Vampire Science With Professor Giuseppe

21 Feb

So last week, after I grossed out all the muggles and got pats on the back from all the magical types (y’all know who you are) for my Adventures in Blood Painting, I did a post on Superpowered Science over at Katey Hawthorne’s blog. Partly because talking about that incident must bring up the battle cry, “It’s for SCIENCE!!” that came out of the incident — at least for me. That was Reenie’s reaction (that and the one I mentioned in the comments, “I want to see the painting!” We do these things to ourselves on occasion, but come on, it’s for science!

And of course that must remind me of a hobby of hers — of ours, really, though she’s the one who actually knows what she’s doing, and I am extremely codependent about it. Superhero science! My personal inspiration for this fascination, at least in its current, sharpened, rather more critical form, can be traced to Ultimate Fantastic Four — and that’s what the superpowered love post was about. So if you’re into that, hop over there and have a look at the post, because it’s kinda fun, though I say it myself:

The Fantastic (Or Why I Love Superhero Science)

It’s really about the suspension of disbelief, and how a few factual details can make all the difference. I mean, if you pick up an urban fantasy, paranormal, or magical realist type book, you’re prepared to suspend — but isn’t it so much easier when the excuses the author gives you are plausible, in a sense?

If you’re saying yes, awesome; you may also enjoy Vampire Science, a sub-field of Superpowered Science, also pioneered by Reenie some years ago while I was first trying to beat Liam into shape. Thing is, Liam himself… I mean, he’s book smart, but… okay, the guy’s kinda dumb. And Gianni, the big bad vampire, doesn’t give a shit — he’s way too busy eating people to care how he does it. He’s fucking good at it, and he makes it look fucking good — what more can anyone want from him, for the love of all things unholy?

Enter my very own mad scientist vampire, Giuseppe Fiorenza (later known as “Papa Joe” to those who love him). He spends his long nights in his basement laboratory, trying to find the answer to how and why vampires happened. He also gives a good, brief Vampire Science lesson:

“And so,” Giuseppe went on, “our bodies have developed a mechanism for absorbing the nutrients and red cells in blood plasma directly through absorptive walls in the stomach and intestines*. And that’s how we’re, ah, ‘screwed up’.”

I smiled. For a nerdy old man, he knew how to put someone at ease. At least, as much as I needed to process his point without turning into a bawling child. “Okay, so… why don’t the red  cell progenitor guys get hopped up on Elixir like everything else?”

He looked so pleased, I half expected a That’s a good question, Liam. You get a gold star. “That’s precisely what I hope to discover. If I knew, I might find a way around our dependence on foreign sources of blood.”

Whoa. Immortality without the murder. It seemed wrong. “That’s seriously far out.”

“Rather,” he agreed, with disarming enthusiasm.

Well, Jesus. Why hadn’t Gianni just said all that in the first place? Speaking of — “But, wait. If we inject our own Elixir with the bite, why doesn’t it hurt to drink from the same human?”

After it was out, I hoped that wasn’t one of those things you weren’t supposed to admit to having done in front of someone’s venerable scientist uncle. Some vampire kink thing. We’d only done it once or twice, but–

“The amount injected is minimal as it passes through the mouth, just enough to allow your system recognize it. Little enough that another vampire might assimilate it with no difficulty.”

“But if you shot up with another vampire’s blood –?”

“It would be rejected, just like anything else. Very unpleasant experience, I should imagine.”

I paused. “What if you drink from another vampire?”

That time, I actually flushed. Speaking of potential vampire kink…

“It’s inadvisable. Too much of another’s Elixir mixing with your own is, ah, well, potentially dangerous.”

Huh. Slightly embarrassing, but a good thing I asked. “So it’s another weakness? Like garlic?”

“No, nothing like that,” he said slowly, as if trying to remember. Or, I got the sudden impression, trying not to. “But it creates certain bonds that cannot be broken.”

And yeah, there’s a reason for the garlic thing, too. But don’t worry — no skin was broken in the creation of Vampire Science 101. Er, at least… not that Reenie told me about.

Right, by the way, that whole vampire thing is happening late in this year. Belfire Press. Word.

*Over half of Papa Joe’s lines in this scene were written by Irene Ballagh. Word for word. Told you I was codependent.

10 Responses to “Vampire Science With Professor Giuseppe”

  1. Me February 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    First of all, I can’t WAIT to get my paws on this book. Second, I, too, tried to offer a reason for the vampire plague in my vamp fantasy, but I used mythology. Even found a way to tie mummies into it. HEH.

    Great post! It’s so nice to be among the living … er … undead, again! ;)

    Now, I gotta see this other post you were talking about. Blood-painting? EEK…but yet soooooo intriguing.

    • Katey February 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      Mummies, yaaaaaay!! Mmm I hope we’ll get to see that one soon because yum. Well, plague is not yum, but if there are vampires, it definitely balances things out.

      I used alchemy. Which… uh, isn’t science. But still, it’s pseudo-science, so, uh, right. It works. Totally.

  2. Anthony J. Rapino February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Absolutely agreed about providing some kind of “grounding” for the crazy/magical/supernatural to seem plausible. Of course, I’m guilty of not always doing that, but I *try.* :-p

    • Katey February 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      Yeah sometimes I do more or less, depending. When I’m setting shit up for five books, though, I figure I’d better take the trouble. One book or a short, eh. Not because it’s too much work, but because it just doesn’t FIT. Infodump ahoy, right?

  3. Alexa Seidel February 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    “Whoa. Immortality without the murder. It seemed wrong. ”

    Sounds awesome. I’m in. Do I get a pretty chapbook again?


    • Katey February 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Hell yeah. I’m already working on a new short for one <3

      • Alexa Seidel February 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        Lemme guess: something along the lines of sex, violence, and angry vampires.


        • Katey February 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

          Bwahaha how well you know me! :D

  4. Voss Foster March 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I’ve always been fascinated by the way different minds handle vampire physiology/evolution/what have you, and when you can get a good, straight, logical explanation like that one–well, it’s nice, and so very rare anymore.


    • Katey March 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Hey, thanks for stopping by, Voss!

      I think that’s why they’re my favorite monsters — there are just so many ways to go with how they work, and most of them are just super, super awesome. I’m glad this one works for you! It was definitely tons of fun to write. Even more than usual since I had sciencey help.

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