Sex and Horror
  Better Together?

I was talking to a friend about genre, we got onto the area of horror and sex, as you do, and he asked me, why is there no sex in any of your teenage fiction? (The books I write as Ann Halam). Well, there's several answers to that, such as on the whole the market says no, or I'd never get any kind of sexual content past my UK editor, nohow; or -maybe closest to the truth- I feel I'm writing for teenagers of the same geeky, immature kind I was myself, who see the kid-sexual arena as a trap, to be avoided like the plague (and who keep up the honourable tradition of finding the hot pages in adult novels, if looking for useful and um, rewarding information). But the question was about mixing sex and horror. (I'm writing science fiction for teenagers now, at the time of that conversation it was all ghosts and demons). I said I didn't think sex and horror were compatible. Bring sex into the picture, you dilute the fear. A horror story with love, sex or even frankly porno interest can't be truly terrifying. If I'm writing a scary story, I want to FRIGHTEN my readers, not titillate them: take everything away, show them a cold abyss of nothingness-

Charles was amazed, (yes, I was talking to Charles Brown, the emperor of Locus). What are you talking about, he said -or words to that effect. Sex and horror are inextricable, the whole horror genre is ABOUT sex, about unmasking and facing the fear and revulsion secretly, shockingly implicit in all sexual relations… I was amazed myself, when I gave my answer a second look. Of course horror and sex are intertwined. Look at Bram Stoker's Dracula, the quivering white woman-flesh of it all: look at Buffy and those indispensible vampire boyfriends of hers… Charles reminded me that the one actual horror story I've ever written as Ann Halam, (usually it's ghosts, no viscera) DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES, is also the only Ann Halam with any kind of romantic content. Okay, the story in DON'T is that a good girl, a go to church on Sunday, never skips her homework, high self-esteem girl, falls for a bad boy, car thief, truant, joy-rider; hates himself. She knows their romance is going nowhere, because he hates himself, not because he's 'bad' even before he gets killed in a police chase, passenger in a stolen car. He becomes a ghoul, he visits her in her bedroom at night: this is when he begs her not to open her eyes… This Ann Halam gets fairly ugly, in parts. But Diesel still loves Martin. She still wants to touch him, feels no revulsion, only pity and longing, when she's more or less convinced a walking, rotting, flesh-eating corpse is sitting on the end of her bed -and it's the survival of her physical tenderness, in this dreadful impasse, that gives the situation hope, holds the possibility of redemption.

So there you are. Sex and horror go together, traditionally, intuitively, deep in the back brain. That Augh, the open-mouthed O of horror, that red yell of terror we spread, to greet the gaping maw of the fiend about to devour us, is obviously, instantly sexual…1 We're agreed on that. But while sex and horror have positive interference for Charles, the interference is negative for me: sex damps the horror down. After that conversation, my first, unpremeditated, contradictory answer stayed with me. I found I'd given myself something to think about. Maybe I'd struck a genuine, innate male/female divide, not imposed by social construction: which is something I always find interesting, because it's so unusual. As many of you must have noticed, there are a lot more female horror and 'dark fantasy' writers around these days. How do they treat sex? And how do they treat the nexus, sex and horror?

