<em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
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July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
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July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
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July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
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For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Showing posts tagged: vampires click to see more stuff tagged with vampires
Tue
Jul 22 2014 9:00am

Everything I Learned from the Buffy Rewatch

Buffy rewatch wrap up

Once upon a time, a girl was chosen for a singular destiny, a life of solitary combat, ending, inevitably, in a premature but possibly noble death. She wasn’t the first, and nobody expected her to be the last. She was a dutiful soul, and went to war with the forces of evil, just as fate seemed to require. Then she expanded the fight, redefining her destiny by putting together a group of committed and powerful allies. In the end, she and these followers remade the world.

Vast oversimplification, right?

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Universal Horrors of Charles L. Grant

Charles L Grant

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Moonlight over a lonely town. Fog swirls. Whispering shadows. Footsteps in the forest. A voice from the darkness. A movement seen from the corner of the eye. A slowly spreading stain of red.

New Jersey-born writer and editor Charles L. Grant (1942–2006) championed these hallmarks of old-fashioned horror tales, even in spite of their simplicity, their overuse, indeed, their corniness, because he knew in the right hands such subtle details would build up to an overall mood of dis-ease and weirdness. Evoking fear of the unknown, not the graphic revelation of a psychopath with a gore-flecked axe or an unimaginable, insane Lovecraftian nightmare, is what a truly successful horror writer (or, for that matter, filmmaker) should do. And especially during the 1980s, when he published dozens of titles through Tor Books’ horror line, Grant did precisely that.

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Mon
Jun 30 2014 4:00pm

Getting What We Paid For: Penny Dreadful’s Season 1 Finale, “Grand Guignol”

Penny Dreadful Grand Guignol

Coupling grotesque supernatural thrills with our culture’s insatiable nostalgia for Victorian pomp isn’t a bad bet for any TV show. Back when Dracula and Frankenstein were turned into their 1931 film counterparts, making an hour-long movie based on a book was also a safe bet, because the recognition of those novel titles helped to ensure butts where squirming around in those seats. Not quite a hundred years later, we’re still digging on Dracula and Frankenstein, albeit now with these newer, subtler-and-yet-more-obtuse versions of them.

With the season finale of Penny Dreadful, the easy question to ask would be: did it deliver on its various promises? But then, you have to remember it didn’t actually promise all that much in the first place.

[Read more]

Mon
Jun 16 2014 4:00pm

Shoot-Out at the Undead Corral: Penny Dreadful Ep. 6 “What Death Can Join Together”

Penny Dreadful What Death Can Join Together

It’s no spoiler that in the Harry Potter books He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is actually named Voldemort. And though those books didn’t make Voldemort’s name a spoiler at all, Rowling did pull back the curtain on Voldemort’s whole deal fairly slowly, giving us just a smidgen of information about her particular dark lord with each book. But if you’d already known who Voldemort was, say, because he appeared in an older book or TV show before, then the slow reveal of his machinations may have gotten a little old.

The latest Penny Dreadful keeps on teasing out the existence of “the vampire” or “Dracula,” but continues to relegate their version of this famous monster to not only to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named status, but instead to He who must not be named, clothed, understood, or seen for more than a few seconds at a time.

[Read more]

Fri
Jun 13 2014 2:00pm

Hit the Sand Running: Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar

Saltwater Vampires Kirsty Eagar reviewSo it’s summer (at least here in the northern hemisphere), which means the days are longer, the nights warmer, and readers are busting out their beach reads. So what do I cozy up with as my first pick of the summer? Saltwater Vampires by Aussie YA author, Kirsty Eagar.

If you didn’t find the ocean a tad bit creepy before (and you should, just think of how many people have died in there), you certainly will now. Sign on here for bloodsuckers, revisionist history, secret societies, and of course—some killer waves.

[Some are born immortal, some achieve immortality, and some have immortality thrust upon them.]

Mon
Apr 14 2014 12:00pm

Detroit Wilderness By Nightfall: Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston

When someone tells you that there’s a vampire film starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston out now, your first reaction is obviously, “Teleport me to a theater where I can clap eyes on this stunning achievement.” If you’re a fan of Jim Jarmusch’s work, that’s only going to make it more enticing.

But since Only Lovers Left Alive is not exactly on wide release, you might be wondering, “Is it worth it for me to search for a theater playing this film festival gem?” In this viewer’s succinct opinion: Run, do not pace thoughtfully.

For a less abridged version, read on.

[We are zombies, and we are ruining everything, by the way.]

Mon
Mar 31 2014 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: In which it is, after all, about power.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chosen

“Chosen,” by Joss Whedon

Kissing! As an appetizer for the very last televised episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer we jump right in with a taste of BuffAngel. It’s all nostalgia, you know, a bone thrown to those who long for the good old days when Buffy’s biggest problems centered around whether getting sweaty and intimate with her certain special someone would make that person evil, and/or ruin her birthday.

In time, she comes up for air—he doesn’t breathe, remember—and thinks to ask why he’s come back to Sunnydale. But before they can properly discuss the First and what it’s been up to lately, we find out that Caleb’s not as dead as previously supposed.

[Read more...]

Wed
Mar 26 2014 5:00pm

Roses Are Red: A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

A Love Like Blood review Marcus Sedgwick

I’ve often heard it said that the littlest things in life can have the biggest impact—an assertion evidenced by Charles Jackson, a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps whose subsequent career in the field of haemophilia springs from something seemingly insignificant. Celebrating the liberation of Paris from the hands of the Nazis, he hunkers down in a bunker, only to half-see something weird: someone gulping blood from the warm body of a woman.

A vampire? Perhaps. But more likely a mere madman. “It was ludicrous; it was, as I’ve said, something I should not have seen, something wrong. Not just violence, not just murder, but something even more depraved than those acts.” Absent any evidence that a crime has been committed, Charles does his level best to dismiss this wicked thing he’s witnessed. But the damage is done, and the unsettling story told in A Love Like Blood begun.

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 24 2014 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Then there were two...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, End of Days

“End of Days,” by Douglas Petrie and Jane Espenson

We ended last week with Faith and the Slayettes, going toe to toe with a big honking bomb. There’s just enough time for Faith to shout a warning as it counts down single digits. And then it all blows up in face: kaboom!

As the dust settles on that fiasco, we check in on the mad bomber himself, down in his favorite ancient wine cellar. Buffy, having shed the need to watch out for anyone else’s survival as she tries once again to clean Caleb’s clock, is seeing a bit of success. She has found herself a shiny scythe-shaped object. It’s a gift, clearly, so perhaps its name is Death. Maybe she’ll call it Katie. Either way, Caleb boasts that he’s going to seriously murder her long before she can pry it out of all that rock.

Except—pop!—it wants to come. Later, Buffy will refer to this as King Arthuring it out of the stone. I do love the way Team Joss tends to verb.

Once and future king references aside, this completely foreseeable development unsettles Caleb. He remains game to take her on. The First turns up, though, and says to desist. Firstie also mentions Faith and the bomb. Caleb obediently backs down and Buffy sprints off.

[Neither of them told her where the Slayettes were...] 

Mon
Mar 17 2014 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Counting down from three... two... one...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Touched

“Touched” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner  

The wind-up of the last TV season of BtVS has truly begun by the time we get to “Touched,” which opens with an immense meeting that is all Scoob and no Slay. Everyone’s gathered except Buffy, Spike, and Andrew. Buffy, of course, got the boot last week, and Spike would have made the Scooby uprising far more difficult, what with his enormous powers of guilt-tripping. Andrew’s absence is simply a bonus.

The topic of this meeting, mostly, isn’t who do they fight or how do they win so much as it is who’s in charge, and how do they decide things? I hate this kind of thing in real life, and am practically getting hives just watching it now. Mercifully, Faith points out that they’re all exhausted and scared and should maybe adjourn to bed. Great idea! Except then the power goes out, creating a new bubble of panic. 

The good news is the sudden onset darkness isn’t a prelude to an attack. The bad news is that the power company has given up on electrifying Sunnydale.

Elsewhere, Buffy is telling a gun-toting homeowner to get the heck out of Dodge while she takes over his house.

[Attack of the cool kids...]

