Vampire Science and Tech 101

Now that school is back, it’s time to get to work. So how current is your vampire science & tech knowledge? Ever heard of a wasp knife? Do you when vampires are science fiction and not fantasy? Get out your notebooks. Class is in session.

Subject 1: Tech
Writtenwyrdd takes a look at vamp fighting gear, beyond the oft-used holy water squirt guns and silver nitrate filled hollowpoints:

First, there’s the Wasp knife, which inserts a freezing compressed gas into the innards of someone you stab (awesome device for, say vampire killing or other paranormal effect)

And then there’s the Unbreakable Umbrella, which is actually a weapon aka club which you can carry around and not look like a thug. In fact, you can look charming and debonair and rather British while you go about kicking ass and taking names. I picture biker gang thugs with umbrellas.

Class assignment: Design a new weapon fit for an urban fantasy story. Be as original and creative as you like, but also be practical. Weapons must seem realistic if they are to be plausible in an urban fantasy.

Subject 2: Science
I’m sure by now you’ve noticed the crossover between science fiction and fantasy. Did you ever believe vampires would be classified as science fiction? Vampires, the staple of urban fantasy??

Io9 takes a look at several situations were vampires would seem to be SF:
1) Vampirism as a virus.
2) Vampires as aliens.
3) Vampires in the future.
4) Vampiric technology (i.e. in True Blood, humanity learns of the existence of vampires only when perfected synthetic blood frees vamps from their dependence on warm bodies.)

Class assignment: Are vampires in these scenarios SF or fantasy (See Io9 for examples & more info.) Explain your answer.

Bonus assignment:
UF author Holly Black is putting together a vampire hunter kit as a gift. Hop on over to her LJ and help her with ideas.


2 comments on “Vampire Science and Tech 101

  1. Well, in the second scenario it’s important to remember that there is a blend of the two. In Science Fantasy the tale is ultimately fantasy, but there is a science fiction premise built into the world building itself. (This would be the case in True Blood because it’s the technology, the blood substitute, that lets the vampires “come out” which in turn causes all the plot lines. Also Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series is spiked through with science fiction aspects as well.) A book that is largely about a group of people living in a world fighting mythic-like monsters (ie dragons) but then it’s revealed that the people are actually stranded space explorers, would also be science fantasy.

    As for the first one… once in a role playing game I bound sun spirits into single serving bottles of Sunny D then invaded a vampire stronghold. Gave new meaning to “Unleash the power of the sun”.

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