The Beasts of Bittercon

There’s a lively Bittercon discussion of monsters going on. As you know, Bob, monsters are a big deal to me, so you’ll find a comment or two from me tucked away in there.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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13 Responses to The Beasts of Bittercon

  1. Anonymous says:

    As you know, Bob…

    Let me take a moment to say how much I appreciate they subtleties in your humor. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    the monster can do what we can’t

    This comment brought to mind something I learned while researching the early days of Iceland for gaming purposes. (If my history teachers only knew how to motivate me.) There were monsters out there, and people could do little to fight them. Outlaws and other exiles from society, however, weren’t really people, so heroes were usually drawn from that stock.

    And speaking of zombies, let me put in a plug for Fido, which I recently watched. Best zombie movie ever (and the mildest R-rated movie I’ve ever seen). Very funny, and proof that zombies can think.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bugger, not again. Those first two are both me.

    –Jeff Stehman

    • newguydave says:

      A lot of monsters in S&S seem to be summoned demons and kin. That even goes back to the Conan days of course. Can you ever have too much of hell in your handbasket?

      Of course, my personal favorites are the big freaking supernatural behemoths that live right where your hero has to go. Robert E Howard was great for mammoth creatures that threaten the very existence of life. I think there should be more of those. I’m glad the Flashing Swords Press is putting out a book of tales on those very such creatures.

      • JE says:

        Right! (Except now it’s “Rogue Blade Enterprises”, I think, since Jason acquired the press from crystalwizard.)

        • newguydave says:

          Most excellent. I like Rogue Blade Enterprises. Will there be more of Morlock for us?

          • JE says:

            Well, I don’t know. I submitted a young-Morlock story to Rage of the Behemoth but haven’t heard back yet. In general, young-Morlock seems to be less popular with editors and readers than old-Morlock, but maybe this is the story that will change all that.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s the old and crusty that makes him a likable character. 🙂

          • JE says:

            Maybe that’s it. I like him when he’s young and crazy, but that’s a lot easier to find on fiction shelves these days.

          • newguydave says:

            Another thing to consider is that characters with a full past feel more complete to some readers. In this case, old and crusty makes for good conflict.

          • JE says:

            Yes–and some storytellers are obsessed with backstory, to the detriment of their storytelling (*cough*-GeorgeLucas-*cough*). But I like the young Morlock stories partly because they’re set in a very nontraditional fantasy setting, a society that’s not the usual monarchy/aristocracy stuff. But a good setting does not a good story make, perhaps.

          • newguydave says:

            “But a good setting does not a good story make, perhaps.”

            lol. Thanks Master Yoda.

    • JE says:

      Hey Jeff:

      Thanks! (I figured the anonymous comments were from you, by the way.)

      I’ll have to check out Fido.

      Icelandic storytelling is indeed great source for overlapping villains/monsters and heroes. Grettir’s Saga is a good one in particular. The hero is an outlaw who fights monsters (one of which, Glam, is also a kind of hero).

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