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, March 26, 2009
  If it's Thursday, it must be....
Jeanne, here.

Okay, sports fans, first things first.

The results of our latest contest. To refresh your memory, the assignment was:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Turns out, we’re going to have TWO winners. Mario and I reviewed all the entries and here are our choices.

Winner #1. Jennifer Rinehart!

I hate vampires.

No, not just because they drink blood and defile the innocent, no, I
mean I really, really hate them.

I know what you're thinking: what a kook, she might as well say she hates leprechauns or dragons. But I mean it in the most personal way.

Vampires are ruining my life. So if I had a choice of who I would
want to spend the evening with it would be with Abraham Van Helsing.

Maybe he could help me rid Powell's Books of the blood sucking ghouls hanging out around the cookbook section (don't ask me why they're there, they just are). Sure, they look cute and non-threatening, but I'm not willing to risk eternal damnation to get a copy of Emeril's newest cookbook. They're at the laundromat too, I see their glowing faces hovering over the discarded dryer sheets. The same with the
parking lot at Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and my absolute favorite store, World Market. As if they need to stock up on rattan placemats or tiny travel sized jars of lemon curd.

In closing, I think Van Helsing would be an invaluable source of information on slaying the undead. I have a notepad and pen ready to take notes and an unused giftcard for Olive Garden. I hope he likes Italian.

**This one got points for sheer audacity. Who would tell two vampire writers that they HATE vampires. But she makes some pretty good arguments. Besides, we’re assuming this was written with tongue firmly in cheek, right, Jennifer? Right? Jennifer?**

Winner #2. The Tot--

I would choose Anna Strong because I like her best because she’s pretty. We would have a play date. First, we’d do ballerina dances. Then we’d go to the dinosaur museum. Then we’d going to the mall and go buy lots of new shoes, maybe some earrings too. Then we’d get our ears pierced and get our nails done in bright red with sparkles. Then we’d go to the park and play—I think she’d be really good at tag. Then we’d go to ChuckECheese. Then it would be time for bed and she’d read me a bedtime story. Anna’s really good at telling stories.

**I can hear the groans out there—but Mario made this his first pick without ANY pressure from me. And think about it, how often does Anna get invited to play? (Not counting the time she spends with Lance and that’s a different thing altogether.) And except for the ChuckECheese thing, Anna thinks this sounds like a pretty good plan. Ballerina dances, new shoes, earrings and the dinosaur museum—what girl wouldn’t like to spend a day like that?**

So now, I just need the winners snail mail addresses and the prizes are on the way. They can be sent to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered. We had a lot of damned good entries, some very original, all fun to read. I think we have some writers in the audience.

Which brings me to a related article for you aspiring writers out there:

Simon & Schuster and Cheerios Cereal is sponsoring its third annual New Author Contest for previously unpublished authors of children's books.
Entries are being accepted through July 15, 2009 and the winner will be announced in
March 2010. There is no cost to enter. The Grand Prize is $5000, with two first
prizes of $1000 each. Here’s the link for more information.

Now, some disturbing news:

From writer Chris Cowan:

Today's (3/24/09) Washington Post's Health section has a lead article about the effect of the new law about lead in things for children. Any children's BOOK printed before 1985 has to be tested for lead (at $300-600 per book) or cannot be "distributed," (i.e., sold OR even circulated in a library, apparently).

There doesn't appear to be an exception of any sort. And it doesn't appear that "Children's Books" have been well-enough defined, either. Would this affect a 19th century Little Women? Or Alice in Wonderland? Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Black Beauty? Kipling's Just-So Stories and The Jungle Books? Or Tolkien's mid-20th century "The Hobbit?"

Or any children's books some of you have written that were printed before 1985.

Oh, and this also affects board games and dolls. So clasic Barbie and your grandparent's Scrabble set (to say nothing of the Candyland cherished from one's childhood) come under The Ban as well. Isn't chess a board game, too? And pre-1985 bikes are covered because the tire valves might have lead, even if the rest of the bike doesn't.

What's next -- a Berlin-style book burning? Oh wait -- that would cause airborne lead pollution.

I happen to think there's a quantum difference between enforcing no lead paint on new toys that one's toddler may mouth and this. But then, obviously my mental capacity has been affected by all those pre-1985 books I grew up reading. (But not eating.)

The article also mentions what the effect is on secondhand and used book stores as well. It’s devastating. What do you think?

Some interesting and not so disturbing news.

