Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Thursday, May 21, 2009
  We have winners...
WOW—we had so many great entries, I’m glad this was random. It would have been impossible to choose based on content. So after numbering the entries, throwing them in a hat for each category (and believe me that wasn’t easy considering some of you lumped heros and villains together) and allowing for multiple entries (here’s a case where more was definitely better) our winners are:


Winner VILLAIN: Brooke Reviews who chose Freddy Krueger. If I'm not even safe in my dreams, where am I safe?!

Brooke email Mario at MarioAcevedo dot com with your snail-mail address



Winner HERO: AtticusRex whose winning entry (from many submitted) included:

1. Chuck Yeager
2. T.E. Lawrence
3. Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt
4. Charles Lindberg
5. Audie Murphy

Whilst you also mentioned Sigorney Weaver's Alien character what about Linda Hamilton from the Terminator movies? Or TV's Zena Warrior Princess or Buffy? Or heck even two lasses from Thelma and Louise... heroines for their generation.

Atticus email Jeanne at JeanneStein dot com with your snail-mail address

The prize assortments contain all sorts of stuff we picked up at Romantic Times. Hope you have fun with the goodies. And props to Mario who amended his article about heroes to include an equal number of females. It only took gentle persuasion on my part...

We here at Biting edge love contests so it won’t be long until we’ve come up with some other way to get you talking.

Thanks again.

Speaking of chances to win, there’s still time to bid on our gift basket at Brenda Novak’s auction to Benefit Diabetes Research. The bidding is up to $155.00 for a great assortment of books from 7 Denver authors. You have a week left.

News that’s probably not:


If you’re a Whedon fan, you already know that Fox has renewed Dollhouse. From a WhedonInfo article:

In a stunning move, sources say Fox has renewed Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” for next fall…

The low-rated series was last seen given up for dead by the media in a field somewhere.

But the show’s DVR numbers are huge (averaging a 40% bump), online streaming is strong. It’s a sci-fi show, which tend to bring in strong ancillary revenue such as DVD sales for sister-company studio 20th TV. And it’s said that Fox execs rather like the series, especially the latter half of the season. Besides, a show airing in the fall on Fox is a bit like running in midseason on most networks — it’s not the network’s strongest part of the year and maybe ... maybe ...

And about the DVD set available July 28: along with the 12 episodes aired this season, the "Dollhouse" DVD will include the original unaired pilot "Echo" in addition to the never-before-seen standalone episode "Epitaph One."

Loved the Dollhouse Season Finale.


And if you are a Nathan Fillion/Castle fan: ABC has renewed it for a second season. What I want to know, though, is what happened to the poker games with all those big time authors that were supposed to be included in the episodes? I can only remember one.


Want to be a real life sleuth? Over at Lee Lofland’s Graveyard Shift, he’s posted an “Identify the Evidence and Help Us Solve a Real Crime.” In 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston was robbed of half a billion dollars worth of art, including paintings by Rembrandt and Manet. The art has never been found. Neither have the two men who pulled off one of the greatest heists in art history.

Here is the clue:



Any idea what those keys fit? If you do, go to the link, submit your idea, and you might just collect part of the FIVE MILLION DOLLAR reward being offered.

This seems to be contest central this week. Several months ago, I posted the Amazon and Penguin Groups call for entries in this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Here are the finalists:

Ian Gibson, Victoria, B.C., for Stuff of Legends, "a comic fantasy about heroism and celebrity, where a 15-year-old boy's fondest wish is granted and he is teamed with his idol, warrior hero Jordan the Red, to defeat villains, monsters and demonic armies."



James King, Wilton, Conn., for Bill Warrington's Last Chance. "In the novel, Bill Warrington tries to reestablish ties with his estranged children after he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. After several attempts at a reunion fail, he decides to kidnap his 15-year-old granddaughter, April, so that his children will be forced to talk to each other--and to him--as they attempt to 'rescue' April."



