True story, I actually was in Rome on Palm Sunday once. Our hotel was near the Vatican and so I even chanced to see the Pope (John Paul II, i.e. two popes ago) holding mass on St. Peter’s Square. I also snagged an olive branch outside a church and walked around with it all day long, getting beatific smiles from several nuns.
And now let’s have some links:
Wired has a rather silly article about the resurgence of interest in vampires, inspired by the impending US release of Jim Jarmush’s Only Lovers Left Alive (The US is only getting that film now? Guess my Hugo nomination was wasted then*) and a TV show based on Guillermo del Toro’s novel The Strain. So why is the article silly? First of all, because there’s always a base level of interest in vampires and even though the explosion of interest in vampires in the mid to late 2000s has somewhat passed by now, vampires never went away to be replaced by zombies. And they didn’t just stick around in YA either, as the article insinuates. I absolutely understand if paranormal romance or romantic urban fantasy are not your thing, but that doesn’t make it YA. Never mind that The Strain is a pretty bad example, because it’s basically vampires as zombies, similar to 30 Days of Night, which first came out in 2007 and which I really hated.
Damien Walter sums up the debate about non-binary gender and queer characters in SFF for those readers of the Guardian who are not as plugged into genre debates as some of us are. The Guardian, particularly Alison Flood and Damien Walter, is doing really good work bringing debates in the SFF community to a mainstream audience.
A. Lee Martinez laments the triumph of grimdark and wonders how he fits into a genre where grimdark is increasingly considered a mark of sophistication. I certainly smypathize, though my own work is darker than A. Lee Martinez’, based on what I’ve read by him. Or rather, my work tends to oscillate between light and dark.
Here is a great post on writing sex scenes by Jennifer Crusie. Actually, I had the hardest time writing sex scenes, when I tried to write them mainly for titillation. Once I started considering the characters and what sort of sex these particular characters would have, it got a lot easier.
Blastr has some popular science fiction films reimagined as vintage movie posters. I really would love to see some of those alternate universe versions such as the Mission Impossible/Man from U.N.C.L.E style Iron Man, the 1970s kung-fu cum blaxploitation version of The Matrix or the Hammer horror edition of Ghostbusters. And Humphrey Bogart in Blade Runner of course.
*Only Lovers Left Alive came out in Germany in late December and was quite extensively discussed in the cultural pages of newspapers and cultural programs on TV, though amusingly enough none of our highbrow cultural critics seemed to have any idea who Tom Hiddleston is.