Dr John Casson claims to have unearthed Shakespeare's first published poem, the Phaeton sonnet, his first comedy, Mucedorus, and his first tragedies, Locrine and Arden of Faversham.

He also explores the plays Thomas of Woodstock and A Yorkshire Tragedy, and claims to prove that a 'lost play' called Cardenio is a genuine work by Shakespeare and fellow playwright John Fletcher.

He has published his findings in a book, titled Enter Pursued by a Bear.

And one of our faithful readers, Gina, sent us this:

New York, NY - March 16, 2009 - Building upon sixteen years of water cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy on air and on-line beginning July 7th, it was announced today by Dave Howe, President, SCI FI.

By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and non-linear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.

My comment- Huh?

Gina also adds: Syfy is a Polish equivalent for "crap", "junk" or "syphilis".

Supposedly another of the reasons for the change is that Syfy is easier to text than SciFi. Oh yeah. That makes sense.

Interested in the Hugo nominees for this year? Check it out here.

From Shelf Awareness & Variety:

Joel and Ethan Coen are working on an adaptation of the classic western True Grit by Charles Portis for their next project. An earlier version featured John Wayne's Oscar-winning performance.

According to Variety--and to the surprise of no one familiar with their work--the Coen's adaptation will not be "a traditional remake," but "will be more faithful to the Charles Portis book than the 1969 pic." True Grit "reteams the brothers with producer Scott Rudin, their partner on the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men."

Portis' novel is about a 14-year-old girl who, along with an aging U.S. marshal and another lawman, tracks her father's killer in hostile Indian territory.

But while the original film was a showcase for Wayne, the Coens' version will tell the tale from the girl's p.o.v.

Okay, I can hear you saying out there—so who cares? I only mention it because the original True Grit has the distinction of being the movie that turned me off the Oscars FOREVER. When John Wayne was given the best actor award over Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman (both nominated for Midnight Cowboy) I vowed NEVER to watch the stupid program again. And I haven’t. I’m very proud of that actually.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Clive Cussler’s suit over the bomb Sahara is turning out to be very expensive for him. He has been ordered to pay another $14 million in legal fees to Crusader Entertainment. That makes it a total of about $23 million if you include his legal fee. As the Reporter comments: Few would have ever guessed that a controversy over script approval could ever get to be so expensive. The movie itself is said to have lost $80 million.

Now for fun stuff:

First pictures of Alpha in his lair – suitably creepy, isn’t it? And who is that piece of man candy on the chair in the background?

A great picture of the Dollhouse set.

Love the direction Dollhouse is going. We did kind of guess that the FBI agent’s neighbor across the hall was a doll, didn’t we?

I guess Life on Mars has been canceled. Too bad. I liked that program. The sound track rocked.

Castle was so-so. The too good kid is grating. The plot was not very original. It’s a good thing I like Nathan. And Sue Grafton and Stephen King may appear in future episodes as poker playing buds. Can't wait for that!

Last night’s Lost was also TOO good, too, but in the right way. SPOILER: Sayid kills young Ben—but wait, isn’t old Ben there on the island? Will he disappear? Great cliff hangar.

One of these days, I may learn to embed these videos, but until then, I have to send you to a link. This one is worth the trip. It’s a Snickers vampire commercial. Cool

Now I’m off to meet Mario. We’re signing at the Greenwood Village Barnes & Noble. Wish us luck. The weather forecast is for 6 – 12 inches of snow.


Just great.
Ok, so first of all ... I TOLD you the Tot was getting spoiled by Jeanne. No one headed my warning but I told you all like weeks ago :p As for Anna at ChuckECheese ... that really made me laugh. I'd pay good money to see that.

Second of all I can't comment on anything Dollhouse b/c life has benso crazy the past week or so that I've missed it TWICE! I'm in shock. Thank God for Hulu.

Thirdly - the lead in products is getting completely out of hand. If those books were so leaden with lead that it was dangerous than a good portion of modern adults would be experiencing lead poisoning. Given my obsession with used books, I'm most likely be hospitalized by now with some kind of incurable side effect from over exposure to lead. Way to bring free enterprise to a screeching halt US Govt. A screeching halt. Now excuse me while I go cuddle up with a book printed pre-85 while drinking from a mug manufactured pre-85, with tea that was boiled in a tea kettle from the 70s, and eat food that was stored in 70s Tupperware with pre-80's silverware off of late 70s china in my disheveled cottage from the late 60s with carpeting, paint, and faux wood paneling that hasn't been changed since the mid-70s.
Jeanne said: Gina also adds: Syfy is a Polish equivalent for "crap", "junk" or "syphilis".