Brandi Lynn Ryder, Napa, Calif., for In Malice, Quite Close. "The novel opens in 1979 San Francisco, where an unlikely relationship forms between 15-year-old Karen, who longs to escape her abusive father, and wealthy art collector Tristan Mourault. Tristan gains Karen's trust and she soon adopts a new identity as his daughter, sending the two on an extraordinary odyssey that spans 15 years and two coasts."



Through this Thursday, May 21, the public can read excerpts of the books as well as critiques by a panel of publishing professionals and then vote for their favorites on amazon.com/abna. The panelists were authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan.

The Grand Prize winner, who receives a publishing contract from Penguin and a $25,000 advance, will be announced in New York on Wednesday, May 27.

From Shelf Awareness: Publishing stats that may or may not be of interest--

Traditional book production in the U.S. declined 3.2% in 2008, but the on-demand category showed dramatic growth at "462% above levels seen as recently as 2006," according to Bowker, which compiled the statistics from its Books in Print database.

Bowker projected that U.S. title output decreased to 275,232 new titles and editions in 2008 from 284,370 in 2007, based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers. 



Phenomenal growth in the on-demand books sector was reflected in Bowker's projections that 285,394 on-demand books were produced last year, a 132% increase over 2007's 123,276 titles and 462% above 2006 levels.




Bowker reported that the top five categories for U.S. book production in 2008 were fiction (47,541 new titles), juvenile (29,438), sociology/economics (24,423), religion (16,847) and science (13,555).






Fun stuff: Horror Blips did a best bloodsucker movie poll—hop on over and see if you agree with the picks. Them make your own here for the scariest, sexiest and funniest vamp movies.

Something sweet to close with. Friend Charlaine Harris made the NYT—not only with her #1 spot on the best seller list for Dead and Gone, but with this article. She mentioned on a loop that the author of the article, Motoko Rich, actually flew down to spend the afternoon with her at her home in Arkansas. There’s a really nice pic of Charlaine at her writing desk. Check it out.

So, what’s going on in your world? Looking forward to summer? Trips planned? What?
 
Comments:
Thank you for sharing the article about Charlaine Harris. I finished listening to DEAD&GONE yesterday morning on the way to work. I am picking up the DVD True Blood tomorrow afer work, we don't get HBO except for 'free weekends' so havent' seen all of the episodes...just enough to get a (wishful thinking) taste of Bill, Sam, and Eric....

As for vampires, I saw Raul Julia on Broadway in 'Dracula' in 1978. First dead-sexy vampire I'd ever seen. Waaaaay mo' hot than Frank Langella and Frank was a hot Count in the movie.
Scariest for me was Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire. He scared the McCrappe out of me!
Funniest is still Spike. He's so snarky and makes me snort laugh (and makes my heart go pitty-pat).

And I have to agree with blogger Andy in the post for Salma Hayek's sexy vampire in From Dusk Til Dawn. Mercy! Well, you know, until she turned into the snake thingee....

What are we doing this summer....first we have to get through this weekend. DH and I are putting in two patios in the back lawn. Getting 3 tons of sand and about 1000 bricks delivered this evening. I see some weight loss in my immediate future.....
Lady K's school has a carnival on Tuesday evening. She graduates Kindergarten on Wednesday morning. Last day of school is Thursday. She and I will have a Chickie Day and go see Up at the show and go shopping.
Lady K and I will be heading out to my dad's in Kansas, near Kansas City, second week in June. My sister and her two boys will meet us at Dad's and we will be working on his landscaping and building a windbreak. Mom is coming up from her house to cook for us. Dad is still recovering from his open heart surgery, so we won't be building the arbor over his back porch this year.
Be a fun busy summer.
 
I want to thank all those slightly dead folk who help me stuff the ballot box and win the Hero contest.

Castle: Alot of fun, reminds me of Moonlighting. I also would like to see more of the writer's poker game concept. Good stuff.

Dollhou (Iwould have continued, but just typing the name makes me sleepy)

Bloodsuckers: Best Movie? Wow so many ways to go but for me I liked the originality of Near Dark.

