This week's cover: Vampires!

EW-cover-1059_lThis week’s Entertainment Weekly delivers the ultimate guide to vampires. You’ll find interviews with the authors behind Twilight and True Blood, our list of the 20 greatest bloodsuckers ever, and Anne Rice’s pick for the best new vampire — as well as a talk with her about how she revolutionized the vampire legend decades ago with Interview with a Vampire.

With Twilight a phenomenon, True Blood attracting converts by the millions, and hordes of new vampire projects looming in the shadows, bloodsuckers are haunting every corner of our lives: bookstores, television, movies, and more. Why has pop culture thrown open its door and invited them in? “The traditional vampire story, with monsters and victims, chases and chills, is more plain fun,” says True Blood’s executive producer Alan Ball. “But they can often reveal the general state of the cultural psyche.”

Vampires are such versatile symbols now that they can express both conservative and liberal views. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels are steeped in her Mormon values. But True Blood speaks in part for gays and, as Ball puts it, “eight years of institutionalized demonization of pretty much any group that wasn’t on the bus with Mr. Bush.”

It may come as a surprise to learn that Meyer – reigning queen of pop culture’s vampire coven – has an uneasy relationship with them. Back in 2003, when she was writing the first draft of Twilight, she refused to show it to her husband. “I was embarrassed,” she said. “It was about vampires.” In fact, last year, she told EW that her great wish was to reclaim some time to write something new. “Look, I’m not just a vampire girl,” she said emphatically. “I can do other worlds.”

Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books, has her own thoughts on the Twilight phenomenon. “Stephenie Meyer has come and she’s taken the genre that I sort of pioneered. Her original audience was 11- and 12-year-olds, so she – very rightly – sanitized the genre. She took out a lot of the sex and violence, especially for the first book…I ask people, Why has this really captured you? What I heard from all ages is that it was very romantic that he was willing to wait for her and that there was no sex. They like the idea that [Bella] was like the fairy princess and [Edward] is the handsome prince that rides in and saves her. The fact that women are so attracted to that idea – that they want to wait for Prince Charming rather than taking control of their own life – I find that frightening.”

When asked why people find vampires so appealing, Anne Rice (author of the series The Vampire Chronicles) says, “I think people are intrigued by what they would do if they were offered the opportunity to be a vampire. Would they be willing to drink human blood in order to be immortal? Maybe they would.”

For more about vampires, including our list of the 20 Greatest Ever and Anne Rice’s pick for the coolest of the new crops, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly onstands as of July 31. And be sure to check out our 27 hottest TV/movies vampires gallery, online now.

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  • crispy

    I have never heard of Laurell K. Hamilton, but she thinks she “pioneered” the vampire genre? Bram Stoker begs to differ.

    Despite that moment of arrogance, her comments about Twilight setting women back are spot-on.

    • orville

      I think she meant that she pioneered the “santizied” version of the vampire genre–for the tweens.

      • Lyn

        . . . Laurell K. Hamilton is NOT for tweens, at all. Her books border on being little more than smut, with SOME supernatural stuff in it. The last one was filled with practically nothing BUT rather graphic sex.

      • IndyM

        Laurell K. did pioneer the genre a lot – just as much as Ann Rice. She wasn’t Bram Stoker, but her Anita Blake series is one of the more modern, more successful series in the vampire world.

        And if you read her books, you’d see why she made the comment about prince charming. Anita Blake, her character, does NOT wait for men to come around saving her. She’s a very tough woman, and Bella looks like a little girl in comparison.

      • Maria

        in reference to your statement that Laurell K. Hamilton’s last book was “filled with practically nothing BUT rather graphic sex.” I have to ask you to please get your facts straight. There are 486 pages in Skin Trade, the seventeenth of the seies. Of those 486 pages approximately 22 are of sexual encounters, and about a third of those are spent explaining something that happened “off camera” not in the actual happening of it. So how would approximely 15 pages out of nearly 500 constitute “filled with practically nothing BUT rather graphic sex.”
        The previous book in the series Blood Noir had one sex scene and it was only mentioned through flashbacks and memories.
        So please before condemning something make sure that you are up to date and have all the facts, because someone somewhere does.