Well that would explain why they cancelled The Dresden Files ... which I'm still bitter over.
Ok so I just watched the Dollhouse episodes I've missed and

1) I was spot on with the episode 6 twist I predicted. Granted anyone who knows Whedon (as you pointed out Jeanne) saw the twist coming. However, I'm happy to think that I predicted the episode something major would go down. I feel a little glow. It's not much, but some days you take what you can get :)

2) This is getting really really good. If anyone at all is reading this blog, has been reading this blog, and still hasn't watched Dollhouse; you really seriously must. The first episode of Dollhouse rotates off hulu.com tomorrow so catch it while you can.

As for Castle, I haven't watched it yet but I intend to. Maybe I'll watch what I've missed after graving on Saturday.

Congrats btw to both the Tot and Jennifer. I'm quite keen on the Van Helsing idea, and the deal with ghouls chilling in the cookbook section. Very nice touch.

Did you get home ok?? Did anybody actually show up at the bookstore?

I was at work downtown and by noon time your reading started people had started making a mass exodus home, the roads were already getting that bad. They shut the government offices down around then, and the restaurant where I picked up lunch was calling it's late shift to tell them not to come in.

I heard from one co-worker that it took her 2 hours to go 5 miles when she left about 11:30 am.

Me? I stayed at work til 4 like a fool. Of course, by then almost everybody had already gone home and traffic was light. But the roads were a disaster.

It didn't take me any longer than normal to get home, but that's because I take light rail. Still, walking the last bit from the light rail to home was gnarly. I felt like Nanook of the North.
This comment has been removed by the author.
@ Leia

I second the "thank god for hulu." This way when the tot "really really really" as to see "Witch Mountain" the night it opens I don't fall behind and stop watching like I have for so many other shows, lol.
The tot says "thanks." It made her day.

Hope the signing went well.

Hi all-- first of all-- the signing was canceled for obvious reasons~ If you live in the area, like Gina, you'll know we got about a foot of snow in most areas. And the wind was blowing like a son of a bitch which made driving tricky. Being a SoCal gal at heart, I don't drive in snow if I can help it. Too many big SUV's on the road with drivers who think they're impervious behind the wheel of a tank. Only trouble is, if you hit ice it doesn't matter what you're driving, you're gonna spin out. The bigger the vehicle, the more cars you take out along the way!

See where I'm going with this? :-)

Anyway, the store closed at noon and so we'll try for next Thursday instead.

Glad you got home safely, Gina.

Leia said: Ok, so first of all ... I TOLD you the Tot was getting spoiled by Jeanne. No one headed my warning but I told you all like weeks ago :p As for Anna at ChuckECheese ... that really made me laugh. I'd pay good money to see that.

NO NO-- It is REALLY true that Mario picked the Tot's first. I didn't even say anything, just handed him the entries (blind) and let him come to his own conclusions. It's the TRUTH-- I swear it on my pre-85 copy of The Cat in the Hat.

Feeling guilty, though, and suspecting that SOMEONE would call us to task, I did make sure we picked TWO winners. :-)

Leia, you said it about the lead thing. I shouldn't have lived this long if what they're purporting is true. You'd think the govt would have more important things to concentrate on right now.

But don't get me started on that....

Well I just tried, but blogger doesn't want to let me embed a video as my comment. Jeanne, have you tried the "embed" text (just below "url" link)> You can probably add it to your post in the html view while still in the blog creation screen.
Leis said: Jeanne, have you tried the "embed" text (just below "url" link)>

You know, I have tried it. I'm not sure if it's my computer or (more likely) me but I can never get it to work. I'm going to be upgrading to a new MAC in a few days so maybe I'll have more luck then. I hope so.


Glad to hear the reading was cancelled -- I worried about you a bit. My sense is you don't live in the vicinity of that store.

I'm a native and refuse to drive if there is snow on the road.

It's a neat store -- I used to go to it when I worked down in the Tech Center area.

Now, if you did a reading at the LoDo downtown, or the downtown B&N, you couldn't stop me from attending. Those are the only bookstores I go to anymore.
very interesting
multiple monitors said...very interesting

What was interesting? What? What? Your comment made me crazy! :-)

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