The Firebird is a marvel, highly coveted, but the hero, initially charmed, eventually blames it for his troubles. What does it look like? But do not be afraid! Aitvaras are housekeepers or, better said, household spirits. In many cases, this Lithuanian creature is described as having the appearance of a rooster while indoors and the appearance of a dragon outdoors. It brings both good and bad luck to the inhabitants of the house.
You want one as well?
Latvians have a nice forest fairy to introduce you: Lauma. Originally a sky spirit, her compassion for human suffering brought her to earth to share our fate. When a traveller meets her, she comes with him and pretends to be a perfect, caring and a very nice wife. If the mother does not survive, or gives the child up, she takes on the role of spiritual foster mother for the child. She spins the cloth of life for the child, but weeps at the fate of some.
The fact that the cloth can, to a degree, weave itself, indicates a higher power than Lauma. Here comes a great giant hero who lived according to the legend on the Baltic Sea island of Saaremaa. He often visited his brother Leiger on the neighboring Hiiumaa island. He loved to eat cabbage, drink beer and, as every Estonian, go to the sauna. Let me introduce you to one of the most amazing creature of Europe. It makes sounds that are amazingly beautiful, and those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want nothing more ever again. According to one version of Slavic folklore, she is able to regulate the weather to her liking; there is a calm before a storm for seven days until the eggs fully hatch.
It is not known for certain where the myth truly originates from but it is believed that the mythical beings may stem back to Greek Mythology. The name would come from a Greek demigoddess whose name was Alcyone. This could work as well for the Ukrainian Indrik , often considered as the king of all animals. When it stirs, the Earth trembles. The folklore creature actually gave its name to Indricotherium , the biggest land mammal ever to live. There are in Romania nice fairies which would be the equivalent of elves and are always looking to be kind and benevolent.
These characters make positive appearances in fairy tales and reside mostly in the woods. In folk tales , it is told not to upset them because they also have the power to do bad things or put a curse on the wrongdoer. They also act like guardian angels, especially for children who enter the woods, or for other good people. Fearing their wrath, people usually ask a Master Stonemason for advice. These children were to be selected into apprenticeship by experienced Solomonars, taken into forests or in caves. They would learn the art and craft of wizardry, which they would use to fight against the dark forces of nature and of the human spirit.
Imagine Someday [Karen Lofgren] on rapyzure.tk *FREE* shipping on Have one to sell? Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. This book is really fun to read and presents an excellent world of mythical creatures. Buy Imagine Someday by Karen Lofgren from Amazon's Fiction Books Store. Everyday low Diego Avery's life has never been an easy one. His father Someone, or something, is hunting the last Fantastical Creatures to extinction. Before he.
For centuries, the barren, rocky peaks of the Alps were seen as exotic and otherworldly by the people of the valleys. It was a domain of hunters of wild animals. Instead, beautiful flowers grew on the spot where the chamois had bled on the ground. For many years, the story was passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. In the region of Bilogora in northern Croatia live distant relatives of the Yeti and Chewbacca, the hairy creature of Star Wars.
They are said to be very strong, able to uproot trees and carry heavy loads, while their chest is so large that they can make storms by blowing. When they speak or sing , it can be heard far away.
They live deep in the forests of Bilogora, where they build their towns, and are divided into tribes. Last accounts of vedi visiting people date from the mid 19th century…. Serbian people make a clear distinction between good and bad dragons. They are also said to be very rich and usually described as having castles of enormous riches hidden in distant lands.
Interesting enough, they are often regarded as being lustful for women, upon whom they are capable of begetting offspring. Bosnian mythology sometimes mentions a large white rooster who lives in the sky. Yes, you read it clearly. He is the king of all roosters on earth!
