Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Art, Podcasting, & Vampires

Happy birthday to the melissagay, fantastic artist and all-around wonderful person. May your birthday be all you could wish for and more!

I've been greatly privileged to have Melissa's art grace the cover of two of my projects. Here's her breathtaking "Aslan" on the cover of Past Watchful Dragons:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Be sure to check out the official website for Melissa's art here!

In other news...

* On the latest episode of The Sofanauts podcast, I am one of three guests in a roundtable discussion on "the week in science fiction news" along with accomplished authors Jeff VanderMeer and Damien G. Walter. We discuss several recent issues in science fiction, and for my "pick of the week" I get to plug a post-apocalyptic/dystopian book I just finished reading and highly recommend, The Inferior by Peadar Ó Guilín. You can stream or download this episode here. Warning: the discussion is followed by extremely silly outtakes!

* Sci-Fi Fan Letter offers a "'Literary' Vampire Novel Reading List." This is particularly timely, as I'm currently reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian (and thoroughly enjoying it), and I'll be teaching my "Gothic Imagination in History" course this fall. I'm glad to see some of my favorites (Carmilla, The Vampyre, Sunshine) on the list, as well as some books I've been meaning to read, such as Anno Dracula. Of course, if it were my list, I Am Legend would most certainly be on it, whether it's "literary" or not!

"The line between literature and history is often a wobbling one."
- Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
Yet again, I am in your debt. I swear I will buy you 71 portions of poutines!
Jul. 19th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
Jul. 18th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
I have to confess, I absolutely hated The Historian and ranted about it in my LJ.

The biggest problem I had is that the book is written as if Dracula was never written or filmed. The main character is absolutely clueless in every sense of the word, and the author struck me the same way.
Jul. 19th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
I greatly appreciated your take on The Strain, especially since reviewers don't seem to recognize it is working within a tradition and not an original departure from it. I haven't read it, so your review was very helpful.

I'm not finished with The Historian yet (I'm about 2/3 of the way through), so I may not yet have come across what you're describing. (I'm sorry you didn't like it!) Thus far, though, since the protagonist noted what kind of limited research Stoker did for the novel and quickly went beyond it, it seemed plausible to me that a trained historian would go to some lengths to ignore Stoker (and Lugosi, although Lugosi is mentioned several times) as completely irrelevant. His mentor does think of sending a copy of Stoker to an archeologist who has thus far ignored it, but this is seen more as whimsical than useful. And I can believe that the popular culture experience of those behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s would be drastically different than the Western experience, too, in terms of how much contemporary Western vampire material they'd consumed. But all through the book so far I see them drawing connections between the historical Vlad and vampirism, so it's working for me. We'll see how it goes. My mind may change!
Jul. 19th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)

I read [or actually listened to the audiobook] back in 2006 and discussed it here and

And these days, with all the popularity and interest in vamps, I can't buy any story that doesn't recognize all the material that came before.

Any character that notices two punctures on the neck and *immediately* doesn't shout, "Vampires! Get the stakes!" has lost me.

Edited at 2009-07-19 02:49 am (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Any character that notices two punctures on the neck and *immediately* doesn't shout, "Vampires! Get the stakes!" has lost me.

LOL! I do see what you mean. They did recognize those as bite marks, and connect them with vampirism, but with much less panic and knee-jerk stake waving as one might expect.

I think what's appealing to me so much is the very Gothic sense of perlious atmosphere as rooted in place; the cultural and scenic contexts of the different "movements" in the novel seem very well drawn to me.

I recall being intrigued by Barbara Hambly's take on vampires, but I never did read her second book of the two. Note to self...
Jul. 19th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, that really is stunning artwork.
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like it, too!
Jul. 19th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
I tried getting through Anno Dracula once but just couldn't. Among its sins are bland characters that you couldn't care less about and one of the most obnoxiously blatant Mary Sues to appear outside a fanfic. The author also struck me as being one of those writers who hates Dracula but doesn't have the guts to openly admit it. Your Mileage May Vary of course so good luck.
Jul. 20th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
BTW just in case you missed this, I announced the creation of this new science fiction themed blog here:


If you like it, I certainly wouldn't mind if you pimped it.
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! Will do.
Jul. 20th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Yikes! Thanks so much for the heads up. I appreciate it.
Jul. 21st, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Wow! What a beautiful cover - and of a book I had no idea you'd written and would be interested in! When and where is it available?!?
Jul. 21st, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! (Although Melissa deserves all the credit for the lovely cover.) That book came out in 2007; I edited and compiled the best papers from an international Lewis conference that I organized. It's available through Amazon and the press website, and I think I also have one or two available here. Thanks for being interested!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )