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August 20, 2011

And then Buffy ….
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:30 AM * 101 comments

My younger daughter’s favorite tee-shirt:

And then Buffy staked Edward.  The End.

Comments on And then Buffy ....:
#1 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 07:36 AM:

My name is Rob and I approve of this message.

#2 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 08:04 AM:

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

#3 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 08:33 AM:

Sergeant Baginski was a particularly skinny bear, who you wouldn't look twice at in a crowd, but he had a reputation. If there was trouble, he was a bear you could rely on, even though the trouble had taken its toll on him.

He slapped his weapon down on the Lab Bench and grinned. "This," he said, "is a Czech-designed ZB-30 light machine gun, in the Army Union's standard 6.5mm calibre. For training purposes, the flash-suppressor is replaced with this..." He held up a solid-looking metal object. "And the gun is loaded with 6.5mm bulleted blank." He held up a cartridge case. "This gives sufficient gas pressure to actuate the mechanism. The muzzle attachment breaks up the dummy bullet."

Calmly, without any haste, he slipped the bullet into the magazine, set that in place on top of the receiver, and worked the bolt. If any of the students might have been asleep, they woke up at that sound. Wolf was scrupulous about keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, but he was handling the gun almost as easily as if it were a child's toy.

He turned easily, bringing the gun up to his shoulder and aiming in one smooth, much-practised, movement. His thumb moved a lever from "safe" to "single". His finger squeezed the trigger.

Blam!

The new student, a handsome male cougar who a good many worried parents would have wished to interview, jerked as the bullet hit, just the the left of his breastbone. The last Wolf saw of his face was a pair of eyes wide-open in shock, and then the figure crumbled away, falling in a shower of dust, or maybe ash.

Wolf proved the gun safe. "The bullet is made of wood, and that was a vampire."

"A vampire?" The teacher's voice was a hoarse whisper which sounded slightly odd, coming from a beaver. He coughed. "A vampire?" The voice was almost normal now. "But how did you know?"

"Army Union Landing Force, Ma'am. We have our sources." He saluted, and walked out as smartly as any Army Union soldier ever does. Which would, it has to be admitted, provoke apoplexy in a drill sergeant of any other army on the planet.

Wolf didn't worry about drill sergeants.

Drill sergeants worried about Wolf Baginski.


#4 ::: John Peacock ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 09:27 AM:

@3 - Antonia, let me be the first to say that I will definitely buy that book when you finish it!

#5 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 10:47 AM:
  • The thing that has always fascinated me about this video is that Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are using completely different color palettes but the mashup itself still works.
  • And it works even if one barely knows who those characters are.
  • @3: I too will buy that book and will be pleased with an author/Tiger who is not Lionel.
#6 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 11:38 AM:

a) wow.
b) which parts were clipped out of Harry Potter?
c) it's scary to think this is what the kids are into these days
d) I have seen neither of these in the original. Am I missing any subtle things as a result?

#7 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 12:15 PM:

D. Potter @5

I think the different colour palettes might be one of the things which make it work. It's a clash of two worlds, and the palettes signal which is which.

A Google on "Wolf Baginski" turns up this story, via the first link.

Since Doctor Who isn't back today, I think I have time to read it.

#8 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 12:18 PM:

@6: The shots of Edward lying knocked out on the ground are from Harry Potter, from the scene where Harry brings his body back to Hogwarts.

#9 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 04:58 PM:

Hmm, yeah, Buffy/Twilight crossovers.

(Edward)
Every single day, I do the same thing:
Get up in the morning, go to school.
Still I always feel I'm only gaming,
Nothing here is right, nothing here is cool.
I am such an ass when I'm in class
Just hoping I can pass
'Cause I'm just going through the motions
Living in a dream
No one knows I'm not the jerk I seem.

I was always cold and kind of distant
Now these days I'm holding back
Never growing old, the things I've missed and
Now I find I lack.

(Buffy)
You really need a smack.

(Edward)
At least I'm wearing black.

(Buffy)
You seem pretty skilled, and I'm just thrilled
To hear you haven't killed
But you've been going through the motions
Living out a lie.
How much longer are you going to try?

(Edward)
Maybe one day I'll be vicious
Now I've met someone delicious.

(Buffy)
See, I knew you'd get ambitious.

(Edward)
I don't want to be
Going through the motions
How much can I take?
Bella's special scent
Has me so discontent...

(Buffy)
See, this is what I meant. Eat stake.

#10 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 05:12 PM:

Antonia, I like your Wolf. Is there more?

