Diffusion Archive Highlight: Beasts and Super-Beasts

A collection of 36 short stories by Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), each an individual eBook, the tales in Beasts and Super-Beasts deal mainly with “the presence or role of an animal and its relationship to the humans in the narrative, acutely dissecting their foibles and pretensions” (an exquisite summary by Giles there). They’re in a similar vein to Aesop’s Fables, albeit shifting the focus from the characteristics of animals as analogies for the noble ways people should behave, to the sharp satire of existing human behavior. First published in 1914, two years before Saki’s death, they can now be freely published, re-printed and read due to the expiration of copyright – generally 70 years after the author’s death in the United Kingdom. In this manner, older texts that might otherwise remain undiscovered by contemporary readers, can be openly enjoyed and shared through modern distribution models and publishing platforms like bookleteer and Diffusion.