Tough Traveling: Otherworldly Creatures (Tentacles Preferred)


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan oReview 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 (and inspired by) 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: Otherworldly Creatures (Tentacles Preferred)


Just for Tiara, this topic explains itself. Creatures not of our world or even our plain of existence, perhaps living in another dimension. Preferably, though not required, with tentacles.   Or really anything with tentacles can be considered weird enough to be otherworldly.

Tiara’s Picks:

Batman Superman Tentacles

Remember that time Batman and Superman had a sleepover where they cried and hugged it out after watching tentacle porn? No, just me. Ah, well. Consider yourself enlightened now. DC is no stranger to tentacles. At least they know how to do one thing right.

Tentacled Terror

sword of shannaraMist Wraith (The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks)

I’m still not over the fact that the characters in this book thought it was better to take on the Mist Marsh to be confronted by a threat they’re not sure exists (the Mist Wraith) rather than taking the path they know leads to wolves, but at least, they know how to take care of wolves, even if the wolves are scary. Needless to say that their adventure in the Mist Marsh gets a little exciting when the Mist Wraith attacks, captures Flick with a tentacle, and tries to make off with him. It just wanted to love you, Flick! Oh, and they still had to go into the wolf-infested woods.

Kraken 1Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams

Not really a speculative book, but I thought I’d slipped you some science in here because I LOVE SCIENCE! This is a highly entertaining and narrative book all about cephalopods. We’ll just say this is magical realism if it makes you feel better.

The Book of Speculation 2Doyle (The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler)

Admittedly, Doyle is not a cephalopod. He’s a human. However, he’s had almost every inch of himself tattooed with tentacles. I included him in this pick because his tentacles are often described as moving in correspondence to his temperament or feelings. They don’t literally move on their own, but because of the movements he makes, it’s noted that his tentacles seem to reflect his mind state as if they are moving in an unearthly manner.

Dead Man's ChestDavey Jones and the Kraken (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest by Disney Press)

I’m listening to a review copy of the PotC books which are narrated by Simon Vance, so I definitely couldn’t leave these out. Davy Jones alone is a fearsome creature with tentacle-y face. I’d argue that he’s misunderstand, but let’s not get my feelings all up in this. At his disposal he has the feared Kraken to obey his orders to destroy those who oppose him.

Suction Cup DreamsSuction Cup Dreams by David Joseph Clarke

A romance in an ancient temple. A mysterious stranger in a dusty Western town. A confrontation beneath the waves. Tropical islands and ancient mysteries. Merchants of alien pearls. Desolate futures and mystical pasts.

Take a dive into these twelve original tales of the noble octopus and drift into suction cup dreams. From science fiction over horror to heartbreaking love story, each tale offers a unique perspective of one of the our planet’s most intelligent and curious lifeforms.

BeastBeast by Peter Benchley

From the same man who gave us Jaws, we get Beast. A story about “a creature that rises up from the well of an ocean gone mad with an insatiable hunger and an endless lust to kill.”

A Kiss of ShadowsKing Sholto (A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton)

Sholto is the product of a sidhe/nightflyer union. And he happens to have tentacles on his torso. I’ll spare you all the “he gives good tentacles” jokes that happened in conversation when I talked to friends about this book. Just know that he’s pretty because he’s a sidhe, but has weird tentacles appendages on his chest which… nevermind… heh… heh… heh….

Pokemon v18Inkay/Malamar (Pokémon by The Pokémon Company)

I’m a huge Pokémon fan and have been for years. I don’t care what you have to say about that. One of my favorite Pokémon is Inkay who evolves into Malamar. This picture represents its before and evolved form.

City of HeroesLusca (City of Heroes by Paragon Studios)

Again my favorite, now defunct MMO, was known for its giant monsters that would appear in the various cities that required heroes/villains to band together to defeat them. Once such creature was Lusca who appeared randomly in the waters of Independence Port. Lusca was defeated by taking on each tentacle before finally being able to take on the head.


And finally…


Mogsy’s Picks:

Tentacles preferred? I guess this means I’m digging into my cache of Lovecraft inspired spec fic…

b98f2-1414 by Peter Clines

Ah, crap. Anything I could possibly say about this book here would be a spoiler. So…let’s just say “This book fits this week’s topic” and leave it at that.


KrakenKraken by China Miéville

This book was just WEIRD.  What else can you expect about a story featuring a forty-foot-long specimen of giant squid just up and disappearing overnight from its display at the British Museum of Natural History? It turns out this gargantuan cephalopod represents a deity to the Church of Kraken Almighty. But is there really a giant squid god?

Harrison SquaredHarrison Squared by Daryl Gregory

When Harrison Harrison (nicknamed Harrison Squared by his scientist mother, because geek humor is the best kind of humor) was a toddler, his family’s boat was capsized by something huge in the water. Officially, the authorities said that it was a sharp piece of metal that claimed Harrison’s leg, and that the storm was what drowned his father, but Harrison knew he saw: GIANT TENTACLES.

3b190-armadaArmada by Ernest Cline

Armada is Zack Lightman’s favorite first-person space combat flight sim MMO. In the game, players all around the world get to take the role of drone pilots, controlling Earth Defense Alliance ships to do battle with alien invaders that look a lot like giant squids, complete with tentacles.

The Desert SpearThe Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett

I honestly don’t remember this part at all, but I recently finished reading the Demon Cycle novella collection The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold and in the back of it was a description of water demons that first mentioned in The Warded Man and appeared in The Desert Spear. And I quote, “Some breeds have tentacles ending in sharp bone.”

Tales from Jabba’s Palace edited by Kevin J. Anderson

This is the anthology that features A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett – also known as the story detailing Boba Fett’s escape from the tentacled Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon.


I also just had to seize this opportunity to list a couple of the MMOs I play, and show off my own screenshots.

The Secret World by Funcom

My favorite MMO ever, TSW is set in a modern day real world under attack from occult forces. Players join one of three secret societies to fight otherworldly creatures like Lovecraftian monsters and other immortal beings. This is my character with the raid boss of the Manhattan Exclusion Zone…five seconds before it served me my ass on a platter.


Rift by Trion

Rift is another MMO that’s fond of tentacles. The game takes place in the fantasy world of Telara, which is overrun by enemies that emerge from dynamic “rifts”, which are like tears between reality and the elemental planes of  Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Life, and Death. This is my character preparing to engage an opened Water rift.



Wendy’s Picks


Agent_to_the_StarsAgent to the Stars by John Scalzi

The Yherjak are an amorphous ameboid species that communicate with each other through smell. But every now and then when chatting with humans, a tentacle or two might be necessary to get the point across.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe

What’s worse than a tentacles monster god? Being the priestess for said god and having an existential crisis in the middle of an attack on your adopted town.

Rat Queens

18 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Otherworldly Creatures (Tentacles Preferred)”

  1. PIRATES. 😀 I didn’t like the later movies as much as the first one, but the Kraken was one of the best things about Dead Man’s Chest.

    I can’t recall any tentacled creatures from the books I’ve read… but I did think of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Not just an otherworldly creature, but a slimy villainess, too. 😉


  2. Wish granted by the way!

    I knew yall would kill it. Before I realized i screwed up the dates and had a guest post I had Rat Queens and the Scarlack on my list too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d read The Sword of Shannara recently, and the first thing that came to mind for this was the Mist Wraith.


  3. DANG IT, I knew I was forgetting Rat Queens. Great pick. Pokemon is very clever too. And all I ever hear about Mieville’s work is that it’s weird…so not too surprising that there are some tentacled beasties in there!

    Liked by 1 person

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