Best Bloodsucker? Again so many to choose from. How do you beat almost everyone who's played Dracula... but if I have to pick one movie character as best Vamp... for some reason I always thought in the film 'Interview With A Vampire' that Antonio Banderas's Armond was the best Bloodsucker in the film. He just looked right!

Again: Thank You Jeanne and Mario for the winning Loot.

On a way different note: I have to type in a 'word verification and here is what it is: inharma, i.e. In Harm A. Just struck me funny...
 
Winners: Congrats to all! Those look like some spiffy prize packs

Dollhouse: I've already done my little dance (sorry if I was the gazillionth person to pelt you with an e-mail about its renewal Jeanne) and I'm thrilled it's getting a second season.

Castle: Now that it has been renewed I will go watch it from the beginning

On-Demand Books: Are these like e-books?

Misc TV: Chuck got renewed for a third season! Jeanne you now have no excuse to not watch it.

Charlene Harris: I'm pretty sure I left some kind of scathing review on her Sookie Stackhouse series (or what I had read of it) around the time we were talking about the True Blood DVDs. This would be a good time for me to announce that while my opinion stands on the TV show, I retract almost everything I said about the books. I found the first three in the series at the used bookstore and bought them (again) a couple of weeks ago. Something in me clicked and I became completely addicted. I now (have no clue HOW ...) am the proud owner of every single mass market book out (1-8) in the series. I'm pretty much in love. I'll still watch the series on TV to support the genre, but the books are fab. I had to struggle through the first few, but they got better and better as time went on. I attribute this to less and less of one "main" character who was not the most interesting and the introduction of a number of interesting characters of the opposite sex.

My World: this is largely dealing with work and waiting for a number of books to be published. Most anticipated on my list are "Retribution" and Jillian Venter's "Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them" (Jillian Venters' website is incredibly interesting for anyone who is interested in advice given out by a petticoat wearing, parasol carrying, top hat sporting, Gothic version of Miss Manners.) I'm also waiting for Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" (this year's Newbury Award winner) to go into softback, but that will not be until sometime next year I'll wager.
 
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Random aside - Jeanne have you heard anything else about anything being done with the alleged Anita Blake TV movie? While I'm not an Anita Blake fan, that did vaguely catch my interest and didn't know if you or anyone else had read anything else about it since.
 
Hi Jeanne!

I can't wait to pick up "dead & gone" and a few other books (the tot wants the "very hungry catapillar", lol). I just read Melissa Marr's Fragile Eternity and am in the middle of Kim Harrison's YA, "Once Dead, Twice Shy." (I read alot of YA lol.)

So glad to head Dollhouse will be back.

The tot can't wait for school to end and to start "real school" in the fall. She wants to go on a vacation "somewhere." I need a real vacation, like the kind where I send the tot and hubby to Hawaii for a week and I lock myself in the house, tell everyone at work I'm out of the country and I do nothing but sleep, relax, and watch movies all week, lol.

The only "vacation" I have planned it to go to the RWA national conference in DC--may leave the tot behind on that one, lol.

Happy Friday!
~Suzanne and the tot
 
Jeanne,
Do you ever read the webcomic XKCD? They seem to be Firefly fans. They just did a 5 part webcomic called "the race" with some characters from it...here's te link to Part one:
http://xkcd.com/577/

Also, I liked this one, though the reference is more fleeting than "the race." http://xkcd.com/561/

Happy weekend.
~Suzanne
 
Oh AtticusRex

Dollhou (Iwould have continued, but just typing the name makes me sleepy)

I was just beginning to like you, too.

J.
 
Suzanne (as you can see, I'm playing catch up)

when you get back from RWA, give us a report.

I will check out XKCD-- thanks for the link.

And you and Vickie are ahead of me on Dead & Gone-- plan to start it this weekend.

Smooches to the tot--

J.
 
Hey Vickie-- I forgot about Salma Hayek and From Dusk to Dawn-- probably because of the snake thing.

