M is for Monster

Happy Monday! What a great day to tackle the letter M for the A to Z Blog Challenge!

I’m loosely using the word “monster” as a catch-all term to briefly discuss species/creatures/beings/etc. in paranormal fiction (“PF” for the sake of this post). One not familiar with the general guidelines under each genre and subgenre will probably assume it means ghosts and the like, based on the name. But that’s not exactly true.

Technically, paranormal fiction is a subgenre of the fantasy genre—if you go to Amazon, you’ll have to go to the Science Fiction & Fantasy label to find it. The easiest way to differentiate fantasy from PF is that fantasy usually takes place in a different world/reality (think Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings) and frequently involves magic. PF has fantastical beings/elements that usually exist in our natural world (for example: Interview With a Vampire or The Walking Dead).

Another fact that’s confusing to some is that supernatural fiction (“SF” for the sake of this post) is different from paranormal fiction. SF is where you’ll find beings related to Heaven/Hell, God(s)/Satan. PF is home to most of the other creatures that you’ll often find in fairy tales and folklore. One reason the differences between SF and PF are so confusing is because there are many things that can overlap. So they are frequently lumped into one category for convenience in listing and locating books.

But ask ten different people about these categories and you might get ten different (though related) answers. And don’t even get me started on urban fantasy!

Well, I’m going to list out a few here, but I want to reiterate that there is often overlap, and some people might categorize beings differently. I’m only going to cover the most prominent beings so you can get an idea of the general breakdown. I listed a few in multiple categories if they are seen often in both, but there that doesn’t mean others can’t cross over as well.





















2 thoughts on “M is for Monster

  1. Love your listing of creatures and what sort of worlds and genres they live in! I’m late for today’s post that I have to finish up on “Memoir and Paranormality” that is supposed to go live in five hours. I have read (now listen) to paranormal with witches and wizards and with Fairies/Fae. Supernatural… not so much. Fantasy, well, I have read almost every type at some point as long as the story is not formulaic. The world can be this one shifted a bit or an entirely different world. I love speculative fiction that responds to… “If this goes on.” Started reading science fiction long, long ago and then branched out. Currently listening to The Wandering Inn series by pirate aba. Have book 12 on preorder. Never thought I would get into LitRPG, but this series has enough fantasy to keep me interests.

    • Thank you very much! I read (and write) a variety of genres too. There are different things each has to offer and I love that! Your upcoming post sounds intriguing just by the title. While not LitRPG, the Legends & Lattes series by Travis Baldree might appeal to you. Someone I watch on YouTube loved it and I’ve heard good things. It’s on my TBR.

Leave a Comment