      • Diane

        Getting the facts straight about Skin Trade–notice that you omitted mentioning that Anita had forced sex with a 16 year old, even if it did happen “off-screen”, so LKH has no right to call anyone else out for their “frightening” concepts. She thinks gratuitous nastiness and shock value can substitute for good writing and a logical plot. The only concept LKH has pioneered is that of “deus ex vagina.”
        By the way, Blood Noir had more than one sex scene, and it was not a flashback. The first one took up the first few chapters describing a three-way between Anita, Jason and Nathaniel, and it showed all the writing skills of a piece of fanfic written by a group of hormonal teens at a slumber party.

      • Maria

        Actually the “forced” sex you speak of was not forced by Anita but by the Vampire Vitoria through mind control and Anita is mortified when she discovers it. The book takes place in Las Vegas and like it or no 16 is legal in Vegas for a male. So “deus ex vagina” does not hold since “An unexpected, artificial, or improbable instance of two or more individuals having sex introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot. ” in any instance with Ania Blake complicates rather than untangles all situaions.

        As for Blood Noir, you are correct there e two scenes in the book… my mistake, the first one lasts for ten pages, in chapters 2,3,and 4. I personally, would have made it all one chapter because it is all of 10 pages with the chapter breaks. The other scene in the book is somewhere around chapter 40 and all we see is the aftermath and flashbacks. And again Anita has been overtaken by a being far more powerful than herself.
        As for writing skills, everyone has an opinion, mine happens to differ from yours.

      • sassy2009

        I agree completely with your interpretation. Laurell’s works are not for everybody, and she would be the first to suggest that they are written for an older crowd. I see more similarities with True Blood than I do with Twilight, there is graphic adult content. (Confession: haven’t actually read any of the Meyer books, other than The Host – not vampire related). I actually do think some of Laurell’s books are basically porn, the later ones seemed to be driven by the sex more than the plots, but I’m okay with that. Prob. because I love her portrayal of Anita, it’s wonderful to see strong complicated women as the protagonists. If somebody doesn’t feel comfortable with that, okay don’t buy and read her books, but you shouldn’t compare her writing to fanfic. It’s a matter of taste, not ability. She is undoubtedly a very talented writer.

      • sassy2009

        Sorry I forgot to mention that I agreed with IndyM when I wrote my last post. I wasn’t able to reply directly to her comment, just yours. So to restate, Laurell K. Hamilton’s writing is ABSOLUTELY NOT MEANT FOR TWEEN. Please don’t buy her book for the young’uns – and you might not want to give them to a younger teen either.

    • Cin

      I don’t know about Hamilton, but I don’t get why everyone thinks that the twilight series is so clean. On violence, yes, but it’s very sexual. Bella wants to have sex with him from the get go. the only reason Edward doesn’t is because of his blood lust and his strength. Other than that, he’s all over her. any one who’s ever glanced at any book about sex knows there is a lot more to lovemaking than intercourse. I personally don’t think that the books are appropriate for tweens. the series could easily be an dult book if the characters weren’t in high school.

      • Cin

        As far as setting women back. COME ON ALREADY!! It’s our nature to be attracted to strong men, and actually she never gives up anything. She gets it all. If anything, he gives up his power. Women have got to get over this whole concept that if a woman falls for a man that somehow she becomes subservient.

      • S Mac

        So being innocent until marriage is a crime now and sets women back?!? What a bunch of Sh*T!! So I guess you have to be a complete slut to be a “Modern Day Woman”.

      • Abby

        I love this! You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth! There is nothing “old-fashioned” about old-fashioned values. Gosh, I wish we’d incorporate more of them.

      • crispy

        Uh, what? There is nothing old-fashioned about old-fashioned values? Riiiight. And there’s nothing purple about purple… it’s more of a bluish red.

      • ditzybug

        Cin, Exactly! Bella doesn’t “settle” for anything and she knows quite clearly what she wants and waits for it. Wow and a guy that respects her?! What a novel idea!!

      • dinsdale

        I read the books and I agree about Bella setting women back. She feels like she is worthless unless she is loved by some perfect man. And that she is unworthy of said man because he is so beautiful and she feels she isn’t. She goes against all good sense and instinct because of her lust for him. He treats her like a 5 year old. Shall I go on?

      • Linda

        Bella fights for what she wants. If she were to “back down” and decide to do what others wanted (i.e., not being with Edward), THAT would be weak. Instead, Bella follows her heart, against all odds.

      • Kristine

        Bella is weak because she doesn’t stand on her own. She needs Edward. In New Moon, Edward leaves her and she feels like her entire life is over and she uses Jacob (another male character) to build up her self-esteem and her ideas of self-worth. And Edward DOESN’T respect her. He controls her. She shapes her life around him and his needs. In my opinion, Bella’s relationship with Edward has the makings of an abusive relationship.

