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I wrote the Minecraft Mobestiary

October 05, 2017 ・ Blog

I’ve written another book about Minecraft! It’s called Minecraft Mobestiary, and it’s a natural history of all the mobs in the game. And it’s out TODAY!

A photograph of Minecraft Mobestiary

I was inspired by medieval bestiaries and Victorian journals, and I wrote it from the perspective of a fusty old academic called The Naturalist who has decided to impart all their knowledge about the world. It was a lot of fun to write, painting a picture of this creepy crawly-hating old grouch through the descriptions of the mobs.

A photograph of pages in Minecraft Mobestiary about the Enderman

But the best things about it, I reckon, are the illustrations by Anton Stenvall. They’re so perfect, tying together the weird blocky gaminess of the mobs with the naturalistic way I’ve written about them as if they’re real creatures in a real world.

A photograph of an illustration by Anton Stenvall in Minecraft Mobestiary of a wolf

It was tough to write, because I didn’t want it to be a dry book which simply lists all the mobs’ characteristics. You can get all that in places like the Minecraft Wiki. Instead, I wanted the mobs to feel strange and exciting, and for readers to start to imagine their places in the world. My kids are forever dreaming up the reasons why creepers explode or why witches are evil; I wanted to work with that imagination and even help to fuel it with a little mystery and by posing questions. Why do evokers turn blue sheep red?

A photograph of pages in Minecraft Mobestiary about the blaze

But I also wanted the book to be bursting with practical information, and never to leave anything unclear. It was a tight balancing act, but I’m really pleased with the result.

Oh, and I also recommend taking off the dust jacket in order to caress the blocky texture on the front cover. Thanks to everyone who helped work on this book and make it happen!