Raul Julia is pretty sexy. I bet he did a great job as Dracula.

have fun with LadyK in Kansas. I used to go to my grandparent's farm in PA when I was growing up. I loved it up until I reached my teens-- then somehow a summer in PA instead of a summer on a San Diego beach lost it's allure.

Hope you got lots of pics at the "graduation". And I have to tell you, your weekend doesn't sound like fun!

J
 
Hey Leia-- no new word on the LKH movie. I check her blog periodically so when I see something, I'll let you know.

You asked: On-Demand Books: Are these like e-books?

No, actually they are print books with a real cover that are made up in a kind of kiosk thing. You pay, you get the book. The advantage to the bookstore is no inventory (obviously). It allows smaller presses to get into big box stores that offer the service. I believe Borders does it.

I'm glad you gave Charlaine another chance. And I like the way Sookie is maturing as the series progresses.

As for Chuck...maybe I'll pretend I didn't read this...

J.
 
Jeanne said : No, actually they are print books with a real cover that are made up in a kind of kiosk thing. You pay, you get the book.

Ohhhhh like the book vending machines? I saw one of those when I was at the airport in Ireland. You could read an excerpt forthe books on a digital screen, then you put your money in and it gaave you the book you selected - like a soda or a bag of chips. I have never seen anything like it since that one time but I was rather intrigued by it. Seems very Star Wars-y (only they would have had all digital stuff)

Jeanne said: As for Chuck...maybe I'll pretend I didn't read this...

*sigh* For someone with so much taste ... :p You know it DOES have Adam Baldwin playing a kick buut member of the NSA. Tt is a very Jayne role, just minus the fun knitted cap.
 
I LOVE CASTLE!!!! Yesyesyes. I want to marry Castle. Well, Nathan Fillion will do. And Alexis is such a cutie.

I'm glad to hear Dollhouse got renewed -- it's definately gotten better. It still creeps me out but I'm starting to LIKE that it creeps me out. In the sort of way that takes a person from shopping for frilly lingerie to shopping for whips and chains....

Oh no. Soon I'll be crusin' for tat parlours. Dens. Whatever.
 
I saw about 1/2 episode of Chuck once and wasn't quite getting it. But I think it's on hulu.com.
 
@Leia:

I think you and I were trading scathing remarks re Sookie. But I do have to admit I like the books better as they go along and there is less of a certain-very-annoying-vampire-cough-Bill-Compton--cough.

I kind of want Sookie to hook up with Eric in a permanent way.

I'll say this -- you can't help but read and laugh out loud at points. That's what I love. It's the same thing I love in Mario's books, when they are so outrageous you can't help but laugh.
 
Also ... Jeanne said: I'm glad you gave Charlene another chance. And I like the way Sookie is maturing as the series progresses.

You know, she really is. More than anything I've really found it interesting to see how she has not only grown as a character, but how her personal transformation emotionally has affected those around her. I'm not known for giving a book series a second chance once I decided it is not for me, but I'm really glad I gave that book series another go. I still maintain that the first book was kind of "meh," but in the grand scheme of things I can see it was that way because there was a LOT of set up that needed doing. I do not buy new books very often, but I bought almost every book in that series new in a span of two weeks, and read them at the rate of roughly 1 book = 4 hours. I've read the summaries for the first couple episodes coming up in True Blood and must admit that I'm disappointed to see exactly how much it is diverging from the book. It's not like I expect it to stick with it page for page/plot line for plot line, but a number of unnecessary character/situation additions have gone in that I feel detract from the tale. There is certainly a darker, more desperate aire of malevolence that hangs about the show that I haven't felt in the books - almost as if they are meant for two completely different audiences. I'll continue to watch (season 2 premiers June 14th) but I do find myself wishing that it stuck a little closer to the novels in tone if nothing else.
 
Gina said: I saw about 1/2 episode of Chuck once and wasn't quite getting it. But I think it's on hulu.com.