      • Caitlin

        I don’t think it makes you “strong” to not “need” others. I actually think that it requires a great deal of strength to love someone with all your heart and soul. A love that strong makes you vulnerable, and with that vulnerability comes great risk. I think that Bella is an incredibly strong character because she knows what she wants and what she needs…and she goes after it.
        In New Moon, Bella is at her lowest point. She falls apart without him, but like someone said in another post, I don’t judge people for the way they handle grief. Not everyone can deal with pain in picture-perfect ways. However, like someone else said, I admired Bella’s attempts to keep it together and carry on so that Charlie wouldn’t have to suffer with her.
        Also, to quote another post on here, whether a woman builds her life around a career, another person, or a family, I see her as a strong adult as long as her path is of her own making.

      • SaveDarfur

        Bella is an extremely weak character. First of all, she does not have a single deep or intellilectual thought throught any of the books.
        Next, she starts becoming obsessed with Edward once he gives her the cold shoulder and ignores her. Then, she gives up all her friends and basically her whole life. Her entire life becomes about this man, who she lets control her. Then, when he leaves her, she starts having no life, until another (MALE) character comes in, and she begins using him like a drug, as well. Then she jumps off of a cliff because the guy isn’t there, and she wants to hear his voice? Are you kidding me! And I’m sorry, but if I found out a guy was stalking me, coming into my room, and watching me sleep without my knowledge or consent, I would not think that was sweet at all.

    • summer

      actually in the last book bella is the one who saves them all with her power to shield… it kind of shows how she went from a girl who didnt really think much of herself to gaining confidence…she always stood up for herself & stood her ground. so she was selfless & cared about others…so now she is this weak person??? please people.
      it is ok to be taken care of by a man,does not make you less weak. in fact edward needed her as much as she needed him.

      • cat

        I agree, she sort of thinks of Twilight as a typical book that all girls will just completely fall in love with because Edward is this prince charming and Bella is the helpless damsel in destress that he saves. But actually it’s ALOT more than that, although they both have that kind of strong love, Bella IS very strong, she always thinks of others and would put her life in danger in a second if it meant saving someone she loved from any harm, even indestuctible Edward:) This is the very far from a fairytale.

      • Heather

        I never get why people say that Bella is a weak girl. She saves Edward in three of the four books. She ends up being the strongest vampire in the end. Twilight may not be old fashioned in the sense of traditional vampires, but Stephenie took the genre in a whole other direction tha I loved. With or without Edward Cullen it would have been great, but that is all people focus on.

      • Roxy

        Or it shows that she’s just a huge, self-insert Mary Sue, not that she’s strong. She has this power that is stronger than everyone else’s but the only explanation for that is that she has a “private mind” which also exists for no reason, which is yet another sign that she is a Mary Sue.

        She’s weak and pathetic. Whines about the most mundane things and is practically suicidal when Edward leaves her. Tell me, if she really cared about those who loved her, why did she jump off that cliff only to hear Edward’s voice? She KNEW she was putting herself in serious danger because she KNEW that’s what triggered the hallucinations, yet she still did it without bothering to think how heartbroken Charlie and Renee would be if she were killed in the process.

        Strong, selfless, kind woman my ass.

      • Marissa

        I totally agree that Bella is a strong character, who saves everyone in the end. It shows that even a girl who may seem “ordinary” can have a great deal of power. I also agree with others who’ve said that Bella’s strength lies in the fact that she doesn’t let others dictate her choices. Has she made mistakes? yes, just like any person (real or fictional) has. However, in the end, Bella’s choices are her own. She does what she wants, regardless of what others tell her is “right”. That’s strength.

      • AMgirl

        Bella is weak not because she falls for Edward and is torn apart when he leaves her, but because by the end of the series she hasn’t grown up. She starts out like a teenager, but by book four she gets married, has a kid, and becomes a vampire and her big reaction is ‘Now I’m as pretty as him I don’t have to feel bad anymore.’
        Her all of a sudden super vampyness (Power that is so special and can save everyone, and being all Not vampy not having bloodlust and basically not having to go through the bad side of being a vamp) screamed MarySue and was a page right out of LKH’s writing current style. I won’t go into all the other things wrong with book four, but really it killed the series instead of redeeming it.
        Really, both authors had solid starting series that fell apart later.

