I am passionate about animals and their protection and consequently, I am thrilled to host Relics author Tim Lebbon today. In celebration of the recent publication of Relics, Tim has written a highly thought provoking post all about how we exploit animals that resonates completely with my own thinking.
Relics was published by Titan on 21st March 2017 and is available for purchase in ebook and paperback here.
Beneath the surface of our world, mythological creatures and their artifacts still exist—corrupt people pay fortunes for a sliver of dragon bone, a basilisk’s scale, or an angel’s wing.
Angela Gough is an American criminology student in London whose fiancé Vince disappears, and her investigation leads her into a black market specializing in arcane relics. She meets Mary Rock, a criminal of mythic status who also wants to find Vince… to kill him.
Angela and a growing team of adventurers must stop this horrific trade, yet they face a growing menace as the hunted creatures begin to fight back.
Rare and Fantastic – The Trade In Endangered Species
A Guest Post by Tim Lebbon
‘Where do you get your ideas from?’
Sigh. I can’t complain about people asking me this, but I’ll admit that my stomach often drops when I hear these words. That’s because I usually have no idea. My novel ideas rarely come to me in one big wallop. They’re more like slow growers, starting from a seed, sprouting, blooming, different branches growing, and … enough with the metaphors, but you get my drift. So my answer to that question is usually a vague wave of my hand, a shrug, and if I’m feeling flippant a comment about an old shop called ‘Ideas Are Us’ just down the road, past Tescos’s. They closed down eight years ago and are now completely online of course, since the market in hard ideas faded away and concepts are now traded almost exclusively by electronic means.
However, with Relics my answer is quick, easy, and two words long: rhino horns.
I’ve never understood the mentality of people who’ll kill wonderful, rare creatures like elephants, tigers, and rhinos, just for their horns or pelts. Now, I do eat meat. I do wear leather. But murdering such magnificient beasts so that you can grind up its horn on the off-chance it’ll help you have better sex … sorry, does not compute. Even worse––if that’s possible––are the people who pay to ‘hunt’ and kill lions, giraffe, or other fantastic animals. In the first place, it’s not a real hunt when animals are hobbled and contained in enclosures so that your payment of a kill-bonus is pretty much guaranteed. And it’s also not a hunt if you’re using a high-powered rifle, it’s a murder. Show me a picture of you huddled over the corpse of a lion that you’ve chased down, tackled to the ground, and killed with your bare hands and, yeah, you’ll get a nod of respect from me. Go on. Give it a go, ‘hunters’. Entertain me.
Even in these troubled, divisive times, I still call myself an optimist. I hate those social media posts where someone says, ‘People are crueller and nastier now than they ever have been,’ not only because I think it’s a misrepresentation of the majority of people, but because it’s also quite ignorant. You think there weren’t cruel, nasty people a hundred years ago, or a thousand? Nowadays we just hear about them more. For my own sanity I have to believe that most people are, well, nice. Go through life thinking anything else and you’ll end your years rocking in a corner somewhere, dribbling tea into your lap and with no one coming to visit you.
I can’t help thinking that if fantastical mythological creatures suddenly appeared on the streets of London, there would be some people whose first thought would be, ‘How can I make money out of these things?’ If a unicorn suddenly appeared in Hyde Park, what would happen? Big news story? Scientific delight? Yes … but there’d also be those eager to monopolise on the discovery.
A zoo, a collection, a hunt… And imagine how much a rich collector would pay for a unicorn horn?
That’s where Relics comes from. You’ll find those cruel and nasty people in this novel, for sure, the ones who would make the news. But you’ll also find the good people, too.
About Tim Lebbon
Tim Lebbon is a New York Times-bestselling horror, thriller and fantasy writer from a little village in South Wales. He has written over 30 novels, including several in collaboration with Christopher Golden, as well as dozens of novellas and hundreds of short stories.
Tim Lebbon has won four British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award and a Scribe, as well as being shortlisted for the prestigious World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards. Tim loves running, biking and swimming, and often tries to put them all together in long-distance triathlons. He raced his first Ironman in 2013.
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