Today I have a guest author, E. H. Howard, who writes fantasy and has published the fascinating Amara’s Daughter.
I now give the floor to E. H. Howard to tell us What ever happened to the dwarves?
Urban fantasy, a good deal of steam punk and I suppose most of the vampire genre borrow heavily from the oldest fantasy style, now described as “High Fantasy” (a term I hate, loath and detest by the way …)
Noticeably, the species that have successfully made the leap across the years are Werewolves, Elves and Vampires. Even the lowly Pixie puts in an appearance.
Leaping into the 21st (at least) century, they carry mobile phones, drink, work and generally fit in with modern living. I’ve even come across dragons making the break into urban living, but I’ve yet to encounter the urban dwarf.
Is it a lack of sex appeal?
The slinky, leaf-shaped elven face of either gender is appealing. Add to that the inner strength, physical prowess and sensitivity to Gaia, the elf has a lot of charm.
Lurking in the shadows, the brooding nature of the vampire holds a dark attraction. In all the books I’ve read, I’ve never come across a chubby vampire. I guess most blood is low-fat, low sugar. The nosferatau bald head and fingernails quickly gave way to slick hair and charm. Again, these characteristics cross genders, and, after all, who doesn’t appreciate having their neck chewed under the right circumstances?
Offering their own hirsute brand of danger, we also have the werewolves. I’ve not encountered this in a form to appeal to men, but the rugged, wolverine, outdoor type is certainly on the edge of town, if not truly urban.
What does the lowly dwarf have to offer?
An unkempt beard is rarely attractive. A stare set at chest height is always a turn off.
The dwarf is a practical creature, even with the height and the beard issues. These aggressive, irritable guys often have their own gold mine. There are too many small, ugly men with good looking women on their arms to say these aren’t attractive qualities. Therefore why have they not made the shift?
Creating the urban dwarf presents challenges.
How will he travel? Seated on a motorcycle with swept back bars, our hero could sit proud. Sadly, the “mean and moody” look would be marred at the stop lights by the crunch of half a tonne of chrome hitting the floor.
The big four by four is out. He can’t get in. So, we’ll go with a lowrider. There’ll be a cushion on the seat, but we can get away with that can’t we?
And dressing him? Short and wide rarely looks good in a leather trench-coat. More like a dalek dressed for fetish, than a brooding hero.
Lycra – no!
Tee-shirt or vest and jeans. Too much hair. The mini-me ZZ top surely doesn’t work.
With his beard trimmed to stubble, his hair in a ponytail and a single-breasted dinner jacket stretched across broad shoulders, I think we have a formula. Add to this a lowrider muscle car and I believe we have a true urban dwarf.
Hang on … no wonder they dropped out of fiction. They’re all got a better gig working the doors at night clubs.
About Amara’s Daughter:
Carved from ice with blades of fire, the rigidly feminist state of Serenia breeds heroes. Unimaginably perfect, Amara the Magnificent, the legendary Ultimate Warrior is their greatest.
Five years since Amara’s mysterious disappearance, her daughter, Maryan, struggles to escape her mother’s formidable shadow. Shunned by most, her only friends are oddball characters from the edge of society.
The Queen sees Maryan as an asset to the nation, a pawn to play with and a pretty bauble to appease the neighbouring king, but lurking beneath the surface, an ancient terror plots to wipe out Maryan’s bloodline.
Friend, lover, and more, Amara’s Daughter is a turbulent, rite of passage story tracing Maryan’s growth from naive schoolgirl to the woman destiny needs her to be.
On the arena floor, Asti dropped her full weight through her knee on Barag’s windpipe. A short stab wedged her tiny scissors deep into the man’s left eye. She stood up and pounded them into his brain with her heel.
In the silence that followed, she pointed at the Queen. “If you won’t honour our traditions, maybe it’s time for us to change the leader of our nation.” Keeping her back rigidly straight, she marched purposefully across to the shadow of the tunnel.
Nobody moved and nobody cheered. The body of the fallen man twitched in a growing pool of blood.
About the author:
Living in Cheshire with my wife and our two dogs (Milly and Molly,) I’ve run a successful computer consultancy for many years. The business continues to thrive and I feel blessed that people pay me to solve complex problems for them.
One day, we hope to spend a portion of our year on the Greek islands, where I would love to spend most days writing, but for now, I’m content that with three adult children, I’m being presented with grandchildren at a fabulous rate.
I split my writing time between short stories and novels. I love to take the challenge of creating a viable story in a reduced number of words for flash competitions.
At the top of my list of all-time favourites are CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Following them are Robert Jordan and Trudi Canavan, with a whole host of modern writers cramming up behind, including Kim Harrison (Hollows series), Margaret Stohl/ kami Garcia (Caster Chronicles) and Ben Aaaronovitch (Rivers of London.)