Tough Travelling hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.
Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.


Creatures not of our world or even our plain of existence, perhaps living in another dimension. Preferably, though not required, with tentacles.

Most of my choices don’t involve tentacles, I’m afraid:

Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft is, of course, one of the first creatures to come to mind. He’s one of the Great Old Ones.

The Tharks: E. R. Burroughs’ Barsoom books have a wonderful array of creatures different from humans. My favorites are the tharks: four armed, green skinned, savage fighters who ride nasty tempered, huge eight-legged thoats which are controlled with telepathy.

The Acanti: Marvel comics have a large variety of otherworldly beings, both sentient and not. But I’ve always loved the Acanti which I encountered in my tender teenage years. They are essentially space whales, swimming through space. They’re also very gentle creatures but have been cruelly enslaved by the Brood.

Demons. I usually prefer them as soulless, horrifying fiends. It’s very hard to pick favorites among them. I really like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer demons but also the demons in the Sandman comics, inspired by John Milton, no doubt.

The Jhereg: they are small, winged, flying reptiles which usually eat carrion. One of them is a familiar to a witch in Steven Brust’s books about Vlad Taltos.

The five gods in Lois McMaster Bujold’s fantasy series. The Mother, the Father, the Daughter, the Son, and the Bastard make up the divine family. They can influence the world only though willing humans and animals. They’re glorious and frightening, too.

Ghosts. I like quite a variety of ghosts (depending on the genre) but I have a weakness for the Dickens’ variety: the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.