Friday, November 10, 2006

The Personal and The Political

In honor of Tuesday’s elections the moderator of Fur, Fey & Fangs asked the contributing authors to consider the political system their metahumans employ in their novels (ie the hierarchy of a wolfpack, coven, or murder of vampires). I can’t really answer this question because I don’t actually think there are a lot of vampires in existence in my universe.

I really struggled with this particular issue – that is, what’s the deal with vampires? How do they survive preying on humans without being discovered? Or should I go with the scenario made popular by Laurel K. Hamliton’s Anita Blake series, where vampires have become citizens in their own right and are subject to governmental rules and regulations like normal people.

I decided I couldn’t think of a unique enough reason that vampires would be part of the known world, so rather than risk blatantly ripping off Hamilton (or any of the other myriad of vampire writers who have chosen this route) I’d keep them in the magical closet, as it were.

That left me with the issue of how is that no one has discovered their existence? Even though the article I posted about the mathematical improbability of vampires has been negated by my devoted and mathematically-inclined readers, there is always the issue that if you had a murder (sorry, but I like that so much better than “coven”) of twenty or thirty vampires all living in a town the size of Madison, Wisconsin your food source would run out pretty quickly, I’d think. Or, at the very least, the local cops would start wondering about the quantities of exsanguinated bodies piling up in the county morgue.

I solved the first problem by giving my vampires the ability to stay alive without having to kill their victims.

For the rest, I figured that I had to limit the number of vampires. I’ve never specified the exact number of vampires in the world, but Garnet has met only a few. Two is considered one too many for Madison.

The ghouls know about vampires, of course. (Ghouls are volunteer donors to the vampires.) I’ve never really explained how it is that Sebastian and the others recruit them without giving away their true identity, but I’ve always figured vampires did use a bit of “glamour”/Thrall/cult of personality to keep the whole thing a kind of open secret in that particular subclass of people.

So my novels politics are local and personal, I guess.

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