Welcome 2013

Sunday, December 30, 2012



Well, the Mayan Apocalypse was a bust, but 2013 is shaping up to be a great year!  I have a number of fantastic projects in the works.  Let me provide you with a few teasers, shall I?

The Harvesting Series

The Shadow Aspect, Volume II of The Harvesting Series, is still slated for Spring 2013 publication.  I have spent the last week talking to the cover artist and looking at mock-ups.  The cover for The Shadow Aspect is beautiful, and I can't wait for you to see it.

The Harvesting Series Volume III is slated for late summer publication, and I am still on target to make that date.  The working title for that book is The Meek, but I am not sure if that is going to stick or not.  We'll see if I get a last minute inspiration for the title of that work.

New Projects:

I have two new projects in the works.  One is a novel I have been hammering away at for the last couple of years.  It is a beautiful work of fiction about ancient Slavic magic.  That work will actually introduce you to Layla's ancestors and has some tie-in, while loose, to The Harvesting Series works.

Steampunk, baby.  I hope to traditionally publish an amazing steampunk work this year.  It is my best and most creative piece of writing yet.  I am super excited for you to meet my protagonist in that piece.  We'll celebrate the move from zombies to Steampunk in a big way.  Stay tuned!

Check back in for more updates about upcoming works!  Now if I can just make it to summer break . . .

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Book Review: "The Ordinary Truth" by Jana Richman

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Well friends, I am taking a little detour this week from my usual gooey delights to review the work of a very amazing writer named Jana Richman.  Jana, whose blog can be found here,  writes modern westerns.  This work is a raw and emotional tale about one family.  If you're looking for a break from the undead, clockwork, or other things that go bump in the night, check out her work.  Here is my review:
 
Jana Richman’s “The Ordinary Truth” is a raw, compassionate portrayal of the experiences of four women from one Nevada ranch family.  The plot line is tension-filled, the work is beautifully descripted, and the message makes for a poignant read.  I often felt the novel had me by the “emotional guts,” and I found myself holding my breath—much, I suspect, like the characters—until I reached the end of the novel.

In its chapter by chapter construction, the novel centers around four characters:  Nell, Ona, Kate, and Cassie.  It is Nell, however, who steals the show.  Nell, a hardened rancher, is so realistically described that I likened her to many of the matriarchs in my own family: stubborn, bossy, and narcissistic.  Nell is in the golden years, and her self-centeredness seems childish at times, but in Nell, Richman draws a character who is real—real is not always nice.  Ona, soft-hearted and compassionate, is the observer of the novel.  It is through Ona’s eyes that we can see, understand, and often fairly judge the difficulties many of the characters face.  Kate, Nell’s daughter, is a remarkably modern mess.  Haunted by the loss of her father, Kate’s stiffness paired with fragility hits home.  Losing a parent early and traumatically often rocks a child, and Richman portrays Kate’s struggle with deftness.  Cassie, Kate’s daughter, devises a plan to crack open the secrets that have lain buried in the family for years.  Her determination, though somewhat misguided, is admirable.

“The Ordinary Truth” provides for a rich read.  While the family struggles are the most important plot element, the backdrop alludes to the ecocritical theme of the growing rarity of water in the west.  A Floridian, I have no experience with and limited knowledge of struggles over water scarcity.  Richman brings the problem to the reader’s attention as part of the plot but is not overly “preachy” about the issue.  In fact, a deeper look at the work suggests that the struggle over life-giving water, and whether or not drilling a pipeline under ranch land to redistribute water, serves as a metaphor for the experiences of the characters: what happens when the essential elements of life are rerouted, misused, or sucked dry?  Perhaps Richman is alluding to something more than water here.

Richman has a number of great lines in the book that provide criticism of modern life.  Kate remarks on the cult of busyness in stating that we are all in “the perpetual quest for keeping oneself occupied, entertained, and important—which burns at the edge of addiction.”   Her daughter Cassie later remarks that in its most bureaucratic incarnations, Kate’s generation “goes right on fucking everybody over and apologizing along the way.  Your apologies are meaningless, insulting.”  I have to agree on both counts.

