Mar 29, 2008

Vampires Don't Have to be Monsters

Jeri Smith-Ready author of Wicked Game (a very entertaining novel of the undead) writes a rant on why it'okay to write about and read about good guy/gal vampires. Her essay appears on Jaye's Blahg In fact Jaye has dedicated the entire month of March to all things vampire. Check out all the essays by many well known writers.

Vamp Like Me: In Defense of Defanging

by Jeri Smith-Ready

I don’t know how many times I’ve sat on or in front of a panel at a science fiction/fantasy convention and listened to some bitter person lament how “romantic” vampires have become. (The word “romantic,” of course, is said with a sneer, not a sigh.)

“Whatever happened to vampires as monsters?” someone asks.

“Yeah, now they’re sex symbols,” another adds, then grunts and looks around, expecting the masses to share his dismay and disbelief.

I always want to raise my hand (or turn to them, if I’m on the panel myself) and say:

“Dude. You know they’re not real, right?”

Read the rest here

Mar 20, 2008

If I Were A Vampire

Recently the blog site Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books (great name!) posted a link to Things I will Do If I Am Ever a Vampire, a list of 68 hilarious items for any wannabe vamp.

Here are the first three:

1. I will not pick off friends, family or neighbors of the Hero one at a time. This annoys the Hero and drives him into action.
They'll still be there when he is dead.

2. There are thousands of sick people who want to be vampires. Why pick someone who doesn't?

3. The Hero will come armed with holy water, a cross and a stake. I will come armed with a 5.56 mm assault rifle and grenades. If the Hero has to cross open ground, there is no better way to reach out and touch someone than with a sniper rifle.

It gets better with each entry. Okay some lines are funnier than others, but all have plenty of laughs to offer.

The list is attributed to the population of rec.arts.sf.written. I checked the group and it looks like most of the list was put together by Keith Morrison in 1998. Anyone know more about this?

Mar 18, 2008

Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Arthur C. Clarke may have not written about vampires but he wrote many fine science fiction stories. His work inspired many of today's space pioneers. He is best known for co-writing the script of the Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Read the story at ABC News.

Mar 15, 2008

Charlaine Harris - Old Book - New Series

Recently Charlaine Harris wrote this on her blog. "For the third or fourth time, I think I know when “True Blood” will finally be on the air. The word now is that it’ll debut in the fall, when “Entourage” starts its new season. I should have been taking this all in stride, but this is the first time any of my Hollywood entanglements has gone this far... Because of Alan Ball’s clout and talent, the series based on the Sookie Stackhouse books has gone much farther. First, the script was written, and then the pilot was cast and shot, and then HBO picked it up, and then the second and third episodes were cast and shot, and then . . . the writer’s strike struck. Now, it appears, things are chugging back into movement."

Harris, Charlaine. Dead to the World. Ace, 2004

I (Patricia) wrote the following review in 2004 soon after the book was published but realized I had not published it here.

After her shift at Merlotte’s one New Year’s Eve, Sookie drives down the dark, lonely roads of Bon Temp, LA on her way home. She is surprised to see a man wearing only jeans running as if in fear for his life. She is even more surprised when she recognizes him. It is Eric, the head vampire of the area, who resides in Shreveport.

Welcome to the world of Sookie Stackhouse, a lady often considered a bit odd by others. Although she takes great pains to hide her ability to read minds, many feel uneasy around her and shy away. However, she cannot read the minds of vampires, a group which has recently made themselves known to the human population and now have acknowledged legal rights. Her first real boyfriend was Bill, a vampire, who besides being terribly handsome and charming, has a mind inaccessible to hers. Sookie finds this most agreeable. Through Bill she has met up with Eric. In the past Eric has called upon her to use her unique talent to help retrieve information from the minds of reluctant humans. Sookie has not necessarily liked doing this, but Eric can be fearfully persuasive.

Now Eric is the vulnerable one. Although Sookie recognizes him, he has no idea who she is. In fact he doesn’t know who he is. His confusion leads him to be fearful at times something that Sookie thought she would ever see in this strong, tall, blonde handsome hunk. She takes him to her house after persuading him that he can trust her. Once he is settled she contacts Pam, his second in command. What Sookie eventually learns is that a coven of powerful witches has appeared in Shreveport. Many in the group are more than human. They are shape shifters who add to their strength by drinking vampire blood. One of the witches placed a curse on Eric when he rebuffed her. Meanwhile Sookie’s attraction to Eric intensifies. It helps, of course, that she and Bill have had a huge falling out and he has gone off to Peru.

Another complication arises when Sookie’s brother Jason goes missing. She fears that he has been murdered by one of the witches.

This is the fourth book in the Southern Vampire series. With each volume the preternatural world as seen through Sookie’s eyes becomes more complex, more dangerous, and more interesting. As always Sookie’s level head and wry insights makes each installment a fun read.