Reference works

Okay, I just started “using” my two favorite new reference works: Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia, and Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth.

The absolute coolest.

Okay, I was one of those (home schooled) kids who would sit down with my mom’s old set of World Book Encyclopedia and just read like crazy. To send me there to look something up for a project was to lose me for the morning.

And now I have this reallyreally cool double set of fantastical creatures, and it’s actually what you would call “scholarly:” based on research and not just a collection of one person’s ideas of things. I’m enjoying it immensely.


Anyway, I bought them initially because all my projects seem to have this element of the fantastic in them, so I wanted to be as… authentic as possible.

One interesting thing I’ve already read ties very closely to an earlier post I wrote while reading Mindhunter. It was a very long entry about werewolves (did you know there are were-everythings? Whatever animal is common in the area: panthers, hares, boar(s?), crocodiles…).

In it the author mentions a “highly publicized” incident in the late 1500s where a man in Germany “in the guise of a wolf raped, murdered, and ate humans, including his own family, as well as terrorizing the region for some twenty-five years until caught, tortured, and executed.”

The era of serial killers has been said to have begun with Jack the Ripper (late 1800s). But there really is “nothing new under the sun…”

Whew. I can see why that “werewolf” story made it across the channel. (Big story in England in 1590, according to the encyclopedia).


Anyway-anyway, fascinating books. Lots of interesting readings.

I’m getting the impression it will be the same type of information as the names I choose. That is, many of the names my characters have actually mean something related to their role or personality. This is nothing I expect a reader to know. It’s sort of a game I play with myself, a kind of “in” joke or story, for my own benefit and mental exercise.

Yes, it looks like I’ve got the new-book giddies. It’s fun. I haven’t had that for quite a while.

One thought on “Reference works

  1. amyjane–
    This was the value of my parents allowing me to play role-playing games. These were set in a variety of spec-fic settings, and I still have most of the books on my reference shelf.

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