If you are looking for a masterfully written modern western, Richman’s work is sure to please.  
 
 
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Hey Bartender . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


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"The Harvesting" is going on tour!

Ready . . . Set . . . Tour!


With the assistance of the Zombie Queen at The Bookish Brunette, "The Harvesting" will go on tour this January!  Check below for a link of the book blog tour stops.  There will be great giveaways attached to the tour.  Be sure to check out the amazing blogs hosting the tour for "The Harvesting!"  Yippee.  I'm super excited . . . can you tell?


Tour Dates and Blog Stops

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TWD's "Made to Suffer" Recap Posted

Hey Walking Dead fans,

my recap of "Made to Suffer" is now posted here:


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"When the Dead Come Knocking"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My recap of TWD's "When the Dead Come Knocking" is now posted.

 

Click Here for TWD Fun!


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Fictional Candy Giveaway

Hi Zombie Lovers!

I just wanted to point out another great "Harvesting" giveaway!  Liz at Fictional Candy, she is so sweet, allowed me to do a fun guest post and giveaway for her readers.  Check out who I envision to play the roles of the characters in "The Harvesting."  Liz has a great blog.  Lots of other great writers are highlighted and there are several other fun giveaways!

Enjoy!

 Fictional Candy
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My Top 10 and "The Harvesting" Giveaway on On Read Indie

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If you love books, you probably already know about "I read Indie," a fantastic book blog webpage.  If not, let me introduce you to Mandy and her fantastic blog:


My Button...
 
 
This week she is featuring my "Top Ten" list and a great giveaway for "The Harvesting."
 

Click here to  go to I Read Indie, Melanie Karsak Top 10!

 
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TWD's Hounded Recap Posted

 

Check out my recap of TWD's "Hounded"

 

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"Say the Word"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My recap of TWD's "Say the Word" is now posted!

Click Here


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"Skyfall" Review

Friday, November 9, 2012



As a mom of two kids under the age of three, I rarely see a movie--in the theater--so I was pretty jazzed to get the chance to see Skyfall on it's release date.  I like Bond.  I grew up watching Bond films.  Sean Connery, whose swagger is still very appealing, was the best Bond ever.  I was not overly fond of Daniel Craig's Bond.  It wasn't so much his acting that bothered me, but I didn't like the plots of the Craig Bond movies.  Whenever I saw my husband watching one on TV, I'd always ask "is this the one where they beat his balls?"  The "beat your balls in a chair" scene turned me off from the Craig Bond franchise.  I mean, who came up with that idea.  Skyfall, however, enticed me with scenes from Istanbul, Turkey (my husband's hometown), so off I went to see Skyfall with a hint of optimism.  If you like classic Bond, this film will not disappoint.  Below you will find my review. (SPOILER ALERT)

The Good:

This film is a reboot of classic Bond in many ways. The plot line features a stereotypical bad man doing bad things (why is it never a woman), but the why behind Silva's (Javier Bardem), the antagonist's, actions made it interesting.  Silva and M go way back, and his quest is one of vengeance.  At one point, however, Silva has Bond strapped to a chair and I feared it was a "here we go again" moment.  Thank god, no testicle punching, just a creepy villain hitting on Bond.  Can't blame the guy.


The film also kept to classic Bond plots in two ways, 1) by providing a multi-national backdrop (Turkey, Shanghai, UK, Macau, and a creepy island somewhere), and 2) had a stereotypical Bond girl.  In fact, she was so stereotypical that when Bond semi-randomly appeared in her shower, she went with it.  Can't blame the girl.  But like most Bond girls, things don't end well.  Bond's strumpets, who seem to have more cup-size than brains, rarely fare well in the films.

