Tough Travels – Monsters


Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.

This week’s topic is MONSTERS

MONSTERS are likely to lie in waste areas, caves, and old ruined cities. You can usually detect their presence by smell.

And of course I totally picked this topic for Halloween. I swear, I saw what week it was and picked this one on purpose. That is how I roll.

The UnicornLords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett – Used the same Pratchett book two weeks in a row, what are the odds? (One in forty would be a starting point I guess). Now I know what the thought process is here, Unicorn? Really? Nobody thinks unicorns are evil monsters do they? They are playful, and frolicky, and ya maybe they ignored Noah and didn’t get on the arc but that is not a sign of evil.

But look at is closely. It is a large wild horse, which can be intimidating enough. And then some nut job decided to add a single large spike to the top of its head. Take it out of the elves’ realm and surround it by rocks filled with iron and now you got one pissed off, nasty monster roaming the countryside.

Clawbaby Gleam by Tom Fletcher – I have no idea what this thing is and never quite Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)figured out what it wanted but it totally counts because it is a nasty thing that fits in any horror film. All sharp edges and determination, the Clawbaby follows around the protagonists group leaving death around it. Oh, and it cries like a baby. Because that isn’t scarey at all.

Slate MothsPerdido Street Station by China Miéville– What is the statute of limitations on spoilers in this book? Can we talk about slate moths yet? Their crazy wings, the terror they spread their inter-dimensional presence that makes them next to impossible to kill? The most feared insect within a city since fleas (and most people didn’t know to blame the fleas when plague was sweeping through).

Objectively The Scar is the better book of the series but my heart always goes to Perdido Street Station because it has fucking slate moths.

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy CoveLust LizardThe Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore- Look, all I am saying is if you don’t want your tanker trucks to blow up on the outskirts of town then you shouldn’t make them so seductive. How is a sea monster supposed to help itself?

Museum Monster –Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child- Trips to the museum are supposed to be fun. They should not lead to disappearances and bones with all the marrow sucked out of them.

Never quite sure how these types of books should be classified. Obviously it is labeled as a thriller and it is, but it has those sci-fi elements in it a la Michael Chrichton and James Rollins. I kinda like these modern day science gone amok thrillers. .

Fluffy – Harry Potter – What are you doing?

Trying to think of monsters for this week’s list.


Well why not?

White RabbitMonty Python and the Holy Grail – A beast so horrible, so disgusting, so deadly, only a hand grenade can properly take care of it. A HOLY hand grenade. Count to three, then throw it. Not four, nor two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out…


Ok, I have a new topic picked for next week and there will be plenty more from Jones book. But it is becoming harder to pick each week and ensure I get a topic with a variety of answers. So soon we will have to expand beyond the book. I’ll get a suggestion box up in the next couple of weeks but until then start thinking of a few topics you may want to see. Anyway…

Join us next week as we look at NOVICES

Novice is a term in frequent use. There are not only Novice Priests and Priestesses and nuns: you will also encounter novice healers and bards, and sometimes also novice mages…Novices are always young, frequently skinny and undernourished, and clad in robes.

As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!

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