    • Jac

      I find LKH’s quote about a woman’s ability to take control of her life ironic and actually, demeaning toward women. I don’t appreciate the supposition that the lifestyle choices and the decisions of LKH’s characters are the only ones that a woman in control of her life would make. We are not all of one mind. Each of us is unique and we’ve fought too hard for the ground we now rest on to smugly declare that we know which way is best for everyone else.

      For example, it seems to me that Anita Blake, Hamilton’s main character in her Vampire Hunter series, is MOST in control of her life when she’s in control of herself—or when she’s actually a vampire hunter (books 1-8), kicking bad guy butt and actually solving crimes, and not behaving like the supe slut of St. Louis. How is that behavior any more evolved than those characters who choose to keep their legs closed until they’re sure the decision to sleep with another character is a good one?

    • stacy

      OOh her books are wonderful, but very adult. I have read all of her books over and over they put Twilight to shame as done Ann Rice, Twilight is wonderful for young girls but you want adult vampire? Read Rice or LKH

    • jon

      watch robert pattinson

      *** ***

      • vampires dont sparkle

        Laurel K Hamilton did not pioneer the vampire genre, and she is not claiming to. What she DID pioneer is the genre of vampire romance books where vampires are out in the open. From her example came Kim Harrisson, Patricia Briggs, True Blood, and Stephanie Meyer. And as a rabid fan of Laurel K Hamilton books, yes, a lot of them ARE borderline smut, which there is nothing wrong with since vampires and sex are intrinsically combined. Her last few books have returned to the main plot though. If you want a cleaner vampire story that is not the sanitized twilight, I would suggest Kim Harrison.

    • Latricia

      I don’t understand how people say that Twilight sets women back. Bella is very much in control of her own life. I read that someone said she can’t feed herself without a man. Where did that come from? If you are talking about New Moon,where she goes through a depression,we have all been there. She just so happens to fall in love. In fact, in the last couple of books, she is more like a heroine then anything. She’s a strong girl. I think people who say otherwise are cynical and very un-romantic. And maybe people are taking this stuff too seriously. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. End of story. Don’t bash Stephanie Meyers for adding in a hint of her mormon values. I think Bella sets a good example for girls and abstinence.

    • CogitoErgoCogitoSum

      Im not sure if youre aware of this (obviously youre not), but the vampire “genre” is several centuries old. Bram Stoker? Hello!! The mythology is quite a bit older than Bram Stoker. And yes, for those who dont know, it is just a mythology. And those who pretend in the real world are deluded.

    • tatsel

      Hmmmm, LKH “pioneered” the genre? Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ came out in 1897 and Anne Rice started the vampire Chronicles in the late ’70s. IMHO Anne Rice is the real pioneer of the modern vampire fiction. Hamilton’s books were published in the early 90s if I’m not mistaken, nearly 2 decades since Interview with the Vampire.

  • Marian

    Maybe there are a few women out there who take Twilight too literally and start to think of it as what they are looking for in life, but they are a minority. Most take it as what it is, a simple story. With the amount of misogynistic films, television programmes and books out there, it is totally unreasonable to say Twilight in particular set women back, as really it is nothing compared to some of the thing you see, it merely presents an ideal that most people, including the characters, see as unrealistic. It’s not sexist, it’s just a story of one particular love story. Meyer being a woman it was natural for her to write from a female perspective, but if the roles were reversed, and it was a male human and a female vampire, the situation would be quit the same, the vampire would still be the rescuer.

    • crispy

      I’m not talking about silly cougars reading Twilight. I’m referring to millions of impressionable pre-teen girls devouring a saga about a girl who can barely feed herself without the help of a man. What happened to girls empowering themselves, which has been nothing short of a pop culture movement over the last 20 years from Spice Girls to Buffy to Shrek? Heck, even Disney got in on girl power. But along came Stephenie Meyers with her archaic Mormon attitude about women’s role to set all that progress aside. It’s not frightening. It’s sad.

      • amber

        If these tweens parents are doing their job they will know that the books are for entertainment purposes. They are not text books titled “How to Become Dependant on a Man”. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be treated like a woman and being taken care of by a man and it doesn’t mean you are giving up your independance. I think the books raise the standard for for what girls will expect from men. Being protected and loved is not archaic.

