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Literature / Building Tales

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Building Tales is a collection of original web serial novels and short stories by Webcomic writer/artist Zoe Robinson; who is generally better known for The Life of Nob T. Mouse and All Over The House. It focusses mainly on horror and science-fiction and aims to publish new installments on a Monday to Friday basis, although it tends to actually manage this only for short periods.

The site has now been rolled into Robinson's main website, with all new work appearing there.

The site provides examples of:

  • Alien Invasion - The followers of Tsoth Nemorrah want to bring him 'back' to Earth so they can "die first and forever".
  • Back from the Dead - Everyone in Curse of the Other World thought they'd defeated the Big Bad, but the story begings when Sarah thinks it has managed to come back.
  • Big Bad - Almost every story has one:
    • In The Beast, it's the eponymous Beast.
    • In Henry Carter's Journey, it's the demons that plague Henry's world.
    • In The Final Report of James Graham, it's the creature lurking in the impossible house.
    • In Curse of the Other World, it is talked about a lot but it's identity has not yet been revealed.
  • Bifauxnen - Howard, from Curse of the Other World; in the chapters set before he transitioned.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu - Sarah is blinded, Peter ends up becoming an alcoholic and Daniel dies during the course of defeating the Big Bad in Curse of the Other World. Then the novel begins.
  • Broken Bird: Gretl Lune in Unholy Crusade kind of fits but Sarah Barclay of Curse of the Other World is practically made of this trope.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday - Allemand in Unholy Crusade.
  • Butt-Monkey - Henry Carter just can't catch a break. If he's not running from demons in Henry Carter's Journey, he's being attacked by indescribable monsters and decaying versions of himself in The Night Shift and although he's not seen in Curse of the Other World, when he's referenced it's because he's discussing Eldritch Abominations.
  • Cosmic Horror Story - Although some of the short stories come close, the first truly cosmic horror story on the site is Curse of the Other World.
  • Downer Ending - In Unholy Crusade, Seth Baron's attempts to avenge his son's murder are thwarted by Dupont's suicide, while Gretl has spent 40 years chasing the man who killed her family, only to find out he doesn't even remember her.
  • Eldritch Abomination - Tsoth Nemorrah from Curse of The Other World and the creature in The Final Report of James Graham are definite Eldritch Abominations. The Beast could be one, although there's little description of what the Beast actually is. The thing in the vat in The Night Shift may well count, too.
  • Eldritch Location - Although some myths have it walking the Earth, Tsoth Nemorrah now exists outside of time and space.
  • Eye Scream - In Curse of the Other World, Sarah Barclay is blind in the chapters set in 2009, but can see perfectly in the chapters set in 2000; before she encountered the Big Bad...
  • Last-Name Basis - Sharon Howard just goes by the name 'Howard' before coming out as transgender and transitioning.
  • The Metaverse - It's where most of The Final Report of James Graham is set.
  • Nothing Is Scarier - The scratching noises outside Sarah's flat, in Curse of the Other World.
  • Punny Name - Hans Allemand and Gretl Lune, from Unholy Crusade.
  • Shout-Out - When researching Tsoth Nemorrah, Sarah comes across many references to "horror stories written for the 1930s pulps".
  • Shared Universe - As Building Tales provides all its stories under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence, anyone can play in its worlds.
  • Starfish Aliens - Lots:
    • Tsoth Nemorrah has so many forms that scholars argue over what it actually looks like.
    • The Beast in The Beast has tentacles but that's about all we learn about it.
    • The creature in The Final Report of James Graham is some kind of "hairy spider-dog-thing".
    • And your guess is as good as any as to what the blazes is in the boiler in The Night Shift.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore - Mustafa Faisal's Wanderings is suggested to be one in Curse of the Other World.
  • Twist Ending - There's usually one, but not always.
  • The Undead - Gretl Lune and Hans Allemand (both from Unholy Crusade) are fairly traditional vampires; although they tend to decay and smell rotten when exposed to sunlight.