Cliche it may be, but who can doubt the internet created a whole new venue for amateur writers to put their work out there? In other words, the world-wide web proved a godsend for fan fiction. Or maybe from the other end of metaphysical spectrum, depending upon one’s view of the topic!
Contrary to popular opinion, fan fiction is hardly a new invention. People wrote unofficial sequels to “The Aeneid” in Ancient Rome! Virtually every single idea we have about King Arthur results from people adding to what they’d heard or read before. Mass media certainly generated more of it, and the internet gave its creators a potentially vast audience–including writers and readers of vampire stories. Recently I read a rather fascinating story purporting to be a continuation of “Let Me In.” What characterized this one was Abby and Owen meeting a character from another, unrelated movie–the serial killer with a taste for little girls in “The Lovely Bones.” He seemed very upset to learn here was a beautiful little girl seemingly invulnerable to anything he tried. Poor baby.
The idea here is almost irresistible in some ways. Imagine two favorite vampire stories or movies or t.v. shows. Let them meet. Allow that to play out in your imagination’s theatre, then share what happens. What, for example, would Selene of “Underworld” make of the Vampire Queen of Louisiana Sophie Ann from “True Blood”? Such wildly different personalities–the grim professional killer looking for purpose, the decadent sensualist with lots and lots of style–it would almost certainly take extraordinary events to get them in the same room at the same time! Supposing such happened, that they were forced to interact for a long time. How might they affect one another? Would they reluctantly become friends? Enemies? Something in between? I’ve never seen anything pairing these two, but the idea holds some potential.
One idea I have seen explored several times is the charming notion of pairing up Hermione Granger of “Harry Potter” fame with young Prince Vlad from the t.v. show “Young Dracula.” Both are brainy, ethical types who feel lonely not least because of their mutual supernatural status. A fair number of music videos explore the idea on YouTube, and as fanfic pairings go this one does make some sense. Somewhat curiously, a lot of people seem to view Hermione as potential recipient of a vampire’s affections–or at least intentions. The vampire in questions is usually Count Dracula himself–sometimes Christopher Lee, but more often Richard Roxburgh from the motion picture “Van Helsing.”
Easy enough to laugh at such efforts. And enough of them are poorly done, let us be honest. Most at best are the literary equivalent of a cheeseburger. Few steaks or lobsters in the bunch.
Another way to look at these works is to celebrate the use of imagination, of interest in story-telling and exploration of possibilities. Speaking as a writer myself, contemplating certain pairings or situations definitely stretched my own psychic muscles. A music video of Christine from “Phantom of the Opera” meeting none of than the Vampire Lestat kinda rocked my world in a tiny way–as did another in which Eli from “Let The Right One In” meets Sherlock Holmes as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. It brings to mind other possibilities. How might Catherine Morland from “Northanger Abbey” fare should she encounter the title character of “Carmilla”? In the motion picture “Perfume” a lovely young virgin inspires obsession in the central character–what if she’d attracted the attention of Graf Orlock from “Nosferatu“? One half-wonders if maybe, just maybe Henry Fiztroy ever might have met and seduced Seven-of-Nine from “Star Trek Voyager.”
Likewise contemplating such interactions brings up all sorts of other possibilities and questions. Eli from LTROI may be the most famous child vampire since Claudia of “Interview With The Vampire” but aren’t they quite different people? As a writing exercise the notion of the two having a conversation holds more than a little attraction. Likewise contemplate the bad boy vamp from “The Vampire Diaries” Damon Salvatore trying to wrap his head around the life choices of the much older, far more contemplative and regretful Nick from “Forever Knight.” Or how soon long could Angel hide his condition from Dr. Gregory House (or, for a laugh, from Dr. Temperence Brennan)? Along those same lines consider the potential silliness of Buffy stuck in an elevator with Lilly from “How I Met Your Mother.” More intriguing, because more startling and worthy of thought, would be the team from “Criminal Minds” receiving help tracking down a serial killer in Louisiana from none other than Erik Northman! Or suppose for a moment Lumen from “Dexter” finding a weird friendship of sorts with Alice and Jasper Cullen.
Bela Lugosi once did a short wherein he (as Dracula) attacked a terrified Betty Boop. The late science fiction and fantasy author Philip Jose Farmer started a whole new genre with his biographies (he termed them as such) of Tarzan and Doc Savage. Alan Moore did something similar with his ongoing “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (including Mina Harker) and Kim Newman made it undead-centric with his “Anno Dracula” books. Why not celebrate such things, use the idea? If a future Vampirella t.v. series ever include encounters with vampire hunters who resemble Blade or Buffy–might not we enjoy just such a gag? More seriously, cannot this kind of playing with the archetypes lead to some insights which in turn help give birth to new and interesting stories?
Seems at least possible.