Caution: You are a Bond girl.
 
So was I.
 
Other classic allusions will keep Bond fans happy.  British nationalism is back.  And so is the Aston Martin.  Even the traditional Bond music makes an appearance.  As well, at one point, Bond flips the red button and threatens to eject M from the Aston Martin.  At the end of the film, as Bond's ancestral mansion crumbles around him, he is not really angry until Silva's men trash the Aston Martin.

"Welcome to Scotland"

I also enjoyed that they provided some character development for Bond in this film. We finally get a glimpse of who he is: Scottish, an orphan, from "Skyfall" estate. It is his reconnect to his home, to the "old" things in his life, that ultimately allows Bond to come back to himself.

Skyfall estate

Other things to love?  A new Quartermaster, played by Ben Whishaw, who seems to represent modern technology in his young, geeky way.  And while I don't want to give away one of the big surprises at the end, I will say there is one Bond girl we all love and SHE, played by Naomie Harris, has finally made her arrival into the Craig Bond franchise.  Yay.

The Bad:

Oh my god, could they mention how old Bond, MI6, or M are one more time?  I don't think it would be possible.  They practically jammed the theme of "they are old" down the viewer's throats.  In the end, they twist this around to show us "the old ways are better," but still, it was too much.  While making fun of everything old in the film on one hand then making reference after reference to classic Bond on the other, the "message" of the film became really, really clear: we should value the "old." 

Clearly, there is nothing British about an "embrace tradition" theme, is there?

I felt rather indifferent toward Silva as depicted by Bardem.  He had some great lines, including when he noted that all the mayhem was just exhausting, but sometimes his character felt very stock.  In his best moments, I could see his role was inspired by Heath Ledger's Joker.  As a villain, he was crazy (it is a requirement, right?) but he was also funny.  This makes for an uncomfortable villain to watch.  But at the less impressive moments, like when he uses a police uniform as a disguise of blows things up for "fun," I found nothing new.

Final Word

Overall, I enjoyed the film.  No one beat Craig in the balls, we got a back-story on Bond that was interesting, Albert Finney's line, "welcome to Scotland," had me laughing--I love the Scots--, there were loads of classic Bond allusions, and new characters were introduced which provides promise for the future.  There were some sentemential twists at the end, but that is to be expected.  One thing that leaves us wondering is if there was a blood connection between M and Bond.  For a moment, we see a glimmer of something in Silva's eyes that makes us suspect, but it's not clear. 

This was the best Craig Bond yet, and I hope they go forward with this revamp of the character.  One thing that did disappoint was that they had the opportunity with this film to bring Connery back into the fold in a very important role, and I am not sure why they went instead "in a direction that shall not be named," but I guess that's just wishful thinking on my part.  Overall, it was a fun action flick.  And no, Daniel Craig is not too old to be Bond.

Oh yeah, and people should not be allowed to bring to-go spaghetti into a movie.  The whole theater smelled gross.  Shame on you gross movie goer.  Who does that?


Overall rating:

Four out of Five Thigh Berettas.


 

 
 
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"The Harvesting" Winners!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Congrats to Goodreads members Dana, Catherine, and Shannon for winning an autographed copy of "The Harvesting" and a promotional t-shirt.  Your goodies went out in the mail on Tuesday!

Congratulations, as well, to Dana P. from Patrick Airforce Base for winning an autographed copy of "The Harvesting" and a promotional t-shirt from the drawing at the Brevard Symphony Orchestra's Spooktacular Event!

FREE Family Concert & Food Truck Bazaar

Thanks to the BSO for inviting me!

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TWD's "Walk with Me" Recap Posted

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Check out this week's recap of The Walking Dead's "Walk with Me." 