      • maryann

        have you read the books? if so, then did you do so without the preconceived notion that they were little more than sleeping beauty with vampires? the heroine in twilight is supposed to be a NORMAL girl who gets thrown into a supernatural world and – WEIRD – acts normally in it. she isn’t a match for vampires because she is normal, not retarded. and once she does get on the same playing field, she does act strongly to protect her loved ones. what more do you want? do you want more tales of violence and strife for women because they can’t depend on men, or do you want something slightly more realistic, with people not acting like superheroes, but acting like human beings and still somehow finding a way out of a mess?
        the books essentially aren’t about vampires at all. they’re about relationships, and despite the fact that her boyfriend is a bit controlling, i think that what bella presents is actually pretty normal.

      • Cin

        Hey if Mormons are for some extremely hot vampire foreplay, then show me the nearest church of latter day saints. There’s too much wham bam thank you ma’am in our culture anyway

      • BAlice

        I disagree that Bella is a wimpy character. On the contrary, she takes care of her mom, who is quite a ditz and is a caretaker for those around her. She is self-depracating, which draws Edward to her, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. She is the one who saves the vampires later in the series.

      • cat

        And another thing…Im not even going to respond to what he said besides Stephenie didn’t set out to write Twilight in hopes of changing people’s lives, the ideals on women being strong and women empowerment probably never even came to her mind while writing, people always twist these things, she just had a very good story to write, with characters who are all have different personalities. And again, crispy, if you are tired of all this stuff and ask Twilight fans why we care? Stop leaving huge paragraphs explaining how no one should care and how you feel sad that all us are brainwashed by this “horrible” series. If you truly don’t care, don’t read the articles about it and stop commenting, it seems that it will make your life easier.

      • cat

        ..and i agree with “BAlice”

      • LJM64

        You talk about setting women back and then use an ugly term like “silly cougars”? You do know that impressionable pre-teen girls eventually do grow up to be women? Hear the sound of lost credibility yet? An empowered woman is one who is proud of who she is no matter what her age.

      • Heather

        I never saw Bella as a wimpy girl that depended on a guy. Bella was a tomboy from the get go, who was not athletic or girly and was clumsy. She never saw herself as pretty and was just herself. This guy comes along and saves her and they eventually find comfort in each other. Because both feel so alone in the world. Bella cooks and takes care of her dad. She is a strong character. In New Moon, yes she is depressed and weak in ways, but she just lost the love of her life.
        Just because Twilight is a love story at the core and doesn’t have a lot of blood, gore, and violence does not make it an anti feminist story that has set us back.
        Hello, Breaking Dawn? Bella is the strongest character in that book after all that she goes through. I could go on and on, but people aggravate on their over analyzation of the series.

      • crispy

        Haha, good point!

      • Sadee

        I agree with Maryann. Bella is supposed to represent you average teenage girl and I don’t think an average teenage girl would just jump into situations like that and deal with it herself. I surely wouldn’t, especially if i knew there was no way I could beat them on my own having no powers like they do. She shows her strength at the end when she helps save everyone. But Anita is a very strong woman and she CAN deal with them and she knows it so it’s completely different for her. Bella had never been in a situation like that whereas Anita has. You really can’t compare the two. I love them both.

      • Brandi

        To many girls talk about women empowerment, why can’t I as a woman CHOOSE a life where I get swept off my feet by a wonderful guy? As an EMPOWERED woman I am making the choice, not someone else! To be an empowered woman is to be educated, to have your own thoughts and to voice them, to have the knowledge that I will have the strength NOT to let a MAN or anyone else for that matter, dictate my choices. I personally (for myself) have chosen a more traditional life. NOT because someone else thinks I should, but because that is the life I want to live. I am all for other women choosing to do other things with there life. But I expect that other women respect my choices. That is empowerment! If we all (women) set aside our differances and came together to raise our voices about something much more important then our reading prefrences our world would have so many more empowered women! Being an empowered woman started out being equal to men, since when did we have to be better, and why do we demand to do everything ourselves. Its nice to have someone else you can EQUALLY share all of lifes wonderful and horrible happenings with. And on a side note, I would like to point out that SM did not set out to ‘change’ the world, she just had a story to write. In the proccess she did infact change the world for a great many of women. Which brings me to an earlier point, it may not be your choice, but it is someone else’s! And they are making that choice, so lets rally together for the younger girls reading this and let them know that they can dream about that ‘Fairy Tale’ romance, and no sometimes we don’t always find that, and we as humans all make mistakes and we can correct them. The important thing to remember is ‘Its the effort we put into life that makes it a life worth living.’

