Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why do we love werewolves?

Western popular culture has a special relationship with certain Medieval European folk myths. The history of religious and spiritual beliefs across the continent as well as how Christianity developed and coloured a lot of them makes for interesting reading, to be sure. So when popular culture went looking for scary things to mine for stories, there is lots of material ripe for re-imaging.

Vampires are one example of that. Werewolves are another. Both have been frequently re-used and re-invented over the last few decades. I don’t even need to list any titles. The best writers come up with new angles, like Jandar Sunstar in The Forgotten Realms – an elven vampire who actively and successfully fights his vampiric compulsions to the extent a vampire hunter ends up badly misjudging him. Or the vampires in Sanctuary who actually bear little resemblance at all to the popular tropes (and it is such a delight seeing Jonathon Young portray a vampiric Nikola Tesla). The more average ones either disappear with little trace, or come in for considerable amounts of ridicule. Twilight‘s sparkling vampires are a good example.

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Filed under J. K. Rowling, monsters, Stephanie Meyer, Terry Pratchett

Writing From Home

One of the problems of modern technology for aspiring writers (e.g. me!) is that there are so many more ways to lay down your writing. Barely a decade ago, the best option was a laptop with only moderate battery life, or a paper notebook if your handwriting wasn’t too bad. Nowadays, however, with tablet computers and cloud storage, it is possible to spit out a few hundred words almost wherever you are and have them saved for future confusion.

Oddly enough, I find it almost makes it harder to write.

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Filed under technology, writing

Review: Shifting Reality by Patty Jansen

Hard science fiction does not ever have to mean a light story peppered with dense, science-heavy prose. And this book shows you why.

The setting is an orbital, rotating space station a few hundred years in the future. It is one of several mining the orbital debris around one of our gas giants. A lot of the population is a type of artificial human called a “construct”, but there is also a hefty proportion of real humans – and this is the first interesting part: they are Indonesian.

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Filed under Patty Jansen, review, storytelling