Episode #77 Transcript: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Episode Number: 77
Episode Title: Sunshine by Robin McKinley (listen to this episode)
Transcript by: Susan the Great

Please contact us if you spot any errors.

Renay: Hey friends, I’m Renay.

Ana: And I’m Ana.

Renay: And you’re listening to Fangirl Happy Hour.

[Music: B-3 by Boxcat Games]

Renay: Today we’re here for our first Vault episode of the year. We’re going to talk about Sunshine by Robin McKinley, a 2003 novel, about a woman who is kidnapped by vampires and chained up in a room with another very hungry vampire and what happens after that. And we’re also gonna probably discuss vampire dick.

Ana: And apparently vampire ducks.

Renay: What’s wrong with vampire ducks? That can be a thing.

Ana: Yes, sure, Renay. It could be a thing. Anything is possible.

Renay: What is the animal that would be most scared of if it was a vampire?

Ana: A grasshopper. A vampire grasshopper. Can you imagine anything more terrifying?

Renay: They land on you and then just start eating. What if you accidentally walked through a swarm of vampire grasshoppers?

Ana: You would never see me again.

[Music: B-3 by BoxCat Games]

Renay: Sunshine was a reread for me and for you, right?

Ana: Yep.

Renay: How many times have you reread it?

Ana: This is the first book that I have reread in the past nine years.

Renay: What?!

Ana: I do not reread.

Renay: Never?

Ana: Never. Do you know how many times I have read the Megan Whalen Turner books?

Renay: Once?

Ana: Yep.

Renay: I don’t know what to say.

Ana: I don’t have time. Because everything that I have to read has to have a purpose. It needs to be for the blog. It needs to be for the podcast. If I read anything for fun in my rare moments of freedom I will read something new. So I first read Sunshine in 2008—in March 2008. I started the blog in January 2008 so I was a really—I was a baby blogger when I first read this book. And I was really into romance. My memory of it for the past eight years has been that it is a great book and it features an amazing romance. And for some reason I had memories of a sex scene that never happened, as it just so happens. I was dismayed by doing this reread now, because it was a completely new book to me. I really did not remember any of this. Are you in shock?

Renay: Yes, I can’t believe you’re dismayed. This book is amazing.

Ana: I know, but it isn’t what I remembered.

Renay: Your memory is fallible!

Ana: It’s so fallible. So fallible. So I went to read my review, and in my review it’s all there. It’s basically what I would write today. It’s already there. But I didn’t remember any of it.

Renay: All your brain wanted was a sex scene and because it didn’t get it it just invented one.

Ana: Possibly. I mean, that was one of the things that I said in my review that I wanted more of Con and Sunshine. I would not say that same thing now.

Renay: I really don’t know what to say at this point—I’m in shock.

Ana: Why are you in shock, exactly? what shocks you?

Renay: Maybe it’s because I’ve read this book so many times that not even GoodReads knows how many times I’ve read it. and I think I was introduced to it by my friend Sev and I want to say that somebody just sent me a copy of it. And I read it and I was like, “This is the best vampire novel I have ever read. Sorry Christopher Pike, you’ve been dethroned.” Because the vampire novel of my childhood was not Twilight because I was too young and I missed the boat on L.J. Smith. Mine was Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series which I really want to reread because I’m sure it’s terrible.

Ana: I never read those. My vampire novels of my childhood were the Anne Rice ones.

Renay: I avoided Anne Rice.

Ana: I was so young. I was fifteen. There was no internet. I didn’t know who she was or what she was. I found those books—I didn’t even read Interview With The Vampire. I started with the Vampire Lestat and then read Queen of the Damned and I read those two books so many times. I was fifteen; I was obsessed and they seemed so realistic to me. I thought, “Maybe these vampires do exist?” and I remember just standing in front of my window calling out to them much like Sunshine does in this book calling out to Con.

And there is a really great moment in this novel when she talks about the obsession that every girl of sixteen years old has with vampires, cause I could relate to that. I was so obsessed. I had a friend and we read those books at the same time. We were so into them and at the same Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie came out. It was all around the same time. It’s probably maybe it was the movie that prompted me to get the novels to read. And we wrote fanfiction. But not even fanfiction it was actually a novel that we were writing.

