Saturday, August 28, 2010

DVD: Ultraviolet

UltravioletUltraviolet is a 1998 British series of six one-hour television episodes focused on a small paramilitary unit that deals with a vampire threat (Not to be mistaken for the 2006 movie of the same name). A police Sergeant, Michael Colefield, is the main protagonist, recruited by this unit after his best friend becomes a vampire (referred to in this mythos a 'leeches').  The team is rounded out by their leader, an ex-Catholic priest, a female doctor who lost her husband and daughter to the disease, and a ruthless ex-army operative.

The show and is characters had considerable potential, but this rather low key show never really hit its stride.  Often it seemed to me, that the acting and cinematography didn't really match the quality of the writing.  The stories raised great issues of what to do in situation of moral ambiguity, and in the absence of truly scary monsters (the vampires seemed rather under-powered) the sub-plot of a hero trying to balance his secret life with real world concerns had great potential. Ultraviolet is worth watching more as an exercise in what might have been, rather than what is actually achieved in six scant episodes.


Other reviews:
ULTRAVIOLET - 1999: [3/5] "This is a cool show and it's done in a fairly "realistic", police procedural way. There's a lot of interesting conflict as the brooding Michael tries to balance his life and his relationship with his friends...."

Links: Official website,  Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Renaissance E Books seeks Undead Erotic Fiction

The Love that Never Dies: Undead Erotica

Editor: M.Christian
Publisher: Renaissance E Books
Deadline: December 1, 2010
Payment: $25, paid on publication

An anthology of gay, straight, and lesbian stories exploring the erotic allure of the undead, to be published by Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions.

Drop-dead (yet gorgeous) zombies, stylishly-immortal playboys cursed to promenade the earth for eternity, Egyptian Queens with enticing mummy wraps, bloodsucking old favorites ... there's a certain kinky 'something' about folks who may have kicked the bucket but are still walking around — and looking good.

Authors are encouraged to take new and imaginative approaches to what makes a character 'undead,' as well as to what their allure, and sexual appetites can be. For this anthology, 'undead' can refer to zombies, immortals, resurrectees, mummies, ghosts, revenants, golems, wights, and — yes — vampires. But please keep in mind that this is not a vampire book, so only one or two vampire stories will be included in the final anthology.

Stories may feature humor, horror, romance, or mystery but all submissions must be explicitly erotic. Stories featuring rape, underage characters, homophobia, bestiality or 'violence porn' will not be considered,

If you have questions about whether or not your story may work for this anthology, please contact M.Christian with your questions or concerns.

Both previously published and original works will be considered.

Story length: 1,000 to 5,000 words
Deadline for Submissions: December 1, 2010
Rights: First North American Anthology Rights
Payment: $25, paid on publication

Email submissions should be sent to: (rtf format only, be sure to include contact information on all attachments)

Questions? Contact M. Christian (

Friday, August 20, 2010

True Blood + Rolling Stone = WTF/snore

I don't have any basic gripe about the concept Rolling Stone is going with here.  But there is one big problem with this cover.  It doesn't look good. And quite how anyone managed to take a photograph of these three people naked and not make it look good I don't know.

But, hey, I'm sure a ot of people will blog and gossip about it.  So that's the important thing. But would it kill them to be contraversial and take a nice shot at the same time?  I am actually titilated and bored by this at the same time.

See also:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


BLOOD GAME by Rae Monet is a vampire romance published by eRedSage. The core story is that vampire Byron is taken by the enemy (a rebel vampire clan). He hides from the torture in his own dream world until Sara Weston uses a device so she can meet him on the astroplane. After he recovers she goes into hiding, sure that a gorgeous vampire will not be interested in a wheelchair-bound woman. After being an evil vampire’s lab rat Byron has a few problems of his own.

'Blood Game' is a good length at around 40,000 words. The cover is a typical male torso but they digitally added tattoo isn’t even close to the one Byron is described as having. The writing is easy to read, the romance story moves along smoothly with two clearly drawn characters go through the usual throes of mutual misunderstanding before finding true love and multiple orgasms.

