The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing reviews Octavia Butler's new vampire novel, Fledgling:

Fledgling's heroine is a young vampire who awakes, amnesiac and badly mutilated, in a cave. She soon encounters the smoking wreck of a village, and then a young man, whom she bites and then beds. The sexual politics of this are really creepy, since she appears to be an eleven-year-old girl (she is much older, but vampires age more slowly than humans). What proceeds is a darkly erotic story of the family and race crisis that led to the extermination of her clan and her near-fatal injuries. On the way, Butler masterfully handles the moral dimension of feeding from, and becoming symbiotic with human (fans of Butler's story Bloodchild will recognize the symbiosis theme here), all the while never neglecting to tell a fast-moving, action-oriented story that had me turning pages well past my bedtime. I even stood on a freezing subway platform and finished a chapter before putting the book away and heading out.
Entire review well worth the click.


Anonymous harmonyfb said...

Ew! She "appears to be 11"? What the hell is up with the pedophile crap in novels lately? Ugh!

As the mother of a 12 year old, there are not words for how disgusted I am by it.

1/20/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Carnacki said...

It's certainly not a direction you'll see me go in my novels, harmonyfb. My vampire might pleasure herself in her coffin, take pleasure in taking blood, and delight in killing, but she will always be of a certain age.

1/20/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Carnacki said...

Also, that said, as the parent of three young girls, the movie Thirteen is scarier than any slasher flick to me and I refuse to see it. But it too received a lot of critical praise.

1/20/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger protected static said...

My wife is a huge Octavia Butler fan, and she just finished Fledgling. Because of her work, she's also pretty sensitive to such themes... I'll have to ask her what she thought.

Hell, I'll have to ask her if she'd be willing to write a review.

1/20/2006 01:28:00 PM  

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