The Great Big Anita Blake Reread: Sorting Out Shifters

“Peggy, that’s my wife, she’s a lycanthrope.”

The Lunatic Café (Anita Blake #4)

Shapeshifters are people too.

At least, that’s what Laurell K Hamilton is trying to convince us and Anita across the twenty-six books in her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series: one of the core themes across the Anitaverse  is the idea that shapeshifters are people and they deserve the consideration that people get.

It’d be an admirable approach to take if not for how Hamilton sets up shifters and their pack dynamics. Shifter society and the dynamics between members in a particular group towards insiders and outsiders – especially if those outsiders are human – really make you question what she’s actually succeeding at.

For this pint-sized primer, we’re going to be talking about the main shape-shifter groups Anita interacts with across the Anitaverse – wolves, leopards, hyenas, tigers, and lions, the lone prey group in the whole dang thing, swans – and why Hamilton’s worldbuilding and her rationale behind using shapeshifters as metaphor for various marginalized identities remains more full of holes than a slice of Swiss cheese.

Read More »

Urban Fantasy 101: A Quick Guide to Shifter Romances

This is a new aspect to my Urban Fantasy 101 blog series that I hope y’all find useful! I read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance and I wanted to make little primers for tropes, sub-genres, and whatnot in these overarching genres in order to help introduce new readers to things they might not be familiar with!


UF101 - A Quick Guide to Shifter Romances.png

What are shifters?

“Shifter” is short for “shape-shifter”.

Both terms can be used to encompass everything from the traditional fantasy novel fare like werewolves to mythological/folkloric beings like selkies and the lamia.

The most important thing that most shifters have in common across the genres they show up in is that they usually have at least two forms: a base human(oid) form and a full “animal” form. Some shifters have the ability to partially shift parts of their bodies or to inhabit a third full form between beast and human.
Read More »

[Snippet] My Favorite Kind of Night

Over on Twitter I’ve been talking about some erotic fantasy that I’ve been writing for the past week and change. I’ve decided to provide a relatively safe for work snippet of the story so far as motivation for myself and to see if it sounds interesting to readers.

When this is done, it’ll be a sexy story about a mage who works in retail and the two pretty preternaturals that wander into her job one rainy night. One’s a big cat shifter and the other is a genderqueer sex demon (a concubus). I’m hopefully going to be able to get this published somewhere (or self published) but we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s a brief (safe for work) snippet from “My Favorite Kind of Night”:Read More »