May 2nd, 2008

lake with rowboat

The Vampires of Dawson's Creek

An item on GalleyCat tipped me off to the new 2008 TIME 100 list of the 100 folks Time magazine considers "most influential." GalleyCat noted some of folks were authors. I wasn't that excited to see Suze Orman or Elizabeth Gilbert there, but number 74, was Stephanie Meyer, is the author of Twilight, a teenage vampire series that is wildly popular. I'm not a fan of vampire fiction, in general, but it is spec fic, and so I cheer to see that she made the list. Although, truly, I fail to see what makes Robert Downey, Jr., "influential."

Stephanie Meyer is an observant Mormon, and one thing that sets her vampire fiction apart (aside from huge sales numbers) is that there is no sex. There is lust, yes, there is heavy breathing, but there is no actual sex. Interestingly, Orson Scott Card wrote her bio for the Time list. He compares her to Jane Austen. I'm not sure I buy that comparison, but that might be because he's messing with my literary pantheon. But also, Austen's heroines, eve the quite young ones like Emma, were plainly women—old enough to marry, and by the end of the story, ready to marry. Meyer's heroine in this series is plainly an adolescent—more Dawson's Creek than Pride and Prejudice.

Her next series, however, is out and out science fiction—alien parasites invade the earth. The heroine is a grown-up woman with a job. It will be interesting to see if Meyer can draw the same level of audience with an adult story.

In other words, will she be on Time's list next year?
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