One of my all-time favourite books is Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings.  I’ve talked before about my love of bestiaries, and this one is perhaps the finest ever compiled.  It takes a scattered, all-inclusive approach to the creatures it describes, with Borges hopping about from anecdote to anecdote and placing ‘classical’ beasts alongside those imagined by some of his favourite contemporary authors.  I’m building a little collection of bestiaries, at the head of which it proudly sits.

For a while now I’ve wanted to start blogging about made-up animals and unique creatures – monsters, for lack of a better word.  I use “monster” hesitantly, because I think monsters are in a bad place at the moment.  The monsters we tend to see on the cinema screen, for example, are like beaten-down circus animals made to perform in ways that demean them.  These monsters are rationalised to the point of familiarity.  They are made into species, so that they can be ridden, tamed, fed, patted on the head…

That’s fine, of course, it serves a storytelling and spectacle-inducing purpose, but real monsters don’t make sense like that.  They should be impossible by definition, and therefore wondrous or terrifying or both.  So I’m going to start trying to share some of my favourites with you, as a kind of tribute to The Book of Imaginary Beings and its ilk.  Because this is a blog, I hope to be able to pull together various quotes, pictures and videos from across the web.  I’ll also be attempting to illustrate each entry myself.

When I’ve done a few more I’ll collect them on a dedicated web page, but for the time being they’ll be categorised under “Figments” here, with the first three entries appearing below.  I hope you enjoy them.