Crystals and Stones in fiction and literature
Workshops by Peggy Jentoft
I found an old detective story called Crystal Skull which has murder and suspense set around two crystal skulls and the Mayan calendar. This led me to reflecting on the many stories and legends written which in some way feature crystals or stones. These stones in fiction may be either real stones or fictional stones. Some books have references to stones in the title or foreword and may not have anything much to do with them in the book and those are disappointing. There are also a number of movies and even tv shows or which revolve or involve stones and crystals in some way. The Jim Henson Movie "The Dark Crystal" is an obvious one. The Movie Romancing the Stone is another. Many of the Star Trek series and movies refer to the Dilithium crystals which power the engines.
Fictional crystals include the Matrix stones of the Darkover Novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley and some sacred fossilized bone cheek insets from a book called "Water Witch". At least two of Mercedes Lackeys books have people traveling through giant rock collections.
The superstition that suggests that it is bad luck to wear an opal if opal is not your birthstone may date from a Sir Walter Scott Novel "Anne of Geierstein", published in 1831. in this work Anne had an opal that that reflected her moods: it shone red when she was angry, blue when she was sad and green when she was happy. When Anne died, the opal faded and lost all of its color. The last observation may have actually been based on a fact: Opals can deteriorate and change from a colorful, glassy stone to a rather colorless mass of a chalky silicon dioxide.
Wilkie Collins "The Moonstone" published in 1868 one of the earliest suspense thrillers , is still considered a classic of the genre, still stands as an exciting and worthwhile read today. The title refers to a huge yellow diamond looted by a British officer from a Indian sultan's treasury.
Sherlock Holmes dealt with the Blue Carbuncle and the Beryl Coronet and the Mazaran Stone. The Sign of the Four and several other of the Holms stories also feature jewels. There are many other novels and short stories which have the rock friends in them. Stones in fiction can be jewelry or tools of mystic power or intelligent sentient beings .
Ann McCaffrey has a "Crystal Singer" series. Crystal singers have perfect pitch, allowing them to tone for and sing out the valuable and strategic mineral known simply as crystal. In the first novel in the series we meet Killashandra Ree, who finds herself a member of the Heptite Guild, one of the "lucky" few who will help find and mine the crystal. The crystal is used in power plants of nearly all vehicles in the galaxy, and for communication devices. The mining of crystals is a major industry. However, the crystal is found only on a single planet, and is accompanied by a symbiotic parasite that ensures the crystal miners, crystal singers, must never be off planet for too long.
The Amazon Warrior SF/Fantasys of Sharon Green include " The Crystals Of Mida " When the sacred crystals of Mida are stolen and her sisters are slain in the theft, War Leader Jalav rides with her tribe to recover the stolen crystals. Her quest is about to take her straight into lands of men who try to civilize her.
There are many romances which feature necklaces and other jewels.
Until a reader e-mailed me I had forgotten about the Terry Brooks series about the Elfstones of Shannara and the Mary Stewart series about the life of Merlin, called The Crystal Cave. The "Cave" books are told from Merlin's point of view, from childhood to adult.)
There was a children's cartoon on PBS at 10 am PST, called "Dragon Tales", and the children (brother and sister) own a crystal called a Dragon Stone, that they use to transport themselves to Dragon World, where they have adventures with their dragon friends. it's very well done, lots of fantasy. They often use different crystals for other things in the episodes too.
There must be hundreds of other books and stories that have stones or crystals in them andI would love to get together a list of as many as possible with brief reviews or a little information about them. Do you have or recall and books that significantly feature stones and crystals?
I would love to hear about them and put the information on this page.