Conventionally, traditionally, women have been the preferred victims of the fiend, (possibly acting as permissive alter-egos, so the notionally predominantly male audience for horror can safely 'imagine' being vulnerable, as well as imagining the fun of being the fiend2). Females are deadly, and women can be evil in more sophisticated variants, but male sexuality is the horror writer's weapon of first resort, the immediate threat: and to a degree, you have to admit it works. The flimsy nightie and the bare feet and the gothic darkness, that's just decoration: I'm always in danger, because men can so easily be monsters. There's a notorious James Tiptree story from the seventies (written as Racoona Sheldon), called 'The ScrewFly Solution', where an alien race intending to colonise earth decides to get rid of the pesky human population. They use the same expedient humans have used in controlling insect pests: tweak the reproductive process, make it destructive. This -in Tiptree's vision- is easily done, because in the human male psychotic, murderous violence is just a protein expression away from sexual arousal. (A percentage of the men would end up killing men, of course, but that's not a problem). Is this true? If it's even partly true, then women ought to be terrified of sex. Men are big and strong and naturally violent, and often, as much psychological research attests, deeply resentful of the drives that urge them into the dangerous reproductive arena. Women ought to live in constant fear of sexual assault. But do they? Forget the received wisdom: look around you. Think of what you see on the street, on your tv; every day. Need I say more? Women ought to be totally cowed, but clearly they are not. Far from it. They should be afraid, there are mighty books of law telling them to be afraid, but something older than reason, beyond their conscious control, the agrapta nomina, the unwritten law of female mammal psychology, keeps telling them a different story.

'The Screwfly Solution' is an important marker for me. It's the stark, powerful psychosexual message of Tiptree's sci/fi agenda put into in streetclothes; given a human, everyday reality. But there's another sex/horror story, Angela Carter's 'Company Of Wolves' -translated, by Neil Jordan with Angela Carter beside him, into one of the first, and among the greatest of the animatronic horror movies (remember that transformation scene?)- which I find more viscerally convincing. Men are wolves. When they become sexual they open up their human skins and reveal the naked, swollen, glistening animal: before your very eyes. Sex is a wolf, with big teeth and gaping red jaws, if you're a girl you know this when it tears at your young belly and makes you hurt and bleed. But fear is an old wives' tale. No, scratch that, of course there's fear. The fear is huge. But it's not the kind of horror you would want to escape (though you might run away screaming, just a little bit). It's a wild ride, it's part of the delight.

How far can Darwininan evolutionary psychology be trusted? Not very far. We humans don't have an oestrus period, for one thing, which means that female choice is not protected, although women behave as though it is. We're rather out on a limb as hominids, anyway: there can be no comparative studies, as all the other hominid species are extinct (fer some strange reason…) Yet the way women persist in their display, as if sex cannot harm them, no matter how often they are proved sorely mistaken, suggests there has to be some enduring truth in it. As surely as the top men rule, finally, by violence or the threat of violence, women rule by sex, or the promise of sex. This is written, inverted but perfectly legible, in all those books of law: in every dresscode, every sexual mutilation, every economic and cultural repression imposed through the ages on the weaker party. In every high-culture dramatic medium for the last many thousand years, even the drama of cultures where women had no place at all in public life, the assumption that sex gives women mighty power is deeply implicit. In so-called fairytales, ancient hearthside, genre works, it's the same. The very thing that's supposed to make women vulnerable, makes them impervious. Sex is the maw of the beast, but it will save your life: it's a paradox.

The theme of this convention is Women in Fantasy and Horror. What I plan to do, for the rest of this presentation, is to talk about what happens when the Chosen One of a fantasy epic is a woman. Not a chaste woman-warrior, but an emphatically sexual, feminine woman… I want to look at how this twists the thread of manifest destiny, and what it does to serial fantasy's rich resources of sex and horror. And because I always work best when I'm telling a story, I'm going to use a particular epic as my example [I'm also paying a debt, because this is a topic I promised to tackle a long time ago, hello Kathryn]… Some of you may know I'm writing a sex and horror injected fantasy sequence myself at the moment, but I'm not going to talk about Bold As Love. It isn't finished, and it doesn't have that kind of heroine anyway. I'm going to talk about a very striking, three-volume historical fantasy novel by a US author, and it's the Kushiel trilogy, by Jacqueline Carey.

