I love a good monster. I love books about monsters just as much.
I’ve mentioned in a few places how much I dig Borges’ Book Of Imaginary Beings, and have used it as inspiration for some of the creatures in the Red Sun series: notably garudas and banshees in the first book, and more to come. It’s certainly useful to have as a fantasist’s handbook, and wades through mythologies from across the world, traversing the heavens and dredging the most aphotic places, to present to the western world an inspirational book of monster pr0n.
And what should I stumble across on the interwebs this morning, but a medieval bestiary. Although it covers mostly common fauna, it’s the descriptions which get exotic. For example, here’s one for the eagle.
When an eagle is old, its eyesight dims and its feathers and wings become heavy. To rejuvinate itself, the eagle flies up to the region of the sun, which burns away the mist over its eyes and burns off its old feathers. The eagle then plunges three times into water, and its youth is restored. Also as a result of age, the eagle’s beak grows until it can no longer eat; by striking it against a rock, the eagle breaks its beak which then grows back.
And more: an online mythical bestiary. This should keep me going for a while.