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did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: Jazz_Sue (
Date: February 03, 2007 11:45PM

or alternatively, is this where Acheron originally hailed from? It's just that he seems pretty indestructible until Thursday shoots him with the silver bullet at Rochester's mansion back at Jane Eyre. I am not for one minute going to say Acheron's killing was contrived, because jasper doesn't write like that, but it does seem awfully 'pat' that, when nothing else seemed to work, all of a sudden silver proved to be his 'Achilles heel.' Evidently, the weapon that would kill/harm him could only be made of silver, but why? Something to ponder: if TN had shot Acheron with the silver bullet in her own - rather than the book - world, would it have had the same effect on him? I say .. maybe.

I've not read the blurb on the forthcoming novel yet, so apologies if this becomes an unintentional 'spoiler', but the way I see it is this: My belief is that - in Thursday's world at least - vampires, werewolves etc were originally fictional creations, from stories told round camp fires to explain away why, for example, Auntie Myrtle is prone to suddenly looking pale and trying to rip the throat out of any passer-by (six days out of every 28, on average) or why the new baby in the family is so damn hairy. Things too small or inconsequential to be dealt with by the Gods, in other words.

Somehow, these monsters ended up in the real world for real, creating havoc that could only be dealt with by using 'fictional' killing methods such as silver bullets etc. If demons also originated from the human imagination, this could explain where Acheron came from and why he was so vulnerable when he was back at home base. Taken further, perhaps he intended eventually to return to where he came from, but running the joint his way. That would tie in neatly with his interest in book world characters, and why he did what he did. It seems to me he had one hell of a hangup about 'good' guys- you don't see him getting rough with the bad ones though!

Heyyy - just a thought, but maybe he was so bad that he got kicked out of his world, kind of like satan was. He might have been using Thursday's world as a tool to assist him in his revenge against the book people, rather than just being evil for evil's sake. His interest in Thursday would stem from imitially seeing her as an ally (college) and then later as a threat - he must have realised she was unique in being able to break down the barriers between the two worlds. His origins would also explain why he was a genius English lecturer, but 'went bad' so unexpectedly.
Another question - is it possible for bookworlders and realworlders to , Ahem, cohabit? Acheron put at least one of his students up the duff, and was keen to repeat the exercise with the student Thursday. What would the end result of such a union be? I would say, a very powerful tool indeed if your aim is, eventually, world domination of both sides.
I've a feeling all this has yet to be resolved in a future book - but did anyone else feel the way acheron got bumped off (if, indeed, he truly was*) was just a little too convenient for comfort? It didn't sit quite right with me, Jasper chose to use the silver bullet death scene without telling us why it should work when all else had failed; which is why I felt moved to come up with the above scenario as a possible explanation.
(* One more thing - Acheron and Aornis are only ever seen together in dreams. Is it possible Acheron did return from the dead, in the guise of his 'sister?')

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: February 04, 2007 09:05AM

Hmmm…interesting ideas. I never thought of Archeron (or the undead) as coming from the books, but it would make a lot of sense. My personal theory is that Archeron is at least half demon, and silver is typically a method for killing all sorts of evil beings and undead in many stories. (Mostly for werewolves, but I've seen it used against vampires and demonic thingies in plenty of stories, so I had somewhat suspected it would work against Archeron from the beginning.)

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: PrinzHilde (
Date: February 04, 2007 02:24PM

If demonic creatures are from a fictional world, I couldn't imagine them living in the book world. Evil beeings, vampires and werewolves on the shelfs of a well-ordered library, and ultimately accountible to the call of a, that does not sit well. But maybe there is a story world somewhere: a campfire in a glade on a moonless night, dark cratures lurking around in the shadows...that could be home for them.

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Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: February 04, 2007 06:54PM

Considering the way the Bookworld is laid out (the Great Libraries surrounded by forests, if I recall correctly), those forests would be an excellent and basically ungoverned place for all sorts of nasty things to flourish.

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: February 05, 2007 12:06PM

The earliest reference I can find is Sumerian: the Akhkharu was a bloodsucker in their mythology. While these seem to predate the Slavic vampire tales, it is quite possible that both come from tales of the Chinese hopping vampires.

These Middle Eastern and Western tales seem to go back to an oral tradition, so may even predate the Great Library unless it originally held spoken records.........


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Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: xmorpheus (193.95.170.---)
Date: February 05, 2007 12:15PM

Well the nurseries are oral traditions, so you have to figure if they exist, then all the other nasties that we have come up with over the millenia exist as well.

Stories of creatures that can manipulate thought, cast glamours, suck out life force and are immune to the kind of things that would normally kill a human go back to the very earliest times in just about every culture.

In the Celtic tradition, Acheron would probably be one of the Fey - but his weakness would be for iron rather than silver. His capricious behaviour, fascination with playing games with humans, callousness, ability to use glamour to manipulate perception and his love of chaos would all fit into the model.

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: SkidMarks (
Date: February 05, 2007 02:12PM

So pretty conclusive evidence that Acheron did NOT originate in the book world?

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: xmorpheus (193.95.170.---)
Date: February 05, 2007 04:09PM

I suppose that depends on your definition of "originate" and also where the book world originated from.

If book world originated from human imagination and so did Acheron, then they're part of the same fabric....?

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: February 06, 2007 02:05AM

If I recall correctly, the precursor to the SCROLL book operating system was OralTrad, which implies that oral tradition is very much a part of the BookWorld; in fact, it was the foundation of it. So characters from oral traditions (including nursery rhymes and mythology) would be very much a part of the BookWorld.

Whether demons, undead, and SEBs are from the BookWorld in Thursday's universe, or are simply a part of their version of reality itself, is another question.

Re: did the undead originate in the book world?
Posted by: xmorpheus (193.95.170.---)
Date: February 06, 2007 09:40AM

Yes but if OralTrad was the origin of Bookworld, then what was there before BookWorld?

Did OralTrad start with the very first story? Or did it develop over time as the legends and traditions became more layered?

Bookworld is separated from "reality" for want of a better word - by books.

What was to protect "reality" from the oral trad characters? What was the barrier?

In theory, every dark imagined thing that existed before the written word could have been brought into existence by the structure of what would become the Bookworld but would not necessarily be a part of it......

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