Renay: Right, vampires are the only things that made you write fiction.

Ana: Yes.

Renay: I just missed this completely. This vampire obsession. And I suspect that it has to do with the sexual component because sexuality is a very, very integral part to the vampire mythos. I just don’t experience that? So I just missed it because so much of the vampire stuff was wrapped up in sex. And maybe that’s why the Christopher Pike books are what I remember the most, vampire-wise. Because they—they were kid’s books and they did not focus so much on sex as this explicit thing. I did not stand in my window calling for vampires. I was sleeping.

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: So Sunshine: did you like it? Besides being dismayed about the lack of boning?

Ana: I loved it! I was not dismayed right now. I was dismayed that my memory made that up, but I wasn’t dismayed here because I am not so sure this is a romantic novel.

Renay: It’s always confused me why this is promoted sometimes as a vampire romance, because it’s not.

Ana: Part of me, the part that hears the word vampires and something inside me lights up with darkness and sexual feelings and etcetera. and I immediately connect vampires with seduction and in this book the description of Constantine is of someone who looks like a mushroom and who is so obviously dead. One of the things that Sunshine remarks over and over again is how he doesn’t have a heartbeat. he doesn’t move like a person. He doesn’t behave like a person. His laughter is terrifying, and yet there is part of me that thinks, “But why not?!” But I’m not sure what they are in this novel. Is she attracted to him? Do they have a romance? Is this the beginning of a romance between the two of them in this novel?

Renay: I think you can read it either way, honestly. I’ve had discussions before with friends about whether Constantine is actually as ugly as Rae says he is or if Rae just has a really particular perspective about vampires because of who she is. At the end of the novel, when they take Constantine and Rae back to SOF headquarters and everybody there is sort of suspicious. They think he’s a vampire.

Ana: But they can’t tell for sure because he passes human so easily.

Renay: Something in me is kind of like, “Rae, I think you have some special vampire-seeing skills.”

Ana: Huh.

Renay: Because she can look vampires in the eyes.

Ana: Yes, exactly. Because then let’s say vampires have a way of applying a glamor or appearing exotic and seductive to humans, but that doesn’t work on Sunshine. But, to her, he still looks awful.

Renay: And I think she’s protesting a little bit, too.

Ana: Do you think?

Renay: A little bit, because she definitely wanted to bone him. She definitely wanted to bone.

Ana: Also oh my god, so much, right? But at the same time is it because of the proximity, of the danger, and to what extent do these two actually do like each other? Because there is something that happens to both of them that they are bonded to each other in a way that I don’t know if there’s consent from either one of them about what their relationship really is? They just accept it. But I’m not sure how much of it it’s imposed on them, and how much is a choice.

Renay: They’re not compelled to be together. They were compelled to fight Beauregard because he was targeting them both and once that’s over they make the choice to stay together, but they don’t have to make the choice because the novel shows you that the bond connects them but they don’t have to use it. So they choose to.

Ana: I’m not sure. What works for me for their relationship is that many times, reading vampire romances, especially the relationship between a vampire and a human, there is the problem of the difference in age, the difference in power, and the question of consent. And in here, because Sunshine is so powerful— she’s probably as powerful as Con—the power dynamics is a little bit more level so I can actually buy their relationship on equal terms. And that doesn’t worry me that much. But he’s still dead. He’s not human. I’m sorry, I know this is not a romance, but this is where my brain keeps going.

Renay: Well, it’s not a romance but Con and Sunshine’s relationship is extremely important to Sunshine’s character development. This is a book about Sunshine. It is a character study. And you can tell it’s a character study because of the narrative and the way it’s written. It’s like a diary: like she’s sitting down telling you this story or writing it out to you. It encompasses her whole world. It’s her whole life. It’s her transformation from regular baker to magic-handler and baker.

Ana: That’s a really good perspective. I like what you say about it sounding like a diary because that’s pretty much what it is. And I agree with you that this is Sunshine’s novel. Re-reading my review from back in 2008 one of my main problems with this novel was the fact that we barely knew any other character. For example, one of the things that I noticed now and then is that she mentions her mother multiple times and how much she loves her, but there isn’t a single interaction with her mother in the novel. Similarly we don’t know a lot about Mel, her boyfriend. Constantine has maybe two pages of saying something. And it appears to me that back then, that really bothered me but it didn’t this time, because of what you just said. This is a character study and it’s all about Sunshine.