#11 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 06:43 PM:

For various reasons, the fight was neither of theirs. The silence, punctuated by grunts and growls coming through the wall, was awkward.

The short one hits upon a conversational gambit. "So, uh, you work out a lot?" He flicks a finger in the vague direction of the other's abs.

Sullen, the other shrugs, muscles rippling under perfectly tanned skin. "I don't even know why I bother," he bursts out, apropos of nothing. "She'll probably end up blaming me anyway."

"If you just don't have a shirt, I could probably lend you one," the short one continues helpfully. The tanned one just stares scornfully.

"Ah," the short one says under his breath. "One of those conversations." Resigned, he asks, "And 'she' would be...?" He allows the question to hang delicately.

The tanned one, however, has tapped into a deep vein of self-pity and is uninterested in stemming the flood. "She'll be all like, 'oh how could you just watch him die' and 'why didn't you save him' and I'll be like 'he's a giant douchebag' and 'my people never promised to protect them' and 'he was no good for you anyway' but then she'll just run off crying." He kicks the wall moodily.

"See any good movies recently," the short one proffers without hope.

"Being a werewolf sucks," the tall one complains. "It drives all the girls off."

The short one scratches at his goatee as he contemplates the youth before him. "Right. Because other than the whole wolf-thing, what's there not to love?"

#12 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 06:57 PM:

Antonia T. Tiger! Wolf Baginski!

I read the excerpt; and read the story on-line that Dave so kindly linked, and am now sitting here astonished (and teary-eyed).

How is it possible I never knew about Antonia and Wolf before today?

How glad and grateful I am to have dropped by and corrected that oversight!

I cannot WAIT to read more.

#13 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 08:05 PM:

Jim: thank you very much. That hit the spot in an afternoon of building boot disks on thumb drives (boring, but someone has to do it).

Antonia: thank you also. I look forward to more of Sgt. Baginski (though I would really like to see him meet the First Sergeant of my basic training company at Fort Gordon. who was a large-voiced man of only medium height and with the build of a stick insect. But he could pick up and carry anyone else in the company. It would be an epic confrontation).

#14 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 08:54 PM:

Love Buffy. Could not bring myself to read Twilight, and you could not pay me to see the movie.

Thanks. That was fun.

#15 ::: Helen ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2011, 09:06 PM:

The T shirt company doesn't ship to Australia. I haz the sadz.

#16 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 12:14 AM:

Lizzy L @ 14 ...
Love Buffy. Could not bring myself to read Twilight, and you could not pay me to see the movie.

I was persuaded to watch it with the theory that rifftrax would make it tolerable. They didn't. Not One Bit. Ughhhhhhh!

#17 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 01:03 AM:

Helen@15: Someone somewhere will send that tee Down Under, because I sent it to my brother in New Zealand for his birthday a year ago. I can't, unfortunately, remember what company I ordered from...

#18 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 02:42 AM:

Dave, thanks for the link. There's some other stories of mine on the site.

Others, thanks. There's background info on that site for the setting. Various bits of history of the time, in a furry alternate world, with the dial turned up to 11.

One of the inspirations for the setting was a Disney TV series called Talespin, but you can also include live action such as Tales of the Gold Monkey.

Some of my stories pick up elements from Sixties British TV such as The Avengers and The Persuaders. Somebody else did a mashup of the Mark Brothers and Mission Impossible.

The Spontoon Islands are a strange place.

#19 ::: Marc Mielke ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 05:55 AM:

Nah, I don't see Buffy staking Edward; remember she's slept with vamps before and can provably be shown to have Psych Lim: Bad Taste In Men (Common, Strong) 15 pts.

#20 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 06:46 AM:

Bruce @13

Rain Island is a sort of Anarcho-Syndicalist British Columbia, independent from Canada. (The CPR arrived late.)

Their Army Union is unconventionally organised. Sergeant Baginski is doing the sort of job which other armies would give to Officers. And the Sergeants' Mess usually gets the best cooks.

(The Naval Syndicate stays closer to the rank structure of other Navies, lest somebody makes an unfortunate comment about "pirates".)

#22 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 09:35 AM:

Why do sparkly vampires attract so much hate? A benevolent vampire like St. Germaine doesn't.

#23 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 09:37 AM:

St. Germaine isn't a stalker/abusive/over-controlling boyfriend.

#24 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 10:37 AM:

I have spiked
the vampire
that was sparkling
in your school

and which
you probably hoped
would be
interesting

I'm sorry
he had to go
so lame
now such dust

#25 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 11:07 AM:

It occurs to me that even if those animals in the Wolf Baginski stories live in the same world as humans, they might not recognize the same borders as people because they're not people. After all, nobody tells Canada geese to stay in Canada.

