Death as a Tool in Genre Storytelling

March 29, 2012

Spend enough time watching the Master, and you start to expect the sudden, soul-crushing deaths of your favorite characters – particularly when nearing the end of a series. Sometimes I have to remind myself that not every writer has Joss Whedon’s love of sticking a knife in my gut vis-a-vis killing off a beloved fictional hero. Unfortunately, it seems that for a genre story to achieve any sort of legitimacy from the wider world, death is the key. Not just any death, mind you. To really achieve mainstream acclaim, that death must be a) shocking, b) of an innocent, and c) as a result (direct or indirect) of another hero’s actions.


The Turkey Will Be Televised

November 24, 2011

One of my favorite holiday traditions, whether that holiday is Halloween or Christmas, is to collect a playlist of holiday-themed episodes from my favorite TV shows. There are a dozen episodes of American television that center around the harvest festival we affectionately refer to as ‘Thanksgiving.’ Or, as Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer refers to it, “A ritual sacrifice. With pie.” There are lists all over the internet, and I could just marathon Friends episodes, but here are some of my favorites: