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Loch Ness Monster

Entry updated 14 June 2021. Tagged: Theme.

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Scotland's mythical Loch Ness Monster – so called since 1933 and gaining international fame soon after, is generally explained in sf as a surviving aquatic Dinosaur or dinosaur colony, as in William J Makin's "The Monster of the Loch" (20 January-3 March 1934 Pearson's Weekly) with Leslie Arliss (1901-1987); Leslie Charteris's Saint story "The Convenient Monster" (March 1959 The Saint Magazine); Lionel Fanthorpe's "The Loch Ness Terror" (January 1960 Supernatural Stories #38) as by Bron Fane, featuring plesiosaurs; Peter Dickinson's Emma Tupper's Diary (1971) – which for plot reasons shifts the scenario to a different loch; and David Langford's and John Grant's Earthdoom! (1987). Fred Hoyle and Geoffrey Hoyle offer an extraterrestrial explanation in "The Monster of Loch Ness" (in The Molecule Men and The Monster of Loch Ness, coll 1971; vt The Molecule Men 1972), and the beast makes a comic appearance in Marvin Kaye's fantasy The Amorous Umbrella (1981). In Susan Cooper's The Boggart and the Monster (1997), the creature is a Shapeshifter trapped in the traditional Loch Ness Monster form. A X-Files-like team investigates the monster in Jeff Rovin's Unit Omega (2003) as by Jim Grand.

Cinema treatments began very early with The Secret of the Loch (1934); 7 Faces of Dr Lao features the monster as a tiny fish in a bowl which swells into a full-scale sea serpent when exposed to the air. In The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) the creature is a disguised experimental submarine. In Television, the Doctor Who sequence "Terror of the Zygons" (1975 4 parts), novelized by Terrance Dicks as Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster (1976), the monster – though conventionally saurian in aspect – is a hunter-killer Cyborg imported by the Alien Zygons. The monster features in the Futurama film Bender's Big Score (2007) as an inanimate fake – a log with a mask attached to it.

A troglodyte Lost Race inhabits the lake in Janet Caird's The Loch (1968). Greg Bear explains the monster in fantasy terms as an ancient metamorphosed humanoid in The Serpent Mage (1986). [DRL]

see also: J M Morgan.

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