In the Bible, aquatic monster, presumably the crocodile, the whale, or a dragon. It was a symbol of evil to be ultimately defeated by the power of good...at least, that was the plan.

You see Leviathan isn't waiting on the ocean floor
    ...no, no, no...

      Leviathan is the ocean floor.
It's core-wired
and it's waiting...

A really funny badflique starring Peter Weller and Amanda Pays, among others. Undersea explorers find a Soviet science vessel on the ocean floor that appears to have been destroyed by mutiny. Despite signs of contamination, some of them sneak some vodka out to their (dry) habitat and guzzle it. Surprise! The vodka contains a genetic virus which kills one of them and converts his corpse to a semi-living Grue! Best part: While trying to throw it out the 'lift-lock' into the sea, the others accidentally cut off its leg, which slithers away into the bilge of their station. It then evolves into a large grody killing beast which begins to assimilate the others! Thus, my favorite phrase for a generic movie monster: the LEG.

Truly strange comic strip written and drawn by Peter Blegvad. It ran for a number of years in the Independent On Sunday and concerned the adventures of a baby called Levi and his Cat. Levi has no eyes and his cat is somewhat nightmarish.
It's difficult to describe as each strip was different to most of the others. Dealt with life, death, childhood, philosophy, art and was also pretty scary as well as being funny.
Described by Matt Groening as "one of the greatest, weirdest things I've ever stared at".
There is currently a collection of the strips published by Penguin as The Book Of Leviathan.

In Thomas Hobbes's book, with the same title published in 1651, Leviathan is defined as a symbolic term for the political commonwealth's absolute power. Their acknowledged leaders must be subject to and accordingly are under divine control.

This reaches back to primeval myths about a sea monster in the Ugaritic texts where Baal overcomes Lothan (ltn, a linguistic variant of Leviathan) recounted as a seven headed serpent, likely identified with Prince Sea who was Baal's adversary. The Bible also depicts Leviathan as a part of the sea 1 with many heads 2 and is the event preceding creation. 3 Apocalyptic literature tells that battle will be returned to in the end time when the evil Leviathan is ultimately defeated. 4 5 6 7 8 9 and later traditions relate that Behemoth as food to the elect 10 is another retelling of creation in Psalm 74:14. In Job 41, entirely under God's control, Leviathan is observed as a divine pet. 11

Biblical experts in the Oxford Companion to the Bible note that many have ascribed Job's Leviathan to a crocodile but dismiss the suggestions as unlikely. While acknowledging that some similar characteristics exist between the two however, they go on to reason, that fire breathing abilities do not, in comparison to other biblical references along with the Canaanite antecedents, determine it to be a creature of mythological origins.


The Holy Bible

Michael D. Coogan, The Oxford Companion to the Bible , 1993.

Used in The Difference Engine, a science fiction novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, to refer to Apatosaurii in general -- or specifically, the Apatosaurus skeleton that the character Dr. Edward Mallory has unearthed.

Also used as a nickname for Dr. Edward Mallory.

In the Iluminatus! trilogy, Leviathan represents one of the two branches of development that life took in the begining. One branch, the amoeba, split off and grew by splitting and replicating itself, eventually accounting for the myriad of lifeforms we see on the planet today. The other path was taken by Leviathan, who stayed singular, ever growing, at the bottom of the ocean, since the dawn of time.

Leviathan is the black metal project of one man: Wrest hailing from San Francisco. Started somewhere back in the early 90's from the ravages of other bands, Leviathan became Wrest's baby and also his whipping post, creating some of the most horrifing music ever put to tape. However no one got to hear this music until the release of Verrator a two cd set of the best of a total of 13 full-length self released tape and cd-r demos. This release got the attention of Moribund Cult Records, the home of other crazy black metal bands like Judas Iscariot and Xasthur among others, and the first full length official album was released. The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide was perhaps the best black metal release of 2003 (though Xasthur was close) and is a twisted record of very grim and cold black metal. Leviathan's sound is easily identifiable, and although it takes a great deal of inspiration from Burzum, the music on Leviathan's cds is not totally derivitive. For one part, Leviathan have no desire to find something outside of the darkness and deathlike music, Burzum always proported to try and create realms of fantasy to escape from this world of darkness. Leviathan are purely in that world of darkness, a Nihilst nightmare.

Their next and newest album was released just last year (2004) and is titled The Tentacles of Whorror. The music is even more twisted and sadistic than before, and more tormenting of the listener. The guitars are louder and more intense, and the total sound feels like a horror movie, intense stuff.

