Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sabertoothed... hyena lizard?

I was poking around online for a picture of the cover of Piers Anthony's novel Phthor for a discussion online about some of the worst science fiction and/or fantasy novels we'd ever read. This one takes the cake, largely due to the minionettes, cloned women who somehow got messed up and who get turned on by rape and masochism, but who die if anyone actually loves them. Turned me off Piers Anthony for years, and I can't say that the damage was ever completely undone, because it's not like the Xanth novels were so amazing that they made up for it or anything. Anyway, this is also apparently the sequel to another novel called Chthon, but needless to say, I never bothered to look that one up and get caught up.

No, what sparked my imagination was the cover art itself, by Clyde Caldwell, who was a rather prolific cheesecake fantasy artist in the 80s whose work graced a lot of D&D products, actually.

Ignoring the very silly vaguely buglike beaked thing, and the creatures that look like ridiculous thumb-puppets behind it, we've got... the Swamp Thing, and these weird... sabertoothed hyena lizards.

Perhaps it was always the influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, but I've always thought my fantasy worlds should really be other worlds; not just our world with a different geography and a few mythological creatures thrown in for fun. I could do something with those things. I could give them an interesting name, a few quirky biological habits, and find some great use for them.

Or... I could see if anyone else has any ideas they care to post here. How about it?

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