Is there a scholarly study on why the vampire meme is so incredibly strong? There are so many variations. After the original Stoker, I think the Anne Rice novels reopened the doors. Then came Coppola, Blade, Underworld, UltraViolet, Twilight and a couple of TV series (of which I have seen zilch - should I consider that as "I've got that goin' for me" to check out, or should I ignore them all?) At one point, I had a life goal of watching all vampire movies - I have abandoned that goal.
The ship captain vampire was a great addition to Peter Watts "Blindsight" (which I've talked about a couple of times before), with a great appendix giving the details on Watts's version of What Is Vampirism.
I liked Charlie's postulate in the vampiric memespace: that as totally top-of-the-food-chain predators, vampires would pretty much always try to wipe each other out soonest.
So for this Laundry novel, Charlie picked the "bacon" of special sauces. I thought that this was one of the best plotted novels of the series. He continues to innovate to keep the series fresh, but I think a few more and he will be done here.
Of course, Joe Bob sez, "Check it out".
On the 16 hr trip home, I saved the one other novel I'd decided to read for the final legs and watched a few airplane movies on the long trans-Atlantic leg.
The 1st was "Divergent": should I say "Holy crap, what shit!", or "Holy shit, what crap!" I mean, really, at the end, after being rescued by her mom (our own Ashley Judd), who then buys it, the heroine winds up reunited with her boyfriend/mentor, her brother, her father, and the leader of their clan - Ray Stevenson??? I had blogged before about YA novels, and about how good they were. This is more what I would expect YA to be: complete adolescent crap.
Then I watched "Noah", OMG what a load of crap! It kind of reminded me of "City of God", in which a protagonist makes incredibly stupid, unrealistic, and unpragmatic decisions based on moral or religious grounds. I guess it's a good object lesson in how corrupting it is to allow your mind to be controlled by a virus. My recommendation is, spare yourself.
The 3rd movie I watched I can't remember, which is unfortunate, because it was way better than the 1st 2. OK, it's 4 days later, my subconscious is mute as to what this movie was. I'm assuming it's gone forever. YASM (Yet Another Senior Moment) :-(
And speaking of crappy movies, I purchased and watched "Under The Skin". Incomprehensible. Clearly an Art Film, but not a very good one. I find it particularly annoying when someone who doesn't know science fiction makes what they think is an edgy, artsy sci fi movie which mostly serves to demonstrate that non-afficianados have no idea how edgy good sci fi currently is.
So after the moviefest, I read "Cibola Burn" by James S.A. Corey (2 guys, @JamesSACorey). This is the 4th novel in their series - I have blogged the other 3. A good read. The hero - the incorruptible man who will always speak truth to power - is back, with the other 3 interesting members of his crew. Plus we get a character from the 1st book back in an interesting twist.
I think the series is moving into more conventional territory - we've gone from an ancient countermeasure bioweapon threatens life in the solar system to exploring 1000s of worlds opened through a newly awakened ancient portal system. But still good plotting, and a bad guy who I think speaks to our times: a psychopath whose dedication to corporate goals is beyond psychotic.
This is one of the best new series of the last decade. I think they can keep it interesting for at least a few more novels. They have also published 2 novellas in the same story universe which I have yet to read. I'm happy to say, I've got that goin' for me!