capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (renegade)
[personal profile] capriuni
...And this is what is driving me nuts: I clearly remember reading, years ago, in Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend*, that some cultures believed that children born from sex with a vampire have no bones in their hands (bones, in many cultures, are linked to the soul).

But I've got that book open on my desk right now, and I can't find the article where I read it. And I know that that's the book I read it in. But it's not in the article on vampires, nor the one on bones.

Has anyone here come across something similar, who may be able to give a clue where to look (maybe keywords to search with, online)?

Yes, I remembered this while thinking about my story, since my hero was almost born without the full compliment of bones. And I realized he's probably not the only kid with the condition -- just the only one with parents powerful and rich enough for their doctors to suggest a fancy, new, high-tech, experimental, "fix."

(Ah, the layers of privilege and under-privilege in the Disability Community!)

I know I don't need to remind myself of the details of this folk belief, since I've already got the idea, but it is a brain-itch.

And then, I got a mischievous idea: the other kids, who didn't get an in utero treatment, are fitted into artificial exo-skeletons, and for the kids with the most severe forms of this condition, those exo-skeletons might be fitted around their thorasic cavity, to protect their hearts and lungs -- very much like Davros's -- and I could counter the trope that physical delibilty = spiritual corruption by putting an imposing looking body casing around a rosy-faced innocent, laughing child -- who'd be one of my hero's bestest friends! (Bwa-ha-ha!).

Of course, I'd have to give it a different look, to avoid copyright issue with Terry Nation's estate, but still... *smirk*



*(1972 hardcover edition, which may be around the time I read the article -- I got the book new for Christmas -- it might have been in print a couple of years, by then)

Date: 2010-03-13 11:24 pm (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
This article about Bulgarian vampire lore says that freshly-made vampires have no bones, and that after they suck enough blood they gain a humanlike appearance but have soft bones like cartilage. (It also says that a dhampir, the child of vampire-human relation, is the most ferocious kind of vampire hunter -- this is where Vampire Hunter D comes from.)

The Vampire: A Casebook seems to be an academic tome about folklore, and it says the same thing, that a vampire will sleep with his still-living wife and she'll have a baby with no bones. The account quoted is from early-19th-century Serbia.

A camp horror/comedy movie called Lesbian Vampire Killers uses the idea that vampires have no bones -- the director says in this interview that he liked the idea for the goopy special effects possibilities.

I'm not finding anything about a vampire or dhampir specifically missing the bones in its hands.

Date: 2010-03-13 11:26 pm (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
Oh, and regarding exoskeletons -- have you read Anne McCaffrey's The Ship Who Sang? There's a whole series of these in which babies with severe physical deformities and normal brains are raised to be the central computers for sentient spaceships.

Date: 2010-03-13 11:30 pm (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
Gah, sorry for the spam -- but see if that dictionary has an article on the dhampir.

Date: 2010-03-13 11:52 pm (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
Yyyyeah... I was thinking that I couldn't remember how positive McCaffrey was in those books. There was institutionalized corralling of children into this career, which was never really objected to or seen as oppressive, and I think there was an element of the titular ship falling in love with her pilot and wishing she had a body she could love him with. At least, there was cover art with a pretty-lady projection of the ship's mind.

Yeah, lots of stuff to gag about. I wasn't recommending them, I was just wondering if you'd read them because there's some similar techno-gadgetry going on.

Date: 2010-03-14 01:24 am (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
I guess what I mean is, I know you'll do a hell of a better job with the idea. :P

Date: 2010-03-15 02:08 am (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
Yes -- I'm worrying over racefail and genderfail myself. I have a group of different characters who include different races (although in a non-Earth setting) and I'm wondering if anything I'm getting them into is cliched.

Date: 2010-03-13 11:54 pm (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
Also, the Vampire Hunter D books are just dripping with daddy issues, despite the fact that the hero is thousands of years old and probably should have dropped that by now. ;)

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capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
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