Today's Free Essay
by Lilith Saintcrowon the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series
One doesn’t have to precisely blame Laurell K. Hamilton for the explosion of paranormal romance and kickass-chick urban fantasy currently filling bookstore shelves. Hamilton started out, a decade or so ago in Guilty Pleasures, with the same type of urban-fantasy-with-a-touch-of-noir that has been a small, important subsection of fantasy ever since someone first decided to cross a detective story with something supernatural. From Wilkie Collins and Bram Stoker (Dracula is, after all, a detective story as well as a psychosexual morality play) to Charles de Lint and Simon Green, the supernatural detective is alive and well–for which I am profoundly grateful.
What separated Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner, from the common run of schlock and fantasy was two things: Anita’s gender and Anita’s ambiguity. I don’t think I’m far wrong in stating that Anita was one of the very first “kickass” female characters in urban fantasy, a template for all those ladies … read more»
Recent Free Essays (Still Available!)
by Mike W. Barron Batman
The fate of the Batman franchise is looking pretty good right now. The series, once claimed to be near cancellation due to low sales, is again one of the jewels in the crown of publisher DC Comics, still riding a wave created in the 1970s by such talent as writers … read more»
by Karen Mahoneyon the House of Night series
ghastly clouds shroud it in darkness.
Before it Atlas stands erect and on his head
and unwearying arms firmly supports the broad sky,
where Night and Day cross a bronze threshold
and then … read more»
by Nick Mamatason Batman
Batman, as one of the most iconic and enduring of comic book heroes, is ultimately nothing more than a bundle of images that have proven themselves to be far more valuable and compelling than any storyline, movie, or book of essays on the character. Batman is a Pez dispenser; he … read more»
by Sarah Rees Brennanon The Vampire Diaries
Buffy Summers and Bella Swan. What do they have in common? I know, they have the same initials. Isn’t that weird?
Oh, and they both date vampires.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired in 1997, and Twilight was published in 2005. But in 1991, before these fanged giants … read more»