Jun. 22nd, 2008 10:15 am
stickmaker: (Default)
I have a long-time interest in folklore, including vampires. For a fantasy novel in progress I have come up with what I think is a novel explanation of the whole "undead" thing. My vampires are living creatures (not an uncommon premise in itself) but because the process of becoming a vampire burns out most of the human social instincts they give the impression of not being truly alive.

Think about it. When you are talking with someone both of you are making small movements, non-verbal noises, with all sorts of instinctive social cues flowing back and forth between you.

Now, imagines you're sitting with someone who only speaks - only makes a _sound_ - when they have a conscious reason to. Who makes none of the little social movements, no gestures no twitches, but just _sits_ there. Barely breathing. Occasionally blinking. Otherwise still as a corpse. You might not consciously notice what was wrong, but you would definitely think something was wrong. Even a social klutz like me would find that unnerving.

My vampires can learn to mimic these social instincts, but doing so well enough to pass as human for more than a casual encounter requires enormous effort. It doesn't become second nature without centuries of practice.

Does this idea work?

Does it resemble some extreme forms of autism, or some other brain-function disorder?


Jun. 7th, 2006 03:37 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
Excerpt from _Empire of Lead_, a novel in progress:

“While senior vampires have a vast physical superiority over low-levels, they rarely fight each other through such crude means. Our methods are far more sophisticated."
"How do real vampires fight?" said Link, curious.
"I don't think you're quite ready to learn that, yet," said Delta, raising an eyebrow. "Though I should give you a sample, just so you will know how much you have yet to learn."
She stood, smiling. Relaxed, at ease, in no way threatening. Yet Link shuddered. There was something stirring, something undetectable to normal senses. A feeling of pressure built. Sound and sight became distorted, the former developing major wow and flutter while the latter now had a significant astigmatism. Link heard a burst of wavering music, as if a child were playing with an old-fashioned record turntable. He began to sway on his feet. The last thing he noticed was the color drain from the world as eyes opened all around...

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