Or, as I like to call it “Jurassic Grizzly.”
This is another quick post for a short novella; derivative and unusually unique at the same time, the premise behind this tale is wild!
As several preceding blog posts of mine have shown, I have a soft spot for certain time-travel tropes in fiction. Rawr takes the idea of a time traveler to an extreme and wildly unusual degree.
I loved it!
The beast had no way of knowing or understanding that the light in her cave emerged from the random mixture of calcified iron and rhodium deposits that banked the unencumbered solar rays against the center of the planet’s gravitational pull in a medley that bent the speed of time within the cave.[Loc. 76]
Eddie Generous’ novella, RAWR, was published on 27 October 2019 by Severed Press. This blog post considers the Kindle version.
There is not much biographical information available.
Eddie Generous was born in Ontario and now lives on the Canadian Pacific Coast. A new author on the horror scene, Generous is also the host of the podcast, Unnerving and the administrator for the Unnerving website as well as the founder/editor/publisher of Unnerving Magazine.
Before getting into a brief summary and discussion of Rawr, a brief exploration of a related topic will prove instructive and is in order. As I stated in a previous post, one of my favorite sub-genres of horror is the 80s slasher film. But, a close second to my favorite horror sub-genres is that of “natural horror.”
The “‘natural horror” sub-genre (also known as “creature features”) highlights elements of nature that act to threaten (i.e. eat) humans. In modern times, killer animal movies began in 1975 with Jaws.
Rawr opens with an absolutely enormous example of a short-faced bear (Arctodus simus) resting at the base of a mountain. For reference, this ancient bear stands over sixteen feet tall on two legs and weighs in at 3,000 pounds plus! Truly, a colossus!
The image below is a recreation of an average-sized short-faced bear, about twelve feet tall or so and 1,800 to 2,000 pounds. Not even close to this tale’s beast!
Without preamble, the area is struck by a powerful earthquake. Terrified, the bear runs into a nearby cave, instinctively seeking safety in it dark depths. With the shaking only growing in intensity, the great bear is being thrown and bounced around the cave. Then, due to a highly unusual combination of mineral deposits in the cave, a strange process is begun whereby, within the cave, the rate of time is . . . altered. When the shaking stops and the great bear regains its feet, it is 125,000 years later! What?!
From this point on, Rawr’s plotline pretty much follows that of Jaws (but on land), and most other natural-horror tales. But in particular, Rawr follows—almost scene by scene—the story of the 1976 movie Grizzly.
Building on the Jaws craze and thoroughly panned by critics as a Jaws rip-off, was the 1976 movie Grizzly. I was 10 or 11 years old when I first saw it at the drive-in with my older brother. It made a profound impression upon me and, more so than even Jaws, sealed my love of “natural horror” into my young soul.
The beast had no way of knowing or understanding that the light in her cave emerged from the random mixture of calcified iron and rhodium deposits that banked the unencumbered solar rays against the center of the planet’s gravitational pull in a medley that bent the speed of time within the cave.
…is the only mention of time travel and the only description of the method of time travel in the entire work. What calcified iron, rhodium, solar rays and gravity have to do with time travel, I have absolutely no idea. And not being a chemist or a physicist, or any kind of person blessed with technological skill, I have absolutely no idea what this means or if it even has any significance. But it was an evocative way to describe time travel.
As in nearly each of the time travel stories I have discussed in previous posts, 11/22/63: A Novel, The Lincoln Hunters, A Time to Remember and any other time travel story I may have blogged about, all treat the science or the means of time travel as a plot device utilized exclusively to get the characters WHEN they need to be for the story’s sake. The means of time travel is strictly a means to an end and once that end is achieved, quickly forgotten.
The actual mechanism of time travel is far less important to the story than getting the creature from the original time to the destination time. Rawr is no exception. However, one “little” thing sets this work apart—a time-traveling, gigantic, prehistoric bear!
I have to say it again. The idea of a time-traveling gigantic, prehistoric bear is freakin’ fantastic! More than any one thing, that right there is why I picked up this novella. And, as a novella with limited space for exposition, Rawr focuses the reader from the get-go onto the bear and the carnage that it unleashes, satisfying its acquired taste for human flesh. The human characters are superficial and, for the most part, disposable.
For those who adore Jaws and other similar tales will enjoy Rawr. It successfully merged the two horror tropes of natural horror and time travel stories. Rawr was violent, gory and a whole lot of fun!
Generous, Eddie. RAWR . Severed Press. 2019. Kindle Edition. <https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZNCPNWH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0>
~. “Home.” Eddie Generous. Eddie Generous 2018. Web. 17 November 2019. <https://www.jiffypopandhorror.com/>
~. “Home.” Blue Rhino Studio. Blue Rhino Studio, LLC. Web. 28 November 2019. <https://www.rhinocentral.com//>
Wikipedia contributors. "Short-faced bear." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 06 November 2019. Web. 28 November 2019. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-faced_bear>
Zeroflash. “Getting into Writing—An Interview with Eddie Generous of Unnerving Magazine.” Zeroflash. Wordpress.org. 8 December 2017. Web. 4 December 2019. <https://zeroflash.org/2017/12/08/getting-into-writing-an-interview-with-eddie-generous-of-unnerving-magazine/>