And he is a bit like a superheroe. Cockcrows are regarded by many people as something positive since they believe that it chases devils away from the house. In Bosnia it is also believed that a rooster crows every time it sees an angel. Anyway, all this sounds much like another topic of this blog, the way all European roosters crow in their own native language. Wanna read it? Macedonian folklore is very rich of magical and legendary creatures. They are often presented as pretty girls with golden hair and wings who live far in the mountains, near water or in the clouds.
It is believed that they are born from the dew on flowers, when there is rain and the sun is shining or when there is a rainbow. As such, t hey can fly up to the moon and they know the secrets of the healing herbs. According to the mythology , they serve only those who steal their clothes, and if someone steals their wings they transform into normal women. They are said to dwell upon our earth from spring to autumn, when they sing and dance from dusk till dawn.
Their voices were thought so powerful that they were able to communicate between each other even when they were standing on far-away mountain tops. They were regarded as a natural enemy of dragons and would often engage them in battle. In Northern Albania and Kosovo every mountain was said to have its own zana , who appeared as a fair maiden found bathing naked in mountain streams. She is believed to have the power to petrify opponents with a glance. His father was Poseidon and his mother was the Gorgon Medusa; he was born along with his brother Chrysa or when Medusa was decapitated by Perseus.
According to legend , everywhere the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth. His rider, however, once fell off his back trying to reach Mount Olympus. Zeus transformed the creature into the constellation Pegasus and placed him up in the sky. Here comes a quite convenient creature for your house. The actions performed by this house spirit in Turkic folklore vaguely resemble those of poltergeists and are not necessarily harmful.
He would moan and howl to warn of coming trouble. Those include moving and rattling small objects, breaking dishes, leaving muddy little footprints… If the family can determine the cause of their Bichuras discontent, they can rectify the situation and return things to normal. And the most funny thing about the Bichura: it wears red dresses! European Creatures. Moura encantada Just imagine… you wander around in the forest, listening to your favorite tune on your Ipod when you suddenly stumble on a beautiful young lady singing and combing her beautiful long hair, golden as gold or black as the night with a golden comb.
Gamusino Spanish children are convinced that they have already seen this imaginary creature.
Leprechaun There are in the world and especially in Ireland, little bearded man, wearing a green coat and a green hat. United Kingdom. Nessie On 12 November , a young Brit on holidays in the Scottish Highlands was walking along the loch Ness after church when he spotted a substantial commotion in the water. Fossegrim The trees dance and waterfalls stop at his music. Nisse They are not taller than three feet. Melusine She looks like a mermaid, she is enchanted much like a mermaid and she behaves pretty like a mermaid.
Bayard Anyone would love to ride the horse Bayard , renowned for his spirit, his capacity to understand human speech and his supernatural ability to adjust his size to his riders. Barbegazi There was no doubt that our Swiss friends would come out with a very specific winter creature. Czech Republic. Lauma Latvians have a nice forest fairy to introduce you: Lauma.
Alkonost Let me introduce you to one of the most amazing creature of Europe. Zlatorog For centuries, the barren, rocky peaks of the Alps were seen as exotic and otherworldly by the people of the valleys. Zmaj Serbian people make a clear distinction between good and bad dragons.
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nebeski pijetao Bosnian mythology sometimes mentions a large white rooster who lives in the sky. Samovila Macedonian folklore is very rich of magical and legendary creatures. Albania — Kosovo. Zana e malit In Northern Albania and Kosovo every mountain was said to have its own zana , who appeared as a fair maiden found bathing naked in mountain streams.
Greece — Cyprus. Instead, Auster creates his dystopia by magnifying familiar flaws and recycling historical detail: the novel's working title was "Anna Blume Walks Through the 20th Century". NC Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. A modern-gothic tale of mutilation, murder and medical experimentation, Banks's first novel - described by the Irish Times as "a work of unparalleled depravity"- is set on a Scottish island inhabited by the ultimate dysfunctional family: a mad scientist and his unbalanced sons, older brother Eric, who has been locked up for everyone's safety, and Frank, the year-old narrator, tormented by a freak accident that cost him his genitals.
