Okay, maybe not the best idea I’ve had. But it combines a couple of hot movies of the year, G-Force and (coming in October) Zombieland.

Anyhow (segue!) . . . There’s a good LiveJournal discussion group called Fangs, Fur, & Fey, for writers of urban & paranormal/dark fantasy featuring fur (werewolves), fangs (vampires), or fey powers (dangerous fairies). And variants thereof.

On that site, I saw this great post by author Jennifer Lynn Barnes, evaluating the relative appeal, fictionwise, for those dark choices.

Ms. Barnes is the author of several books of urban supernatural fantasy for teen (and up) readers, such as Tattoo (2007), with this review from Publishers Weekly, via Amazon.com:

Barnes’s book about four friends who get special powers from their temporary tattoos has some fun moments, despite the far-out premise. [. . .] Delia [one of the four] also delivers the book’s best line when facing off against evil Alecca: “You think you’re bad?… I’m on the cheerleading squad; I know what real evil looks like.”

Here’s a bit from that Fangs, Fur, & Fey post by Barnes, “On Hotness”

I’ll freely admit that typical vamps have their drawbacks. Personally, were I given a choice, I’d prefer the heart in my guy’s chest to be beating, and normally, I go for more of a healthily tanned skin tone than the whole Creature of the Night thing. That said, there’s something about vampires that just seems tragic and strong and too, too dangerous in a really Forbidden Love kind of way.

When I think of werewolves, I automatically think of intense emotions – joy, rage, love, and the like, but I see vampires as more naturally stand-offish. They’re colder, more calculating. They’re often solitary. They distance themselves from people. But here’s the thing: I think it’s a million times hotter when a character’s human emotions come as a surprise or seem somehow discordant with their supernatural nature than when they don’t. When a vampire falls in love, it’s not just romantic. It’s a miracle. It’s eternal, and in a lot of universes, the odds seem so stacked against it that any tenderness I see from Mr. Fangy makes me go totally weak at the knees.

Interesting authorial thoughts . . . going to the question of why authors chose particular types of supernatural beings, given all the choices, to populate their fantasy stories.

In the world of genre fiction (prone to stereotypes), how do engaging characters come to life?

When it works, it’s that blend of (a) ancient archetype, plus (b) a fresh story and individual personality of a specific character . . . building a tale that merges classical and very personal forms of thrills and challenges and changes that throws fuel on the story’s fire.

Check out the Fangs, Fur, & Fey site if you’re interested in the hip, fun, and very popular field of urban & paranormal fantasy today.

(Blog post on the Creeping Past Dragons blog by Philip Martin, director of Great Lakes Literary and author of A Guide to Fantasy Literature.)