Tuesday, October 18, 2011

F. Scott the Vampire Slayer

A few years ago, I had a dream in which I was on the set of a movie being filmed that was based on a zombie story written by none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don't know where it came from, why I was dreaming it, or what significance it has on anything. It did plant in my head, however, the idea that flappers and monsters might make for an interesting mix.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that notion, as today I had the unique pleasure of reading a short story by Rebecca Rand Kirshner called "The War Between the States". It's included in the second volume of the Tales of the Slayers collection and is, essentially, a vampire slayer story had it been conceived of, and written by, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It takes place in 1922, features an innocent girl from the south moving up to New York and all the excitement that entails. She discovers the party atmosphere and is swept along in its wake, risking her reputation and, ultimately, her life. For, of course, there are vampires afoot, and if one of the characters didn't happen to be a pre-Buffy slayer, things would have gotten messy. Or messier, I guess, seeing as how there's always fighting and slaying when there's a slayer around.

Kirshner may not have been trying to ape Fitzgerald, here, but I highly doubt it. There are way too many similarities in style and tone, and there's very much an "Ice Palace" vibe going on here. Seeing how Fitzgerald's story was originally published in 1920, and there are many similar story elements, it had to have been planned. Kind of like when Jane Espenson did a Jane Austen style slayer story in the Dark Horse Tales of the Slayers anthology book.

I hope to one day get the opportunity to ask her that question and confirm it. I suppose I could also search online for interviews or any comments she may have made to that effect.

In any case, it was a bright spot in my day. Also a well written and entertaining little story. Almost gets me in a Buffy mood after all that Star Wars.



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