Even now Leviathan continues to release tape and cd-r demos, and there's no telling when the next album could be released. Hell, there could be two or three Leviathan albums this year, you never know. The only thing I can see getting in the way of continued sucess for Wrest is people getting bored of listening to this sound. This is why I think there was a wait between the first two albums of a year, even though he released more demos, they're limited and for the fans.

The music definatly is some of the most Nihilistic music I have heard, in the case of first level Nihilsm, meaning this is music made for the negation of things, not (as in Burzum) for the negation and then transcendation of things. (Read Nietzsche's Will To Power). Also I think there is the idea behind creating terrible suicidal horrific music for the damage of human conciousness. Anyone interested in music like that should like Leviathan, thus if you like to torture yourself with bands like Skinny Puppy, Merzbow, Einsturzende Neubauten, etc. along with/or black metal you should dig this stuff.

Official Releases
The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide....2003
Tentacles of Whorror...2004

Scott Westerfeld
Illustrated by Keith Thompson
Simon Pulse, 2009

Leviathan is nominally a steampunk novel for young adults, although in reality is it actually a mixture of biopunk and dieselpunk. It is the first in the Leviathan Series, which is quite popular at the moment, following the success of Westerfeld's earlier YA series beginning with Uglies.

It is an alternate history of World War I, in which the Germans and their allies have developed mechanical walkers and the Allies have become quite skilled at biohacking. Other than that, however, the history sticks as close to history as is practical; on June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated, throwing Europe into war. In the story, they have a semi-legitimate son, Alek, who finds himself hunted by his own troops, along with those of Germany. He and a handful of trusted retainers find themselves on the run in a stolen Walker, in a desperate run to escape into Switzerland before they too are assassinated.

The other protagonist of this novel is a 15-year-old girl, Deryn Sharp, who disguises herself as a boy in order to join England's air force. By an series of fortunate events, she finds herself aboard an air-whale, the biopunk equivalent to a zeppelin, just as war starts to break out. She is reasonably happy with this outcome, as this means that everyone is too busy to ask questions about her exceptionally smooth chin and modesty in the bunk-room. However, it quickly becomes apparent that their mission is one of utmost importance and secrecy, and one that makes them a target for all of the German's opening sallies.

While this is intended as a work of science fiction, the 'science' in this case is heavily laced with magical potency. Animals are easily engineered; their life-threads can be magically combined and manipulated to create almost any sort of animal. Darwin's researches into genetic engineering brought great power to the UK, allowing them to end the industrial revolution in favor of a biological revolution, creating oversized elephants and mammoths for public transportation and shipping, lighter-than-air whales and squid-submarines for navel warfare, and talking lizards and birds for communication. Meanwhile, the continent has developed giant fossil-fuel powered mechs, from bipedal Stormwalkers to giant eight-legged land dreadnoughts the size of battleships.

Although the setting and story are slightly over the top and don't introduce much that hasn't appeared in other books by other authors, this is still a fun, engaging, and easy read, and it does a very nice job of bringing a number of Xpunk elements together in an exciting story for young adults. Given that the Xpunk field is still fairly sparse (even after all these years), a series like this is exactly what it needs. I think that it is a clear bonus that this is not really a dark and depressing book, unlike many more traditional steam/diesal/etc.-punk stories, but I expect others will find this traitorous to the Xpunk idiom.

It is worth noting that this novel is illustrated, in the traditional manner of ~1 illustration per chapter. Keith Thompson is perhaps best know for his previous work in helping to design the dieselpunk FPS/RTS game Iron Grip; his highly detailed and textured sketches are an excellent addition to the book. I see just a touch of anime in his art, with androgynous 10 head figures with diminutive noses being the standard. His mechanical monsters also seem slightly awkward, the biological monsters being much more well-done. His art is well-worth checking out if you like SF art; his site can be found at KeithThompsonArt.com.

Sadly, I have not yet read any other books by Scott Westerfeld, so I cannot say how this novel compares. It is a quite enjoyable book, fast moving and engaging. It reminds me of a lighter version of the His Dark Materials series, although Leviathan is both more fun and more hackneyed.

There are two more books in this series: Behemoth and Goliath. Given the popularity of the series, there may well be other books set in the same world yet to come.

Le*vi"a*than (?), n. [Heb. livyathan.]


An aquatic animal, described in the book of Job, ch. xli., and mentioned on other passages of Scripture.

⇒ It is not certainly known what animal is intended, whether the crocodile, the whale, or some sort of serpent.


The whale, or a great whale.



© Webster 1913.

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