#26 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 12:07 PM:

If people buy buttons (lots of them) which say "Real Vampires Don't Sparkle" and then keep the sales going on "Dracula Never Sparkled" even though it's redundant, I think sparkling is part of the issue.

#27 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 12:38 PM:

100% of sparkly vampires are abusive stalkers. The one stands for the other.

#28 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 12:54 PM:

For those of you who want to find out more about Wolf Baginski, I have been able to make available a PDF of a story I wrote, about a year ago, in which he finds himself dealing with Nazi Black Magicians, and the plot really does involve a spear and magic helmet.

I suspect I'd been reading too much Dennis Wheatley and Charles Stross.

So, come with me to The Castle of the Wolf, which I hope is at least an entertaining piece of trash.

Oh, anyone got plans for Doctor Who next week.

#29 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 02:16 PM:

Actually, Jim, I think some of us find the sparkliness itself offensive, because it's such a dumbdown of the vampire's aversion to sunlight.

#30 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 03:16 PM:

Go Team Buffy!

#31 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 03:27 PM:

The last novel of St. Germain earned my ire. Fully at third, maybe even more was about what he was wearing, what he was going to wear, what he did wear, what other people wore. The rest of the book was about women forcing him to pleasure them at the risk and cost of their lives and his, and what they were going to eat, what they were eating and what they did eat. Also, the animals, and what they ate.

That was the whole book.

Love, C.

#32 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 03:38 PM:

Constance @31: This suggests some missing descriptive passages about what the animals were wearing, had worn, or were going to wear :D

#33 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 05:06 PM:

Folks who want to find more Spontoon Island material can Google on site:nielsenhayden.com spontoon

This thread isn't the first appearance....

#34 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 07:57 PM:

Hey, Helen @15, do not haz the sads!

Go here! They ship to our fair land.

#35 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2011, 11:15 PM:

I agree with Xopher: Vampires are creatures of the night. Even goodguy vampires. They avoid the sun because the sun will kill them, not because it will make them too pretty. That's one of the fundamentals among the traits that make up the family "Vampire".

#36 ::: Doug Burbidge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:34 AM:

I find it amusing that abi posts a knock-out brilliant pastiche, and no-one comments. "Yeah, that's abi; that's just what she does."

And thank you Doug @24 (a different Doug from me) for contributing to Making Light's ongoing campaign to make "This Is Just To Say" the most pastiched poem ever.

#37 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 01:15 AM:

David Goldfarb: I'd give your comment more weight if Stoker hadn't had Dracula out in full daylight with only a large floppy hat for protection. Mind you, VanHelsing does describe him as a "king vampire" which apparently includes extra mojo, but still that establishes some vampires as outside your taxonomy.

Sparkles, on the other hand, are only appropriate for vampire fruit flies in full daylight, not ex-humans.

#38 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 01:39 AM:

@37: That was before the "vampires die by sunlight" trope was actually invented. Although the trope may get its start as a dumbing-down of Stoker's complicated rules about what limits the phases of the day actually place on vampires...

#39 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:09 AM:

Antonia @ 20:

Not too different from other armies: any reasonable officer training teaches the young gentlemen that their senior sergeant is the fount of all organizational wisdom, and that they'd best ask the sergeant's advice and follow it. And since the mess halls and commissaries and NCO clubs are run (de facto if not de jure) by, wait for it, NCOs, they get the best of what's available.

#40 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:56 AM:

My recollection is that Stoker had Dracula going out only on cloudy days, and in England's northern climes where the sun is less strong. It's been a long time since I read the novel, however.

#41 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 03:28 AM:

David Goldfarb: I'd give your comment more weight if Stoker hadn't had Dracula out in full daylight with only a large floppy hat for protection. Mind you, VanHelsing does describe him as a "king vampire" which apparently includes extra mojo, but still that establishes some vampires as outside your taxonomy.

Sparkles, on the other hand, are only appropriate for vampire fruit flies in full daylight, not ex-humans.

#42 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 03:35 AM:

My apologies: posted with the smartphone, and when I got home it said connection failed so I told it O.K., then post, and--well, that's where double posts come from I guess.

#43 ::: Helen ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 04:06 AM:

CaseyL and Vian, thanks so much!

