Found another review of Child of Fire today that used the “L” word. “Lovecraft.” It’s one I think about often. I stuck werewolves into my first novel because they’re scary (to me, anyway–I have had many nightmares about dog attacks) but the books are meant to feature supernatural creatures you don’t normally find in folklore. No pixies, no rakshasa, no ghosts, no ifrits, none of that. I wanted to make my own.
Which would be one thing if I was writing a second-world fantasy, but the setting for the Twenty Palaces books are contemporary Earth. And if you write contemporary fantasy but do not use the traditional horror/folkloric supernaturals, how are people going to describe those creatures?
With the “L” word.
Me, I enjoy most Lovecraft–especially the monsters–but I have always hated the names. Cthulhu. Nyarlathotep. Yog-Sothoth. They always rubbed me the wrong way. I can’t believe people would be willing to stick with those unpronounceable names, except under very special circumstances (as in “Nyarlathotep, have I got a deal for you!”). I mean, how long did it take for the U.S. to stop using the name “Peking.” People change things for their convenience.
But the real question is, how do you write a fantasy creature that does not draw on a religious or folkloric tradition that does not prompt comparisons to H.P. Lovecraft?
edited to add: finally reached 100 reviews on Amazon.com yesterday, which I think is pretty cool.
All spelled by memory. Because.