Briefly, this is the story, for those who don't know it. Phèdre nó Delauney
a whore's unwanted get, sold into the sex-worker industry at an early age, is talent-spotted by a nobleman for her intelligence and her supernatural appetite for pain as pleasure. She's trained as a courtesan, a diplomat and a spy, and becomes a special agent for her country… Actually, the 'whore's unwanted get' part is harsh. Phèdre's parents are just a pair of rather sweet but feckless bohemian airheads, no desire for parenthood, who thought they were doing all right for the kid, giving her a decent trade. In Terre d'Ange, Phèdre's beloved country, the Night Courts are a highly respected guild. Kushiel mainly happens, I should explain, in a fantasy version of mediaeval Europe, based on the Courts of Love, and a tradition that says Mary Magdalen fled Judea and settled in Provence, after the crucifixion. Terre d'Ange, roughly geographically and culturally equivalent to France, was founded by a band of sensual angels, Blessed Elua and his companions, created when Mary Magdalen's tears mingled with the blood-soaked earth at the foot of the Cross. Its people are known the world over for their beauty. Its graceful, pleasure-loving culture is backed by the immanent presence of those earthly angels, and by a highly baroque, not to say camp, New Age Theology. Love As Thou Wilt is the whole of the law, but Kushiel (of the rod and weal) is worshiped as fervently as the rulers of gentler passions. Phèdre was born with the rare mark of his dread favour. She has a scarlet mote in the night-dark iris of her left eye, that's how her patron, Anafiel Delauney, recognised her. This is Kushiel's Dart, it makes her an anguissette, born to experience pain as sexual pleasure, the first of her kind in a hundred years.

Now, you may be thinking, in a nation dedicated to sex and sensuality, can she be the only babe who likes pain? Or who will pretend to like it...? Well, suspend your disbelief. There's a Night Court called 'Valerian', where the trained, professional staff will take a whipping, or a session with the flechettes or whatever, and act delighted, or fight, or beg for mercy, as per the client's fancy. But as you can tell from that "whore's unwanted get" slur, society in Terre D'Ange isn't really that much different from ours. Most of the courtesans in this land of courtesans are on the game because they were born poor and pretty; and either they like the idea of commercial sex or they'll put up with the indignity because the money's good. They're making a living. Phèdre is something else. She is a true artist, possessed by the divine. You strap her up on the wheel and whip her, you get to bathe in the glow of her supernatural ecstasy. She'll make you feel like a merciless god.

A Literature Of Arousal

I like the mind of the woman writer who sees her feminine epic protagonist as a whore. It's so rational, so French, indeed. I'm fondly reminded of the hot feminine epics of my childhood, Anya Seton's "Katherine", and the "Angelique" series, by Anna and Serge Golon (not that Katherine is exactly a prostitute, and as I've been reminded by one distressed reader, Angelique remains the chaste wife, however often her bodice gets ripped…). A whore, a woman who sells her body, is the logical female equivalent of a warrior hero: because a warrior is above all a soldier, soldari, solidus, a man who has sold himself, his will and his body's strength, to be used by another-hopefully in a cause he can believe in. And I have problems with women-warriors. I understand the allure, but there's something Uncle Tom about them. They're buying into the whole second-class citizen deal, on condition they get a special rate for themselves. Every other female character in this book is a serving wench, or a chattel of some kind, but not me, pretty please, I'm just like a MAN, aren't I? It's a bit grovelling… Phèdre is no special case, she has no ticket out of the ghetto, she's a woman in the same way as a soldier is a man: all function, not much left over for personal use; reproduction or any form of bourgeois individualism. She's just very, very good at it. She has matchless prowess, she can take any amount of punishment in her chosen sport, ooh, she's well hard, as we say in my country. She'll come down in the morning, after a session, covered in welts and bruises, agonised in more intimate places, but glowing with pride. She's the champion of champions. At one point she's perfectly ready to tough-out getting flayed alive, in her country's service. The whole thing gives her boyfriend problems -she has a very nice boyfriend, eventually, called Joscelin, kind of a motherly bodyguard type. Of course the sex isn't exactly to her taste, but there you go, they live around the issue.