#44 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 04:11 AM:

Oh, Constance! I recognise that book! That was my first introduction to St. Germaine. I was underwhelmed. "yes, yes. Velvet and jewels. Oh, he's giving her 'how' many sapphires. Well then. Oh, and diamonds too? Very nice. WHAT IS THE PLOT IS THERE A PLOT DEAR GOD!" By which I mean to say that while some people appreciate description, I clearly fall further on the action-appreciation end of the spectrum.

#45 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 04:11 AM:

Oh, Constance! I recognise that book! That was my first introduction to St. Germaine. I was underwhelmed. "yes, yes. Velvet and jewels. Oh, he's giving her 'how' many sapphires. Well then. Oh, and diamonds too? Very nice. WHAT IS THE PLOT IS THERE A PLOT DEAR GOD!" By which I mean to say that while some people appreciate description, I clearly fall further on the action-appreciation end of the spectrum.

#46 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 05:09 AM:

abi@9 and Heresiarch@11 Applause! Slow as I am, I got to the end of Heresiarch's before I realized who they were :D

Antonia T. Tiger@28 Oh, anyone got plans for Doctor Who next week.

My plan is to be ridiculously excited all week, slightly frustrated when I'm with my extended family as it's broadcast, and then overjoyed when I get home to watch it with my long-suffering wife*.

Or is that not what you meant...?

* Sample conversation from last week:
     "Hurray! We're going away for our anniversary this weekend!"
     "Yes! And the weekend after Doctor Who is back!!!"

#47 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 05:11 AM:

I used to adore the Saint-Germain series, and I think I can truthfully say that they changed my life back in the 80s/90s. But I had to give up on them after Writ in Blood, in which it was stated several times that Queen Victoria was Tsar Nicholas' grandmother. That's just such an elementary blunder in large-scale fundamental research for the period that it pitchforked CQY's credibility for me forever.

I'd been chafing for a while about the way she got the Roman naming system wrong in Blood Games, but this took the cake, soaked it in brandy, coated it with marzipan, and added a bulletproof layer of fondant.

#48 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 07:35 AM:

I only read "Dracula" for the first time about 18 months ago, and didn't find it particularly scary* although a short childrens picture and words version had been when I was 12 or 13. Ultimately Dracula was too limited in his power, with holy water, garlic and crucifixes keeping him away, and although he could move in daylight, he lost most of his capabilities anyway, and could only cross running water at the top of the tide.
What was interesting was realising that the book was written quite late in the century, and used modern equipment such as a phonograph to keep a diary and made reference to modernity much more than I had expected.

And I still don't understand the attraction of vampires. The crop up in my dreams sometimes, as evil nasty creatures to be fought off, but what's so attractive about them?

* especially not after world wrenching dangers such as Stross "The atrocity Archives".

#49 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 08:28 AM:

Has everyone here seen Luminosity? It's got precisely the setup of Twilight, except that Bella is not a passive twit. From this many things flow.

#50 ::: Sica ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 09:47 AM:

@48 but what's so attractive about them?

I have a theory about this, and it's basically that the non monster vampires are very seductive and beautiful. Powerful and dangerous too of course, in some ways they're effectively femme fatales.

Here's the important point: This applies to the male vampires as well.

It's one of the few areas of relatively mainstream pop culture where males are presented sexualised in a seductive sort of way. They're basically set up to be targets of (non straight male) desire and the camera sees them that way too.

When I was a teen I absolutely lapped it up.

#51 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 10:01 AM:

The attractiveness of vampires has to do with their providing their (female) victims an excuse to lounge around in silk dressing gowns, far too pale and wan to do any work, and sleep through the day.

When, in real life, you're chunky, you have to wear a polo shirt and khakis every day, and you're up at 6:30 a.m. cleaning up cat barf before going to work, it can be an attractive prospect. (I am speaking strictly for myself here!)

#52 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 10:30 AM:

#31 ::: Constance:

I stopped reading St. Germaine novels sometime in the early 90s. I'm not sure why I lost interest, but now I wonder if the clothes were starting to take over that early.

#35 ::: David Goldfarb:

Counterexample: Butler's _Fledgling_ has a sun-resistant vampire, and this doesn't seem to bother people.

****

Does anyone remember which book had it that as vampires get older, they become more sensitive to natural light? After a while, they can't endure moonlight.

****

I'm not sure why, but I enjoy reading about beautiful sociopaths-- fey as as well as vampires.

****

I have a notion that sexy vampires are typically written by women, and monstrous vampires are typically written by men. I think there are some counterexamples, but I can't remember them.

#53 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 11:22 AM:

abi 9: Now THAT is brilliant.

heresiarch 11: I love it. I'm not sure the short one would be that patient with the tall one, but it sure is funny.

