Tough Traveling: Monsters
The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan ofReview Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.
This week’s tour topic is: Monsters
MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.
Whoa hey now waitaminute! Monsters? That’s not what Nathan promised me!
I totally accepted this challenge and was all ready with La Dolorosa, from Miserere: An Autumn Tale. Imagine a beautiful yet deadly rose that feasts on blood and evil, and maybe our hapless protagonists too, if they aren’t careful! Okay maybe Teresa Frohock’s lethal flora isn’t exactly benevolent, so that works for this week’s Monsters theme, too. Now where do I pick up my prize?
Bravo Nathan for coming up with the perfect theme for Halloween! I’m excited this week to feature some excellent novels featuring monsters, from the terrifying to the quirky.
The Terror by Dan Simmons
I loved this book! And interestingly, it’s been getting some extra attention lately, with the discovery of one of the ships from the lost Franklin Expedition just recently in Arctic Canada. This book was inspired by the true events from that doomed expedition, a historical fiction with a horror bent. The premise involves the unfortunately crew of the Erebus and The Terror trapped in the ice, stalked by an unseen monster out in the frigid darkness.
Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr.
One of my favorite horror movies has got to be John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). This was the novella that formed the basis for it (as well as other adaptations, including The Thing from Another World in 1951). An antarctic research camp discovers the remains of an ancient alien frozen under the ice (cold and forbidding environments seem to make for the best horror settings) and the monster ends up reviving, being able to shapeshift and assume the forms of humans and animals alike, imitating them perfectly.
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
This is another favorite of mine. And don’t let the Young Adult tag fool you into letting your guard down! The Monstrumologist is one of the most sickeningly bloody and gory books I’ve ever read, and YA or not, I’d honestly hesitate to hand this one to just any teenager. As you can probably guess, a “monstrumologist” is one who studies monsters. This first book of the series features predators called the Anthropophagi, which means “people eaters”…enough said.
Club Monstrosity by Jesse Petersen
Now for something a little more lighthearted and fun. The basic premise behind this book is the question, What if all the monsters and paranormal creatures that have ever been featured in our favorite classic books and movies — Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, etc. — are actually real and living in secret among us? Twice a week, they get together in their Monstofelldosis Anonymous support group in a church basement to talk about all the difficulties faced by your average everyday misunderstood monster, just trying to make it in the big city.
Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters edited by Tim Marquitz & Nick Sharps
I’m cheating a bit here, as I haven’t read this anthology in its entirety, but I think we can all agree that it fits into the theme this week. Kaiju!!! In case it’s not immediately obvious, this book is a collection of short stories focused on or inspired by the theme of strange and humongous monsters in the same vein as movies like Pacific Rim, Godzilla, and Cloverfield, etc.