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Scrap Happy's "The Harvesting" Chair for Auction

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


If you are looking for a great fundraiser, the Clarion Library in Clarion, Pennsylvania is auctioning off book-inspired chairs.  Jennifer Woolam, owner of the best little scrap house in all of PA, Scrap Happy, has designed a super-cool "The Harvesting" inspired chair.  If I am correct, the winner gets the chair, an autographed novel, and a promotional t-shirt.  And your money benefits a library.  What could be better? 

As well, if you live in the Clarion area and are looking for a great weekend retreat for you and the girls, a spot for a unique bridal or baby shower, or you just want some quiet time, check out Scrap Happy House.




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It's the Great Pumpkin . . . wait, nope . . .


Happy Halloween!
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What's Goin' On

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Check out this great TV special, which includes clips from the Melbourne Zombie Walk and an interview with yours truly, as part of the Halloween edition of
 
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TWD "Sick" Recap Posted

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Walking Dead fans, my recap of "Sick" is now posted.  Enjoy!

 
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Dispatch 3

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Some readers are anxious to know when to except Book 2 of "The Harvesting" series.  The second novel, "The Shadow Aspect," is well under-way.  Michael Hall, the artist who does the covers for the series, has already created some concept art for the cover.  I thought you might enjoy seeing the concept.  We plan to make some changes, but it might give you a feel for the second novel.

I am hard at work on book 2.  I just completed a really fun chapter today.  I anticipate the book will release late spring, but if I can find a minute extra to devote to writing, I would love to release it earlier.  Stay tuned!

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Colossal Pop

Check out a fantastic review of "The Harvesting" by blogger and the all-knowing Oz of pop, Mark Fisher, at Colossal Pop.  You will also find a nifty interview with yours truly posted there.  Hopefully I don't sound like a complete dork.  I am not sure I've hit my interview groove yet.

As well, at Colossal Pop you will find a give-away of a signed copy of "The Harvesting."  Colossal Pop is a fantastic blog where you can find music, book, and movie reviews as well as other engaging articles.  Check out their website and enter to win a signed copy!


Colossal Pop Link


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"Hell in a Hand-Basket" Winner!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

 

Congratulations to Paula P.


A great story to share from Paula.  I don't think she will mind.  Paula attended Friday Fest where she took a guess for my prize in the company of an elderly gentleman with Alzheimer's.  The gentleman with her guessed the number of gumballs in the jar.  He was only off by two!  This man was quite the inventor in his early years.  He invented a mechanical devise all of use on a weekly basis.  Paula mentioned he was delighted to learn he'd guessed the jar correctly.  I love it when good things happen for good people.  Congratulations, Paula.
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"Seed" Recap


Please see my "The Walking Dead" recaps link for my review of "Seed."
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"Hell in a Handbasket" Z-Weekend Giveaway

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's Z-Weekend in Melbourne, FL!

 
 

How to play:

Check out my "eyeballs in a jar" at one of the many ZOMBIE events Z-Weekend in Melbourne, Florida then post your guess here or on my Facebook page

 

Where can you see me? 

On Friday, October 12th, I'll be at Family Friday Fest in downtown Melbourne, FL. 
On Saturday, October 13th from 11-1, I'll be at Famous Faces and Funnies.  You'll then spot me at Melbourne Zombie Walk around 3pm. 
 

 

Either guess when you see me or in the comments section, please post:

  1. Where you saw me:
  2. Guess the eyeballs count:
  3. Your first name and email address: I want to know how to contact you if you are the winner!
 

Hell in a Hand-Basket Giveaway

Over $100 worth of Zombie-lovin' prizes!
 
 
 
 
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Michonne Approved

"I think I want a shashka"

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"Only the dead in the streets . . . in the city"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You have now crossed over into . . .