It may be because I did not read the first in the series but the setting, one-hundred years in the future seems superficial, sometimes painfully so. Vampires live underground, human up top, but nothing is said about how this is achieved.

Technology seems the same as now but unnecessarily renamed (Bluetooth is an autointerface, hypodermics are autoinjectors and traffic tickets are… autotickets—the future, apparently, is automatic). Add to this blasters, turbocycles, vidmovies and helocopters and the future also sounds decidedly retro. This might not have bothered me quite so much without the three page glossary, mainly covering words not used in the book, and in no way necessary unless you are the kind of reader who needs gems like “Organics=Vegetables grown without pesticides” and “Android=Mechanical android programmed in whatever capac¬ity they are needed.” And unfortunately I was equally irritated by the pseudo-science such as “massive irregular heart arrhythmia” and the idea that a vague sort of numb paralysis of the legs, and no other symptoms, could be caused by a virus entering the eye and destroying 60% of a person’s myelin.
But enough of that.

'Blood Game' is a professionally presented and serviceable paranormal romance with sex at the appropriate place in the relationship and two flawed people who truly seem to need each other. It is a competent book but not, for me, a keeper. To be fair I have a preference for science and disability being portrayed accurately and alphas that don’t go as far as stalking and throwing things around the room. Your mileage may vary. I feel this books is let down by plotting and world-building that is sketchy and, in places, implausible. In keeping with my general feeling of benign confusion the first book in this series is available not at eRedSage, but at Cerridwen Press.


Other Reviews:

  • Manic Readers [4/5]: "I love a tortured hero, and Byron is certainly that—physically, and mentally"

  • JERR: "Byron is the type of male character I really enjoy; he wouldn’t give up on love, even when the outcome looked bleak."

See also:

Monday, August 16, 2010

THE KEEPER Armstrong & Piet

THE KEEPER by SL Armstrong and K Piet is an a novella that puts a new twist on the gay vampire romance. There is a pretty common story type where a mortal meets a vampire, works out exactly what he is, angst ensues, and they end up together. In this case the mortal is Hadi, a 24-year-old involved in the world of high fashion who is sent to a remote household in Algeria to fulfil a family obligation--being 'the keeper' for the mysterious Dhakir. 

The basic plot of THE KEEPER is as I described above, but the novel aspects are a convincing back story for the 'vampire' and his feeding representing a real imposition on the donor.  The angst, reversals and obstacles to the relationship make sense for both characters. The limitations, at least for me, are that the the outlook and expression of the vampire do not fit someone who has lived for so long. Also, once the obstacles to the relationship are resolved the story continues too long in my opinion.  But I am notorious for losing interest during HEA sex scenes, which other people thoroughly enjoy.

THE KEEPER puts enough of a twist on the familiar vampire/mortal romance story to make it interesting without undermining the cozy trajectory of the trope.


See also:

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Nick Knight
NICK NIGHT (1989; IMDb) is a movie pilot that predates the long running television series FOREVER KNIGHT.  It is not a prequel because the first episodes of the TV series reprise all of the events of this movie.  However it is interesting to see a slightly different and early take on the same story.

Rick Springfield is a more conventional attractive lead, but lack some of the edge that Geraint Wyn Davies later bought to the part.  The filming of this fail pilot was also looser and sometimes introduced serious flaws. 

For example there a pivotal scene where Knight must choose whether to save the girl or save the ancient cup that might allow him mortal again.  In both version the villain holds the cup and the girl on a high walkway.  In this version the cup is dropped and hits the ground before Knight acts, essentially making nonsense of the dilemma.  In the Forever Knight version the villain drops the cup and Knight saves the girl before it hits the ground and shatters--making it clear that he had time to rescue one or the other.