Frank's victims are mostly animals - but he has found time to kill a few children … Phil Daoust Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Space opera is unfashionable, but Banks couldn't care less. Consider Phlebas introduced the first of many misguided or untrustworthy heroes - Horza, who can change his body just by thinking about it - and a typically Banksian collision involving two giant trains in an subterranean station. PD Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Life's rich tapestry is just that in Clive Barker's fantasy. A magic carpet is the last refuge of a people known as the Seerkind, who for centuries have been hunted by both humans and the Scourge, a mysterious being that seems determined to live up to its name.
When it all starts to unravel, the carpet people's best hope is a pigeon-fancying insurance clerk and his half-Seerkind companion. Yes, it sounds twee, but as Barker himself said, "the Seerkind fornicate, fart - they're very far from pure". Nicola Barker has been accused of obscurity, but this Booker-shortlisted comic epic has a new lightness of touch and an almost soapy compulsiveness. Set in Ashford, Kent, the kind of everytown that has turned its back on history, the novel dips into the lives of a loosely connected cast of everyday eccentrics who find that history - in the persona of Edward IV's jester - is fighting back.
A jumble of voices and typefaces, mortal fear and sarky laughter, the novel is as true as it is truly odd, and beautifully written to boot. Justine Jordan Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. He sends him back to the far future in an attempt to save the Eloi woman Weena, only to find himself in a future timeline diverging from the one he left. Baxter's extraordinary continuation and expansion tackles the usual concerns of the time-travel story - paradox and causality - and goes on to explore many of the themes that taxed Wells: destiny, morality and the perfectibility of the human race.
Bear combines intelligence, humour and the wonder of scientific discovery in a techno-thriller about a threat to the future of humanity. A retro-viral plague sweeps the world, infecting women via their sexual partners and aborting their embryos. But the plague is more than it seems What might in other hands have been a mere end-of-the-world runaround is transformed by Bear's scientific knowledge into something marvellous, as reason overcomes paranoia and fear.
Somehow surviving, he swiftly gets down to it. Bester's novel updates The Count of Monte Cristo with telepathy, nuclear weapons and interplanetary travel. Those who stumble across it are inevitably surprised to find it was written half a century ago. Brite's first novel, a lush, decadent and refreshingly provocative take on vampirism told in rich, stylish prose, put her at the forefront of the s horror scene.
It's the story of Nothing, an angst-filled teenager who runs away from his adoptive parents to seek out his favourite band. Along the way he joins up with a group of vampires, finds his true family and discovers what he really values, amid much blood, sex, drugs and drink.
Keith Brooke Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Al Barker is a thrillseeking adventurer recruited to investigate an alien labyrinth on the moon. Everyone who enters the maze dies, so Barker's doppelganger is transmitted there while he remains in telepathic contact. Barker is the first person to survive the trauma of witnessing their own death, returning again and again to explore. Rogue Moon works as both thriller and character study, a classic novel mapping out a new and sophisticated SF, just as Barker maps the alien maze.
KB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. When the Devil comes to s Moscow, his victims are pillars of the Soviet establishment: a famous editor has his head cut off; another bureaucrat is made invisible. This is just a curtain-raiser for the main event, however: a magnificent ball for the damned and the diabolical. For his hostess, his satanic majesty chooses Margarita, a courageous young Russian whose lover is in a psychiatric hospital, traumatised by the banning of his novel.
No prizes for guessing whom Bulgakov identified with; although Stalin admired his early work, by the s he was personally banning it. This magisterial satire was not published until more than 20 years after the writer's death. In this pioneering work of British science fiction, the hero is a bumptious American mining engineer who stumbles on a subterranean civilisation. The "Vril-ya" enjoy a utopian social organisation based on "vril", a source of infinitely renewable electrical power commerce promptly produced the beef essence drink, Bovril.
