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!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Top 100 Blogs Award

Top mystery novels Blogs

Look who got an award!!!

Thank you, readers, for nominating us and thank you, Daily Reviewer for including us!! Very cool.

So, as Mario mentioned, we attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Writers Conference last weekend. What he didn’t mention, is that he serves as unofficial bartender every year in the hospitality room. Well.. at least he did until I managed to snap the following pictures.

See what he’s doing? Now watch…

Can we say ewwwwww... that's our Mario!

Sad news this week: Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer at 57. More here from Huffington Post. Never saw him on The Beast, did any of you? The teasers I caught were too painful to watch.

From the Whedonverse:

Ray Wise moves into ’Dollhouse’

It’s not James Marsters but this will do nicely…

Dollhouse has tapped spooky-cool Ray Wise to join the cast in the potentially recurring role of Howard, an intelligent higher-up in the Dollhouse who has huge presence and humor.

Wise is coming off of a two-year stint as Lucifer on The CW’s Reaper. Of course, to me, he’ll forever be the dude who offed Laura Palmer.

Dollhouse, which kicks off season 2 a week from Friday, is amassing quite the impressive talent roster this season. In addition to Wise, upcoming guest stars include Jamie Bamber, Keith Carradine, Alexis Denisoff, and Summer Glau.

I guess this means Reaper is no more. Too bad. I liked that show.

Again from the Whedonverse, an interesting article:

10 things True Blood Owes to Buffy

There’s been a lot of discussion around here of whether or not True Blood has been de-gayed this year. I don’t have a strong opinion on that one way or the other, but one thing I have noticed : As the show moves beyond the source material from the Charlaine Harris novels on which it is based, Alan Ball’s HBO series seems to be morphing into a racier version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you’re familiar with both shows, you’ve probably noticed some similarities between the world of True Blood and that of Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse. And not simply the obvious things (i.e. vampires), or similarities that were already present in the Sookie Stackhouse book series. I’m talking about characters, plot elements, and general themes that weren’t ported over from the Charlaine Harris books and instead seem borrowed from Buffy. And in particular, Buffy season 5.

Don’t believe any Buffy/True Blood similarities are intentional ? Here are 10. You decide whether or not these parallels are simply coincidence.

1. The Big Bad

Every season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had its "Big Bad" : A major foe who percolated throughout the season before boiling over and being ultimately vanquished in the finale. There was The Master (Seasons 1 & 2), The Mayor (Season 3), Adam (Season 4), Glory (Season 5), Bad Willow (Season 6), and The First Evil (Season 7). True Blood has its very own Big Bad in the form of Maryann. Her ominous storyline has run through the entire season and clearly the upcoming finale will culminate in a big showdown with her. Maryanne is strikingly similar to season 5’s Glory. Both are immortals who can’t be killed and both are attempting a ritual that the protagonists are trying to stop.

2. The Crazy Henchpeople

Glory sucked the brains out of many of the citizens of Sunnydale. For the most part they just ran around acting crazy, but towards the end the crazies become her henchmen, helping her prepare for the coming ritual. Maryann does the same thing.

3. The Sacrificial Tower

In Sunnydale, Glory had her minions build an ominous metal tower for her. Maryann makes hers of meat.

4. The Key

Glory needs to bleed Dawn. Maryann has her sacrificial sights set on Sam

5. The Love Triangle

Sookie is torn between good vampire Bill or blonde bad boy, Eric. Does this triangle sound familiar ? (Although, to be fair, this similarity was present in the Charlaine Harris books)

6. The Weapons Expert

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander had no particular skill set so, as if to compensate, in a bit of a plot contrivance he was made a "military weapons expert." Jason gets the same military upgrade in season 2 after a brief stint in the Children of the Sun compound.

7. The Vengeance Demon (origin)

Okay, this one may be a stretch, but in season 5 of Buffy we learned more about Anya and how she got her start as a vengeance demon. Back in Viking days, the human Anya had a boyfriend who cheated on her, so she gives up her humanity to become a vengeance demon and turn him into a troll.

