Everyone remembers the experiment where Dr. Frankenstein gave his monster life with a bolt of lightning. Believe it or not, a similar experiment took place in real life. In the early 1800s, there was a man named George Forster, who murdered his wife and daughter. He was sentenced to death and would have his body dissected. In these days, the bodies of murderers would be dissected to prevent them from rising during Judgement Day. However, George Forster’s corpse was not dissected. Instead it was acquired by a scientist known as Giovanni Aldini, nephew of fellow scientist Luigi Galvani. Galvani developed a method to stimulate muscle movement with electrical currents called Galvanism. Aldini would take his uncle’s research in Galvanism progress to the next step. Aldini would use Forster’s corpse in a public experiment that attracted a crowd of thrill seekers. Aldini would subject the body to wires and cords that were hooked up to a specially made battery. When the electrical current went through George Forster’s body, it produced results that both intrigued and terrified the surrounding audience. The lips and jaws began to grimace, the left eye flew open, a hand formed a fist and punched at the air, the back arched violently, and the legs and feet banged against the operating table. This unnatural display was so horrifying that one man in the audience literally died of fright from a heart attack. Ultimately, Aldini’s experiment failed to bring a man back from the dead. In a dark sense of irony, the experiment was intended to bring back the dead yet it killed a man instead. It was this real life experiment that gave Mary Shelly the inspiration she needed to write Frankenstein. The battery that was used in the experiment would form the groundwork for our modern cell phone batteries. Back in the 1800s, electricity was relatively hard to come by. However, in the 21st century, electricity is super easy to access. Due to this, I wonder how the experiment would look like if it was done with 21st century technology. I will ponder this as I write my reimagining of the Frankenstein story.
One of the most infamous villains in Game of Thrones would be Gregor Clegane AKA The Mountain. Despite being a knight, Gregor was a knight in all but name. Instead of being a true knight, Gregor was a cruel and sadistic murderer and war criminal. Because of his brutality, he was one of the Lannisters’ most feared enforcers. Gregor was an eight-foot-tall four hundred pound mass of muscle and when he wore his plate armor and wielded his great sword he was virtually invincible. However, I often wonder would it would have been like if Gregor was a good guy instead of a bad guy and embodied everything that made a true knight. With his strength and skill combined with a true knight’s morality, Gregor would have been the finest knight in Westeros has seen since Ser Duncan the Tall. For my third fantasy book, I am planning to create a character who is just as big and strong as Gregor Clegane but is one of the good guys. In terms of personality, I am thinking of giving my character a mindset similar to a samurai. The word “Samurai” means “To serve the master”. My character will come from a kingdom that is super serious about upholding one’s oaths to their liege lords. In other words, my main protagonist becomes the master and this gentle giant becomes his “samurai”.
Instead of starting from beginning to end in my second superhero book, I have decided to skip to the juiciest part of the story. This is the section when the main supervillain and his minions begin their rise to power. It is the main supervillain and his 42 minions against an army of hundreds of thousands of rioters. If one is to make their debut as a supervillain, it should be done on a large stage. Fortunately, the main villain picks the biggest stage imaginable to make his debut. I will be drawing inspiration from Tetsuo Shima’s rampage across Neo-Tokyo in Akira. It will essentially be the same concept, which is a transcendent being with unmatchable power going on a rampage through a populated area. So far, the villain’s minions have mercilessly launched themselves into the fray. Now it is time for the villain himself to join in and it is going to be explosive. The whole world is watching this unfold and will send ripples across the planet.
I thought of a unique feature to add in my second superhero book. I am thinking of introducing some teenage characters who are part of a superhuman biker gang. Imagine biker gangs fighting a turf war on the streets except every biker has superhuman powers. That would be something that would be more extreme and destructive than a normal turf war. I will be drawing inspiration from the opening scene of Akira, which can be seen above.
Have you ever read or seen 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? If so, do you remember the part with the giant squid? Over 450 million years ago, there were giant cephalopods that were 36 feet long. These cephalopods were called Orthocones and they were the original giant squids. Unlike most modern cephalopods, Orthocones possessed large shells that encased half their bodies. These hard shells not only provided protection from predators, but they also contained various pressurized chambers that helped the Orthocone float. Like modern cephalopods, the Orthocones used their powerful tentacles to grab any prey item within reach before crushing them to death with their horny beaks. Experts theorized that the crunching would be so loud that you could hear it underwater. As armored jawed fish started to appear, these cephalopods were outcompeted and their descendants gradually shrunk. In my dinosaur series, I will be featuring a large, shelled cephalopod that serves as a common aquatic predator.