You have to see the first episode or it is difficult to figure out what is going on. Initially it is based on a far out concept (considering the real world setting of at least half the show) but it is very good once you get into it. It is probably the only geek sow I've seen where I can look at every character and say "I know someone like that" or "I've done that with my friends" etc. There is a real personal connection to it that I love. Even though it is based on a far out concept (secret CIA/NSA computer downloaded into a computer geek's brain) it is grounded in a lot of reality and very true to its geek/nerd foundation and fan base. I have a lot of respect for that.

Gina said: I kind of want Sookie to hook up with Eric in a permanent way.

I completely agree with you. I was a little wishy washy on him to begin with (we have all seen the arrogant powerful vamp character before after all) but after that one book with Eric and Sookie (you know the one I mean) I felt like the dynamic between the two characters deepened even though until recently (I'm on book 8) both sides weren't aware of it. It is clear that there is a lot of stuff going on under the surface that we have yet to find out about. I also like the way that things between her and Pam have changed. They really have a girlfriend thing going on that I feel is unique, considering Pam's general disdain for humans. Like I said, I rarely give books a second chance, but I'm glad I did this one. In hindsight (always 20/20 right?) I can see why the first couple books are the way they are, and I can pick up on important character development and dynamic nuances now as I reread them with the knowledge of what is to come.
 
@Jeanne: You don't like my anymore because I didn't care for Dollhouse (wow I'm getting tired)? Then with this next statement you're really not going to like me!
I couldn't get into Buffy! I did however like most of the 1st season of Angel until they killed off that snarky Irish guy. Now about Firefly, I loved it. Serenity as well. So Some Joss can work for me.

As for the Stackhouse series: Never read 'em but loooove True Blood.

At some point (as if anyone will care) I'll mention the writers I follow. They are plenty but in truth only a few ever seem to chart. And for alot of them I can never find their books except online. Not even in used bookstores!

Ok, that's it for now. Oh wait a sec, while I've been dumping on Joss I should point out... I love the J.J. Abrams machine.
 
AtticusRex said: I did however like most of the 1st season of Angel until they killed off that snarky Irish guy.

I dont know anyone who DIDN'T like Doyle. We all hated to see him get killed off in teh show, but the actor had gotten very addicted to hard drugs (I'm thinking coke)and it was interfearing with his work. Ironically (well sadly ironically) the actor himself died not too soon there after of a drug overdose I believe. All in all it was a sad situation both for the show and for the actor as he was very talented and well loved. On the other hand I loved the addition of the then delusional Wesley who fancied himself a Rouge Demon Hunter. Not as awesome a Giles, but very very close behind.
 
You guys are killing me-- I LOVE these discussions and want to reply in great depth when I'm SUPPOSED to be writing!!!! Damn it!!

Okay, screw it. If I miss a deadline what's the worst that can happen, right?

Gina said: (Dollhouse)creeps me out. In the sort of way that takes a person from shopping for frilly lingerie to shopping for whips and chains....

Oh no. Soon I'll be crusin' for tat parlours. Dens. Whatever.

And your point is????

Leia said: There is certainly a darker, more desperate aire of malevolence that hangs about the show that I haven't felt in the books - almost as if they are meant for two completely different audiences.

And, frankly, I believe they are. HBO viewers are looking for sex, nudity and language--all the things near and dear to my heart (and to AtticusRex, too, I'll wager.) Most of Charlaine's readers are far gentler, imho, though since her books are getting darker, it will be interesting to see how readers respond. Of course, I love that they are (the books getting darker, I mean.)

And speaking of AtticusRex: I did however like most of the 1st season of Angel until they killed off that snarky Irish guy. Now about Firefly, I loved it. Serenity as well. So Some Joss can work for me.

You are partially redeemed. And I'm sure we would all love to hear who you read. Wait til next time--I'll make that a comment suggestion so we can all play.

And Leia added: On the other hand I loved the addition of the then delusional Wesley who fancied himself a Rouge Demon Hunter. Not as awesome a Giles, but very very close behind.