Also present are ray guns, aerial travel and ESP. Ironically, the hero finds utopia too boring. He is rescued from death by the Princess Zee, who flies him to safety. The novel ends with the ominous prophecy that the superior race will invade the upper earth - "the Darwinian proposition", as Bulwer-Lytton called it.
John Sutherland Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. One of a flurry of novels written by Burgess when he was under the mistaken belief that he had only a short time to live. Set in a dystopian socialist welfare state of the future, the novel fantasises a world without religion. Alex is a "droog" - a juvenile delinquent who lives for sex, violence and subcult high fashion. The narrative takes the form of a memoir, in Alex's distinctive gang-slang.
The state "programmes" Alex into virtue; later deprogrammed, he discovers what good and evil really are. The novel, internationally popularised by Stanley Kubrick's film into what Burgess called "Clockwork Marmalade", is Burgess's tribute to his cradle Catholicism and, as a writer, to James Joyce. JS Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.
In one of the first split-screen narratives, Burgess juxtaposes three key 20th-century themes: communism, psychoanalysis and the millennial fear of Armageddon. Trotsky's visit to New York is presented as a Broadway musical; a mournful Freud looks back on his life as he prepares to flee the Nazis; and in the year , as a rogue asteroid barrels towards the Earth, humanity argues over who will survive and what kind of society they will take to the stars.
JJ Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. John Carter, a Confederate veteran turned gold prospector, is hiding from Indians in an Arizona cave when he is mysteriously transported to Mars, known to the locals as Barsoom. There, surrounded by four-armed, green-skinned warriors, ferocious white apes, eight-legged horse-substitutes, legged "dogs", and so on, he falls in love with Princess Dejah Thoris, who might almost be human if she didn't lay eggs.
She is, naturally, both beautiful and extremely scantily clad Burroughs's first novel, published in serial form, is the purest pulp, and its lack of pretension is its greatest charm. Disjointed, hallucinatory cut-ups form a collage of, as Burroughs explained of the title, "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork". A junkie's picaresque adventures in both the real world and the fantastical "Interzone", this is satire using the most savage of distorting mirrors: society as an obscene phantasmagoria of addiction, violence, sex and death.
Only Cronenberg could have filmed it in , and even he recreated Burroughs's biography rather than his interior world. Butler's fourth novel throws African American Dana Franklin back in time to the early s, where she is pitched into the reality of slavery and the individual struggle to survive its horrors. Butler single-handedly brought to the SF genre the concerns of gender politics, racial conflict and slavery. Several of her novels are groundbreaking, but none is more compelling or shocking than Kindred.
A brilliant work on many levels, it ingeniously uses the device of time travel to explore the iniquity of slavery through Dana's modern sensibilities. The wittiest of Victorian dystopias by the period's arch anti-Victorian. The hero Higgs finds himself in New Zealand as, for a while, did the chronic misfit Butler. Assisted by a native, Chowbok, he makes a perilous journey across a mountain range to Erewhon say it backwards , an upside-down world in which crime is "cured" and illness "punished", where universities are institutions of "Unreason" and technology is banned.
The state religion is worship of the goddess Ydgrun ie "Mrs Grundy" - bourgeois morality. Does it sound familiar? Higgs escapes by balloon, with the sweetheart he has found there. It is a boy quarrels with his aristocratic parents and climbs a tree, swearing not to touch the earth again.
He ends up keeping his promise, witnessing the French revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath from the perspective of the Italian treetops. Drafted soon after Calvino's break with communism over the invasion of Hungary, the novel can be read as a fable about intellectual commitments. At the same time, it's a perfectly turned fantasy, densely imagined but lightly written in a style modelled on Voltaire and Robert Louis Stevenson. Chris Tayler Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.
Campbell has long been one of the masters of psychological horror, proving again and again that what's in our heads is far scarier than any monster lurking in the shadows. In this novel, the domineering old spinster Queenie dies - a relief to those around her. Her niece Alison inherits the house, but soon starts to suspect that the old woman is taking over her eight-year-old daughter Rowan.
