anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
[personal profile] anthimeria

Through means cunning and clever, I have laid hands on an advance copy of Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. The official release date is March 6th, also known as next Tuesday.


I had a lot of fun with this book. I love the variety of cryptids, I love that Verity reacts to everything surprising with violence, I love the many, many questions (and terrifying suspicions) the book leaves us with at the end, and like everyone else, I love the Aeslin Mice. HAIL THE NEW SERIES!

Cryptid, noun: Any creature whose existence has not yet been proven by science.  See also "monster."

Cryptozoologist, noun: Any person who thinks hunting for cryptids is a good idea.  See also "idiot."

heidicvlach: (Default)
[personal profile] heidicvlach
This post on mermaid variations got me thinking about dragon variations. The concept of a dragon is such universal imagination fuel, I'm sure there are more directions to worldbuild in.

The most common dragons are the serpentine/naga kind, and the dinosaur-like, bat-winged kind. Quetzalcoatl might be considered a feathered dragon, and I've seen artists drawing feathered dragons like six-limbed Archaeopteryx. General Earth consensus seems to be that dragons are markedly reptilian -- but feathered dragons do tie in well with the evolution of theropod dinosaurs into birds.

Has anyone found other interpretations of dragons? Insect-like dragons, maybe? I've seen a few designs of small dragons with insect wings, usually either a "dragon-fly" pun or a sort of dragon faerie. Are there mammalian dragons with more bat-like qualities than just the wings? Amphibious dragons like giant newts? Do sandworms count as worm-like wyrms? I'm wondering just how far the definition of "dragon" can stretch.


Oct. 30th, 2009 02:00 pm
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
More about non-human characters in fantasy, because it's my current fixation.

I've been thinking a lot about mammalian mermaids, especially since finding these two pieces of art of manatee mermaids. You cannot google for this sort of thing easily, because it turns up results about the theory that manatees breastfeeding their young were the source for the myth of the mermaid, and every single one has the same joke about how the sailors must have been mighty drunk.

Given this line of thought, I've been wondering, with which marine mammal is it best to cross a human to get an interesting mermaid? Seals? Spotted-skin, predatory mermaids with puppy-dog eyes. Dolphin? Curved-spine, greyish mermaids who frolick in the seas, do tricks for fun, and apparently bludgeon other animals to death for fun (disclaimer: hates dolphins with fervor).

Whale mermaid? I'm having difficulty picturing this one, actually. Manatee mermaid? As seen above, an herbivorous mermaid who flourishes in fresh water, has a healthy layer of blubber, and whose hands might be hidden beneath paddling flippers. Not exactly the Little Mermaid. Walrus mermaid? That might be pretty awesome. Otter mermaid? Hey, it's still technically a marine mammal, but then, so is a polar bear.

In non-mammal mermaids, this artist has a whole gallery full of mermaids based on the fish in her fish tank. Very detailed and intriguing, and highly recommended. I've also seen octopus mermaids, which are sometimes called sea-witches, or cecaelia.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Genre: Fantasy)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
What books or book series do you know that have non-human protagonists? I know POV characters are almost always human (or very like human), for maximum reader identification, but what about major supporting characters? I remember reading Moorcock's Swords trilogy, where the hero was a member of the long-lived elf-like species. I know there are quite a few books with elf protagonists but they're often not that different from humans.

Urban fantasy of course has a lot of werewolves, vampires and the like, but seems to have less of the people who were born not human, as opposed to humans who were turned into something else. I have a few books on my reading list that have non-human protagonists, but the majority still seem to cast non-humans in minor or antagonist roles. There are a few series I've heard of that flip the perspective and use traditional antagonist species like goblins or orks as protagonists, although I haven't read any of them (yet).

What books have you read with major inhuman characters? Which did you like best, and least? Which species of inhuman would you most want people to write more of? I gotta vote for dwarves.


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