Wow, wasn't that great? And to watch Wesley change from nerd to tough guy (especially the baby sequence and I'll say no more since I'm counting on Atticus to give the complete series a chance) to Illyria's champion is a marvel.

Okay-- brief and believe me, I could say LOTS more. But keep the discussion going and I'll chime in when I can.

Back to what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing.

J.
 
@Jeanne:

I said:
"Gina said: (Dollhouse)creeps me out. In the sort of way that takes a person from shopping for frilly lingerie to shopping for whips and chains....

Oh no. Soon I'll be crusin' for tat parlours. Dens. Whatever."

and YOU said:
"And your point is????"

and THEN you said:
"Most of Charlaine's readers are far gentler, imho, though since her books are getting darker, it will be interesting to see how readers respond. Of course, I love that they are (the books getting darker, I mean.)"

That is exactly what I mean! I've been irredeemably, hopelessly corrupted! Pearls and lace just don't cut it no more! Dollhouse...Angel...Sookie...

The evil power of words (and images)! Evildoers! Blasphemers! Storytellers!

Personally I blame it on watching the entire 7 seasons of Xena in about four weeks last year.

OK, I won't mention I was probably corrupted before encountering all those things.

G

P.S. -- I'm officially liberated from the evil day job for the next 9 days and my energy is running a little high. And I'm working on story revisions myself and feeling like a real writer for a change. You poor things.
 
@Atticus:

You may want to just get your stool and sit facing the corner now.

But -- I have to confess. I've only ever seen the first three seasons of Buffy and the first season of Angel myself. Because that is all they have on hulu.com.

I started watching them simply so I could join Jeanne's cool kids club, but I found myself enjoying them quite a bit.

But Firefly does rock.
 
Hi Jeanne. I am off to Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland shortly. We are looking forward to it.
 
have a great trip, Carol-- tell us about it when you get back.

J.
 
Gina said: Personally I blame it on watching the entire 7 seasons of Xena in about four weeks last year.

Ohhhh that will compeltely do it to you. I once watched every episode in Buffy Seasoon 7 in one sitting ... eating my meals infront of the computer. I was so messed up by the time that was over. Word to the wise, do not watch that season all at one time or it will mess you up lool.

Jeanne said: And, frankly, I believe they are. HBO viewers are looking for sex, nudity and language--all the things near and dear to my heart (and to AtticusRex, too, I'll wager.)

Well I can see that, though I find it interesting that a lot of the marketing for True Blood seems market to a different audience than those that actually watch it. A gentleman that works at the local bookstore and I were actually discussing this very thing two weeks ago. He said that his impression was that while the advertising was still sensual, it was being market much of the time as a show for those that are stuck in the "omg I'd so do Bill" camp and less in the gritty Louisiana Bayou, no holds barred television camp. He was quite puzzled as to why that disconnect was there. Take a look at the season 2 "trailer" and you will see what I mean.
 
@Jeanne: Thank you for giving me another chance to remain in the club. I'm not really sure why I haven't been smitten with most of Sir Whedon's work.

I have watched all of Chuck and enjoyed it but it's not in the realm of 'Best Shows' on TV, but as with the 'writers we read list' for another topic/thread.

Am I one of the only Males who has been contributing here of late?

I must admit I don't read 'Romance' books ala Harlequin and it's siblings and cousins.

My tastes run toward Hard Boiled, and the genre I really love, well, I believe the best way to put it is:
"Bad people doing bad things to worse bad people but in funny ways".

I also like horror and snarkism. That's what brought me to Mario's solider cum vampire cum P.I. cum craziness like Government sanction lab experiments that result in widespread nymphoism.

And to answer why I like True Blood... It's actually not for the sex scenes! I like it when Vampire conventions are blown up and we get to myth's and rules. I think it all really started with the great Near Dark. Well, of course in print I suppose it goes to Anne Rice, though I have to admit one of my favorite of all Vampire stories in modern times is F. Paul WIlson's 'The Keep'. Wow that was a great read... I think it's wonderful when you have one of fiction's greatest villains take on one of mankind's greatest villains. Yeppers Vampire against Nazis! Yes there is also a story of light vs dark and all but still....

