Thursday, January 01, 2015

Vampire Bugs, Lion Men

The January 2015 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC mentions a cricket-like insect called the hump-winged grig, which engages in a slightly gory mating ritual. The male allows the female to nibble on his hind wings during sex and drink his hemolymph, "the bug version of blood." The male hardly ever dies of this predation, although a grig who's successful with lots of females may end the mating season "chewed right down to the nub." A real-life example in nature of a vampiric seductress trading sex for blood—and her "victim" inviting it!

In the same issue, an article on prehistoric art shows a photo of a foot-high carving from Germany known as the Lowenmensch, which depicts a figure who's part man and part lion. The article calls this piece the first known representation of "a creature that was completely imaginary." From a fantasy and science fiction perspective, however, this artwork reminds me of Jack Williamson's DARKER THAN YOU THINK and S. M. Stirling's Shadowspawn trilogy, both featuring a shapeshifter-vampire-sorcerer race that co-evolved with humanity from the dawn of Homo sapiens. In the world of those novels, the lion-man would not be imaginary but would represent paleolithic man's quite rational horror of the superhuman predators who stalk the forests of the night.

Leaping to a totally different topic, how about New Year's resolutions? I've long since stopped making them as such, because the word "resolution" turns me off; for me, it has connotations of a potential set-up for failure. I do have goals, though. My short-term goal, in the next few weeks, is to revise a horror-erotic romance crossover novella I wrote before the holidays and send it to a publisher. Next, I'll try to work up a story to submit to this year's SWORD AND SORCERESS anthology. In the long term, I'm expecting to write a paranormal romance novel with Lovecraftian elements I've been outlining, the long-planned sequel to my horror novel FROM THE DARK PLACES:

From the Dark Places

Happy New Year!

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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