 werewolf anthologies recently and this book was in the top half, along with The Mammoth Book of Wolf Men which was also surprisingly good.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.