A paranoid, disturbing masterpiece. The intellectuals' favourite children's story began as an improvised tale told by an Oxford mathematics don to a colleague's daughters; later readers have found absurdism, political satire and linguistic philosophy in a work that, years on, remains fertile and fresh, crisp yet mysterious, and endlessly open to intepretation. Alice, while reading in a meadow, sees a white rabbit rush by, feverishly consulting a watch. She follows him down a hole Freudian analysis, as elsewhere in the story, is all too easy , where she grows and shrinks in size and encounters creatures mythological, extinct and invented.
Morbid jokes and gleeful subversion abound. The trippier sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and, like its predecessor, illustrated by John Tenniel. More donnish in tone, this fantasy follows Alice into a mirror world in which everything is reversed. Her journey is based on chess moves, during the course of which she meets such figures as Humpty Dumpty and the riddling twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. More challenging intellectually than the first instalment, it explores loneliness, language and the logic of dreams.
The year is - and other times. Fevvers, aerialiste, circus performer and a virgin, claims she was not born, but hatched out of an egg. She has two large and wonderful wings. In fact, she is large and wonderful in every way, from her false eyelashes to her ebullient and astonishing adventures.
The journalist Jack Walser comes to interview her and stays to love and wonder, as will every reader of this entirely original extravaganza, which deftly and wittily questions every assumption we make about the lives of men and women on this planet.
Carmen Callil Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The golden age of the American comic book coincided with the outbreak of the second world war and was spearheaded by first- and second-generation Jewish immigrants who installed square-jawed supermen as bulwarks against the forces of evil.
Chabon's Pulitzer prize-winning picaresque charts the rise of two young cartoonists, Klayman and Kavalier. It celebrates the transformative power of pop culture, and reveals the harsh truths behind the hyperreal fantasies. XB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Clarke's third novel fuses science and mysticism in an optimistic treatise describing the transcendence of humankind from petty, warring beings to the guardians of utopia, and beyond. One of the first major works to present alien arrival as beneficent, it describes the slow process of social transformation when the Overlords come to Earth and guide us to the light.
Humanity ultimately transcends the physical and joins a cosmic overmind, so ushering in the childhood's end of the title EB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Chesterton's "nightmare", as he subtitled it, combines Edwardian delicacy with wonderfully melodramatic tub-thumping - beautiful sunsets and Armageddon - to create an Earth as strange as any far-distant planet.
Secret policemen infiltrate an anarchist cabal bent on destruction, whose members are known only by the days of the week; but behind each one's disguise, they discover only another policeman. At the centre of all is the terrifying Sunday, a superhuman force of mischief and pandemonium. Chesterton's distorting mirror combines spinetingling terror with round farce to give a fascinating perspective on Edwardian fears of and flirtations with anarchism, nihilism and a world without god.
Clarke's first novel is a vast, hugely satisfying alternative history, a decade in the writing, about the revival of magic - which had fallen into dusty, theoretical scholarship - in the early 19th century. Two rival magicians flex their new powers, pursuing military glory and power at court, striking a dangerous alliance with the Faerie King, and falling into passionate enmity over the use and meaning of the supernatural. The book is studded with footnotes both scholarly and comical, layered with literary pastiche, and invents a whole new strain of folklore: it's dark, charming and very, very English.
This classic by an unjustly neglected writer tells the story of Drove and Pallahaxi-Browneyes on a far-flung alien world which undergoes long periods of summer and gruelling winters lasting some 40 years.
It's both a love story and a war story, and a deeply felt essay, ahead of its time, about how all living things are mutually dependant. This is just the kind of jargon-free, humane, character-driven novel to convert sceptical readers to science fiction. Coupland began Girlfriend in a Coma in "probably the darkest period of my life", and it shows. Listening to the Smiths - whose single gave the book its title - can't have helped. This is a story about the end of the world, and the general falling-off that precedes it, as year-old Karen loses first her virginity, then consciousness.