Now bring on the 'who we love to read' thread! Me thinks I'll get alot of "Who's that?" just as I am assuming I'll be asking the same as well.
 
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Atticus Said: I have watched all of Chuck and enjoyed it but it's not in the realm of 'Best Shows' on TV, but as with the 'writers we read list' for another topic/thread.

That is true. I wouldn’t say it is The Best Show Ever, but it is pretty awesome.

As for you being the only guy contributing as of late, that is entirely possible. While I'm *not* a guy, I should say that I too do not fall into the 'Romance' book category either - usually. I'm more of a good ole' fashioned sword and sorcery type person where the underdog ends up having some kind of hidden destiny, rises up against insurmountable odds and eventually kicks Evil's butt - until Evil returns in the next book and it starts all over again. Somehow just managing to avert an apocalypse in every novel makes perfect sense - until about 12 books into the series and then that just gets a bit ridiculous. I personally have a great weakness for thieves (Raymond E. Feist’s Jimmy the Hand comes to mind) and assassins (Brent Week’s Durzo Blint and Azoth come to mind here … probably some of the best Assassin novels I’ve read in a long time.)

AtticusRex said: Vampire stories in modern times is F. Paul WIlson's 'The Keep'. Wow that was a great read... I think it's wonderful when you have one of fiction's greatest villains take on one of mankind's greatest villains.

Wow was that really a good book? I saw that at the used bookstore last week and *almost* picked it up before I decided not to. If it is still there when I go back on Wed. I’ll pick it up and give it a try.

AtticusRex said: And to answer why I like True Blood... It's actually not for the sex scenes! I like it when Vampire conventions are blown up and we get to myth's and rules.

Atticus, I actually think I would like True Blood better if there was LESS sex in it. I don’t know about everyone else, but I watch vampire shows for the vampires (and all the moral, social, mythical, anthropological implications that come with) and would really enjoy much more character development on that end. I really could care less about watching Sookie’s brother have at it with his latest flame for like five minutes – three times an episode. Ok I exaggerate, but I don’t mind sex if it helps further the story (Buffy Season 2 anyone?). However, I prefer not to bring the story to a screeching halt so that a couple of characters can go at it before we return to the reason we are watching the *vampire* show to begin with.
 
Like Leia -- I'm a girl (last I checked) and I'm not much of a Romance reader.

Atticus, if you like hardboiled nastiness you simply MUST read everything written by Warren Hammond (Kop, Ex-Kop). Excuse me while I get all gaga for a moment. I'm Juno Mozambe's #1 fan. And he's NOT a nice guy (or a vampire). He's just a crooked cop on a planet that will eat you alive (or dead).

Re True Blood: I don't care much for the explicitness of the sex either, and it's way overdone. I guess that's what the HBO audience wants. (I've never subscribed to HBO so what do I know.) Some of the more glaring script deviations also bother me. But gosh, I miss the days when the camera would gently fade away when the characters sank down to the floor/mattress/coffin.
 
So -- my latest series watching binge is at an end -- this time it was Forever Knight on hulu.com. They don't have season 3 so all I could get in was seasons 1 & 2.

It's from the early 90s, and has a different twist on vampires. It's also aimed at a more mature audience than Buffy. (so no metaphors for teen angst, for which I'm grateful.) It's also Canadian, and I love Canadian TV. I liked the series quite a bit.

Which reminds me -- Jeanne or anyone, have you watched the series they came out with for Tanya Huff's books (Blood Ties)? The one where a partially-clind ex-cop teams up with a vampire who was the son of Henry VIII? I watched that series too and enjoyed it (again, not a vehicle for teen angst.)
 
ACK - typo -- partially-BLIND ex-cop....
 
