Sime~Gen Inc. Presents
"Werewolves, Vampires and The Cardinal Grand Cross"
Shadow of the Beast by Margaret L. Carter, , Design Image Group, Inc. POB2325, Darien, Ill. 60561 ( www.designimagegroup.com ) pb. 1998
Bloodwalk by Lee Killough, MM Publishing, (www.angelfire.com/biz/MeishaMerlin ) pb., 1997
Blood Roses "A Novel of Saint Germain" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tor hc., 1998
Last month, we focused on the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Dark Frontier" and how the events of the plot are forged directly from Seven of Nine's personal internal conflict, her journey of self-discovery and now in this episode, a final test of her new-forged Individuality.
This episode of Star Trek: Voyager forges Seven of Nine's character by confronting her with her nemesis and putting choice of action into her own individual hands. After she has made her choice at the very end of the second hour, she is a new person, with a new strength.
And in the process, she learned something. She states that she had not expected Janeway to bring Voyager back to rescue her from the Borg. Janeway has made it clear on many occasions that a Starfleet Captain does not abandon a crewmember.
Seven remembered how the crew accepted individual personal sacrifices for the survival of Voyager - she forgot how Voyager, her new "collective" took collective risks for the sake of the Individual. That is the reciprocal relationship between First and Seventh House. (Aries; Libra) Without that element of reciprocality, Individuality (1st House; Aries) has no Honor (10th; Capricorn).
Honor (10th) will always Stress Individuality (1st) and Home(4th) will always stress Relationship (7th). Our Initiations are in our squares.
In this column, I have made it a rule to discuss only books I can recommend as worth reading, at least for some readers. Now, I am going to mention a novel which is worth reading, I think, only for those who are interested in the process of writing, and in the impact of the Internet on what I have labeled in prior columns "The Fiction Delivery System."
This is Shadow of the Beast a werewolf novel by the Vampire expert, Margaret L. Carter. And it's not a wonderful book. As entertainment, I found it boring. As a study in Writing Craftsmanship vs. The Fiction Delivery System, I found it exciting. And I think those who are studying astrology and/or writing craftsmanship would benefit greatly by doing a contrast/compare study of Shadow of the Beast and Star Trek: Voyager "Dark Frontier".
Margaret L. Carter is a graduate of the writing workshop that has hitherto been running inside the Sime~Gen Listserv but which is now a part of WorldCrafters Guild, the free professional writing school on www.simegen.com . Look her up on amazon.com too where some of her other books are listed.
Margaret is one of the teachers at this fledgling Guild. In the writers section of the Guild, Margaret has done an essay on what went wrong with this novel, and why, and I have added a commentary thread to her analysis. (http://www.simegen.com/writers/ ) -- in the "writers" section of the Guild, we have writers presenting their own work for analysis, discussing flaws and how they happened and what might have been done to fix them.
I wrote that commentary between seeing the two halves of "Dark Frontier" and in writing last month's column, I suddenly realized an important connection between these two stories.
Star Trek: Voyager has been telling us Seven of Nine's story, a journey of self-discovery, the journey of the amnesiac who is recovering a lost childhood, the journey of the massively traumatized recovering the details that forged a "second personality" into a separate being.
Most of the steps on Seven's Journey of self-discovery have been embedded in episodes focused on other characters. A few have been focused on her. She has been a 'background character" (see my discussion of The President's Astrologer in a later column) more than a Point-of-View character.
Star Trek's greatest strength is that it is an "ensemble show" and Star Trek's greatest weakness is that it is an "ensemble show". This makes it hard to study. Which may be why I missed this point while writing my commentary on Margaret's analysis of her werewolf novel.
Margaret says she had originally set out to write a werewolf novel which was a journey of self-discovery. And, in this television age, I believe she didn't realize she had chosen to tell that journey as an "ensemble story" very much akin to Seven of Nine's.
When the novel sold, the editor also apparently missed this point and asked to have several members of that ensemble (and in fact, the Janeway-equivalent character!) excised from the novel. Since resistance was futile, Margaret chose to comply. The result is a novel well and truly worth studying for those who wish to become commercial fiction writers.
In addition, I believe those who are interested in the astrology of the Saturn Cycle will likewise learn much from contrasting this novel with the "Dark Frontier" Star Trek episode.
Next we come to a reprint of a pair of Vampire novels which have been my benchmark of excellence both in Vampire-as-good-guy and in self-discovery.
Bloodwalk by Lee Killough is a quality paperback reprint of Lee Killough's two novels Blood Hunt and Bloodlinks from 1987 and 1988. I believe this predates Forever Knight in presenting the Vampire Cop Story where the Vampire is the Cop.
I reread the two novels all in one piece -- loved them better than I originally did, and for the second time, (see my first columns here) they get my highest recommendation.
And lastly this month, once again I draw your attention to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's ongoing Vampire series about Saint Germain. The 1998 entry is Blood Roses, a name for the Black Plague used in France, where the novel is set between 1349 and 1383 when there were three bouts of that plague.
Saint Germain is a thorough study of the Honor of the Threat Response. He disregards personal safety to help Others as Individuals, and he always gets in trouble for it. In this case, he makes another vampire whose motives are unique among all his "children." This new vampire completes the avowed purpose of becoming a vampire, and then deliberately dies. No power-lust. Just duty, loyalty and love. (Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus). This new vampire never knows or considers the pain of Saint Germain's loss -- because he doesn't lay that guilt-trip upon his children.
But what sent me into paroxysms of unbridled delight was that Yarbro, in this novel, used many of those marvelously unusual Words she digs out of the O.E.D. for us.
As a writer, I am enamored with words, and I adore Yarbro's work because of it. She's one of the few writers left who dares to use words above the 8th grade level. She not only uses correct terminology for the garments and implements of the age she's writing in, but she is giving us back our Language, one gem at a time.
The best part is that you don't trip over the unusual words in the text. Her technique is flawless. You just absorb the history while living through being Saint Germain.
Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg,
Find these titles by using copy/paste (in MSIE use right mouse button to get the copy/paste menue to work inside text boxes) to insert them in the search slot below -- then click Book Search and you will find the page where you can discover more about that book, or even order it if you want to. To find books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, such as the new Biblical Tarot series, search "Jacqueline Lichtenberg" below.
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The Re-Readable Collection
Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg