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Literature / Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters

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Giant monsters. What more needs to be said?

"Enter Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters. This collection of Kaiju shorts continues the traditions begun by Kaiju pioneers, bringing tales of destruction, hope and morality in the form of giant, city destroying monsters. Even better, the project was funded by Kickstarter, which means you, Dear Reader, made this book possible. And that is a beautiful thing. It means Kaiju, in pop-fiction, are not only alive and well, they’re stomping their way back into the spotlight, where they belong. Featuring amazing artwork, stories from some of the best monster writers around and a publishing team that has impressed me from the beginning, Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a welcome addition to the Kaiju genre and an anthology of epic proportions. My inner nine-year-old is shouting at me to shut-up and let you get to the Kaiju. So, without further delay, let’s all enjoy us some Kaiju Rising."
Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of Nemesis Saga.

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters is a collection of 23 stories published by Ragnarok Publications focused around the theme of strange creatures in the vein of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Cloverfield, and more. The anthology opens with a foreword by JEREMY ROBINSON, author of Project Nemesis, the highest selling Kaiju novel in the United States since the old Godzilla books—and perhaps even more than those. Then, from New York Times bestsellers to indie darlings Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters features authors that are perfectly suited for writing larger than life stories.

This anthology contains the following tropes:

  • Alternate History: Several of the stories take place in variant Earths.
  • Artifact of Doom: You wouldn't think the Argo from Jason and the Arognauts would be this but in the hands of the Nazis? Yeah.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some of the stories have larger versions of normal animals, though most are composite monsters.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Hiroshima and Nagasaski were destroyed by Kaiju unleashed on Japan rather than the (defective) nuclear weapons.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the stories which aren't outright Downer Endings, end like this.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is a horror anthology, for the most part, rather than a more lighthearted Pacific Rim style series of vignettes.
  • Determinator: Big Ben is old and worn down due to the British government neglecting its upkeep. Yet its crew puts up a hell of a fight against Red Devil and, despite their mecha being several meters shorter and suffering damage beyond repair, succeed in killing the monster.
  • Disaster Movie: Many of the stories follow this sort of logic, dealing with the aftermath or effect of the monster's attacks.
  • Downer Ending: Numerous short stories end with the Kaiju winning and humanity being up the creek without a paddle.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: In a book about otherwise horrifying tales of survival and angst, Day of the Demigods is about a Kaiju who wants to impress his girlfriend by starring in a disaster movie.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Some of the Kaiju are straight-up immune to everything, including nuclear weapons.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Imperial Japanese reach it in Of Earth, Of the Sky, Of the Sea and attempt to wield the Kami against the British.
  • Green Aesop: Shows up in a couple of stories where Kaiju come to destroy the world because humanity has been messing with the Earth.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The theme of The Greatest Hunger which follows humanity exploiting the Kaiju for entertainment.
  • Humongous Mecha: Some of the stories contain examples of these, typically wielded by humans to fight them.
    • Big Ben and the End of Pier Show uses the term Kaiju Response Vehicle (KRV) for its giant mecha. Britain only has the one left due to budget constraints, and it's suffering from wear and tear from countless battles.
  • Kaiju: It wouldn't be very a very good example of its title if it didn't contain these.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Shows up in a surprising number of stories. In one instance, aliens power their Kaiju with a child's mind so the only way to stop it is to kill him. The soldier assigned to do it is reluctant to say the least. In another instance, gradeschoolers are all turned into Kaiju and thinks it's the most awesome thing ever. The list goes on and on.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The hero of Day of the Demigods. Of course, it's hard to be too harsh on him since he's a giant tentacle monster stomping Hollywood.
  • Sadistic Choice: Monstruo has aliens inflict this on humanity by tying the survival of the Kaiju they send to destroy humanity to the life of a child.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: In a moment of Black Comedy, Big Ben and the End of Pier Show features a bunch of men sitting in a British seaside pub and grumbling about the Kaiju attack happening right that moment as if it were no more than a spot of bad weather.
  • Take a Third Option: Big Ben and the End of Pier Shore has a pier amusement park owner do one when he's faced with bankruptcy or abandoning the family business during a Kaiju attack.
  • Take That!:
    • Day of the Demigods is one gigantic one of these to the Hollywood system, being about a Kaiju who thinks he can become famous by stomping Hollywood. He's right.
    • Fall Of Babylon is one of these to apocalyptic Christianity and its beliefs. See Dude, Not Funny!.
    • The Conversion is a more serious version of the above message, showing the futility of faith in the face of Kaiju.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny:
    • The Lamb of God (A Kaiju ram-monster) vs. the Statue of Liberty.
    • Animikii vs. Mishipeshu is one of the book's few giant monster fights and whoever wins, humanity loses.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The Nazis decide to use the Argo of Greek myth to destroy the British Navy? Their response, recruit some Greek giant monsters.