The plethora of shape shifters in modern storytelling is like a wave. A wave of furry bodies, replete with fangs and black snouts and cool names like Trent or Chase or even Chaze. They know how to dress and they have smoldering stares and I would assume (wrongly or rightly) that they prefer their cocktails shaken, not stirred.
Of course, they come in all shapes and sizes, as long as those sizes are large and either of the wolf, large cat, or wolf variety. This limited scope of imagination has me wondering. Questions are blooming in my mind like belladonna flowers at midnight.
Instead of yet another lycanthrope, when are we going to see a blattathrope? I refer, as you certainly already deduced, to those lightning quick and powerful shape shifters who transform from human into cockroach and back again. Yes, yes, I know what you are going to point out. It’s been done already, and done well. Kafka. True, but Kafka single story did not result in a tidal wave of cockroaches a la our modern wolves named Trent, etc. Yes, you can rent a room in a Tiajuana hotel and experience a wave of cockroaches sometime during the night as they come to gobble up your deodorant and that half-eaten Snickers bar you left on the nightstand, but that’s not literature (unless you write about it in a format somewhat longer than a postcard home).
I’m convinced that it’s only a matter of time before we see urban paranormal romances featuring blattathropes. I can’t wait. Blattathrope Chase Maguire, special agent of the FBI, chiseled abs by day, mad scurrying with feelers a-waving at night… Lock up your guacamole, for goodness’ sake, or he’ll come for it!