Renay: It’s really interesting, because I got the very opposite read. I feel like the people in her life are heavily in this novel, like her mom is there via the charms and Sunshine’s really complicated relationship with her. So she’s super super present even though we never see her. I would actually say that Sadie is more present than some of the character we do see, like Aimil and Yolanda. Even though we see them and Sunshine interacts with them in a really specific way, I really feel like Sadie, through her absence—

Ana: Her influence on who she is because for most of the novel, she keeps repeating that she’s her mother’s daughter, because her mother effectively brought her up.

Renay: That’s why we don’t see Sadie at all, because she’s already there so much. There’s no more space for her in the narrative because she’s already there. She’s everywhere.

Ana: That’s interesting.

Renay: And I really liked that this novel highlights Sunshine’s relationship with all the women. I liked that she had a friend. I liked that her mentor ended up being a super hip wardsmaker. So the female friendships in this novel end up being incredibly important and Sunshine relies on them for companionship and help. More so than she does, I think, with the men in her life.

Ana: There is always also her grandmother, who is so essential for who she is and who she becomes. Again, she’s not there right now in the present. And in the end, maybe, a little of herself comes through to help Sunshine.

Renay: The first time I read this book I couldn’t decide what I think, and every time I read it now I still have the same debate with myself over whether Sunshine is dreaming and it’s something that her mind is projecting, or whether her grandmother is alive somewhere.

Ana: I think it could be read either way.

Renay: Exactly. So everytime I read the book my brain goes, “Oh it’s this way” but then the next time I’m like, “Oh, no, it’s this way” and I can’t decide.

Ana: I prefer the reading in which her grandmother is alive somewhere and has helped her. Which is why we need a sequel.

Renay: And now we come to the rub Which is the main complaint that everybody I know makes about this book. Is that it creates all this amazing worldbuilding and then there’s only one book.

Ana: Yes, and it ends. Will, like, all humanity survive? Will Sunshine become this super super amazing magician who will save everybody and kill all the vampires? Will Con be her pet vampire until she dies, or will she even die? She could be immortal. Where is her father and her grandmother? And will she continue to make cinnamon rolls? We don’t know. We will never know.

Renay: Will Rae and Constantine ever bone? Ever?

Ana: I don’t know. Will she break up with Mel? What about her relationship with Mel?

Renay: I just think Rae should date both dudes.

Ana: D’you know what, the moment I said it I thought to myself, “Well why can’t she date both of them at the same time?”

Renay: Interesting idea I had while I was rereading this book and we get to the scene where Rae—teleports? Anyway, she goes through—they call it in the book—nowheresville, ends up wherever Con is, they almost bone, and then Con is like, “NO.” And I was getting this really interesting vibe of like, “What if vampires don’t technically have a sexuality?”

Ana: This is the thing. I think he was controlled by her because at that point every time he got super near her she felt like his chest kept moving, and then of course he got a huge boner and I think it’s due to the proximity of—she does that to him. But not in a, “oh she does that to him because she’s so hot and he loves her,” but because of her powers, her vampire affinity. She humanizes him.

Renay: I’m not sure I agree, but interesting theory.

Ana: That’s how—that’s more or less how I read it and this is why he jumped off her, because that was—he didn’t want that.

Renay: Because I read it completely differently. They come back together and Rae’s thinking about how strong their bond already is and how much it would complicate it. I didn’t feel like it wasn’t that —he didn’t want it and she didn’t want it I felt like it was more of a, “this will complicate everything impossibly.”

Ana: Like, how would it work, right, because—so then he’s dead, he has blood inside him. This is how I assume his dick works, because he has blood inside him. So he pumps blood, but he probably can’t ejaculate because he doesn’t produce. So does that mean he can’t come? So if he can’t come he will never finish he will just keep going on and on and on? There’s at one point where Sunshine said this is one of the legends around vampires that they can keep it up for a super long time because they just do. Is it because they don’t feel the pleasure and maybe this is why he didn’t want to?

