Thursday, 15 August 2013

Four Underused Werecreatures

Happy cartoon spongeThere are lots of stories about werewolves. There are also lots of stories with other werecreatures, where they're portrayed as being wolves under another name, rather than going with what makes that creature unique. So what creatures might be interesting weres? What might take a story in a completely un-wolfy direction?

  1. Weresponge* - Sponges don't move a whole lot, so the weresponge has to make the best use of their human form. Turning into a sponge has uses though. They could hide in aquariums for surveillance. No one ever suspects the apparently inanimate aquarium decorations.
  2. Werepigeon - Pigeons are so common that people don't pay much attention to them. They can also fly. It's a perfect disguise for a spy. The main downside is those urges to go rummaging through the rubbish for discarded sandwiches. But you have to say this for pigeons... they've adapted superbly to city life, so are a great animal for urban fantasy.
  3. Wereant - There's a choice between turning into a single ant or a whole colony. In the case of turning into a single ant, would the wereants take over an entire multi-storey building? The wereant might be one worker out of hundreds.

    The turning into a colony also has some unique issues. What will being an ant colony some of the time mean for their sense of self? What happens to ants that aren't close enough to transform back to human? Can these left-over ants form an ant colony at the same time as the human side exists? (In the real world, colonies may actually be part of large supercolonies, rather than being truly separate. And those supercolonies can form megacolonies, as appears to be the case with Argentine ants. Maybe older wereants will have larger colonies and the ability to form several humans.)

    This is a different direction in a genre full of loners who want to save the day on their own. The wereant is about community, and placing the needs of the colony ahead of personal pride and safety.
  4. Wereamoeba** - Amoebae live on a whole different scale. The wereamoeba would be able to see pathogens in the soil. They can see the changes to someone's blood that vampirism brings. It's the sort of ability that'd fit well with being a microbiologist.

What sort of werecreatures would you like to see?




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* I noted this one on Twitter, which is the inspiration for this post.

** Though amoebae can certainly be called creatures, they're not usually classified as animals. They're generally considered to be protists or protozoa, depending on which system of kingdoms you prefer. Possibly your wereamoeba will have strong feelings about that.

2 comments:

Laurie Ashton Farook said...

I've been thinking of a wererabbit. Or other household pets. Could prove to be fun. :D

atsiko said...

Werepidgeons could be a flock of birds, too, depending on if you're ignoring conservation of mass or not. Interesting story possibilities, there.