Charles Beaumont
Back when smoking was cool . . .
I recently, and quite on accident, discovered a really great speculative short story I think people will enjoy.  I don't want to give too many spoilers, but in the short story you will find yourself transported to dystopian world where a few survivors are planning what to do next.  Sound like a familiar theme?  The writer, Charles Beaumont (how I love my Beaumont's--see Francis Beaumont, dramatist) is a well-known 50's and 60's writer of speculative (read scifi, fantasy, horror, etc.) writing.  Many of his works appeared as "Twilight Zone" and "Alfred Hitchcok Presents" episodes.  Here is a link to "Place of Meeting" by Beaumont (a pdf scan).  I'd love to hear when you "figured out" the mystery.
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Girls Gun Wild

Friday, September 28, 2012

My dad likes science fiction movies from the 50s and 60s: Forbidden Planet, It Came from Outer Space, War of the Worlds.  Even before Mystery Science Theater started spoofing the cheesier of these flicks, we had set up a “zone of sarcasm” in front of our TV.  Armed with Red Baron French bread pizza, which always burned the roof of my mouth, and Diet Coke, watching old movies became a Saturday night tradition.  I mean, who can miss a showing of Jack (Father) Frost?  While I loved these old movies, what always annoyed me were the screaming women.  You know the ones.  In the corner.  Horrified.  Too frozen with fear to help the protagonist who was, invariably, male.  It wasn’t until the 70s that the woman even thought of smashing a vase over the head.  Hooray for feminism.  I’d like to credit Charlie’s Angles with the great leap forward, but the opening line, “once upon a time there were three little girls . . .” doesn’t sound very liberated to me.  And of course, they are Charlie’s angels.  But I digress.

 
The Scream of Fear


Charlie’s Angels

Today, however, everywhere you look you find a strong, female protagonist.  While we occasionally had strong female leads before the 1990s, many times they were over-sexualized or had some other unliberated "hang-up."  Starting in the 90s, however, we begin to see the era of a brainy and brawny female.  Perhaps this is because this is the age when the daughters of the feminist revolution reached maturity.  Hard to say.  An examination of our modern female protagonists might tell reveal something.  There are so many great female heroes that it is difficult to narrow the discussion down to look at history and trends.  But what the hell, let’s give it a try:

Meet Katniss Everdeen
Age: 16
World: Panem, District 12
The facts: Dad is dead.  Mom is a shell.  She has to care for her sister.  Life sucks. A lot. Living in a repressive dystopian society where she is forced to eat squirrels and has bread thrown at her.  What sucks worse?  She has to volunteer to enter the Hunger Games to save her sister from a terrible fate.  But, she wins.  That’s good, right?

 
Meet The Bride, Beatrix, or I prefer her moniker, Black Mamba
Age: 20s
World: Ours, but she was once part of an underground assassin organization called the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad
The facts: She is shot and left for dead by her former assassin pose, while pregnant, then she wakes up to find herself raped, childless, and having lost time due to a nasty little coma.  She avengers her child’s death only to learn her child is still alive and well.

 
Meet Trinity
Age: 20s
World: There are two.  One is called the Matrix.  The other is a really unfortunate future where we live underground and all our clothing comes from Hot Topic.
 
The facts: Trin, that’s what I call her ‘cause in my mind we’re tight like that, is a cyberpunk bad ass.  She manipulates the Matrix like a 1950’s female screamer manipulates a set of pearls.  But what is her purpose in the Matrix?  Well, her classic line of “dodge this” can be directed back at her.  No starring role for you, Miss Lycra.  We have Neo for that.  In the end, Trin’s main job is to find her soul-mate, hover really well, then die as she assists her soul-mate, the male protagonist, in his quest to save humanity.
 

Meet Hermione Granger
Age: YA (some HP fan please tell me her proper age; 19, no?)
World: Muggle/Wizarding/Orlando Theme Parks
The facts: Hands down, the smartest person, in her cohort, in the Harry Potter universe.  Thanks, J. K.  We know she can crack off a spell like nobody’s business, but in the end she is a side-kick to the lovably reluctant hero.  We all know his name.  And we love him, so we don’t mind.

What do all these women tell us about, well, women?


Having a Brain is a Good!