There were really only two elements that I feel are more successful in NICK KNIGHT than in FOREVER KNIGHT.  One is the gimmick of Knight rigging up camera so her could watch the sun rise on dozens of televisions.  This seemed to sum up Knight's obsession with regaining mortality, on which the series hangs.  The pother is that the sidekick Det. Don Schanke (played by John Kapelos in both versions) has more of a threatening side to him that is lost in the buffoonish character he became in the series (perhaps necessary to have a long running character who never works out that his partner is a vampire).

On the whole this is a movie for FOREVER KNIGHT enthusiasts only, it completes the collection but adds relatively little to it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

IN THE DARK Rob Grahan

IN THE DARK is well written but it messed with my head. It has four distinct sections. In the first we meet the vampire hero Georges but learn almost nothing about him. Although it was neutrally written the villains as black men using drugs and sexual prowess to, um, wipe out the white race made me really, really uncomfortable. When this was followed by a section where the male vampire seduces himself a lesbian girlfriend and confronts a lesbian villain--and what subsequently happens to her--well....

The third part is about Georges and his girlfriend Diane being reunited in more ways than one is more comfortable reading. Georges finally became more of a rounded character with vulnerabilities and character. In the final part they journey back to Diane's home and both characters and the relationship become three dimensional and their world and lifestyle are fleshed out, just in time for the book to end.

Frankly this book didn't do much for me. I felt like maybe the writer developed and matured during the writing and if there was a sequel it would hit the ground running with two fully rounded characters as well as a supporting cast of secondary character with potential (but who didn't do very much in this story). I would say this story is worth a look but the four sections are mismatched in genre and quality and some of the content in the earlier parts is politically incorrect to say the least.

Note: this title is now out of print


Other Reviews of IN THE DARK
  • Bitten by Books [3/5]: "This book wasn’t quite for me, but I encourage others to read it and see if it is for you."
  • Two Lips Reviews [4.5/5]: "Rob Graham’s style is smoothly enchanting and leads the reader like a moth to the flame."
  • Romantic Observer [3/5]: "The first section seemingly doesn’t relate to the following three, which makes one wonder why it is there...."
  • goodreads [3.5]
See also:
  • Let Me Tell You a Story About Vampires: "I contacted Rob and he was not only willing, he was enthusiastic. As I was a fan of his vampire novel "In the Dark," I suggested a vampire romance novel--but a historical one."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dick, Jane and the Vampires

I came across a blog post about this book by Nancy Knight, and it has gone right to the top of my 'to buiy' list. 

I mean, seriously, Dick and Jane and the Vampires.  Who could resist that?

I may have to wait a while though, Amazon reports it has not been released yet, 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Anne Rice, Atheist for Jesus

Well, not an atheist per se, but Anne Rice claims she is leaving Christianity. "“Today I quit being a Christian," she reportedly said.  Now I, personally, have had trouble taking Rice's theology very seriously ever since reading Memnoch the Devil, but her argument seems to go something like this: Christ=good, Church=bad.

Personally it seem to me, as something of an outsider, that if you grock Christ, you are a Christian, and the church (or churches) out there really don't have to have anything to do with it.  I suppose some members of some churches would disagree that you can get to Christ anyway but through them.  But I see no reason to resign the field and let them win that argument.

If indeed this is what Rice is doing--rather than making one more grab for that elusive limelight.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Twilight, Baby

So apparently people are calling their babies names out of Twilight.  I will admit this make me sad.  It makes me think of the idea that babies could be affected but what their mothers saw late in pregnancy, like if she was scared by a spotted pony the baby would have spotted skin. 

Biology doesn't work that way, but apparently psychology does.  Whatever you mother is impressed by just before your birth, that is the name you might get stuck with.

Bella, Cullen, Jasper, Alice and (oh my God) Emmett are sky-rocketing up the name popularity charts.  I suppose it could be worse.  It could be Renfield or Buffy.  Or if your mother was impressed by a Transformers story instead you could end up little baby Cliffjumper, Grimlock or Road Rebel instead.

Actually, if the choice was between Bella and Grimlock....