Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week’s topic is OTHERWORLDLY CREATURES
Creatures not of our world or even our plain of existence, perhaps living in another dimension. Preferably, though not required, with tentacles.
In kind of a strange fate of fortune I messed up what topic was supposed to be up this week and yet it seems to be working out in my favor. Because I have a special guest post from the wonderful T. Frohock that was supposed to be Angels and Demons. Which, by luck, are otherworldly creatures.
So please enjoy this very special guest post and PLEASE check out her works.
Angels and demons aren’t new to fiction. Milton and Dante were exploring these supernatural creatures long before urban fantasy took them over. When I designed the mythology for Los Nefilim, I wanted to do something completely different.
Most people consider angels to be benevolent creatures, but when I read the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, I realized that the angels were more like a different species—something alien, from another planet or sphere. The Book of Enoch is like a travelogue through Heaven with the angels trying to simultaneously strike awe and fear into the dreaming man. Enoch went into great detail about the different levels of heaven, and even the Kabbalah speaks of connecting realms. I started to wonder what would happen if the angels had come from a different realm and invading our reality, and who or what could possibly oppose them.
In Christianity, demons were considered to be fallen angels. Yet other cultures had stories of demons, which were different creatures. So as I examined the various names and spellings for demons, I came across the word daimon, which is a variant of daemon, and is Greek for lesser gods. Daimon didn’t immediately conjure the fallen angels to my mind the same way the word demon did.
In my Los Nefilim series, I made the daimons of my world the old earth gods. They were here first and enjoyed control over the mortals until the angels came. The angels in the world of Los Nefilim are actually invaders, and the daimons fight them.
So with that bit of twisted mythology in mind, I present to you books with demons and angels that either warped the mythology around angels and demons, or put a slightly different spin the theme. All of these books are well worth your while:
Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman: Thomas is a disgraced knight, who is roaming the land with a band of rogues, when he saves a young girl from certain death. The girl is from a family with Cather leanings. Buehlman skillfully handles the merging of the supernatural realms with the natural world to create an enthralling historical fantasy.
God’s Demon by Wayne Barlowe: Probably one of my favorite books that deals with demons. Barlowe sticks strictly with the Catholic version of Hell, but in spite of this, he creates memorable characters and situations. One demon is looking to return to Heaven and finds his redemption through a war in Hell.
About the Author
T . Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale. Her newest series, Los Nefilim, is coming from Harper Voyager Impulse and debuts in June 2015 with the novella, In Midnight’s Silence. T. lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. She has a website and can be found on Twitter.
About In Midnight’s Silence
The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind …
Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can’t get to him directly, they do the one thing he’s always feared.
They go after Miquel.
Now, in order to save his lover’s life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world’s next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.
A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock’s IN MIDNIGHT’S SILENCE shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he’ll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.
Join us next week as we look at EXTREME CLIMATES
Perhaps the hansom prince lives in a castle surrounded by green countryside and sunny days. The rest of the land is forced to deal with freezing cold, searing heat, and every other extreme climate mother nature can throw at you.
If you have a topic you want to see us cover, or if you have an entry for next week’s post but don’t have your own blog to put it on, please head over to the main Tough Traveling page and fill out the form at the bottom. For a list of upcoming topics just keep heading back to this post.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!