I also like knowing that this Chosen One is not going to turn out to be the legitimate heir. In time Phèdre will have lands and money and a title, as any hugely successful grande horizontale might: but as I said, Terre d'Ange isn't all that different from Kansas. When she steps out of the bubble of the demi-monde, where nobles and whores are pals, and the queen can call Phèdre friend, she's just a high-class hooker, and there are plenty of people who make sure she knows it. But I prefer that (Frodo tops Aragorn, right?). Real heroes should remain outsiders. They ought to give their life and courage to achieve the quest, not trade them for reward. They should not stand to gain a material kingdom.

The feminist in me reads Phèdre's story and it gives me chills, especially after I realised that the S&M set pieces are the exception. The kooky accessories are light relief, as are the perversely cruel and inventive clients (some of them female, by the way: Carey is even-handed). Most of the time, Phèdre caters for rich, powerful men who simply want a classy-looking babe they can thump; and no reprisals. Getting smacked around, that's her bread and butter… I think of women living with domestic violence, living out the real world version of this extreme feminine sport. Victims who are paid, in some sense, to take beating after beating, and who are proud of their ability to take it, and keep up the façade, and look as if everything's okay. Who feel it's all worthwhile when they see the guilty respect in his eyes, after one of those sessions…The clients, these high and noble gentlemen, are chilling too. Cut away the glittering fantasy splendour of the balls and masques, the excitement of the intrigue and adventure, and what we learn from Kushiel's Dart is that a high proportion of the men who rule Terre D'Ange, this ideal, chivalrous and morally superior land, where Love is the whole of the law, get their preferred sexual satisfaction from beating the living daylights out of a beautiful young woman who never did them any harm. That's a thought to bring back from neverland to ther twenty first century, and Jacqueline Carey's own beloved country, in this world of ours. Isn't it?

(Where I come from the top blokes prefer to dress up in nappies -diapers- go out to the suburbs and have a woman dressed as nursie smack their botties. Or so I've heard. Different strokes.)

But to return to the fantasy. The Kushiel trilogy gets called many things, mostly very complimentary, but the terms 'adult' and 'sophisticated' crop up a lot, so, if you have any experience at all, you will know, dear reader, that these are books that will tend to fall open at certain instantly rewarding passages (I can provide a list of page numbers, on request). Paul Bleton, a French-Canadian critic of genre literature, has said that pornography is one of the ur-forms, one of the strongest roots of 'paralitterature', by which he means all the genres, scifi, horror, fantasy, thrillers, romance. In a pornographic 'novel' the sex passages are the business. The narrative that links them is a pretext, almost non-existent; absurd. Oh, there I was unpacking at my new flat. A knock on the door, who can that be? It's the plumber with his wrench! So there we were, getting my pipes sorted. The door bell rings. It's the electric-man with his toolbox! So there we three were, testing my circuits, when along came the carpenter-lady! So there we four were, busy putting up my shelves, when… Well. I'm sure you all know the sort of thing.

Paul Bléton calls this style the string of pearls. The narrative is a perfunctory thread, holding together a succession of arousal-freighted incidents, and the reader doesn't care how poor the story is, because he or she is reading purely for the arousal bits. Hence the expression, sensational novels. Pulp-fiction pornography is perhaps the most ruthless form, but you can discern the same structure in horror, in thrillers, in sentimental romance, war stories, adventure stories; and of course in imagined-world fantasy. Maybe even science fiction -which combines elements of all the other genres- has its own special string of pearls. There's an intense thrill in writing a passage of fantasy science, when you feel you've understood something difficult, and you are mapping your personal understanding of molecular biology or high energy physics to the added value of your story's drama…it's when you can translate an idea into another form that you know you've got it, of course… I suppose there may be scifi readers, um, Analog fans? Whose well-thumbed paperbacks fall open at the science passages….