Renay: I feel like at least half the straight dudes who listen to this podcast just turned this off. They’re like, “I’m done.”

Ana: But this important! [laughs] This is an important piece of conversation about this novel. I feel that Robin McKinley let us down by not providing an answer to this most important question.

Renay: I guess it doesn’t matter so much because they choose not to do that in this novel.

Ana: In this novel.

Renay: I mean, I’m not gonna argue about whatever the fanfic does. The fanfic can do whatever it wants. Well okay, moving away from—

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: —whether or not Constantine can have orgasms which is apparently a very important topic and I guess we’ll have to do a poll—somebody please email us with your opinions about whether Constantine can have orgasms. Ana really needs to know what the consensus is on this topic. There is so much going in this novel, because there was a war—a magical war—called the Voodoo Wars. It’s changed how the world works. And the worldbuilding here is so fascinating because we only really get pieces of it, and backstory, when Sunshine goes off on a tangent or something relates to something she’s going through.

Ana: We are dumped in the middle of it all. Where is no, “Oh this is what happened and this is where it happened.” Nothing. We just can—we can catch a glimpse of what could have happened via her addendums and asides that aren’t enough to make up a very clear picture. But it’s tantalising, anyway.

Renay: And Sunshine comes from a family of sorcerers. Her dad was a sorcerer and in the novel when Sunshine visits Con, she’s drinking out of a goblet that’s reacting to her weird, and he tells her that the goblet used to belong to her family. All these weird connections because of how close she actually is to the war itself. So when her mom ran away from her dad and took Sunshine with her what was she running from? What were they tangled up in? Because Constantine knows about her family, because his Master obviously knew them enough to get items from them, or from—or know them enough to take their stuff. Like it puts Sunshine super super close to this war when before it had sort of just been something that happened. So I’m really curious about whether or not her mom saw the war coming and ran.

Ana: I don’t know, but I often wondered whether her mom was pure human. Because she was far too powerful, right, and part of it is explained because she’s one of the Blaine’s, one of those wizards from that side of the family. But I wonder whether because there are so many people that she meets that she never realises were something else; it opens up the world to her. It opens up her eyes, properly, to see what people have been hiding. And I wondered whether her mother, if not her mother, but her side of the family, had mixed blood with some sort of demon or goddesses or something like that.

Renay: I don’t think it was demons, but I was really curious because of how much Sunshine harped on it and worried about it, that maybe she was worrying about the wrong thing. Maybe her mother was something else, not demon, but a type of sorcerer just like her father, that she had buried and wasn’t gonna tell her about.

Ana: Mm.

Renay: It brings it back to Sunshine’s constant worry about whether or not she may be part demon and it’ll come out and she’ll murder a bunch of her friends. But it never seems to occur to her that it might be something totally different. Which I think was an interesting piece of characterization and a huge blind spot on her part. Like it never occurs to her to wonder, “Well my dad might have been a sorcerer. What was my mom?”

Ana: Not believing or not wanting to find out about her mother gives her a way out of not being completely non-human, but because for most of the book that’s the gist of it, isn’t it? Her having to come to terms with the fact that she’s not Sunshine The Baker anymore; that there was more to her.

Renay: Pat, one of the SOF members, tells Sunshine that they don’t have very much time left—humans. That’s a very alarming statement. What I found really interesting is like, “humanity doesn’t have that much time left” but we also see that humanity doesn’t really seem to exist anymore because everybody is part-something. What does his statement mean? Does he mean that humanity-humans, like pure human, is going away and the world is gonna have to adapt to a world that’s full of people who are half-demon, half-were? What’s gonna happen to places like SOF? Are they gonna register everybody? Are they pushing back against the tide of the whole world becoming Other and they know it’s not gonna work?

As the novel starts, Sunshine’s like, “Oh, the Others, the Others.” And then as the novel progresses, we meet a lot of these Others and they’re not bad, necessarily, they’re not evil necessarily. They’re just, you know, people trying to make it in the world. And then he makes that statement that we only have so much time left. Does he mean that we only have so much time left before the vampires take over or does he mean we only have so much time left before humanity becomes a minority?

Ana: I read it as until the vampires take over, but it could be the other way around.