Tue
Mar 11 2014 2:09pm

Anne Rice is Bringing Lestat to the Present Day

Lestat, Tom Cruise

Anne Rice recently announced that she is continuing her Vampire Chronicles with a new tale for Lestat set in present day. Check out her reveal below!

[Clip of announcement...]

Mon
Mar 10 2014 1:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “Tell anyone we had this conversation and I’ll bite you.”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Empty Places, Clem

“Empty Places,” by Drew Z. Greenberg

Sunnydale is emptying out as fast as humanly—and demonly—possible. Buffy’s strolling through the traffic-jammed streets, watching the exodus. The extent of the fear is underlined when she runs into, of all unpeople, Clem. He’s fleeing, too. He tries to express confidence in the Slayer’s ability to save the town, if not the world from the First. Sadly, he’s less than convincing.

It’s different this time, he says. But, you know. Good luck and all!

Then he zooms away.

[Rumblings of discontent...]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 2:40pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: “Am I The Good Slayer Now?”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dirty Girls

“Dirty Girls,” by Drew Goddard

A young woman is fleeing the Bringers and she flags down a knight in shining pick-up truck, as portrayed by Nathan Fillion. You’d think this would be a good thing, even if he is dressed as a preacher with unfortunate hair.  He gives her a gentle talking-to about being out at night, and for a time everything seems obnoxiously wholesome.

They establish that he’s named Caleb and she’s named Shannon, and everything seems to be going supergreat until he asks if the Bringers were after her because she’s a whore. 

Wha?

[It’s all downhill from there...]

Mon
Feb 24 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: A trigger, a soul and a chip walk into the high school

Buffy the Vmpire Slayer, Lies My Parents Told Me, Nikki Wood

“Lies My Parents Told Me,” by David Fury and Drew Goddard

New York, 1977:  Nikki Wood whales on Spike, and vice versa, while wee tiny Robin watches from behind a park bench. It’s hard to say which of the three is the most adorable. Nikki is looking as though she might get bit when Robin distracts Spike. Who decides that since he’s gone to all the trouble of stalking another Slayer—he knows her name, and has come looking for her just for the joy of it—he should drag out the hunt. Also, he loves her coat.

Having covered his otherwise sketchy motives for giving up on a fight he’s essentially won, Spike bails and Nikki gives Robin a big dose of tender loving care. She explains that she loves him but she also was born to Slay, and thus he must go be babysat by a Watcher who surely adores being put on childcare duty. Giles doesn’t know how good he has it. Oh, wait—Giles is now running a school for wayward young ladies.

[Cut to the present...]

Mon
Feb 17 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Home Movies hit Sunnydale

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Storyteller, Andrew

“Storyteller,” by Jane Espenson

Previously on BtVS, we have tended to start our episodes in one of Sunnydale’s abundant graveyards, at the Bronze, or, until they blew it the heck up, Sunnydale High Mark One. But today we get one of the most unconventional opens, possibly the most unconventional in a tie with “Once More with Feeling,” when the start of “Storyteller” unfolds more like an episode of Masterpiece

We find ourselves watching Andrew, of all people, as he reads an (imaginary) book by an (imaginary) fire whilst rhapsodizing about how awesome it is to get lost in a good narrative.  He invites us, his gentle (imaginary... wait! are we real?) viewers, to come hear a Buffy story.

Okay, now we get a shot of Buffy on the Slay... in a local cemetary. All’s right with our world again. She shoots a vamp with a crossbow as Andrew narrates—referring to them as VampEERs—and then gets into a round of martial arts with a second. The action’s getting intense when a rapping at the door reveals Andrew in his true surroundings. He’s in the bathroom at the Summers house, weaseling into a camcorder. When he tells Anya he’s “entertaining and informing,” she demands: “Why can’t you just masturbate like the rest of us?

Which is why, dear Anyanka, we heart you!

[Get your steaming Andrew here...]

Mon
Feb 10 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Drop the bone already!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Get It Done

“Get It Done,” by Douglas Petrie

Buffy wanders through her own darkened house, dressed casually and taking in the camping Slayettes all over her floor. Her general vibe is den mothery. There are a lot of girls now. One, Chloe, is crying in a corner. Before Buffy can ask what’s wrong, the First Slayer knocks her down the stairs and tells her: “It’s not enough.”

