GaryView: Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts
*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’. Visit my website for more information.
Lissa: I hadn’t heard of Lamia’s before. How did I miss the fact that Keats wrote poems about vampires?
Gary: Lamia’s aren’t really vampires. They’re not really real, either. I think.
Gary: Not that I’ve ever seen.
Lissa: Well, given that fiction is usually a case of Epic Fail when it comes to accurately describing vampirism as you know it, did you like the book?
Gary: Oh, she got the attitude of vampires spot on. And I really liked the Roman theme park and especially the airship in the last story.
Lissa: I bet you just wished there was a lot more about the engineering.
Gary: I know a lot about how airships worked. I was a bit obsessed with the idea when I was nine and read a bunch of books about the Hindenburg and stuff. My granddad still had newspaper cuttings from the papers from the disaster. I once met a vampire who said she’d been on an airship once. Sounded terrific. Well, except for the high volatility and risks of burning to death.
Lissa: A design flaw that sucks equally for humans and vampires. I really loved the idea of a Roman re-enactment town in the middle of the Australian bush. Someone should actually do that.
Gary: I’d love to see that. The Romans had some incredible engineering. Not just the aqueducts. They had hyraulic mining, water wheels, even ways of getting ducted heating into buildings.
Lissa: I have a sudden image of you in a toga supervising the building of bridges.
Gary: A toga?
Lissa: And sandals.
Gary: And you’re not laughing?
Lissa: I thought it would be rude. (giggles)
Gary: Getting away from your images of me in ridiculous costume…
Lissa: At least I didn’t picture you as a Centurion… oh dear… (giggles some more)
Gary: Getting away from that… what did you like?
Lissa: My god, there were a lot of fearsome women in this book! I loved all of them.
Gary: Clea reminded me of my mum.
Lissa: Really? Don’t tell me she had a long-term friendship with an immortal…
Gary: Apart from me?
Lissa: Oh, there is that, isn’t there. Don’t tell me she fought monsters, too?
Gary: No. Well, she did once throw a cup of hot tea into Mundy’s face and tell him to bugger off.
Lissa: Your mum was clearly awesome.
Gary: Yeah. She was.
Lissa: Wish I’d known her.
Gary: She’d have liked you, I think.
Lissa: Her name wasn’t Julia, by any chance?
Gary: Dot. Dorothy.
Lissa: But a Julia in spirit, eh? The Julias in this book were all brilliant. If I ever have a daughter, I’m going to call her Julia, and she’ll be mighty.
Gary: I suspect any kid of yours’ll be pretty feisty.
Lissa: Though it seems that Dots are fairly mighty too.
Gary: And they make a mean lemon delicious.
Get Love and Romanpunk from Twelfth Planet Press. The book is the second of TPP’s Twelve Planets series.