Clearly, Hermione has come to be a symbol of the value we place in society on women’s intelligence.  Neither Harry nor Ron would have survived anything that happened without Hermione.  Potter, one of the most loved protagonists of the last two decades, has shown himself to be entirely dependent on female wisdom.  Before Hermione, we had Trinity cracking databases so well that she caught the attention of Morpheus and the real world.  How does one get free of the Matrix?  You need to be special.  You need to be smart.  It was her wicked technical support skills that won her a “Get out of the Matrix free” card.  Being smart can save you from life in an amniotic pod.  That, as Oprah might say, is a good thing.

 

Having a Weapon is Good!

Katniss and her bow. The Bride and her Hanzo sword.  Chicks with weapons.  We dig it.  We loved Angie Jolie in Wanted, the Walking Dead fans love Michonne, LOST fanatics loved Kate AND Juliet.  Have gun, will travel.  But when did women get to have a gun?  The Angels did and that was the late 70s.  In the 80s, there were a slew of cop shows, think Cagney and Lacey, with females in the leading roles.  Slowing but surely as the feminist agenda became the feminist reality, women started to appear on the screen much more frequently in totally bad ass roles.  By 1986, Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver’s) second appearance in the Alien franchise we have a female hero who is smart and knows how to shoot an automatic.  She saves lives that men foolishly waste—oh yeah, and she saves the little girl too.  That’s just how she rolls.  No one calls Ripley a “little girl” and she is no one’s “angel.”  Ripley is one of the “fore-mothers” of the Girls Gun Wild agenda.  With Ripley, it became—okay—for women to be smart and tough.  But with toting all those weapons around, are women still sexy?

Having Curves is My Business, Not Yours

In one of the final scenes of the 1979 Alien movie, Ripley has to get undressed down to her panties before doing final battle with the Alien.  In the ‘86 film we again see her disrobed.  Our fore-mother sure bared her assets a lot.  In 1999, the first Matrix film was released.  Trin rocked her lycra which hugged her body so tightly even I felt claustrophobic.  In 2003, Kill Bill’s Bride donned a one-piece yellow jumpsuit.  Nothing says “sexy” like a one-piece yellow jumpsuit.  Seriously, what was wardrobe thinking?  Perhaps, I venture, they were thinking that it was not black spandex that makes a woman beautiful.  Perhaps we were seeing progress?  Perhaps we liked a woman because she had heart, and skill, and a brain?  No, can’t be.  Along comes Hermione and Katniss.  Suddenly practicality reins over sexiness.  Emma never had to put on a push up to earn respect.  Katniss’ practicality saves her freaking life.  This subtle shift in popular literature, while we are still completely saturated with sexual images, does seem to suggest that sex is not everything.  In fact, in our completely over-sexualized society, perhaps sex has become empty.

I like to think that the influx of practical female protagonists who have brains, weapons, and curves that only they care about says something positive about society.  I really like that young women have Hermione and Katniss to admire in a world full of Kardashians, Paris Hilton and her wanna-be’s, and other dog-toting brainless fashion-bots.  The message that being witty and strong might be more important than being sexy is a great message for young women.  These women are just fine being themselves.  They really don't need to be more than they are to be happy and of worth.  While they both choose love, it is done authentically.  Hermione never had to show her g-string to land Ron, and Katniss didn’t do a porno to get famous and then win over Peeta.  These women had something more to offer.  And they did it in the coolest way possible, by acting like regular people (even if in extraordinary circumstances.)
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Dispatch 2

Friday, September 21, 2012

A book was produced.  An author rejoiced.  Inside: lives are saved and lost--but then they get up and walk around, what's up with that?  I am seeing strange things.  I am hearing strange things.  I am in love.  Who will save us?  Must it be me?
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Vampires Are Dead—Again