@Photographer Leia: Not familiar with the Assassin series. However yes The Keep is that good. The movie? Not so much. There are reasons why the movie failed and one of the big ones: the man hired to bring the Vampire to life died during filming and his concepts and ideas were still in his head at the time. The studio went forward and the film suffers. But it does have a fantastic opening as the Nazis arrive in the tiny, remote village high up in the Carpathian Alps
to set up headquarters in The Keep. The movie was directed by Michael Mann.
 
@Gina: Hey, I've never heard of Warren Hammond. Based on your description I am curious. Is his books classified as crime/mystery or sci-fi? I ask because of your last descriptive: "He's just a crooked cop on a planet that will eat you alive (or dead)."
 
AtticusRex said: The Keep. The movie was directed by Michael Mann.

I will definitely check it out. I am a MM fan big time-- in fact yesterday afternoon it was raining and we were in a sluggish mood so we watched both THE HEAT and MANHUNTER. For those of you who don't know, Manhunter was the first incarnation of Hannibal Lector and it beats the Silence of the Lamb movie by a mile. Stars a very young William Petersen.

And you musttry Warren Hammond's stuff. He and Mario and I are in the same critique group. He's a terrific writer.

Now, off to do some work--

J.

PS Mario is going to get the ball rolling on the what do you read thread today.
 
PPS Hope you have a wonderful holiday--fly those flags--

J.
 
Gina siad: Which reminds me -- Jeanne or anyone, have you watched the series they came out with for Tanya Huff's books (Blood Ties)? The one where a partially-clind ex-cop teams up with a vampire who was the son of Henry VIII?

Ahhhh! Blood Ties! I LOVE(D) BLood Ties. Ok that came out a little forceful. Let's just say I was wondering all a long how on earth BT ended up on Lifetime and still wish that it had been picked up by a cable channel after Lifetime dropped it. That is one of the few shows (Sci-fi's The Dresden Files is the other one) that I'm stilol mad about being cancelled. Ironically, the whole series (all 22 episodes) have been released on DVD as one boxed sety for ages (did it even air there?) but we are just NOW getting the first "season" (Lifetime showed it in two half seasons) on DVD come the end of June. I have watched the show over and over so many times online and have never gotten sick of it, and still smile at the quick wit - even though I know exactly what they are going to say. My copy ofg the DVD is on pre-order. As for The Dresden Files, the only thing that makes me feel slightly better about that is that each year Terrance Mann (the Tony award winning actor that played Bob) directs a play at the local university with spectacular results. He's turned the Spring plays at this small university from glorified HS productions, into sold out shows that tour buses from outside the mountains make a point to come see. I'ms till wondering how we managed to get him here for half the year as faculty. My senior year I ran into him in the hallway (when Dresden was still on the air) and he was pretty much an extremely nice, if not slightly reserved person.
 
Oh and Blessed Memorial Day every one. And for those Douglas Adams fans out there - Happt International Towel Day. Carry those towels with pride.
 
@Atticus:

Look for Warren Hammond in the science fiction section. His novels are gritty detective noir, but set on a distant planet.

If you ask me there are two things that make these books great. 1. the characterization and 2. the vivid details of the setting.

I LOVE these books --- thinking and talking about them makes my heart race and my stomach clench up. I think every home in America needs to have their very own copies.
 
@Atticus:

OH -- and Warren Hammond/Ex-Kop is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award this year. They better do the right thing. He deserves to be top dog on that heap.

Excuse me while I go study for my "crazed fan" certification.
 
Jeanne... right on on "Manhunter"! The only movie that scared the profile right out of me watching it in my own house, long before "Silence" or any notoriety. It is an amazing work.
 
Gina....If you have NOT seen it, watch the very last episode of Forever Knight... the very best example of how NOT to cop out (pun intended) on a dark series finale.

Stark, chilling and very effective.

I rather suspect that the series was based on one of Killough's books about an ex-pat LAPD detetctive who got fanged during an investigation.

Add that to your must see list.

DocPhibes
 
Doc Phibes said: watch the very last episode of Forever Knight..

I will seek it out as well--

J.
 
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