Okay, so genre fiction is a literature of arousal. Genre readers are utilitarian. They press the lever, they get the jolt of pleasure, whether it's sexual, sadistic or sentimental; the fairground ride of printed-terror, or something more esoteric. Literary fiction may have sprung from entirely different roots, and acquired sensationalism (because it certainly uses sensationalism) late in its development, from one of those accidents of similar function in a similar context we call 'convergent evolution'. We know such things happen all the time in nature. Still, you can plot a Bell curve, from the pulp fiction where the pearls are patently obvious, lumps of sticky, glowing arousal, to the kind of literary novel where we are asked to give our attention (and often we do, and find it worthwhile) to a bare, unsullied, very interesting piece of string. But there's a middle way, which is the wide space in this pattern occupied by genre fiction in its developed forms. The pearls are still there, defining the structure, clearly discernable - it's possible to pick out the tell-tale lustre of those vital incidents, the stirring, treasured scenes the writer was impelled to include. But the arousal has diffused through the whole narrative, so that we say, with approval, that every page of the thriller is implicit with menace, every domestic detail of the six-hundred-page horror story makes us jumpy. It's as if the thread between the beads has become encrusted with nacre, the whole story a single pearl: layers of gleaming, colourful, words wrapped around that inveterate itch of disturbance, the shock that tugs the mind into hyper-awareness.

There are few passages in the Kushiel trilogy where you'll cease to be aware that you are reading for thrills: where you will surrender yourself to a work of art, instead of expecting the book to deliver bang for your bucks. But the narrative is not negligible. It has grown. It tells a life, a life full of adventures and journeys, shared struggles, moments of wonder (as all our lives are). Kushiel's not a very magical fantasy, the supernatural element is theological: but there is always magic in the way the glamour spills out, from genre fiction's passages of fetishistic arousal, and spreads its glow over the sticks and stones, the snowy wastes, the forests, the caves, the firesides, the boat piers and mule trains; the trees, rivers and mountains. We often say, of the most beloved fantasy epics, that the writer has contrived to fall in love with a whole borrowed culture, a whole imagined world, I remember getting that particular praise myself, long ago, for a book called Divine Endurance. Maybe what we mean is that the world of the book is infused with a lover's superbly jacked-up brain chemistry -if you'll excuse my sci-fi-; a constant state of artificial excitement. In the Kushiel trilogy it's mediaeval Europe getting sexed up (as the revealing phrase has it), in my current Bold As Love, it's a version of England. The impulse is the same. Is this state of passion that fantasy nurtures a good thing, or a bad thing? I don't know. There are other excitements beside S&M that flirt with uncontrolled destruction. But I do know that something inside us, all of us, not just genre readers, calls any access to heightened arousal good. We love to be thrilled, so we walk that line, just as Tiptree said.

Mother of Pearl

The first time I attended a Fantasy convention, it was in Birmingham, England in 1986, I was shocked -no, disgusted- at the complete ascendancy of the Horror genre. It wasn't that I thought the serial fantasy of the time was so great. The kind of fantasy I liked reading was either classified as science fiction, or unclassifiable, the odd ball, old stuff: C.S.Lewis, David Lindsay, Charles Williams, William Morris, Nicolas Stuart Grey… It was because I found the genre Horror of those days so irredeemably fake, infantile, about as scary as having a bucketfull of chicken entrails tipped over your head. I remember one panel where a member of the audience asked celebrated Horror writers to say what had been their most frightening experience in real life? One man (I think it was Shaun Hutson) said, recently he'd been to the first funeral he'd ever attended, and the most scary thing he'e ever seen was when his aunt's coffin was lowered into the grave… Well, my God, I thought, if you know that, why don't you write about it, instead of this ludicrous guff about microwaved babies???

