Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Post: Icy Sedgwick

We pause in the headlong rush of #AtoZchallenge posts for a guest post. Icy Sedgwick has a new book out, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, featuring… mummies! Icy writes the best mummy stories, and she’s ready to share her thoughts about her favorite monsters…



It sometimes feels like horror monsters have been reduced to vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons and, at a push, ghosts. You just need to look at the classic Universal horrors of the 1930s, or the Hammer cycle of the late 1950s and early 1960s, to realise there any many more monsters to choose from. Personally, my favourite will always be the mummy. Look at Boris Karloff’s charismatic portrayal of Im-Ho-Tep in The Mummy (1932), in which the undead priest was a far more attractive romantic lead than the pathetic ‘hero’. Christopher Lee turned his Kharis into a formidable powerhouse in The Mummy of 1958. Even Arnold Loos’ mummy in The Mummy (1999) was an awesome prospect, simply because he wanted his old love back.

I love mummies for three reasons. Unlike vampires, who are the aristocracy of the horror world, or zombies who are sometimes coded as the working class, mummies are quite classless – not all mummies were royalty, after all. Mummies belong to another world, and another time, and their exoticism adds to their appeal. Furthermore, they don’t necessarily have to suffer the same limitations as other monsters. Aside from cats, Loos’ Imhotep fears nothing, and is all powerful. He isn’t restricted by time of day, or the time of the month. Finally, mummies actually exist. Granted, they’re not rampaging around a city near you, but it’s possible to visit a museum and see one for yourself. The mummy, even in its inert state, represents something more tangible than that of the vampire.

It was my love of mummies that led me to include them in The Necromancer’s Apprentice. I’ve written several flash stories about mummies in the past, and they were part of the story from the very beginning – it was after watching The Sorcerer’s Apprentice that I thought “Wouldn’t it be cool to replace the sorcerer with a necromancer, and the brooms with mummies?” They have an interesting relationship with the dead anyway, being inert until life is returned to them, yet they possess an element of consciousness that is denied to the zombie.

The mummies in the novella aren’t necessarily ‘traditional’ – the mummies are those of the royal family, and they’re kept in the House of the Long Dead, where the necromancer general acts as an intermediary should anyone need to consult with them post mortem. They appear in the story because the Crown Prince has decided he wants to include them in his Coronation parade, and so they need to be resurrected for this purpose. The job is such a big one that the necromancer general needs an assistant, and so she hires Jyx, a magickal protégée from the Academy to act as her apprentice. Of course, things don’t go according to plan but if they did it would have been a much shorter book.

I’m never sure exactly when or why mummies became viewed as monstrous, and while they are in The Necromancer’s Apprentice (although not through any fault of their own), I’ll still always have a soft spot for bandaged marauders.

What about you? What are your favourite monsters?

Bio

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She has been writing with a view to doing so professionally for over ten years, and has had several stories included in anthologies, including Short Stack and Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar & Other Stories.

She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.

Links

Website: http://www.icysedgwick.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Necromancers-Apprentice-Icy-Sedgwick/dp/0615964893/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/icypop

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/miss.icy.sedgwick

Google +: http://plus.google.com/+IcySedgwick/about

8 comments:

  1. Mummies have always fascinated me due to their historical nature, and I enjoy a good mummy monster story. We don't see enough mummy monsters these days, and the mummies in The Necromancer's Apprentice brought a spark of joy to me.

    My favorite monster is the lich, the undead former necromantic wizard, extending his existence beyond death to continue his research or as ruler of his people. This monster isn't necessarily evil, perhaps obsessive, seeking an extended life to finish important research. A lich may also lead an undead army possibly with hired vampire captains.

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    1. The only contact I've had with the lich is through World of Warcraft but there don't seem to be very many of them in other fiction - any recommendations?

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    2. Robert E Howard (Conan series) used a lich several times in short stories such as Skull-Face. HP Lovecraft mentions (or describes) lich at least once.

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  2. My favourite monsters are the ones who are absolutely certain they do good. They're usually not as supernatural (though they can be), but they're definitely terrifying.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, they think their heart is in the right place!

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  3. Mummies are interesting, but also slightly creepy! I have no idea which monster I like best.

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    1. Just the idea of dead bodies walking around, trailing bandages and moans. They creep me out more than zombies.

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Comments are welcome, and they don't have to be complimentary. I delete spam on sight, but that's pretty much it for moderation. Long off-topic rants or unconstructive flamage are also candidates for deletion but I haven’t seen any of that so far.

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