The Nature of Demons by Laurence Raphael Brothers

With his second novella in the Nora Simeon Investigation series, The Demons of the Square Mile, set to launch March 17th, 2021, Laurence Raphael Brothers is here to tell us all about the Demons featured in his paranormal romance series. Take it away, Laurence:

The demons in my novellas aren’t fallen angels or souls who defy their creator, but rather alien beings from a completely different realm of existence. There’s never been an opportunity to explain them in detail and there may not be any chance soon in the text of a story, so this blog post gives some more info about them for interested readers.

The demon world is completely separate from ours, a wholly different creation with its own laws of nature. Their world is composed of Leibnizian monadic matter, not the familiar atomic stuff we have. And what’s more, their universe is an inverted image of our own, following the crazy notions of Cyrus Teed from the early 20th century. The demon world is an infinite expanse of solid earth enclosing a bubble of empty space in which their sun, Lucifer, floats in the center. The demons themselves live on the interior surface of this hollow bubble. Their equivalent of gravity is only short-range, not reaching so far as their sun, and so Lucifer is held stable in the center of the space by the force of its own radiation pressure.

Demons are the only living thing in their world, spawning via spontaneous generation in Lucifer’s harsh, painful light as tiny wriggling larvae. They have to devour one another to survive, gaining strength, size, and also intelligence as they incorporate the living monads of their prey, until by the time they attain ordinary animal size they also have human intelligence. This lifecycle naturally leads to predatory behavior patterns in which the strong dominate and devour the weak, and so the normal state of demon existence would be entirely vicious and savage except for one circumstance, the “position” of our own world with respect to theirs.

Across some vast interdimensional gulf, our world is “higher” than theirs in the same manner that a rich city on top of a high cliff may look down on barren primitive villages at the base. It’s almost impossible for a villager to ascend to the city at the top of the cliff on their own, but it’s relatively easy for the city dwellers to lower a rope to enable a lucky villager to make the journey; thus human sorcerers can summon demons to our world, but they for the most part can’t manage it themselves. And just as the inhabitants of that city might seem divine or angelic to those abject starving villagers, so do we humans to the demons, who are constantly aware of us because our dreams invade their own, drifting into their consciousnesses like the waste of those city dwellers casually tossed off the edge of their cliff.

As a result of this psychic influence, over thousands of years of human civilization demon culture has been insensibly altering in the direction of human norms, adapted, of course, to the realities of demon existence. So they speak our languages now, and rather than their natural diverse and chaotically monstrous forms, they tend to assume human or humanoid appearance (monadic matter being innately mutable in response to a demon’s will), while their social structures model the feudal hierarchies that were widespread a few hundred years ago in human societies. They are profoundly whipsawed by the cruel realities of their own world and the constant yearning they feel for our to-them-idyllic existences. Of course when human sorcery summons them to our world into lives of slavery, they learn that we’re not divine or even all that admirable, but even the cruel bindings in which they are magically confined after summoning seem better to them than their lives in their own dreadful world.

Unfortunately, the majority of summoned demons never change after their cruel early indoctrination into a world in which only the strong survive. Even after being summoned, such demons continue to behave in a manner we would call monstrous and evil. Like many humans, these demons never learn to empathize or regard other people as more than opponents to be destroyed or playthings to be abused. But remarkably, some demons — Refeshiel and Barbatos in The Demons of Wall Street, and Émigré and Martha in The Demons of the Square Mile — are able to break these self-imposed chains to become rather more humanly virtuous and compassionate than their summoners.

The fundamental physical and moral problems of demon existence are at the heart of the Nora Simeon novellas. Nora’s evolving understanding of their situation and the demons’ profoundly inequitable treatment in our world parallels her own personal transformation, starting as an alienated and self-centered person herself and, with the help of her friends, ascending in her own way to a higher plane.

Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy’s Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. 

The real story behind Brexit

Occult Private Investigator, Nora Simeon, and her uncannily handsome partner Eyre – an elemental given human form – follow a trail of magic, murder, and conspiracy from the luxurious apartment towers of Manhattan’s upper east side to the ancient depths of London’s Inner Temple. Along the way they encounter powerful sorcerers, magisterial barristers, evil templars, and, of course, more demons gone rogue.

With their newly acquired ward, Martha – a rat-demon – in tow, they uncover a secret so profound it could both undermine the world’s financial system and topple the British government. Get your copy HERE!

One thought on “The Nature of Demons by Laurence Raphael Brothers

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  1. Love your demon history, Laurence! Wild imagination, yet I found that demons are a lot like humans. At least some are. LOL! Best wishes!


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