    • amber

      Well Marian I guess the lesson here is: Know what you are talking about BEFORE you irritate Twilight fans. I am 37 and I love the series. Not because I am a “silly cougar” but because I think romance and chivalry are unfortunatley lost and it reminded me of first love and loss… I have been with my husband for 20 years and I am strong AND love being treated like a woman. Try it. You might like it.

      • amber

        oops. sorry marian. wrong name. i meant crispy.

    • sassy2009

      That sounds interesting. I’d enjoy reading a book about a female vampire protecting a fragile male. Every book/tv show/movie I’ve seen about a female vampire has turned her into a ruthless blood-thirsty predator that deserves to be staked. This would be more interesting!

      • Clara

        I totally agree with you! I havn’t seen any books with a female vampire as heroine, in fact i hav’nt seen any forward vampire chicks !

  • Lene

    “the genre that I kind of pioneered”??

    Ms. Hamilton, may I introduce you to Anne Rice?

    • pj

      The only thing Hamilton pioneered is supernatural porn. Please tell me she isn’t recomending her “books” for the TWEEN crowd!

      • Maria

        the Anita Blake series is far from “vampire porn.” While some of the books do contain some very graphic sexual situations and encounters, the first five books in the series of seventeen are completely devoid of sex between the main characters.

        The fact is that these books are centered around an adult woman capable of making her own choices who during the series has hose choices taken out of her hands by beings more powerful than herself and struggles to regain her ability to choose. Are the books sexy? Yes. However unless you have read all seventeen of the books, please do not dismiss them as “supernatural porn”.

        Guilty Pleasures, the first of the Ania Blake series, was first published in 1993, long before the current frenzy began. She was among the first to describe a world in which vampires were openly known to all the world, rather than hiding in the shadows. I believe that this does in fact make her a pioneer in the genre.

        Ms. Hamilton has said from the very beginning of the “Twilight” phenomenon that her books are not meant for the same audience as Stephanie Meyers series.

      • Emily

        Maria, I beg to differ. I have read all 17 of Hamilton’s Blake series, as well as her Merry series, and the last 5-6 books of it are more graphic sex than anything else. When was the last time Blake spent the book actually investigating anything other than her sordid (and completely ridiculous) love life?
        I cannot see how it is feminist for a character to literally require sex with men (while being generally homophobic, particularly about women) to get through the day.
        What happened to Blake being a strong, capable woman? At least Bella can admit how important Edward is to her, and make necessary sacrifices for him and her other loved ones.

    • Diane

      And right after that, LKH needs to meet Tanya Huff, P.N. Elrod, Chelsea Quin Yarbro, Tanith Lee, Nancy Collins, Whitley Streiber and a host of others whose names escape me at the moment, who all wrote vampire/detective/urban fantasy well before she sprang Anita Blake on the world.

    • aleksa

      Exactly. Anne Rice is the pioneer, as far as the modern vampire novel. And seriously, who refers to themselves as the pioneer of anything? Arrogant much?

    • sassy2009

      This is really directed as a response to Emily (my posts sometimes go to random spots). Emily, I don’t see how you can say that Laurell’s books are homophobic. On the contrary, she has several scenes with men making love to other men, only lesbian scenes are omitted because Anita herself doesn’t swing that way. And although I characterised some of her later books as having elements of porn, it’s not random and exploitive. Anita’s power is fueled by her sex drive, and in fact she can’t function without it. I don’t see it as just a plot device, it has roots in mythological goddess portrayals. Finally, for someone who seems to despise these books and her writing, why on earth are you reading them? I’m not a fan of Ultimate Fighting either so I don’t watch it, nor do I protest against it on UF websites. So why are you here and why one earth would you read all 17 of her books? I’m picturing you alone in bed, muttering “this is disgusting” as you eagerly read the next paragraph…

  • Heather

    Thank you EW for putting my favorite two pop culture phenomenons on the cover. Love True Blood and Twilight. I just kind of wished you’d put Alexander Skaargard on the cover insteand of Stephen Moyer. He is a deeper character and hotter.
    Love vampires, this is awesome.

    • Em

      I wish they’d put Alexander Skarsgard on the cover instead of Moyer too!!

      • Claudia

        I third this comment! Alexander Skarsgård’s “Eric Northman” should have definitely made this cover =D

      • bpp

        You said it!