In last week’s True Blood, the vampire queen explains how Maenads like MaryAnn came into being : "You’re a wild young girl who is married to some jerk who treats you like property and is also f#*king some 14 year old boy...."

8. Tara

Okay, aside from the name, which is surely only coincidental, both the Buffy Tara and the True Blood Tara lose themselves to the Big Bad, And saving them from the Big Bad becomes a major motivation in taking on the seemingly invincible foe.

9. The Teenage Ward

In season 5, Buffy gets a little sister seemingly out of nowhere. (Well, actually out of nowhere come to think of it.) And when mother Joyce dies, Dawn becomes Buffy’s obnoxious teenage ward. In True Blood it’s Bill who gets the ward, in the form of Jessica. And just like Dawn, she’s dealing with typical teenage issues (although being a cable show, Jessica’s are far more R-rated).

10. The Scooby Gang

A lot of Buffy fans (myself included) think the success of that show had very little to do with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy and far more to do with the cast of supporting characters - Buffy’s gang, her Scoobies, without which she would never be able to defeat the Big Bad. This season of True Blood is shaping up to be similar, with weapons expert Jason, the vamps, the shifters, and Sookie herself all working together to defeat the otherwise invincible Maryanne.

So, True Blood watchers, what do you think ? Any similarities between Buffy and TB that I’m missing ? Do you think these similarities are intentional and Alan Ball is using Buffy as a sort of playbook ?

What do you all think?

And last but not least, Dr. Horrible won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class – Short format Live-Action entertainment Program…

Who doubted it?

From the Guardian UK-- JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer to get comic-book biographies

Female Force's graphic stories will be 'very fun, respectful and unique', promises publisher

Full article here

Hey, for all you present and former Southern Californians who know and love Mystery & Imagination book store, here’s your chance to vote it in as the Best Book Store in LA. Go here and vote (early and often). Let’s get Christine and Malcolm Bell the attention they deserve.

There's an interview on Amberkatze’s Book Blog featuring moi. Check it out. Prizes offered! And, Amber, thanks for the beautiful spread.

Don’t forget: the launch party for Retribution continues this Saturday at Nina and Ron’s new Who Else! Books. Address: 200 So. Broadway. The fun starts at 3. The new store is in The Broadway Book Mall on the southeast corner of Broadway and Cedar, across from the post office. I can promise fun and prizes.

PS Speaking of prizes-- for all of you waiting for a copy of Retribution, I haven't forgotten....I'm still waiting for my own copies to arrive from the publisher. If I don't receive them by Friday, I'm going to send out the rest of the prizes and the books will follow. I PROMISE.
Now you know Alan Ball would be a total dork not to emulate Joss!! Buffy the show was all about the whole cast and dialogue, no one person was the show. Or..something like that.
I can watch either at the drop of a hat, own the DVDs.
I have the bookshop mapped and directioned and DH will be my driver on Saturday. Really looking forward the weekend.
I was sad to hear of Patrick Swayze's death this week. I couldn't watch The Beast either, it was just knowing I was watching him die onscreen and it hurt. I will remember him as 'No one puts Baby in the corner' and Red Dawn and Ghost and Outsiders....
Hi Vickie-- look forward to seeing you and Lady K this Saturday. I have a little something for her.

My favorite Patrick Swayze movie was Point Break. Not many people saw it but I loved it. Mario thinks it's one of the worst movies made, but the story, the characters, the surfing make it one I can watch over and over.

Congrats on the blog award!

My favorite Patrick Swayze movie was "To Julie Newmar, With Love Wong Foo" -- you know the one where he is one of three drag queens.

Because it's just so funny and tragic.
I like that one, too, GIna.I'd forgotten about it.

Jeanne: I love Point Break, it's one of my guilty pleasure flicks. Who can't dig on Keanu and Patrick with names like Bodhi and Johnny Utah? Surfing, chiseled bods, surfing.....sigh....

