Fairy FBI Agent and Random Werewolves
Our house continues to be somewhat of a plague house, which means I’m still a little behind on blogging, e-mail, and everything else. I blame Jackie Kessler. I was reading her book about Pestilence, and voila — everyone gets the sick.
Anyway, today is the release of The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray. It contains my story “Corrupted,” about a fae FBI agent and how far she’ll go to stop her murderous kin.
I read this at ConFusion, and it was strange … the story has a fair amount of action and some humorous bits, like most of my work. But at the end, I actually choked up a little while I was reading. That doesn’t usually happen when I read my own stuff.
I was rather pleased. I mean, I would have been pleased, if not for the fact that it made me stumble while I was trying to be Mister smooth and professional author guy doing a reading…
The book also includes work by Kristine Smith, Seanan McGuire, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear, Anton Strout, and more.
With Libriomancer [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], I played around with a variety of vampires. I’ve got pre-Stoker vampires, modern urban fantasy vamps, even a few sparklers.
For the sequel, I’ve introduced a pack of Yooper[1. From Michigan’s Upper Peninsula] werewolves. Since I rather enjoy playing with and subverting expectations and tropes, I wanted to open up a chat about werewolves, talking about things like:
- Do you like them? Hate them? Why?
- What werewolf cliches have you seen way too often?
- What’s your favorite werewolf myth or belief?
- Who do you think writes the best werewolf fiction? What about the best films?
- What makes werewolves cooler than vampires? (Or vice versa.)
Because what fun is having a blog if you can’t occasionally tap into that big old group brain?
March 6, 2012 @ 9:49 am
It’s not my fault. (Much.)
March 6, 2012 @ 9:56 am
*snork* Yooper werewolves. I just hurt something laughing. Must. Buy. Book. (I’m a “troll” you see, because I grew up under the bridge.)
Anyway. Werewolves. I usually don’t like them. Werewolves cliches I’ve seen too often:
–Ohhhhhh, I’m so conflicted …. how can I have a normal life and be a *monster*, ohhhh wooooooooe.
–But! Now my life is so much better because I’ve met the Magical Woman that can deal with my bad Alpha self.
Things I would like to see:
–Non werewolf family members. Let’s say Alpha boy has a younger brother, who’s not infected. Or maybe he has to go home for Christmas dinner.
–Lycanthropy treated like a rare infectious disease. Can we get a Robin Cook-like outbreak scenario?
–Werewolf babies. Seriously, we have all these couples getting together in paranormal romances. What if they spawn a little litter? How do you raise wolf-born werewolves if one of the parents is human? Maybe werewolf toddlers…
Jim C. Hines
March 6, 2012 @ 10:01 am
Uh huh. Sure it’s not.
Jim C. Hines
March 6, 2012 @ 10:04 am
Angua. Figures it would be Discworld 🙂 I’ve fallen behind on my Pratchett, but maybe this can give me an excuse to catch up. Because now it’s research!
The two complaints you mention seem to come up a lot with vampires, too. Same cliche, different monster…
March 6, 2012 @ 10:09 am
Yes, vampires also seem afflicted with woe. I wonder sometimes if it has to do with authors being told to add conflict, and that’s a nice handy internal conflict. It’s even realistic, in a way, because I certainly would have the same problem. But at this point, I feel like it’s been explored pretty thoroughly.
March 6, 2012 @ 11:26 am
I love werewolves. I’d take them over vampires any day.
Things I don’t like about werewolves:
As Colleen mentioned, the one woman who can soothe the savage beast
Werewolves that can change at any time (when it’s done wrong. The lunar cycles can have some great imagery.)
The conflicted werewolf, although that can be done well too as in when someone wakes up in a puddle of blood and random bits and says “Oh my god what did I do!?!”
Things I like about werewolves:
Their savagery, their animal nature
Gnashing teeth and ripping claws
A pack mentality, since wolves are pack animals.
