Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saw a heads-up on Twitter re/a new movement in the YA publishing arena.
Vampires are out. Angels are in.
Quote from Publisher's Marketplace:
“The young books like Sharon's are using angels to suggest the world can be a better place,” said Kate Jackson, editor-in-chief of HarperCollins Children's Books. In YA books, however, she believes angels “are a symbol of forbidden love. What's more forbidden than having a romance with someone who's not human?”
"What's more forbidden than having a romance with somebody who doesn't have a body and thus technically isn't male or female but just a 'pure spirit', but is officially set up as male because the Bible has a thing about making all authority figures male to get the ancient chauvinists to listen?"
That's the religious issue for me - as a reader, and a reason why I instinctively distance myself from books with angelic protagonists. I can't wrap my mind around it. I'm just convinced that this is yet another attempt to do a "angels=fairies" thing - a movement I resisted even when my aunt (same religion as me) fell prey to it and kept sending me admittedly adorable statues and... stuff.
That said, I understand why this isn't a religious issue with other people. Other religions have different beliefs concerning angels. Like, recently, I was surprised when somebody told me she believed that humans used to be angels, but that all changed after our fall.
Going from that person's point of view, there is definitely something romantic about an angel getting together with a human-who-has-angel-genes-somewhere.
I just hope this movement moves along quickly and returns us happily to wizards, sorcerers, shape shifters, vampires, elves, goblins, and other delightfully imaginary and made-up creatures who belong in fantasy and don't straddle fantasy and religion and make us ask moral questions about WWJD if our angelic protagonists get a bit too hawt. Just saying. :P
ETA - I should properly admit that there were people of my ilk who had moral issues with the hawtness of vamps, because they were technically dead people possessed by demons. So vamp-loving was technically nechrophilia and yuck.
People uncomfortable with that issue played around with the details until they had something that 'worked' better for them morally:
Instead of dead people who became possessed by demons, the vamps were folks who had been infected by a virus which turned them into immortal superhumans with a blood/immortal-juice addiction. Or they were simply a race of immortal superhumans who had more than one way of spawning offspring.
I guess at some point, I might very well come across something that 'works' better for me. Like putting angels in a fantasy world instead of the urban reality, or creating a seperate dimension, where God gave angels a little tweak. *looks thoughtful* It might work for me. It might also work in a regular urban fantasy - as long as you emphasize that it is a 'SEPERATE' race of angels that the Bible didn't talk about.
Just please don't give me Archangel Michael falling in love with Bella-clone and battling between his duties (leader of the angels) and his desire to become human for her. Said battle which has him considering the ultimate sacrifice to give up his high archangelic position to become a lowly guardian angel, just for her. God, of course is pleased with that sacrifice and makes Bella-clone an Archangeless just for Archangel Michael. A step they beg Him to stall until after they marry and have marriage relations, because angels apparently can't spawn and she wants to give Michael a little Archangel-baby.