Saturday, July 14, 2018

Well, I have a new book ready for Amazon Kindle.  Tentatively entitled The Eyrie: A Book of Gryphons, it contains legends and speculations about the fantastic bird-beasts interspersed with original stories about the same.

I thought I'd whip this out in record time, because I had several gryphon articles and stories written already.  However, I found many interesting new details about the critters that I felt I must incorporate.  Not an easy task, I'll tell you:  the main reason I wrote these essays and tales was because actual folktales and legends -- and fiction -- concerning the feathered and furred beasts were rare as gryph's teeth.

Historical tid-bits about gryphons certainly vary from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Take this bizarre theory as to the origin of the bird-beasts:

Nineteenth-century naturalist Valentine Ball provided an even less likely origin for gryphons.  First of all, he believed that the high mountains where the lion-birds roosted were the Himalayas.  Building on that, he suggested:

“Taking Photios’s account alone, and excluding from it the word birds, and for feathers reading hair, we have a tolerably accurate description of the hairy black-and-tan coloured Thibetan [sic] mastiffs, which are now, as they were doubtless formerly, the custodians of the Thibetans, their gold-miners as well as others.” [4]

So gryphons were actually dogs?  Well, if you take the description of the gryphon and exclude from it the word eagle, and for lion read cocker spaniel, you could make it sound more canine.  I have my doubts.

The fiction ranges from short stories to one novella.  Here's the shortest of all:


            "Gold!" cried the Gryphon.
            He scooped up coins in a great eagle’s claw and watched their shiny avalanche.
            "And so easy to snatch from fat merchants," the bird-beast continued.  "Even their mightiest swordsmen flee before -- Squawk!"
            Fire swept in an orange storm over his leonine hindquarters.  He flapped away in pain.
            "Gold!" cried the Dragon, stretching out his scaly length.

So prepare yourself for The Eyrie: A Book of Gryphons, flapping to roost soon in Amazon Kindle!