Renay: Or both! Or both.

Ana: Or both! Or both. It’s true what you said, that no one around her was pure human. I think Charlie, even though she doesn’t say anything, I think Charlie had powers too and obviously Mel was a wizard, right?

Renay: I was convinced that Mel was a wizard, yeah. Well, I was convinced that Mel was a wizard before I ever got to the part at the end of the book where Sunshine is killing Beauregard and he lends her his power.

Ana: Exactly.

Renay: I think it’s really, really interesting that the novel ends and they go home. And then Sunshine goes out with Constantine for their—a nightly vampire walk, but she never goes back to the bakery. We never see her go back.

Ana: No.

Renay: We don’t get that and I wonder what it means that we don’t get that. Because that means we don’t get the question answered as to whether that was an illusion that Sunshine imagined, or that those people at that bakery had power and linked it to her so—to help her defeat Beauregard. And because we never go back to the bakery the book never has to answer that question. But I’m convinced that those people helped her.

Ana: And I think particularly that Mel was sent there to observe her.

Renay: Oh, really?

Ana: Yeah, I think so. He says, “I am a friend.” I think he was sent there by her grandmother and they got very close and ended having a relationship, but I think originally this is what he was doing there. Maybe protecting her. Maybe just keeping an eye out for her. Maybe he was sent there by her father, not even her grandmother.

Renay: He was one of the pieces of worldbuilding that McKinley like went in on. With his tattoos and how they worked and what kind of people get tattoos and what those tattoos mean. and then it just gets left on the table because we don’t explore.

Ana: But that’s because Sunshine didn’t think about that before, and she just—again is development of her character that she starts thinking about Mel more and more and more until she asks him, “Who are you?” I mean, they’ve been together four years.

Renay: And now she asks him. Pulling back from Mel, who was a good character, and an ally, and we like Mel. what about the Goddess of Pain, the—one of the bosses at the SOF?

Ana: I don’t know what to make of her.

Renay: She really creeped me out.

Ana: I feel like she is evil and infiltrated to observe what they were doing.

Renay: When Sunshine meets her the first time and just feels sick, not even Con makes her feel like that. Makes her feel that bad. And I really liked the fact that apparently you can read minds in this world and they call it trolling.

Ana: Yeah.

Renay: That’s beautiful. This novel had some really interesting things like that and the Goddess of Pain and her—whatever skill she had, that didn’t seem kosher to me, were just one example. Like the charms and then the way that they talk about money.

Ana: It really feel like a post-apocalyptic world, right? But at the very beginning, when she just wakes up and she goes and she just bakes her cinnamon rolls and she talks about her days off watching movies with her family just feels like regular world and then she’s taking on vampires. And then everything changes. And then we realize that’s not quite like that. How would you categorise this novel? Would you call it a horror, fantasy, gothic, romance…?

Renay: I would almost call it gothic fantasy? Except the house doesn’t feature except as a device, and there’s nothing going on creepy with that house. So even though it kinda feels like the world itself has a gothic feel to it. Like there’s some secrets that are just hiding in this world; Sunshine is slowly stumbling across them? But gothic usually refers to houses and families with secrets. So I guess it technically could apply—gothic fantasy—because Sunshine is slowly uncovering generational mysteries by unlocking her powers. So that’s where I would put it. I would never recommend this book as a romance.

Ana: I would not, either.

Renay: And I don’t understand why people sometimes do. “You’re setting yourself and your friends up for disappointment!” she shouted into the void. I mean, it can’t be understated that Con and Sunshine’s relationship is incredibly important, and there’s a lot of fascinating discussions you can have. But this is very much a novel about how a woman comes into her power, how she deals with it, and what she does it with it when she has it. And it’s probably why I like it so much. I mean, how many times have we gotten this story from a dude’s perspective?

Ana: So many times. And it’s her grasping with the question of responsibility as well. Because imagine: she’s just found out that she’s incredibly powerful, she’s pretty much unique in the way that she can one, use sunshine, and two, communicate, control, and destroy vampires. And then she’s told that humanity’s losing the fight against vampires. All of a sudden she’s not only unique and powerful, but she’s also essential. How do you deal with that?