Ah well, at least nowadays I can relax with one of Laurel Hamilton's Anita Blake stories, Kelley Armstrong's engaging 'Bitten', or something gothic and high-concept by Poppy Z Brite, and console myself that gender determinism is a crock. Not all horror sets out to excite pity and terror, as Aristotle says it ought. Most of it supposed to be shallow. I note, however, that this wave of new women writers has, notoriously, brought a rush of pornography to the chaste shelves of the black covers and embossed foil titles. And with the clear agenda, which some find extremely shocking, that their most gruesome sex scenes are part of the solution; not part of the problem.

But the increased presence, and increased influence, of women in the twin genres -as producers and consumers- hasn't merely made the books raunchier. There's been something more vital going on, that throws a different light on the whole nexus of sex and horror, over the past twenty years, and I'm talking about the rediscovery of the traditional material. Looking back now, at the Horror and Fantasy of the seventies and eighties, I see the modern, commerical genres of that day like cargo-cultists in schism: one party carrying off Bram Stoker's Dracula to be the centrepiece of their blood-daubed orgies, maybe with a stolen page or two of Orc material; the other founding their Numenorean temple of high and manifest destiny on the teachings of Tolkien, neither congregation having the least idea that they'd grabbed two fragments of a single scripture. (There was a breakaway cult, went off down the beach to do something unmentionable with a tattered copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but we won't talk about them…)
Writers, editors and publishers, like Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Jane Yolen, Sheri Tepper, Anne Cameron (and many others), have changed all that. Just as in the UK, where the rediscovery of fairytales started in the seventies with Angela Carter, Marina Warner and other artists and scholars, the reformers have been predominantly women, and that's fitting, because the old scary, sexy, hearthside tales were always regarded as women's business. But this isn't a case of seventies alternative Cinderellas who reject wimpy gender-role stereotypes. This is a roots issue. For both male and female writers, reclaiming the night of 'dark fantasy' we find in fairytales, has been a reconnection, a restoration of continuity; and I know I said I don't trust legitimate heirs, but you don't have to trust a mighty force to feel its power… The schism is over. Horror is not just Fantasy's evil twin, (or vice versa, depending on your taste). The relationship is closer than that. In fairytales, wish-fulfillment has never been separated from horror. Even Disney never tried to separate them -remember Snow White's stepmother? The hideous family crimes, grotesque punishments, vengeful demons, callous step-mothers, incestuous fathers, savage ordeals, share a bed with the beautiful princess and the handsome prince. It's always been that way. And it's always been that way because that's how our minds work: arousal is arousal. It's quite true, what Tiptree said; though let's hope the psychosexual divide is not so black and white as she imagined. The palace of delight is very close to the pit.

The Kushiel trilogy doesn't have a very strong story arc. The Chosen One's standard career path -boy meets destiny, boy and destiny have a big fight, boy and destiny get back together- can't be feminised for Phèdre. Not least because she's never going to fight her destiny: her strength is to yield. There's a quest, and it spans the three books, but it's a sideline. Instead of the arc, the action quickly falls into an episodic pattern: a dire threat to the realm will emerge, which somehow only an anguissette can handle. Inevitably this works best in the first volume, when it comes as a surprise. By the time she undertakes her third commission, in Kushiel's Avatar, Phèdre is a superb, mature, internationally famous celebrity courtesan, and at times it's weirdly like reading Elizabeth Taylor's account of how she singlehandedly defused the Cuban Missile Crisis… There's something inimitably Hollywood, inimitably suburban and cushiony about the adventurous travelogue. Anyway, this time the threat involves a mad Middle Eastern tyrant (surprise). Phèdre has to smuggle herself into his harem of doom, and there's a huge, filth-encrusted, knobbly iron penis, but we won't go into that…(oh, all right, you want Chapter Forty Six, pages 319-325). Kushiel's Avatar is the most theological of the books: for a while I was afraid Phèdre was going to use her art to save the villain's soul. I'll leave you to discover what really happens, and the momentous events that follow, but you'd better be prepared for the iconography… Personally, I have to say I wasn't worried, and I've been a Catholic all my life. I don't think a religion that makes the beautiful, near-naked body of a man dying by slow torture the centre of its worship, can complain too vociferously about the goth fan club.