Nancy 52: I haven't read Butler's Fledgling, so I'm not sure whether it would bother me or not. I think the aversion to sparkly vampires is amplified by how wildly popular they are.

But also, the Strange Horizons review includes this sentence:

She discovers that she is the result of genetic experimentation, different from the other Ina [vampires] in that she can remain awake and move about during the day because of her partially human DNA.
So she's justified as a sunlight-resistant vampire against the background of a mythos where vampires typically are NOT resistant to sunlight.

Also, that phrase 'resistant to sunlight' is key. Being able to endure sunlight is one thing. Avoiding it only because it just makes them unendurably beautiful is just sappy to the point of gagging. In my opinion and (I suspect) that of many others, it's just too cutesy-poo for words.

And btw I have written both monstrous and sexy vampires, and some of my vampire characters have been both.

#54 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 11:33 AM:

Sir Francis Varney had absolutely no problem with sunlight.

#55 ::: Antonia T. Tiger ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 11:48 AM:

If there was a town in Rain Island that was infested with vampires, it would probably be named "Fawkes".

And if Wolf was visiting, he would be making snarky remarks about operational security.

#56 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:00 PM:

Steven Brust's Agyar features a vampire both monstrous and sexy, who also exemplifies Brust's superpower of making extremely unsympathetic characters sympathetic.

#57 ::: Dave Fried ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:13 PM:

Nancy @52: I think you're thinking of Robin McKinley's, Sunshine, which is set in a semi-post-apocalyptic U.S. overrun by supernatural nasties.

Very good book; if you want an urban fantasy/horror story with a female protagonist done right, you can't really beat Sunshine.

#58 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:37 PM:

EClaire @45: Tangentially, this is one of the things that drove me nuts about the Darkover series. "Worked in gold and silver thread" and "jewel-encrusted" bleah. That, and she was over-enamored of copy&paste for things like casting the matrix magic spells....

#59 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:52 PM:

Xopher@54: Being able to endure sunlight is one thing. Avoiding it only because it just makes them unendurably beautiful is just sappy to the point of gagging. In my opinion and (I suspect) that of many others, it's just too cutesy-poo for words.

Exactly. It moves them directly over to the My Little Pony end of the spectrum.

#60 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:56 PM:

I barely restrained myself from using the MLP comparison.

#61 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:57 PM:

Julie L. @ 32: "This suggests some missing descriptive passages about what the animals were wearing, had worn, or were going to wear :D"

Yes, but who were they forcing to pleasure them at the risk and cost of their lives and his?

Russ @ 46: "Slow as I am, I got to the end of Heresiarch's before I realized who they were"

Did you think it was too obscure? I always go back and forth on things like that.

Nancy Lebovitz @ 52: Do you mean Sunshine? It's not all vampires there, just some.

Xopher Halftongue @ 53: "I'm not sure the short one would be that patient with the tall one, but it sure is funny."

Ah, but Oz is nothing if not a master at making lemonade from lemons.

#62 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 12:59 PM:

Debra Doyle @59: That's rather unfair to My Little Pony, the latest animated series of which has excellent in-depth characterization, fun stories, and some damn catchy musical numbers. When Edward and Bella do a catchy song-and-dance Sondheim pastiche, then they get to be compared to MLP.

#63 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 01:28 PM:

In other news:

Werewolves aren't slain by silver, it's just awfully ticklish.

It's not that the fey folk can't touch cold-forged iron, they're just really uncomfortable with the destructive effects mining and smelting have on the natural environment.

Zombies don't eat brains, they just want to get to know the real you, find out what makes you tick. How does that make you feel?

Holy symbols don't turn the undead, they just make them re-evaluate some of their (un)life choices.

The Phantom of the Opera isn't actually horribly disfigured, he just has kind of a gnarly zit right now.

Odin didn't sacrifice an eye for the Wisdom of Ages, he just bruised his cornea real bad falling out of the tree.

#64 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:04 PM:

Debra Doyle @ #59, hey, don't diss My Little Pony until you've watched a couple of episodes of Friendship is Magic! (For example: the ponies all have actual jobs! This puts it ahead of Lord of the Rings. I'm kidding. Mostly.)

#65 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:15 PM:

Going by the evidence of Twilight in which it is so blatant as not to even approach subtext, it's about women never wanting to grow up and grow old, but remaining always dewy and freshly nubile.

The messages from all sides and every institution is that for women not being young is THEIR fate, and this fate is worse than death.


Love, C.