Renay: It’s a big question and she struggles with it.

Ana: Throughout the whole novel. She’s afraid of herself. She’s afraid of that side of herself. She doesn’t know whether she can control it. she doesn’t know if it means that she’s evil. Especially when she sees that her father had dealings with vampires. What does that mean? Then of course she has dealings with a vampire. she trusts him, against all odds, against everything everybody tells her about vampires. Does that mean that she’s evil, too?

Renay: I don’t think it does but—

Ana: No. I don’t think it does either.

Renay: I wouldn’t want to convince her of that. Do you think that she ever tells anybody and SOF and her—or her family about Constantine, ever?

Ana: Unless the world changes…no, I can’t see how she could.

Renay: And does that mean that she’s becoming her father’s daughter, more than her mother’s daughter? Or does it mean that she’s becoming a combination of both, because she’s starting to keep secrets about her life from her—the rest of her family.

Ana: I think she’s becoming Sunshine. She’s herself. I think she would still do it for their protection too. And Con’s protection.

Renay: I can’t believe there’s not a sequel to this novel.

Ana: I know. Do you think Con is unique as a vampire? Is he the only one that works with a human or are others? And if there are others maybe then the world is not about to end because there will be good vampires.

Renay: I don’t think he’s the only one like himself. Because we see Beauregard and how messed up he is. And Con tells Sunshine that’s because of choices that he made. Con has apparently made different choices, so it’s just like being human, except they’re vampires. When they make certain choices they choose to become certain types of vampires. And Con has chosen to become a different type of vampire than Beauregard did and therefore is not the Pizza the Hut of Vampires, oozing everywhere. Unless we think that Con is the only one of his kind and so is Sunshine, because as the book tells us multiple times, people with power—her grandmother, Yolanda, people with power—tell her multiple times, “Well I haven’t really heard of someone’s element being sunlight”. Even though earth, air, fire, water, those people are common. But Sunshine, people with a lot of power, tell her that she’s unique to them and that’s pretty notable when you have somebody like her grandmother, who obviously has a lot of power, and Yolanda who is a wardsmaker and therefore would be acquainted with people with power. So does that make Sunshine and Con both unique?

Ana: That could mean that they are the beginning of something completely new and the beginning of a new world; a healing. And an alliance between vampires and humans, and therefore we need another! fucking! novel!

Renay: But Robin McKinley doesn’t write sequels!

Ana: [whimpers]

Renay: It’s okay. In like a zillion years this will fall into the public domain and somebody can write a sequel to it.

Ana: But we will probably not be alive.

Renay: No, we’ll be dead. But listen, generations after us will not have to go through this pain.

Ana: That doesn’t make me feel better. [laughter] Do you want to know what was completely new to me?

Renay: No, what?

Ana: Cinnamon rolls.

Renay: What do you mean cinnamon rolls were completely new to you?

Ana: I had not heard of cinnamon rolls before reading this novel in 2008.

Renay: Brazil doesn’t have cinnamon rolls?

Ana: Nope. I had moved to England but I had not seen it. And I kept seeing her talking about it like, “What the hell are these things? They sound delicious!” I love cinnamon and I was so obsessed with finding cinnamon rolls and then a Cinnabon opened and I had that. And then our Starbucks here started making cinnamon rolls, and oh my god it’s the most delicious thing!

Renay: I could make you some better cinnamon rolls.

Ana: [moan/sighs]

Renay: Sorry Starbucks and Cinnabon I know that’s your thing, but Ana’s never had Southern homemade cinnamon rolls. She hasn’t lived.

Ana: Oh my god when can I go and visit you.

Renay: Any time. I can’t believe you’ve never had cinnamon rolls before you read—

Ana: No.

Renay: Oh my goodness.

Ana: I had never had them.

Renay: Now I’m gonna have a cinnamon roll just to celebrate you discovering cinnamon rolls.

Ana: Maybe I will have one tomorrow too. [laughter]

Renay: Everybody: reward yourselves with a cinnamon roll and be like, “Congratulations Ana! You discovered cinnamon rolls.” Here’s a question that’s related to cinnamon rolls. My last question about this book.

Ana: Okay.

