Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paranormal Whackadoo : The Most WTF Tropes of Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Posted by: Jax Garren
I'm not going to name names here or mention titles because I don't want anyone to take this as a personal affront, but a twitter exchange I saw the other day has me thinking about all the delightful gonzo that goes on in paranormal fiction. See, a reviewer was quoting her current read and lamenting a more painful than erotic sounding thumb-jab into a less-usual orifice. I was not as concerned with the jabbing of thumbs but a bit distressed over the fact that a were-shark was "devouring" the heroine's nethers. Ouch!!

From dino-rotica to aliens with exotic man-bits, the speculative fiction community has a delightful array of zany. I thought I'd name a few of the most memorable tropes I've read and encourage y'all to do the same. Please keep it friendly and done with love, SFF wouldn't be the same without our craziness!

  • Deus ex monkey-na: Created a problem that can't be solved? Eh, invent a spell or character or alien whatsit to save the day! I've named this trope thusly in honor of a book in which a hero is saved from a mortal wound by a totally random monkey coming out of the forest and spitting leaves on him. It's set on an alien planet where, I suppose, monkey-leaf-spit is the equivalent of divine intervention.
  • Spike-Alike : Because more stories need bleached blonde vampires with cockney accents. (This one is getting less common, but I still see it.)
  • Rolling Beasts : The conflicting forces of all five zillion powers the heroine has acquired strive for magical dominance in an internal power struggle that may save the universe...if the heroine can tame her inner passions. Named for...that series of books you've probably read in which this phrase is used a lot. (I love that series, btw.)
  • The Trauma of Immortals : Because a human lifespan can't contain enough pain, we need thousand year old heroes who never, ever, ever ever ever caught a break. 
  • Occult-gasm : Is normal sex enough? Hell, no! How about magically enhanced sex with paranormal man-parts in an otherworldly realm. Don't forget, ladies, your immortal lover has an immortal constitution that will consistently rise to the occasion...all night long.
  • Shifter-Zoo : Who needs werewolves or were-bears when you can have a squid-shifter. Tentacles, baby, tentacles. The ability to find new shifter-species is only limited by your imagination, and I've seen some highly imaginative writing. 
  • Did I mention Dino-rotica? Because it's a real thing.

What are some of your favorite WTF paranormal tropes?


  1. If by favorite you mean I noticed it was a trope? Going into heat. Mating drives. In both paranormal and SF forms.

    1. Mating drives! Yes. Who knew humans actually had so much control when it came to lust? At least compared to every supernatural creature out there with their complete inability to control mate bonding instincts. :)


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