Entities underrepresented in weird fiction

So weird fiction has developed a fondness for certain..things, bordering on the fetishistic. Fungus and squid feature prominently. Insects, arachnids and beetles are also reasonably common place. For which we have Vandermeer and Mieville to blame. Thank. Blame. Thank. But there are so many other weird forms of life that deserve representation! For example, which of this weird gallery of fish, sloth and…other things is yet to get a bit part in a weird story? What about the microbial life forms, when do they get a look in, eh? And when does inanimate matter get the weird treatment. What weird entities would you like to see better represented?

And now I’m going to carry on writing about a Princess riding a centipede.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Entities underrepresented in weird fiction

  1. Sloths, definitely. They way they cling to anything nearby is both endearing and really creepy.

    Komodo dragon. Their saliva is so full of bacteria that a bite will eventually kill an adult man through infection.

    Frogs. They come in many colors and sizes. Some are beautiful and some are ugly. Some are poisonous. Their eggs look like partly cooked tapioca. As infants they breathe water and look like fish. How cool is that?



  2. Most sloths have cyanobacteria growing in their fur – the green colouration provides camouflage.

    Slime Moulds of course – fungus-like amoeboid-like weirdness which spends some of its life cycle as single cells and then comes together en masse to form a large plasmodium which can move around. (Apparently The Blob was inspired by slime moulds.)

    Sea Slugs – especially the one which is part plant/part animal (Elysia chlorotica). Originally it used to just suck chloroplasts out of photosynthetic algae, but apparently it has now incorporated enough algal genes into its own genome to manufacture its own chlorophyll.

    Caterpillars with anal canons; Harpactea sadistica; brain bending parasites like Toxoplasma gondii and Cordyceps spp. …

    Ah. The list is endless! :)


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