Tough Travels: Bugs

tough travels
So I’m participating in this week’s Tough Travels meme again – hosted by Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn, this is one great way to explore Fantasyland and create lists, YAY! Don’t forget to go and check out what other participating bloggers have put on their lists – my tbr expands every week because of them! :)

This week, we’re searching for BUGS. “Let’s find anything creepy or crawly, big or small, six legs, eight legs, or more. Bugs, bugs, bugs.”

I have a bug-related confession to make: I am afraid of centipedes, worms of all kinds (earthworms, larvae, whatever), caterpillars, leeches and slugs (the orange garden variety and the black forest variety). It’s irrational and silly, but there you have it. I can handle spiders and insects, snakes and lizards just fine, but those slimy, wriggling bastards just creep me out. Gah! Let’s remember: pretty butterflies are bugs as well (but I couldn’t remember any pretty bugs for my list).

But enough with the personal stuff! These are the bugs I found crawling among the books I’ve read:

  1. Giant spiders from The HobbitShelob the giant spider from The Lord of the Rings, and Aragog the giant spider (and his brood) from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – I put these together because they’re very similar.
  2. Blast-ended skrewts from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Wiki lists these as a cross between manticores and fire crabs, but all I remember about them is that they looked like pale, ugly scorpions, had exploding ends, and scared everyone half to death.
  3. Giant sentient cockroaches from Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins – this series isn’t as well-known as The Hunger Games, of course, but it’s a fun middle grade read. These cockroaches are friendly to Gregor’s family and friends and two of them actually take over as nannies for Gregor’s baby sister. Eww, right?
  4. Giant scorpion talisman-demon from Jim Butcher’s Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) – it’s icky and demonic and squishing it results in a load of stinky goop (also: *slight spoiler in white* squishing bugs with an elevator is a new one, truly *end spoiler*).
  5. papilio-stomachusGregor Samsa from Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. It’s not exactly fantasy, but I think it counts. Also: his family is horrible.
  6. Neek-neek from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy: this is a chimaera creature, a scorpion-shrew, known for its tiny form and vicious character. Laini’s Papilio Stomachus should also be mentioned – she named the butterflies that you feel when you’re in love (image credit)! :)
  7. The Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – a disgusting little creature who smokes a pipe. I never really liked Alice and it’s no wonder: one of the characters is a freaking caterpillar.

Honorary mention: Bug from Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora – he’s a human boy, not an insect, and I liked him a lot. *spoiler in white* I haven’t forgiven Lynch for killing him and the Sanza brothers yet. *end spoiler*


What creeps you out? Do you find bugs disgusting or do you deal with them Bilbo-style? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)

  • Great list – I don’t know how I managed to overlook Shelob.

    My Tough Travels

    • Kaja

      Thanks, Bob! :) I actually remembered Bilbo’s spiders and Aragog from Harry Potter first – The Two Towers was my least favourite of the LOTR parts/movies.

  • See, I love when examples like Bug from Locke Lamora sneak into lists, good times all. I am also mad at myself for missing Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t know any of your examples from the middle of the list though, even though I did read Storm Front at one time.

    • Kaja

      Hi, Nathan! :)
      Well those scorpions from Storm Front weren’t really *that* crucial to the story, so I guess I wouldn’t remember them if I hadn’t been reading the book at the time I was writing this post.
      You should check out Laini Taylor’s trilogy, though, her writing is really good, even though the last book could have been 200 pages shorter in my opinion.

  • I can’t believe I forgot the Caterpillar!! And, nice work with Bug!!
    Lynn :D

    • Kaja

      Well, I included the Caterpillar mainly for the creepiness factor :) He’s not one of my favourites, I have to say!
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Interesting meme! Bugs don’t really terrify me. I am, however, terrified of lizards.

    • Kaja

      Hi, Priscilla! :)
      Well, being terrified of slithering things seems to be something of an universal complaint :) But yours is much more rational if you count crocodiles as well ;)

  • Blast ended skrewts!! There were some truly horrific bugs in Harry Potter, weren’t there? Papilio stomachus sounds like the most adorable bug ever. ;)

    • Kaja

      Well, yes! I considered adding flobberworms to the mix, or the slugs (not technically bugs, but disgusting creatures nevertheless) that Ron vomited up in book 2, but I decided on the skrewts for their danger factor :)
      And I *love* Laini Taylor’s trilogy and highly recommend reading it if you haven’t yet!