GennaRose Nethercott | content by

GennaRose Nethercott

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Little Worms: Mary Shelley and the Noodle that Created Science Fiction

In Ray Bradbury’s short story “A Sound of Thunder,” a wealthy time travel tourist accidentally crushes a pre-historic butterfly beneath his shoe. This delicate, seemingly insignificant mistake ripples forward to create an entire alternate future. It’s a truth that extends far beyond fiction— how the smallest acts can bloat, twist, topple dominos that leave our world irrevocably changed. Like the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand as the catalyst for WWI. Or the World Trade Center attacks resulting in the Twilight franchise.

When ancient Etruscans served up the world’s very first bowl of pasta, they had no idea that humans would still be dining on the dish nearly twenty-three hundred years later. Nor could they have known that their simple meal would one day lead to the birth of one of history’s most feared and beloved monsters. In fact, a single humble noodle would go on to change the course of all of English literature.

We’ll start where it counts: 1816. The Year Without a Summer.

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Five On-Screen Monsters and the Real Folklore Behind Them

I truly believe that nothing beats a good TV monster. Ever since I found religion (ie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) at age eleven, I haven’t been able to get enough of ‘em. And now, as a fantasy writer and folklorist, I think I know why: Monsters are mirrors. They’re reflections of what we fear, what we question, what we loathe and long for. Every monster contains a contradiction: zombies are living and dead. Werewolves are animal and human. Vampires are enticing yet deadly. And in that dissonance, we find all the contradictions and complexities within ourselves. What’s more enticing than that?

But these creatures weren’t born in writers’ rooms—they sprung to life organically, in the mouths of folktale tellers throughout time. Some of our favorite TV creepy crawlies have roots stretching back far before the small screen was even invented. Here are five TV monsters you know and love—and the real folklore behind them.

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