“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!
This week’s trope 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.
Thanks to Tiara from The Bibliosanctum for suggesting this topic! I managed to wrangle a couple tentacled beings and one truly blood-curdling example of otherworldly creatures of the insectoid variety.
|The Giant Squid – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Tentacled beings get a bad rap, but the Giant Squid isn’t all bad. Dwelling in the Great Lake surrounding Hogwarts castle, the squid seems to help the students more than harm them – as with Dennis Creevey who falls into the lake and is placed back in his boat by the squid. The Giant Squid likes toast and being tickled. Who knew?
|Kraken – Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Daine is a wildmage, someone who can communicate with animals and mythical beasts. Although she’s got a pacifist slant to her, she’s not above summoning a Kraken to defend her home when its under siege by pirates. Tentacles, smash!
|The Watcher in the Water – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
As if entering the mines of Moria isn’t scary enough on its own, you’ve got to make it past the Watcher in the Water if you want to even think about making it inside. It’s huge, it’s mean, it’s squid-like with tentacles. BAM.
|Tlics – Bloodchild by Octavia Butler
This chilling, Hugo and Nebula winning sci-fi short story centres upon procreation and the exploration of sexuality and gender roles (classic Butler). Human men living on an alien planet are used as vessels for alien babies of the Tlic species; the Tlics can’t bear their own young so they exploit human men to do so. As if being unwillingly impregnated by an alien race isn’t horrifying enough, fully grown Tlics resemble sea serpents with eight legs…yikes.