I always associate the restorative properties of the change with werewolves, that when they change form, bones mend, wounds heal, etc.
Good werewolf books/characters
Wolf from The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub, such a lovable, tragic, innocent character–very different from other werewolf characters
Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
Murcheston: The Wolf’s Tale by David Holland
March 6, 2012 @ 11:49 am
My favorite take on the werewolf tropes is a novella (I think) by JA Konrath called SA. It’s in the anthology Wolfsbane and Mistletoe. Fun stuff.
March 6, 2012 @ 5:43 pm
Do you like them? Hate them? Why? Depends on how they’re handled. I love them when the pack behaviour and psychology is explored but kind of hate them when they’re mindless killers with no regrets…
What werewolf cliches have you seen way too often? The Painful Transition from Man to Beast (can be done well but too often isn’t). Dreaming about running free under the moon before they know they’re were, or after being cured.
What’s your favorite werewolf myth or belief? I love all the old weird lists of ways you could become a werewolf. Mercedes Lackey mentioned several in Beauty and the Werewolf, like drinking from a wolf’s footprint, etc.
Who do you think writes the best werewolf fiction? What about the best films? Best fiction: without a doubt, my favorite is Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson or Alpha and Omega series both (same world, different main characters). I also love how Mercedes Lackey played with it in Beauty and the Werewolf and absolutely adore Patricia C. Wrede’s short story The Sixty-Two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd. In film I have a soft spot for Oz in Buffy, and for Wolf in Tenth Kingdom.
What makes werewolves cooler than vampires? (Or vice versa.) Won’t weigh in here, I love them both when handled right! 🙂
March 6, 2012 @ 6:13 pm
My favorite was a short story back in the 60s or so when the werewolf ended up being recruited by the FBI. I’m away from my collection right now and I don’t even remember the author’s name (bad fan!).
March 6, 2012 @ 6:23 pm
Found it. “The Compleat Werewolf” by Anthony Boucher originally published in Unknown April 1942 but I read it in Beyond Human Ken published in 1954. I just liked the idea of a werewolf using his abilities for bood.
March 6, 2012 @ 6:23 pm
Sigh. “good” not “bood”
March 6, 2012 @ 9:50 pm
Jim: depending on how far behind you are in Pratchett, Angua’s family are introduced in The Fifth Elephant.
I don’t know much else about werewolves, but Yoopers I have met.
March 7, 2012 @ 8:52 am
I’ve always been more of a vampire girl, so I haven’t really read a lot of werewolf stories (except urban fantasy, where all those fun things are mixed up together).
I’m enjoying the show “Being Human” (I think it’s on the SyFy channel), in spite of the fact that whole premise of the show is based on the conflict between wanting to be human and being a monster. I just kind of love that there’s a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost living as roommates.
I also really enjoy Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series – I love how she’s used her research on real wolf pack dynamics to shape her werewolf society (and it doesn’t hurt that Mercy’s home pack lives in Montana. :))
And despite not really being a Twilight fan, I actually thought the mythology she created for her werewolves was one of the most interesting parts of the series.
March 7, 2012 @ 1:36 pm
I second the vote for Angua, though I also really like Professor Lyall in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. He’s a polished, urbane, and subtle werewolf–but still very tuned to his pack and such.
March 8, 2012 @ 1:02 pm
I’ve read more fiction involving vampires than werewolves, I think, though most involving werewolves I can think of right now involved both. The one exception that featured only werewolves was full of sex and stupidity, which might be why I didn’t seek out more.
With werewolves I don’t really like it when they stop being who they are when they turn – not recognising anyone, attacking anyone and anything.
One thing I like about both is that there is a lot of old and new lore to play with. I can think of more variations on vampires, though.
Another is heightened senses they tend to have. I like characters who notice things most people don’t.
March 12, 2012 @ 12:50 pm
Oh yes! Professor Lyall is a wonderful werewolf. I enjoyed those books quite a lot.