Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Male’s Perspective on the Vampire in Fiction Guest Blog by Matthew D Ryan

Vampires abound in fiction. The success of the “Twilight” series indicates that there is a large market for depicting vampires as strong love-interests with something of a dark shadow on their souls. In essence, vampire chic lit. As a guy, I don’t find such vampires very interesting. As a guy, I’m usually looking for a subtext of violent conflict in my vampire stories, and with few exceptions (one being the Underworld movie series), I’m not much interested in romantic stories involving vampires.

Though there was some romance hinted at in the original “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, that was typically “proper” Victorian human-human romance. Dracula was not seen as a love interest in anyway. There may have been some repressed sexual overtones—I’ve seen references that claim the book was about homosexuality, and others saying it was about rape (I think the latter is somewhat more plausible)—but I see the book as primarily a work of horror. Count Dracula was a monster; he had no redeeming features. He did not sparkle, like Edward Cullen, he did not ruminate like Anne Rice’s Lestat. He simply fed, killed, and damned.

It’s been several years since I’ve read Dracula, but I seem to recall the action was kind of tame by modern standards. Still, his is the character that I, as a male reader, want to see in a vampire. Anne Rice’s Louis and Lestat held some interest for a brief period of time. Conceiving of a vampire as a reflective killer torn apart by angst was an original twist when it first came out. But nowadays that has become almost cliché, and in ways, it was the first step to humanizing the vampire which eventually gave us “Twilight.”

No, as a guy, when I read about vampires I want to see evil explored. The vampire as the prototypical villain with a host of supernatural powers to aid his fell designs. When one humanizes the vampire, as much vampire chic lit does, one has a tendency to lose many of the supernatural traits that mark them and make them interesting. At the very least, the powers in question become reduced in significance. The fact that a vampire can be incinerated by sunlight makes it a potentially beatable foe. How does that compute with sparkling? All the original powers (and weaknesses) of the vampire gave it a unique and compelling flavor that is slowly being whittled away by the process of humanizing them.

I, for one, prefer the vampire as a monster. It’s my “inner dragonslayer” perhaps. The beast that can control the weather, transform into a wolf, and escape as mist presents the hero’s challenge. It is a foe whose diabolical nature reverberates through the ages. It is a foe that leaves destruction in his wake. It is a foe that must be defeated or else all is lost.

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May 23rd review 

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June 5 Guest blog


By Matthew D Ryan

In a world of wizards and vampires a clever man may make a fortune. But hunting the undead is no small task, as Coragan the bounty hunter will soon find out. He will need all his wits and the help of his comrades to succeed this time. Together, they must pit themselves against a creature so old time itself bends knee, an ancient vampire by the name of Lucian val Drasmyr. Read Drasmyr, a dark fantasy novel by Matthew D. Ryan.

We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.

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About the Author

Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.


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Twitter Handle: MatthewDRyan1


Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Wenona. I really appreciate it. My "inner vampire" needs an outlet, and you've provided the perfect medium.

Wenona said...

Thanks for being here Matt

I am a vampire fan from way back. I love reading about them in all forms.

I definitely see the differences between male and female perspectives.

Men like the monster- the evil beast of the vampire. Blood,violence, testosterone at it's best

While women love the romantic side- the romantic yet tragic, immortal lover all filled with tortured history and angst

It's funny how the sexes pick out what appeals most to them in the vampire- and how extreme the differences are