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notes on things

i wonder how many more times the word dragon can be used in a title. there's got to be a finite amount, right? a couple of million. i'm looking at an advertisement for a book called the saint of dragons and the only thing hitting me is that it's incredibly stupid and that publishers must be closing in on that number...

then the tag line, 'dragons are real, they walk among us...' appears.

they'll publish vampire dragons any day now.




there hasn't been much content in this journal of late. sorry. had a bit of fiction i wanted to finish, then had some thesis writing and research to do, plus a regular amount of classes to appear and maybe sound useful in. normal stuff, but just more of it, for some reason. anyhow, i now lack the ability to write in coherent structure outside that.




someone has probably already written a vampire dragon novel. i just bet it was shit, too.




russian school massacre: i was reading the paper today, and they had a rundown of what people who'd gotten out said. the one that sticks in my mind is from one russian kid, fourteen or something, saying, 'they shot at our backs. i heard the whine of the bullets.' perhaps it's needlessly cynical of me to suggest that the non-english speaking boy didn't say 'whine of the bullets' but rather that the journalist took the translated transcripts and added his or her own little dramatic flair, for flavour, to better impress on me this tragedy, you know? it's not like it isn't one of those fucked up, tragic things in the first place, but that i also have to filter the details out through the reporting of a journalist who is a suffering fiction writer just kinda pisses me off.




it is impossible to separate fact from fiction in the news now as the journalist has brought into his/her vocabulary the tools of a fiction writer. you could almost blame the rise of the sunday supplement, really, but then again, probably not. maybe there was a time when news wasn't meant to function like entertainment, but i can't remember it. nowadays, when i'm reading a newspaper, i can't help but notice those little economic scene setting details that allow the reader to build a place in their mind, and the formation of characters through various third person direct narration techniques... it's all very mimetic, to the point where you wonder how much a journalist is adding to the scene, just to help it keep that sense of realism, to make sure it is believable in the same way that a piece of fiction is.

'the whine of the bullets.'

it's the little touches that drive it home.




that got unfunny, didn't it?

well, return to the vampire dragon idea. maybe what is need is to write those novels in a totally objective way. cut down on the creation of scenes, on dialogue, on anything that isn't a base fact. now now, i know what you're thinking, you're thinking, hey, this is stupid... but think about it. those dragon and vampire novels are fucking huge, man. fucking huge. stripping them back is nothing but a good thing. like, for example, i'm going to nick a bit of text from the russian school thing from right here:

The death count in the Russian school massacre rose above 350 yesterday, including 156 children. Officials said that the final figure would be even higher and disclosed that all 35 hostage-takers had been killed.

They continued to claim that 10 of the terrorists were Arabs, although there was little concrete information about any of those involved.


then, with a few little tweaks, we have the opening of vampire dragons:

The death count in the Tal'Ruspilitan Kingdom rose above 350 yesterday, including 156 children. The King said that the final figure would be even higher and disclosed that all 35 vampires had been killed.

He continued to claim that 10 of the vampires were dragon vampires, although there was little concrete information about any of those involved.


no, no, don't just think of it as being tasteless. don't think that. i feel some of you aren't quite getting into this concept. you aren't seeing the beauty in it like i do.




yeah.

still not real funny.

Comments

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drjon
Sep. 6th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)
Results 1 - 50 of about 204 for "vampire dragons", or
Results 1 - 50 of about 1,820 for "vampire dragon". (1.03 seconds).

But the only amazon hits are for D&D, Pratchett's "Feet of Clay", and something called "Fang & Fury: A Guidebook to Vampires"
benpeek
Sep. 6th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
i can't believe you actually searched that. well, i can, the facts are there. but still.
shadowsandice
Sep. 6th, 2004 07:01 am (UTC)
Dude. There are noooo vampire dragons in Feet of Clay.
drjon
Sep. 6th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)

Actually, there's a character in Feet of Clay called Dragon (who's a vampire)...
artbroken
Sep. 6th, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC)
Fang & Fury is a D&D sourcebook.

Don't look at me like that. Let's face it, 'vampire dragons' are pretty much the things I write about...
benpeek
Sep. 6th, 2004 05:27 pm (UTC)
you know, i just know i didn't think there'd be a conversation about vampire dragons in the comment section of this entry...
artbroken
Sep. 7th, 2004 01:10 am (UTC)
My bad. I always bring the tone of things down.
benpeek
Sep. 7th, 2004 03:59 am (UTC)
...yes, yes you do :P

but in this case, it was probably d and s chatting about pratchett.
jlassen
Sep. 6th, 2004 03:29 pm (UTC)
Of course its funny.
Gibson and sterling did weird textual games like your vampire/dragon/terrorist news reporting in THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE. Kathy Acker made a career out of it.

I'd publish a novel about the dragon-vampires that terrorize the fascist state of Tal'Ruspilitan, told in a early 21st century news speak. Throw in some furry porn (which can also be kyped online), and I see a best seller.
benpeek
Sep. 6th, 2004 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Of course its funny.
of course there'd be furry porn, i love... er, i mean, what vampire dragon novel would be complete without it? *cough* yes. indeed.

acker's stuff is very cool. i'm a big fan of it. never read THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE, however. might have a bit of a look--maybe i can actually make something useful out of this.
studebakerhawk
Sep. 6th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC)
I respectfully disagree - i almost coughed up a lung laughing. Then felt extremely guilty, so thankyou very much.
benpeek
Sep. 6th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
i think i was feeling guily after i wrote it.
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