    • lilbooth02

      I so agree, Eric is THE vampire. He makes us swoon

    • Opheila

      How can you say he’s a ‘deeper character’? We’ve barely met Eric and Bill has shown many sides and facets to his personality. Also, Stephen Moyer is way better looking AND the male lead in the show.

      • Lizzie

        Glad Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) is on the cover! As already mentioned, he is the main lead and deserves front page! Eric (Alex) is only supporting cast. Bill (Stephen) is much better looking and a fine actor!

      • sassy2009

        I think Stephen is a good actor but not attractive at all. Don’t get the appeal of him at all…

  • mads

    I’m so glad to see Stephen Moyer’s head is bigger than Robert’s. Everyone is so obsessed with Edward and they forget about Bill!! He does not get enough credit!

    • Heather

      I agree that True Blood does not get near enough exposure compared to Twilight. I’m glad to finally see them get some cover time. But you have to admit Rob is on fire these days, and his face on the cover is going to sell tons of magazines. It is just a fact.

  • CJ

    um Buffy anyone???

    • Sissy

      Now there’s a strong heroine. Buffy kicks butt even if that butt happens to belong to her true love.

      • Abby


    • CH

      YES. I just finished the series, and I’ve already decided that any daughter of mine will have “Buffy” as required viewing. The gender roles in “Twilight” make my skin crawl; I studied communication and rhetorical symbolism in college, and watching Bella bend herself backwards just for Edward made me tremble when thinking about the teens watching the movie…

      • DB

        Thank you!

      • JLSF91

        Just a note: Edward denies his very nature to be with Bella. Talk about bending over backward. . .

        I love Buffy as much as the next person but she is no model woman. Just one example: Spike is hot but I hope you don’t think that sick twisted relationship is educational material for your girls.

        P.S. Whipping out your college studies as if they add credibility is just plain silly.

      • sassy2009

        JLSF91: I think the Spike/Buffy relationship is educational, and I think Joss intentionally portrayed it as an abusive relationship to increase our understanding of these kind of relationships. Buffy’s family and friends do not support it, and Amber esp. tries to keep Buffy away from Spike. What gave it an interesting spin is that Buffy is Spike’s physical equal, and their mutual attraction is equally harmful for both, although it does eventually lead to redemption for Spike. Speaking of which, Spike is one of the most complex male characters I’ve ever seen. Even at his most evil, he is still charismatic and charmingly geeky. Makes you appreciate the attraction some abusers/pshychopaths hold for their targets.No matter what he did, I always felt a little sorry for him and wanted things to work out for him.

    • sassy2009

      Buffy is the standard by which all vampire stories should be judged…and on a superficial note, Spike is the sexiest vampire of all time! These other guys don’t rate at all, in my opinion.

  • LA

    Bill? What about ERIC?!

    • Lucy

      Excactly what I’m thinking…

      • Opheila

        Eric isn’t the male lead in the show ladies, and that isn’t going to change, no matter what happens between Bill and Sookie. Bill will always be a central focus of True Blood, because Alan Ball identifies with and loves the character. He sees the series as an ongoing romance between two ‘outsiders’ Bill and Sookie.

  • EW fan

    Seriously, more Twilight and Vampires. Isn’t there anything else to put on the cover?
    Meryl/Amy; Daughtry; Walter Cronkite and todays news media..
    This is so boring.

    • crispy

      They should just change the name to Vampire Weekly.

    • sassy2009

      Maybe they should just have a weekly death watch on the cover. I can’t believe how many famous people have died recently…Cronkite, Farrah, Jackson, now John Hughes. On second thought, that’s even worse overkill. Let’s stick with vampires, although it would be nice to look at some of the vampires with lower profiles. I am definitely sick of seeing Pattinson all over.

  • charlie

    Please, EW, after this, for the love of God, stop it with Twilight.

    • Heather

      Ummm … I hate to burst your bubble, but True Blood and Twilight are going no where for a long time. So enjoy the ride.

  • Lestat’s Lover

    I would so buy this for the True Blood section and Anne Rice’s interview. Anne Rice is amazing.

    Shame I like in the UK and can’t get this.

  • Anna

    Twilight sets women back? I beg to differ. Bella is probably the strongest character in the novel, never letting anyone make decisions for her. She knows what she wants (Edward) and she doesn’t let anyone get in her way. I think she shows that women should stop at nothing to get what they want. Just because the book focuses on a man that she wants and not a career or some other thing that makes seemingly makes women seem more independent does not mean that the Twilight franchise has set women back. In fact, if anything it has empowered them. I certainly have felt inspired to go after what I want after reading the books.