#66 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:39 PM:

Xopher @#53: Avoiding it only because it just makes them unendurably beautiful is just sappy to the point of gagging.

To be fair, it's also that it makes them conspicuous, and the cabal in charge doesn't like it when they're conspicuous.

#67 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 02:45 PM:

That's true, Carrie, but...well, in one of the movies one of the cabal in charge leads an entire group of tourists in Rome to the meeting place of said cabal, where they are all killed. I don't know if this happens in the book, which I have not read, but it definitely undercuts the "don't be conspicuous" argument.

#68 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 03:02 PM:

#57 ::: Dave Fried :

Thanks. That would be a reason to reread Sunshine, a book I like very much.

In addition to the other reasons listed to like it, it's got very impressive pastries. Light weight cinnamon buns the size of your head is the one I remember. No recipes, though.

I have a notion that there are no old-line humans left after the magic apocalypse. Is there evidence in the text one way or the other?

#69 ::: Heather K ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 06:25 PM:

Xopher@67: Oh yeah. And she does it in the book too. I suspect that Mark's rants are more entertaining than the books.

#70 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 07:18 PM:

Have they made an opera out of Twilight yet?

I ask because about the only "real" opera I've seen was "lucia de Lammermuir", in which the heroine is (as far as I can tell from not having read the book) similarly lacking in agency to Bella, and they are all dead at the end of it, albeit not undead.
Half way through I was wishing for some Bujold as an antidote. Given also the emotive singing in the opera, that would surely be the same as the endless moping and internal dialogue I understand goes on in Bella's mind.

#71 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 07:43 PM:

#68 : Nancy Lebovitz:

Nancy, Robin McKinley had a Sunshine-themed recipe contest a while back, and the recipes are available under the "Playing With Your Food" section of her blog.

#72 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 08:27 PM:

"They got ... the sparkles ... OUT! (they got the sparkles out...)"

#73 ::: Dave Fried ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 08:55 PM:

#68 ::: Nancy Lebovitz :

Because possible spoilers for a good book people should read...

Vs V erzrzore pbeerpgyl, zbfg bs gur sbyxf jrer abeznyf be pybfr gb; crbcyr znavsrfgvat zntvpny novyvgl jrer urnivyl erthyngrq ol gur cbyvpr/tbireazrag (jub jrer va ghea frpergyl cbchyngrq ol n zntvpny ryrzrag, VVEP - jurryf jvguva jurryf, rgp.)

#74 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 09:30 PM:

Gung'f jung vg fnlf biregyl va gur obbx, ohg V'z plavpny rabhtu gb jbaqre vs gur rivqrapr va gur fgbel onpxf vg hc.

#75 ::: Carrie S ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 09:42 PM:

one of the cabal in charge leads an entire group of tourists in Rome to the meeting place of said cabal, where they are all killed.

I believe the argument there is "a group of tourists goes mysteriously missing" is weird but does not necessarily indicate something supernatural happening. Whereas "I sparkle like mica in the sunlight" is *way* beyond the pale.

Please don't think I'm arguing that Twilight is a good book, by the way. ;)

#76 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Debra Doyle @59, Xopher HalfTongue @60:

You made me curious what I would find if I searched on 'my little pony vampire'.

#77 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 10:39 PM:

Carrie 75: I believe the argument there is "a group of tourists goes mysteriously missing" is weird but does not necessarily indicate something supernatural happening. Whereas "I sparkle like mica in the sunlight" is *way* beyond the pale.

Yeah, but one of those mobilizes a whole buttload of cops and maybe Interpol (especially if exsanguinated corpses are found), whereas the other mobilizes a whole buttload of "you saw a guy who sparkled in the sun? And what drugs were you on?" and "sparkly guys, huh? Who did their makeup?"

Please don't think I'm arguing that Twilight is a good book, by the way.

I would never think such a thing of you, and if I did I would keep it to myself out of civility.

Rob 76: Still scarier than Edward.

#78 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2011, 11:29 PM:

The My Little Pony vampire is made by eponyart, a name which I find to be very eponymous.

#79 ::: Dave Fried ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 12:44 AM:

@74:

V thrff lbh pbhyq cbfvg gung *rirelbar* unf zntvpny/qrzbavp urevgntr, ohg gung znxrf vg znxr yrff frafr gung gur nhgubevgvrf pner fb zhpu. Vf gurer nalguvat va gur obbx gung znxrf lbh guvax gung guvf vf gur pnfr fcrpvsvpnyyl? V'z jvyyvat gb gnxr gur aneengvir ng snpr inyhr: gung gurer ner jnl zber aba-zhaqnar-uhznaf ehaavat nebhaq guna crbcyr guvax ohg zbfg crbcyr ner fgvyy whfg crbcyr.