Actually I found the Kushiel trilogy's daring use of Christian theology refreshing. So many fantasy epics, and serial fantasies, are set in approximations of Mediaeval Europe, but the culture is given a vaguely Pagan Bronze Age religious base; or, blindly following the fashion set by Tolkein or William Morris, a spirituality you might call Nordic Stern and Solemnism.Very few writers have given the fantasy glamour of chivalry and courtly love the kind of psychic background it ought to have. But women, especially courtesans, ought to notice details and décor; and Phèdre gets it right. In Kushiel, Jaqueline Carey has invoked the monstrous, fairytale world of the fourteenth century with its proper complement of demons and angels, love to the utmost; splendour and sacrifice. I don't aspire to write historical fantasy myself. The research sounds too much like hard work. But I loved reading Kushiel, because I felt I was getting a true revision of the original of all our romances; I was glimpsing the place invented by Malory, and Chretien de Troyes: a mirror of longing, where our double nature is understood and forgiven; wreathed in pearl, and held up to a world as beautiful and terrible as the one we know ourselves. The same land that Petrarch wrote about, in the radiant sonnet he composed after the death of his Laura. If we're right about the real identity of the person he called Laura, and it seems likely, she was thirty-seven when she died, by the way, and she'd had had sixteen pregnancies. But Petrarch remembered….
I vidi in terra angelici costumi-
(but I won't try to recite in mediaeval Italian)
I once beheld on earth celestial graces
And heavenly beauties scarce to mortals known
Whose memory lends nor joy nor grief alone
But all things else bewilders and effaces
I saw how tears had left their weary traces
Within those eyes that once like sunbeams shone
I heard those lips breathe low and plaintive moan
Whose spell might once have taught the hills their places
Love, wisdom, courage, tenderness and truth
Made ill their mourning strains more high and dear
Than ever wove sweet sounds for mortal ear
And heaven seemed listening in such saddest ruth
The very leaves upon the boughs to soothe
Such passionate sweetness filled the atmosphere (Petrarch, sonnet 123)

That beauty co-exists with horror, and that they spring from the same roots, is the message of the fairytale, and the gift that women have brought to the twin genres.

From a talk given at the World Fantasy Convention 2004, Tempe Arizona
later published in The New York Review Of Science Fiction

String of Pearls: Notes
1. Compare Jean Marigny, Le Vampire Dans la Litterature du XX siecle; p71
"Cette être ou cette chose qui se jette sur vous pour vous avaler, votre bouche s'ouvre tout grand pour le contr'engloutir. C'est la béance meme de l'origin menacant que vouse singez Rien ne dit mieux le fantastique que cette image:l'attaque du requin, l'effroi du nageur, duez geules affrontées. Une face-à-face qui voudrait virer bouche à bouche, pour un baiser mortel en forme de dévoration…"(this creature or thing that leaps on you to swallow you, always opens your mouth wide, as if for a counter-swallowing. No image speaks the fantastic better than this gape-mouth made at menace: the attack of the shark, the terror of the swimmer, two open throats affronting each other. A face-off of open mouths, leaping into a deadly kiss that become a devouring…)

2. See "Men Women And Chainsaws", Carol Clover, Princeton, Princeton University Press 1992

Principal Works Cited:leton, Paul, Ça Se Lit Comme Un Roman Policier; Quebec, Éditions Nota bene, 1999

Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Dart, New York, Tor (Tom Doherty Associates) 2001

Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Chosen,New York, Tor (Tom Doherty Associates) 2002

Carey, Jacqueline, Kushiel's Avatar,New York, Tor (Tom Doherty Associates) 2003

Halam, Ann, Don't Open Your Eyes, London, Orion Children's Books, 2000

Petrarch's Sonnet 123 is taken from the translation of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911); most famous for his long correspondence with the "dark and tameless" (his words) Emily Dickinson.
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