At this point I’d be wishing I could have prophecy dreams set in Tahiti. I mean, she can roam through the Potential-infested house when she’s awake.

[Read more...]

Mon
Feb 3 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Try our new Spike, now without chips!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, First Date, Giles

“First Date,” by Jane Espenson

Flashback to Giles getting an ax swung at his head, by a Bringer, while he talks to a half-slain Watcher named Robson. It turns out the Bringer had squeaky shoes, and thank goodness for that. Giles, though, plays up his own excellence and razor-sharp instincts in sharing this little vignette with the Potential Slayers. He and they and Buffy are in a graveyard, training in a pack, and as he continues to expound about his honed state of combat alertness, Spike tackles him from out of nowhere. 

Spike hadn’t heard that Giles wasn’t the First, see, and as they climb to their feet there’s a bit of Brit on Brit head-butting. Giles calls Spike a berk (a term I have only ever heard Giles use) and demands to know why the Initiative chip didn’t jolt everyone’s favorite leashed vampire straight into Painesville for attacking him.

[Gambling with a lot of lives...]

Mon
Jan 27 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Conversations with Live People. Mostly.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Killer in Me, Willow

“The Killer in Me,” by Drew Z. Greenberg

This episode begins with Giles preparing to head out somewhere, all the while expressing concerns about whether the group will be okay in his absence. It turns out he’s taking the Potentials off to spirit quest with the First Slayer.

The point of it all, mostly, is that Giles is conspicuously not touching things—he has Dawn run a notebook out to Vi, while the Slayettes fight over who gets to drive the car. (Apparently Rupert’s California driver’s license is defunct.) He’s been not touching anything for awhile now, and when you’ve already seen this season once, it’s pretty obvious. If you haven’t, it’s been pretty elegantly done. As story elements go, it’s been noticeable, but not screaming in your face. (The style of this misdirection brings The Sixth Sense to mind, in my opinion).

[Read more...]

Mon
Jan 20 2014 2:00pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Wouldn’t you like to be a Slayer too?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Potential, Amanda

“Potential,” by Rebecca Rand Kirshner

Rona and Vi are out in a graveyard, looking scared and for good reason: something in here is hunting them.

Oh, wait, it’s Spike. He knocks Rona aside and takes a juicy bite out of Felicia Day...

...then it turns out, naturally enough, to be a training exercise. Buffy and the other Slayettes are on hand to debrief on why the two got killed. Rona whines about how it’s not a fair fight, since she and the others don’t have Buffy powers. (She could be whining about why she’s been ruled “dead” when all Spike did was give her a push, but that doesn’t occur to her.)

Buffy tells them all that that they have potential that ordinary girls lack—vampire-fighting instincts, basically— and talks a bit about learning to make the fight their own, even if what their finely tuned instincts are saying is “Run for the hills, wimp!” She and Spike get into a little demonstrative sparring, which turns into a tender gravestone-side moment where she’s worried she’s hurt him. And all but petting his manly bruises.

[Come on guys, not in front of the kids...]

Mon
Jan 13 2014 2:45pm

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: This is Slayerdome

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Showtime, Kennedy

“Showtime,” by David Fury

Night in oh-so-safe Sunnydale, California. A cute young Potential named Rona gets off the bus. A bunch of Bringers are waiting to meet her, but fortunately Buffy is there too. Soon enough she’s stepping past the bodies to pick her latest recruit/dependant/apprentice off the tarmac, and from there leading her homeward.

Back at the Summers house, Kennedy is trying to lure Willow—who is on the floor in a sleeping bag—into easy cuddling range. Willow isn’t having any, and so instead they talk about the ever-growing number of Slayettes and the looming shortage of bathrooms. This in turn leads to some chatter about Kennedy’s wealthy upbringing, her many childhood homes and their many wings. It doesn’t lead to any kind of suggestion that maybe she should have her parents send a truckload of food and toilet paper, or the deeds to the house across the street. It’s sad, in its way, that Anya isn’t in the room. She’d get them to ante up.

[Read more...]