    • crispy

      I have Camille Paglia on the phone for you. She didn’t say what it was about.

      • IndyM

        Totally disagree. Bella is not strong, she’s blind. Everyone brainwashers her in the books. Jacob, Edward, even Alice. She’s kidnapped a million times, always in danger…ehhhh.

        She’s not meant to be a strong character. Look who wrote the book – Bella was meant to get married, knocked up, and become a mom.

      • Brittani Pearl

        What are you talking about Indy? Nobody except Bella and Rosalie wanted the pregnancy to go to term. Bella fought to be turned into a vampire, fought to have sex on her own terms, and fought to keep her child.

    • crispy

      PS: If you think throwing yourself off a cliff because your boyfriend left you is a strong female role model, then you seriously need therapy.

      • Lucy

        it’s realistic. It captures hte true feelings that you feel when you’ve lost someone you love. I think that alot of the reasons that twlight was so popular was because girls can relate to it.

      • Lisa

        She did not throw herself off a cliff. It’s called thrill seeking or extreme sports. She did it because she wanted to, she wasn’t committing suicide.

      • Heather

        Again, someone talking about something you know nothing about. Bella was not committing suicide. She was trying to do something extreme to hear Edward’s voice again.
        And yes, I think Bella is a very strong role model. She is not a conventional bimbo. She fights for what she wants in every step of the books. For her man, her baby, her happiness, her father, her best friends, and her whole family in the end. Just because a girl falls in love with a man and gives everything she has to that does not make her weak.

      • Samantha

        @ Lisa. It wasn’t that Bella was into thrill seeking or Extreme Sports. She was doing increasingly dangerous things to herself because she was having delusions of hearing Edward’s voice while doing them. Hearing voices isn’t love. It’s usually a sign of mental illness.

    • drsaka

      I think the problem is that Bella sees nothing but being with Edward in the future. She has no vision of what she wants to do with her life and in the books, she pays no attention to planning on going to college: Edward does it for her. This isn’t the best message for the huge young girl fan base.

  • rob

    Enough with Twilight and vampires. There was a whole huge article about True Blood a few weeks ago, and seeing Robert Pattinson’s face in yet another idiotic “hardcore” stare just makes me sick. As a subscriber I am not looking forward to getting this in the mail, especially since Twilight has been on the cover so so many times already. Enough, please.

    • dan

      Agreed. I never thought EW could manage another Twilight cover before the fall preview issue (where it inevitably will be featured, followed by another issue in November) but I stand anewed in the brilliance of your pandering.

  • R

    anyone else think someone’s a little bitter that her books haven’t become as popular as the twilight series? i enjoy the twilight books for what they are storys, im not out there “waiting for prince charming to arrive”. i actually considered reading her books now that i am finished with the sookie stackhouse series but she just seems a bit bitter and petty.

  • SOSO


  • Lyn

    So very glad to see True Blood on this issue. Now if only we could get rid of the Twilight crap, I’d be much happier. Bill and Eric both on the cover would have been perfect.

    • Timothy James

      Too bad True Blood is heading for a short run unless they replace all the current writers. The storylines are lame. Absolutely no mystery behind any character. And half of those with powers should be killed off to get the story back on track.

      • crispy

        Guess you didn’t hear… it was renewed for another season.

      • Ashley

        its based off a book, I doubt that the writers will want to drift too far off the path. The only thing I’ve noticed this season that is weird is that they are combining two books into one season

      • Amanda

        I personally can’t stand True Blood. I think the premise is interesting and creative, but to me, it never followed through. The books never pulled me in, and I can’t stand the show even though I think that Stephen Moyer is talented actor. The only “vampire” book, besides Twilight, that I’ve ever loved is Dracula. Unfortunately, it’s never been brought to the big screen in a satisfying way.

      • QK

        I don’t think you are watching the same show I am. I can hardly wait for the next episode each week and the last time I was able to say that about a TV show was Carnivale (Damn you HBO for canceling that!!!)

      • Opheila

        Alan Ball has stated that he will ‘remain true to the spirit of the books’ as much as possible. That said, he isn’t going to follow any of the books exactly and the rest of the series will probably end up 50/50 books to original stories.

        I think Alan and the writers, especially Raelle Tucker (Cold Ground, Scratches) are doing a fantastic job.

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