#80 ::: Laura Runkle ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 01:11 AM:

Ah. My teen daughter gave a good friend _Nightlight_, the Harvard Lampoon version. It's about as good a sendup as _Bored of the Rings_. Snickers on every side. She ended up buying the Team Van Helsing shirt for the same friend a bit later. There are plans for Buffyness for Halloween. Who says teenage girls don't have it figured out?

#81 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 01:18 AM:

There's a blogger on LJ called Cleolinda who (among other things) posts an ongoing saga about what her doll collection gets up to. It started well before Twilight, but she eventually bought an Edward Cullen doll. And he in fact ended up caring for her My Little Pony collection.

#82 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 01:22 AM:

I should have added a link: http://cleoland.pbworks.com/w/page/10373731/The%20Secret%20Life%20of%20Dolls

It's quite funny, particularly if you like the Lord of the Rings-- the initial cast is heavily from that series.

#83 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 04:16 AM:

Dave Fried @ 57: I was going to mention Sunshine Such a wonderful contrast to sparkly vampires. I keep trying to get more people to read it - particularly teenage girls with sparkly vampires in their eyes...

Nancy Lebovitz @74: I'm with Dave Fried @79 with this one. Lrf, vg qbrf - gurer'f gur fghss nobhg gur ohfybnqf bs (abezny uhzna) gbhevfgf, sbe rknzcyr, naq V trg gur vzcerffvba gung zbfg bs gur bgure crbcyr jbexvat va gur pnsr ner "abezny" uhznaf.

The Morganville books (Rachel Caine) aren't bad - much better than Tw*light. But Sunshine is so much better (IMO).

#84 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 06:10 AM:

David Freed, 79:

V thrff lbh pbhyq cbfvg gung *rirelbar* unf zntvpny/qrzbavp urevgntr, ohg gung znxrf vg znxr yrff frafr gung gur nhgubevgvrf pner fb zhpu. Vf gurer nalguvat va gur obbx gung znxrf lbh guvax gung guvf vf gur pnfr fcrpvsvpnyyl?

Whfg gung gurer frrzrq gb or n ybg bs crbcyr jvgu uvqqra zntvpny/qrzbavp urevgntr, gubhtu creuncf vg jnf whfg znva punenpgref.

V jnf ortvaavat gb jbaqre vs vg jnf yvxr gur vqrn gung rirelbar vf fhccbfrq gb unir n irel aneebjyl qrsvarq "abezny" frk yvsr, juvyr va snpg n ybg zber (naq n ybg yrff) vf tbvat ba.

Naq, bs pbhefr, vg jbhyq znxr sbe na vagrerfgvat cerzvfr vs rirelbar unf fbzr zntvpny novyvgl. V ernyvmr Nagubal unf hfrq gur vqrn, ohg V qba'g guvax vg'f orra hfrq hc.

Looks like I'll have to go with not supported by the text, though. If McKinley had wanted my scenario, she'd have dropped some clues.

#85 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 06:38 AM:

@ 48

I'll just note that, Twilight notwithstanding, I do enjoy competent, unrepentant villains. There's something extremely sexy about people who are entirely at home in their own skin, even if it results in actions that I would never in real life endorse. Vampires sometimes come close to that level of unapologetic self-suitedness.

#86 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 08:09 AM:

I like Sunshine a lot, and I think that the magical thing is rarer than it seems in the text. Not as much as some tell-one-thing-show-another books I've read*, and it all fits together with making Sunshine herself powerful. She has to figure out what's going on with her, and that affects her brothers. The only unknown-to-authorities-maybe paranormal human is her one friend.

What really amuses me is that even without knowing of Twilight, Sunshine is so much its opposite.

*This is most common when a female character is described as 'strong' and then demonstrated as 'weak'. Also a good way to annoy me.

#87 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 04:44 PM:

Being killed by the sun, or at least having a strong aversion to the sun, is one of the fundamental traits of the vampire, but it's not a defining trait. "Vampire", like many other such categories, works by family resemblance, and no one of the traits and tropes involved is absolutely necessary for category identification -- not even sucking blood. So sun-resistant vampires are perfectly possible. That said, I agree with those others who say that the sparkling is in itself something contrary to the category and annoying.

#88 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 05:02 PM:

It's worth noting that the "harmed by the sun" aspect of the vampire legend may well draw from one of its several roots -- the genetic condition porphyria, some versions of which can produce nasty photosensitivity.