Saturday, September 1, 2012

On a warm spring day back in 1999, I stood outside of Anne Rice’s house hoping to catch a glimpse of the brilliant mind that created the Interview with a Vampire series.  I was in love with Lestat and the idea of being a "real" writer.  I managed to catch a glimpse of the back of Rice’s head as she rode away in a limo.  While Rice no longer owns the beautiful New Orleans mansion, the experience was enough to make me feel like I was part the vampire trend rampant at the time.  Lestat was the vampire for our grungy, goth age.  Who, then, is the vampire for this age?  Is Edward the (sparkly) face of the vampire of the first decade of the 2000's?  As we roll toward the end of the Mayan calender, I would suggest that we have entered another reality.  The vampire, dear Dr. VanHelsing, is dead.
 
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of MysteryI’ve always liked vampire stories.  My dad took a friend and I to see Dracula in '92, and I developed a crush on Gary Oldman (aka Sirius Black--see below).  In fact, my favorite books as a child were the Bunnicula Series.  I remember reading The Celery Stalks at Midnight with great delight.  If you’re not familiar with the books, I suggest you check them out.  They chronicle the tale of a "vampire" rabbit.  As a scholar, I have studied Slavic folklore and early literary works like John Polidor's The Vampyre--a cheap rip off of Lord Byron's "Fragment of a Novel".  It seems that vampires or vampire-like beings have been noted in almost every culture.  Some scholars date the earliest vampire to ancient Sumerian civilization.  For the most part, I’ve always been “checked into” the vampire craze.  More recently, I loved the first Underworld movie.  We have entered the era of a strong female protagonist.  Ladies, we'll have no more shrieking in the corner thank-you-very-much.  As for the Underworld franchise, it has now gone down the same road from which the Highlander series never returned.  Alas.  I watched Blade with a woman who screamed: “Look out!  He’s behind you!” at Snipes all through the movie.  The day-walker ignored her.  But she might as well been shouting to the "race" of vampires as a whole.  Something was stalking them, but it wasn't Buffy.

 
When Twilight came on stage, I was not disgruntled like many vampire traditionalists.  Meyers did a great job of capturing the essence of a new kind of contemporary vampire.  As Nina Aurbach so eloquently put it, “every age embraces the vampire it needs.”  Edward appeals in Beatle-esque fashion to hordes of young women today.  “Twi-hards” should not be ridiculed.  Instead we should seek to understand the vein that Meyer hit—pun intended—and follow it to its natural conclusion.  While True Blood is still hot and we have another Twilight movie on the way—assuming we can all get past the fact that Stewart is a cheater--it appears that the most recent vampire "ride" is coming to an end.  The vampire doesn't seem to "do it" for us anymore.  But, why? 
 

Vampires have generally reflected the fears of the society from which they come.  Whether it is the fear of improper burial, contamination or disease, societal disconnect from sexuality, or the need to find someone who will love us “for reals,” the vampire serves a purpose.  The vampire reflects the fears of the society.  But what happens when a society is numbed?  Are vampires still scary?    For many, the answer is no.  With Twilight, we learn that the only one who can really, really love and understand us is someone who is dead inside.  Nice.  He might love you forever, but it’s only because you are both divorced from any sense of humanity.  The vampire has lost its punch, but it’s not Twilight’s fault.  In fact, Meyers clearly sees that the dead lover is the only effective lover we can possible have in western society where more than half of marriages end in divorce. 

 
We are numb to even the scariest of the bogey men in our closets.  No wonder we are dreaming up legions of zombies invading our streets.  We seek to understand our reality by putting a face on it, but Rice’s romantic Lestat just does not serve anymore and Edward just frustrates many.  We no longer have patience for lace collars, gentlemanly fiends, or poetic creatures of the night.   Our id is searching for a face for the great the dissatisfaction we feel with the general state of the world.  It is rather revealing that even a blood-sucking undead creature can’t serve as a figure of transference for our malaise.  As a result, the vampire is dead again.  Only time will tell if--or in what form--they will next be resurrected. 



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