Don't miss book blogger Book Chick City's annual All Hallow's Eve event, which runs for the entire month of October and celebrates all things that go bump in the night! Check it out here (or on Livejournal, bookchickcity).
What's the most Halloween-friendly television show currently on the air? For my money, it's Fringe.
Here's the trailer for the new fourth season of Fringe:
View the famous/infamous "Friday Night Re-animation" trailer for Fringe.
Text of the Day: For a limited time (that is, until Thursday, 6 October), my essay "In Search of Fringe's Literary Ancestors" (from Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists, 2011) is available online in its entirety from Smart Pop Books. Whether or not you like/know Fringe, I invite you to check it out, as it covers Shelley, Poe, Lovecraft, and other Halloween-friendly topics. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.
So, if you'll kindly excuse my self-indulgence, let's delve into the spooky ancestors of a spooky series...
In this segment, Abrams explains that the original vision for the series entailed revisiting “the Frankenstein idea, but told as legitimately as possible.” Telling the story “legitimately” included updating a central character by turning the aristocratic Genevan medical student Victor Frankenstein into the eccentric U.S. scientist Dr. Walter Bishop. Like Victor, Walter shuns the scientific consensus of the day, following his own genius into unorthodox, even illegal experimentation.
It’s easy to see parallels between the two characters.... To reach their desired goals, both use unethical methods. Victor plunders fresh graves to find human body parts for his laboratory and refuses to provide even the most basic of necessities to the life he creates. Walter escalates experiments with nootropic drugs on innocent children, leaving them with after-effects that continue into adulthood, and wholly ignores warnings that acting on his untested theories could, as his assistant Carla Warren tells him, “rupture the fundamental constants of nature” (“Peter,” 2-16). Furthermore, each genius single-handedly makes decisions that determine the fate of many. Victor’s neglected creation slays his friends and family members. Walter’s recklessness costs the life of his assistant, drives his wife to suicide, and plunges an alternate world into chaos.
Perhaps most importantly, both Victor and Walter are haunted by their past scientific endeavors, pursued by the evidence of their own mistakes. Everywhere Victor looks, he finds the creature. Everywhere Walter looks, he finds evidence of an upcoming violent collision between our Universe and the other one Over There, a cataclysm that he set in motion when he opened the door between worlds and took the alternate Peter as his own son. Neither Victor nor Walter can escape the consequences of science pursued with intellectual arrogance, personal selfishness, and moral unaccountability. It’s all too appropriate that Peter asks Olivia in that first episode: “You’re telling me what? My father was Dr. Frankenstein?”
Read the complete essay.
Tomorrow, back to classic texts!
Dr. Walter Bishop: When the Victoria, the last surviving ship, returned to its harbor of departure after the first circumnavigation of the earth, only 18 of the original 237 men were on board.
Small Child: What happened to them?
Dr. Walter Bishop: They all died, young lady. Horrible and most likely painful deaths. You see, when you open new doors, there is a price to pay. Now imagine... tonight, you look under your bed, and, lo and behold, you find a monster! And you're immediately eaten. Now, if you hadn't looked for the monster, you wouldn't have found it and you'd still be happy in your bed, instead of being slowly digested in the stomach sack of the creature. But, with any luck, your sister or your brothers might have heard your screams, and your endeavor will serve as a valuable lesson to them.
- from "What Lies Below," Fringe