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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Perhaps the worst monster of them all, at least when its darkest aspect manifests, is that deceptively unassuming creature, Man.

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Itโ€™s true. All of our monsters are things we fear about ourselves. And rightly so. More humans have died by the hands of other humans than by any other animalโ€™s teeth or claws.

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Sep 23, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Imagine if other creature could write stories. Imagine the utter horrorscapes they would craft about humans.

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

When I think of monsters, what immediately comes to mind are the countless "human monsters" aka serial killers. Not many people know this about me (unless we went to college together) but my thesis was on female serial killers and the disparity in classification. Not to get too deep into the minutia, I have a deep fascination for serial killers. It bordered on the obsessive in college. I wanted to be a behavioral analyst for the FBI as my career after I graduated high school. But life pulled me in other directions.

Anywho, the human monster within us all, not creature or fantasy, is my kind of monster.

That's not to say I can't appreciate a good made up monster. I always appreciated Oogy-Boogy from Nightmare Before Christmas. The classic child monster. Or the monsters that despise children (often to teach a lesson?) like the old lady in Hansel & Gretel or the rat leader in The Witches.

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You could probably imagine a great fictional monster that symbolizes the characteristics of those real monsters based upon your studies. At their core, this is the purpose of these monsters we invent, is to allow people to examine the darker sides of our humanity through the lens of speculative without having to face some of the harsher realities. I also like Oogy-Boogy as a character. ๐Ÿ˜

Thanks for reading and commenting, Erica!

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

I love this and I'm thinking of exploring it on my Substack for lesser-known mythical creatures from Northern Europe and the UK. Knockernmen, brownies, wishing well sprites, huldra, nighthags and so many other things in the run-up to Halloween...

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That would make for some really interesting subject matter, Natalie! I look forward to reading more.

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I loooove folklore, especially lesser explored folklore. This sounds like a great idea, Natalie.

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Lovecraft's monsters originally derived their power to scare by being spoken of rather than being fully depicted, as he understood that this was the true source of fear. Recent attempts to actually depict Cthulhu and company as physical Dr. Seuss-like beings completely defeats that purpose.

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I totally agree! I've yet to see a physical depiction that really lives up to the building terror in Lovecraft's stories.

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Sep 23, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

I don't think it's possible ๐Ÿ˜ the horror remains in the unknown.

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

The Thing, synths and Lovecraftian horrors beyond our comprehension have always been my favourites.

The Thing is terrifying because it hides in plain sight and requires incredible discernment to deduce who is not themselves. Testing the bonds of friendship and how well you truly know someone.

Synths, think Blade Runner, are slipping into forbidden knowledge territory. Man becomes god and creates fully functional, but fake, life. A psuedo act of creation that is so similar as to confuse the divinely created man as to his true essence and self-worth. Constantly asking, is imitation enough and when does it become genuine?

Cthulu and the Outer Gods are all the forbidden knowledge that turns our world upside down. We cannot comprehend it and all that comes from it is chaos. Teaching us there is a limit to science's application. A world beyond where better microscopes, tools, and tests simply won't cut it. That simply adding more and more knowledge won't answer all your questions about life and will only turn you mad in the end. Meaning is not found in data.

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I've always enjoyed that aspect of the Lovecraftian horror because it's so abstract, and while some folklore has been developed around it, there's still a lot to unpack. It's that forbidden knowledge that you mention and a world beyond what we can see.

When you say "synths", do you mean in the general sense, or is there a particular piece of fiction beyond Blade Runner that you're referencing?

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Synths, cyborgs, AI in general, Blade Runner was the one that came to mind because they look no different but still are. Even the robots in I, Robot push on the door of imitation. AI too, like when the Google engineer claimed LaMDA was sentient. The claim is immediately muddied by the fact LaMDA was made to imitate human speech from the get go so it appearing life-like was the point. The question becomes, is imitation of human behaviour enough to treat something as human? But also, how do you tell where imitation ends and genuine begins.

Fallout 4 attempted a synthetic human storyline but, for me, completely failed in execution and ability to develop the theme coherently.

I've heard Detroit: Become Human did an alright job and pushed it further by incorporating death into the gameplay. If you died then a new version of the main character would appear with the mind of the previous, dead one, downloaded.

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This is a really interesting concept because we don't often think of technology as a "monster", but in versions of evil synths from most fiction and movies they are definitely monsters. The rogue AI concept is one I find to be a little bland, but I find the synth concept and the intermingling of our bodies with that of synthetics to be really interesting. The idea that we could become immortal by fusing ourselves with technological advancements to the point we become the monster we fear would be make for a great novel.

Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts on this. Very cool!

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Sep 22, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

There's a short story called Diamond Dogs by Alastair Reynolds that delves into the altering of the self with cybernetics and where humanity starts and ends. Excellent story, part of the compilation Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days. Highly recommend.

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Sep 24, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

Found this really valuable, thank you.

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Thanks for reading, Maegan!

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

As kids, we knew that our stepfather ( somewhat of a monster himself ), kept magazines hidden in his bottom drawer. When we were left alone in the house, we would head for that drawer and pore through deliciously terrifying graphics from the Vault of Horror, The Crypt of Terror, The Haunt of Fear, Tales From The Crypt, etc. We were thoroughly creeped out, but it didn't stop us. I don't remember ever telling anyone about that. He also took us to the drive-in theater where our eight-year-old psyches were subjected to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob, The Thing and other nightmares. We all grew up to be normal human beings. Sort of.

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This whole experience is a bit terrifying on so many levels that I want to write my own short story using all of the elements you provided. ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ

Thank you for sharing, reading and commenting, Sharron!

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Sep 21, 2023Liked by Brian Reindel ๐Ÿ‘พโš”๏ธ

I love all the monsters from monster of the week tv shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scooby-Doo, and Supernatural. Scooby-Doo is probably my favorite because of the color palette and the fact that the monsters are just selfish humans.

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Scooby-Doo had some great puzzle-like adventures for a kid's show. The deductive reasoning required to solve the mystery was fun to use and most children didn't even realize they were doing it. I think the monsters we imagine are mostly selfish humans if we unmask them.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Alexa!

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