[DWJ] Space squids and other monsters

Helen Schinske hschinske at aol.com
Tue Apr 21 12:21:24 EDT 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jenny Schwartzberg" <schwartzbergj at newberry.org>
To: "Diana Wynne Jones discussion" <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:12 AM
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Space squids and other monsters

> Dear All,
> Coming late into this conversation, I did want to say that many old pulp 
> magazine covers portrayed weird squid- or octopi-looking monsters 
> threatening people and spaceships.  The covers often had very little to do 
> with the stories inside the magazines, so this is a visual science-fiction 
> trope that later authors spun into words.
Just found this (via Google Books and then searching "great squid of space", 
ending up on the following quoted by a kindly blogger):

 "It was as bad as the worst of the reports.  It was worse!  Secure behind 
the Glant's defenses, the sight of a few thousand hostile cruisers wouldn't 
have caused him a qualm--

But this!

There were a few small war vessels among them--none over six hundred feet 
long.  But, so far as one could tell from their seared, beam-blasted 
exteriors, most of them had been freighters of every possible size, type, 
and description.  There was a sprinkling of dainty, badly slashed yachts and 
other personal space craft.  No wonder they'd been mistaken for the murdered 
cold hulks of the centuries...!

But..., mixed up with that stream was stuff that simply didn't belong in 
space--it should have been gliding ...over the surface of some planetary 

Some... had wings!  [And there was] ... a house.  ... Near the end of the 
van, a torpedo-shaped blackened thing...  [And then]

A slender, three-hundred-foot space yacht flashed headlong into a cluster of 
the Glant's grapnels and freezers and stopped dead. ...

The Great Squid of space had caught itself a shining minnow.  ..."

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