For some time, I have been searching for authentic inspiration for an elite personal guard for the Imperial Dynasty in my third fantasy book. At first, I thought of basing it on the Roman Praetorian Guard, but I think I will turn my attention to the Swiss Guard, the Pope’s personal guards. Last night, I watched a documentary that talked about how 189 members of the Swiss Guard defended the Pope from an invasion force of 20,000 mercenaries. Also, their armor and weapons would be more on the same level of my fantasy world than those of the Praetorian Guard. I think I will base my guards’ armor and weapons on the Swiss Guard, but with a number of modifications to make them stand out more. Just as the Swiss Guard are fanatically loyal to the Pope, my imperial guards will be fanatically loyal to the Imperial Dynasty in my fantasy series.
I have decided to create a unique army in my third fantasy book. Last night, I watched a historical documentary that talked about the mercenary army known as the White Company and their commander, Sir John Hawkwood. They were called the White Company because they all wore white surcoats over their armor. The White Company were battle-hardened veterans of the Hundred Years War and participated in the feuding wars of the Italian city states. The White Company were known to utilize guerrilla and psychological warfare to devastating effect.
I believe that the White Company was the inspiration for the Golden Company in Game of Thrones. Like the Golden Company, the Sir John Hawkwood and his men never broke a contract even when bribed. Both the White Company and Golden Company were the largest and most effective mercenary companies in their respective universes.
The sense of loyalty that the White Company and Golden Company had towards their clients reminds me of the Mandalorians from Star Wars. Both in Legends and Canon, the Mandalorians were formidable part-time mercenaries yet they had a rugged sense of honor. The most prominent example of the Mandalorians’ sense of honor revolves around their ruler, who holds the title of Mandalore. In times of war, when the Mandalore calls, all Mandalorians from across the galaxy would answer.
This loyalty to a single ruler reminds me the Army of the Dead from The Lord of the Rings. Long ago, when these warriors were alive, they swore an oath to the King of Gondor to come to his aid and fight. However, they broke their oath when the King of Gondor called and fled into the mountain from whence they came. As punishment for breaking their oath, these warriors were cursed to never rest until they fulfilled their oath. These damned souls were able to break their curse when Isildur’s Heir, Aragorn Elessar. When this undead army joined Aragorn, they were able to turn the tide during the Battle of Pelennor Field, resulting in Gondor’s salvation.
For my third fantasy book, I am planning to create several armies of mercenaries who fight for coin yet are loyal to a particular individual. When that anonymous individual calls, these various mercenary companies gather to form one massive private army. Compared to normal mercenaries, these men would possess a certain balance between greed and loyalty. I will be drawing inspiration from the White Company, the Golden Company, the Mandalorians, and Army of the Dead.
I watched an intriguing documentary that talked about the Anglo-Saxon king of England, Alfred the Great, and his battles against Viking invaders. At some point during his war with the Vikings, the Alfred and his army were celebrating Christmas in his royal palace. Meanwhile, the Vikings surrounded the palace and ambushed Alfred and his men. Most of Alfred’s army was slaughtered and his palace was taken over, but Alfred himself barely managed to escape with a hundred members of his personal guard. Stripped of his seat of power, control over his kingdom, and most of his army, Alfred turned from a king to a fugitive. For four months, Alfred and his followers were hunted across Wessex by the occupying Vikings. Throughout that time, Alfred waged a guerrilla warfare campaign against the Vikings, sending a message to his subjects that he was still a viable king. Thanks to his efforts in his guerrilla campaign, Alfred was able to raise a new army of 3,000 men. With his fresh troops, Alfred was able to turn the tide in his favor and eventually regain control over his kingdom. During the war against invaders in my third fantasy book, my main character will be in a similar situation as Alfred the Great where he is an emperor who becomes a fugitive.
During the 5th century BC, Greece and Persia were at war with one another with Persia attempting to conquer Greece. One of the main turning points of the war was the Battle of Marathon, which was when the Persian armies were defeated by the Greek army and driven out of Greece for a decade. The battle unfolded as the Persian army tried gaining a foothold on the Greek mainland. Then they were ambushed by the Greek army and forced back into the sea. Since the Gradaian Empire will be invaded by an army from the sea, I am thinking of drawing inspiration for one of the third fantasy book’s battles from the Battle of Marathon.
For my second dinosaur book, I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the show Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks is about an isolated mountain community where strange things happen. My second dinosaur book will take place in a remote valley in Montana that seems normal at first, but it gradually becomes clear that something is not right. I used to watch a show known as Wayward Pines and discovered that the writer who created it also drew inspiration from Twin Peaks.