Renay: Do you think that some of Sunshine’s success as a baker was because she was using magic in her food?

Ana: Yes.

Renay: Glad I’m not alone.

Ana: That’s how I read it. It reminds me of Pushing Daisies, but I think so.

Renay: I love this book.

Ana: I love this book, too.

[Music: Passion by Chuki Beats]

Renay: It’s time for vampire themed recommendations! Ana, what’ve you got for us?

Ana: I have so many recommendations I don’t where to start. I don’t know what to recommend. Do I recommend things that I loved when I was fifteen? Probably not. That’s probably not so safe. So I’m gonna recommend something that I read more recently. An actual romance novel! With actual romance in it! And a vampire that is amazing and finds someone to love and someone who loves him back. It’s called Demon Moon by Meljean Brook. It’s part of the Guardian series that I have already recommended. The first book was Demon Angel. Demon Moon is the second book in this series and it features Colin, a super amazing vampire. It’s so sexy, guys, it’s like, it’s so hot. Please read this. How about you? What do you recommend?

Renay: Back in 2010, Inception came out, and Inception was a huge fandom. It exploded. I won’t pretend that it did not explode because two of the characters who were being shipped were white guys, that’s definitely part of it. But it was fascinating how big it got. And because when fandoms get really big, you get canonical fic but you get really great AU fic too. And weatherfront wrote a story called En Route to Transylvania, which is an Eames/Arthur story where Arthur is a vampire, Eames is a goatherd, and they all live in this farming village.

Ana: [laughter]

Renay: It sounds ridiculous but it is a-ma-zing. It’s amazing. Weatherfront is one of my favorite authors, ever, and it is amazing. So if you want something that will cheer you up you can go read this story. Even if you haven’t seen Inception, you don’t know the characters, I think this holds up as a fun short story. And it’s a little romantic and a little adventurous and a little ridiculous, but it’s so much fun.

Ana: This sounds wonderful.

Renay: And it’s not very long too so you can definitely read it very quickly, as I try to get more and more people as possible to go read this story that I love. Okay Ana, tell everybody what we’re going to be discussing next time.

Ana: Sure. On our next Friday episode we will be talking about Ms Marvel volume six, Black Panther volume one, and Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

Renay: It’s gonna be a great time.

Ana: I think so, too.

[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]

Renay: That’s a wrap for our first Vault episode for the year! Thanks to our lovely Patrons. Instead of getting a long-form Vault episode every quarter, you’re going to get an episode like this every month. Unfortunately, they probably won’t all have discussions of vampire dicks. Sorry.

Ana: Unfortunately is the key word here.

Renay: We want to hear from you. What is your favorite vampire media? Let us know via Twitter at @fangirlpodcast, or you can email us at fangirlhappyhour@gmail.com. If you liked the show, share it with a pal. You can also subscribe to our excellent newsletter at fangirlhappyhour.com.

Ana: Our transcripts are made for us by Susan and you can find her on Twitter at @spindilly. Our show’s art is Ira; they’re on Twitter at @itsjustira. Our music this week is by Chuki Beats and BoxCat Games and links all of these awesome folks will be in our show notes at fangirlhappyhour.com. And remember that we are now on Patreon.

Renay: Drink water! Sleep more! Contact your representatives! And thanks for listening.

Ana: See you next episode.

Renay: Bye!

[Music: Happy Summer Love by Chuki Beats]

Ana: I couldn’t be readier like…a vampire dick. Sorry.

[beep]

Renay: Well bleh, bleh, bleeeeeeeh, okay, here we go.

[beep]

Renay: [laughter] I’ve gotten lazy, Ana, I’ve gotten lazy.

Ana: No, you got busier. Different.

[beep]

Renay: I don’t know. How long did it take you to read this book?

Ana: It took me a long ass time.

[beep]

Ana: You need to go on Twitter because we have a couple of really cool things.

Renay: Oh, what is it. fangirlpodcast.

Ana: Someone made a cartoon of Count—

Renay: Quackula OH MY GOOOOOOD!

Ana: [laughter]

[beep]

Renay: Dragons vs unicorns at length and with examples.

Ana: [laughs]

Renay: I’m adding that to the Question Tuesday.

Ana: [laughs like a duck]