#89 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 06:00 PM:

In regards to "why are we so enthralled by vampires, anyway?" I went to a very good panel at Worldcon entitled "What's Up With Zombies?" Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) had a brilliant comment that the Monster of the Day™ is a humanizing of our fears. So right in the 80s, you get the AIDS epidemic and a whole flood of fears about tainted blood and tainted sex and, not coincidentally, a big surge in the popularity of vampire fiction. Right around the turn of this century you get fears of disease transmission (anthrax anyone?), death in general, and loss of individuality, hence zombies.

Extrapolate from that and werewolves will become popular right about the time the various mainstream media get uptight about genetic alterations and chimerical aberrations. If there's real fear about getting some animalistic traits, the fiction is likely to reflect that.

#90 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 08:12 PM:

I tried to do an interview with a vampire, but all I could get was a sound bite.

#91 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 08:22 PM:

David Freed 73: Like in Uneel Cpggre?

#92 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2011, 10:05 PM:

Randy Milholland of Something*Positive started work on a Sparkly Pony Vampire novel and quit very quickly when he realized a) how easily it was to write, and b) how fervidly some of his readers wanted to read it...

#93 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2011, 08:08 AM:

#89 ::: B. Durbin :

The problem with theories like that is that they're so untestable. Daniel Abraham has claimed that all popular genres are about allaying common anxieties, though last I heard, he doesn't have a theory about why nurse novels became popular and then faded away.

His theory does have the advantage of explaining why people read popular genres so compulsively, but the only detailed test I can think of would be looking at the popular mood and predicting what's going to catch on and getting it right more than once.

#94 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2011, 08:33 AM:

B. Durbin #89, Nancy Lebovitz #93: I tend to think that's how these things get started, but then they get caught up in various positive-feedback loops -- marketing, writing, etc.. The vampire fad in particular also managed to hitch a ride on the "romance/softporn" bandwagon, with Laurell Hamilton getting much of the blame for that.

I also suspect that how long a fad takes to burn out its "loop track" depends on how much talent has actually gone into the "seed" works, and then those that carried the torch. Thus, Buffy took vampires out of the genre ghetto, and kept them going for years after the show actually ended... but Twilight might actually end the vampire fad, as the fandom it claimed grows out of the weaker work.

#95 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2011, 10:13 AM:

Allow me to point out: Luminosity: A Re-imagining of Twilight.

It originated from a discussion of rationalist fanfic, and so the basic point of divergence is “what if Bella were smarter”; the vampires are still sparkly. I can't comment in detail, as I haven't read the original.

(And now I see Carrie S. #49 has already mentioned it.)

#96 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2011, 10:19 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @93:

I always figured that nurse novels became popular for a couple of reasons:

1. Nursing as a respectable profession for women was more "professional" than teaching; it was something women could aspire to become and it was, I think, one of the more popular careers for women.

2. Nurses were believed to have a certain appealing personality type--warm and nurturing, intelligent, sensitive.

3. Nurses had been perceived as sexy/attractive for decades (those uniforms! those sparkling eyes above surgical masks! those skilled, gentle hands!).

4. Medical soap operas.

5. Nurse novels were (relatively) easy to write--you didn't have to do a lot of world-building, for instance.

As for why they faded away, I think societal changes in the mid-20th century which broadened women's access to different professions had an impact. Also, nurses began to be perceived as human beings rather than tropes, and people began to see that nursing wasn't necessarily glamorous (and that not all relationships between doctors and nurses were consensual). Also, nursing as a profession became devalued as time went on, with the rise of medical techs and other changes in the way nurses work.

All lay opinion, of course.

#97 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2011, 03:46 PM:

David Harmon @94: Twilight might actually end the vampire fad, as the fandom it claimed grows out of the weaker work.

Adding new dimension to the "Suck Fairy."

#98 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2011, 12:20 AM:

Lylassandra@81,82: I can't believe you mentioned cleolinda in this thread ... WITHOUT mentioning her absolutely merciless, snark-filled takedowns of all five Twilight movies (as part of her "movies in 15 minutes" blog, m15m on LJ). AND her chapter-by-chapter similar deconstructions of the books themselves; if anyone here thinks they couldn't stand reading them, they'll want to read these.

Her movie-post links can be found at her Twilight wiki, down below the book-post links. The movie posts in particular, for me, are "don't be drinking/eating anything while you read"-level funny...

--Dave

#99 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2011, 07:25 AM:

Grr, my apologies: all _three_ Twilight movies, and all of the books.

--Dave, forgetting to read the source again

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