The majority of the stories (plus a handful of smaller pieces) in the collection are solid, fun reads with only a couple of entries that I didn’t really care for. I found that the works which I tended to warm up to the most were ones wherein the writer displayed an obvious level of familiarity and fondness for the theme; although there were a couple of contributors who were clearly not as familiar with the particulars of the genre that ended up with some interesting takes on the subject nonetheless (The Transformer of Worlds by Mark Rainey comes to mind). The final piece in the book is an essay regarding giant monsters in film called Wonders 8 Through 88.
A quick list of the stories I particularly enjoyed:
The Transformer of Worlds- Two rivals adept in traversing and manipulating the alternate existences known as “dream worlds” conduct a battle in our reality with destructive results.
Seven Dates That Were Ruined By Giant Monsters- details of how living in the shadow of daikaiju can also affect one’s love life.
Notes Concerning Events at the Ray Harryhausen Memorial Home for Retired Actors- Those monsters you see in old films? They’re not special effects. They’re real. They’re thespians. And they also eventually get old and retire to specialized nursing homes...
Watching the Titans- a researcher in the vein of Jane Goodall accounts her experiences while observing daikaiju in their natural habitat.
Calibos- an elite military team is dispatched to stop a malfunctioning deep-water probe (a gigantic, mechanical crab) that is destructively carrying out its data-collecting mission on land.
Park Rot- When an enormous robotic mascot goes amok in the Thrill Acres amusement park, Kazuo Tabuchi and his domesticated giant monster, Itara are brought in to solve the problem.
Kungmin Horangi: The People’s Tiger- In a world where nations use daikaiju as weapons of war,
Man in Suit- The brilliant scientist Dr.Nomura is coerced into using an untested invention to rid
If you’re a fan, I definitely recommend hunting down a copy of this book. According to the publisher’s website, a second volume has just been released (and will be available on Amazon.com shortly) as well as plans for a third installment. Cool beans!
4 out of 5.