Lady K luh-huvs prezzies. = D
I really think somebody's overanalyzing Buffy v. True Blood. Sure, Buffy was an influence, but Buffy's been an influence over a lot of urban fantasy. Most of what is mentioned are common devices.
Big Bad? That's a not an uncommon unifying device in serial dramas. You mentioned Twin Peaks for something else. That certainly had a Big Bad, and let's not even get started on the X-Files. And what's a Big Bad without his/her Renfield? The Key? The Big Bad needs that goal for the drama to move along. Love triangles have been around as long as people have been telling stories. I can't figure out what the show is doing with the Jason character. I'm not sure the show's writers do either. Comparing Anya to Maryann seems a stretch, and it seems a fair bet Maryann won't be returning next season (but never say never). As for all the secondary characters, well, it is an ensemble drama. They've got to have interesting and expanded secondary chracters or else it would be The Sookie Show. But, really, one could just as easily compare the supporting characters on TB to those on Alan Ball's Six Feet Under as Buffy. (Or how about the supporting characters in Kim Harrison's Hollows series?) It's not that Buffy hasn't had any influence at all, but these are pretty standard devices that one could pull out of other genres/drama. What matters is how those devices/archetypes etc are developed and where they go. That's where the fun is, and both Buffy and True Blood are providing (past tense that for B) just fine.

I hope this wasn't too argumentative.
Catfriend, we LOVE argumentative.

Well, the nice thing is that it's perfectly valid to drawn the comparisons Jeanne has. Others can think its overanalyzing, but then we would never have anything interesting to talk about now would we?

I haven't caught most of the second season of TB, and have only seen seasons 1-3 of Buffy, but I can say Buffy is the better show. And yes, TB is derivative -- it came after Buffy, and Buffy pioneered (and did better) some things that are common in shows popular today.

I am not saying Buffy is better than Sookie -- I think Charlaine Harris does a fine job with her books. I'm saying Buffy the TV show is better than the True Blood TV show. I wish TB would stay closer to the Sookie books than it does.
Gina said: I wish TB would stay closer to the Sookie books than it does.

I think the thing is we have to look at the TV and books as two different medias--different but with familiar characters. In fact we talked about this yesterday at the signing, didn't we? Nice to see you there!

Hi Jeannie!

I hope the signing went well. We're packing. Sign. The tot had to take all her anna maganets off the fridge.

According to some movie set gossip, one of my hubby's coworkers recelty had lunch with Joss and asked him if he were going to so another season of Dr. Horible, to which he proportedly replied "Not right now, Fox forgot to cancel my show." LOL (Wish my hubby had lunch with Joss, lol.)

Have a great week.

~Suzanne and the tot
Hi Suzanne-- Did I know you were moving? What's all that about?

You need to encourage your husband to go along with any co-worker who says he's having lunch with Joss--then wrangle an invitation for yourself.

THEN give us a full report!!!

tell the tot Anna said hi.

Vickie-- thanks so much for coming to the signing yesterday. It was a great treat to meet Lady K and your husband. And I'll keep the drawing forever!!!

Seriously! I *need* to come on these power lunches (and have a copy of your book in my purse, and go, "oh, have you read this? Really you should, here take mine!" LOL) Hey, maybe you can get a cover quote from Joss--after all, in this genre, people know and care what he thinks, lol.

It came about rather suddenly don't think anyone knows we're moving other than the girls in dance class and the ladies I see everything in an online writing chatroom where we bitch about landry and write untill our husbands make us go to bed. (Um, note to self, tell mom I'm moving). Basically, the management company has been trying to get rid of us for 9 months and we can't deal, so we're moving but don't want to give them the satisfaction, we're just leaving. Granted it's not the best situation, and I hate moving, but the tot gets a yard...


I really hate moving.

Have a great week!

~Suzi and the tot
Oh, Jeanne, are you going to post the steampunk costume pictures from Dragon Con?? I need ideas! I'm holding my breath to see if my steampunk panel proposal was approved for 2010 RWA Nationals and we're all going to dress up...which means I *need* a new costume, lol.

Thanks :)

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