This collection of irreverent and surprising essays about the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer includes pieces by leading science fiction and fantasy authors Contributors include bestselling legend David Brin, critically acclaimed novelist Scott Westerfeld, cult favorite vampire author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and award winner Sarah Zettel The show and its cast are the topics of such critical pieces as Lawrence Watt Evans s Matchmaking in Hellmouth and Sherrilyn Kenyon s The Search for Spike s Balls An informed introduction for those not well acquainted with the show, and a source of further research for Buffy buffs, this book raises interesting questions concerning a much loved program and future cult classic


10 thoughts on “Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show

  1. Becca Becca says:

    This essay collection was hit or miss for me There were some I really loved, and one I really hated I ll get into that later The rest were just boring to me.Is That Your Final Answer Roxanne Longstreet Conrad, Sex and the Single Slayer Nancy Kilpatrick, Lions, Gazelles and Buffy Chelsea Quinn Yarbo, For the Love of Riley Michelle Sagara West, A Buffy Confession Justine Larbalestier, The Meaning of Buffy Marguerite Krause, When Did the Scoobies Become Insiders Sarah Zettel, A This essay collection was hit or miss for me There were some I really loved, and one I really hated I ll get into that later The rest were just boring to me.Is That Your Final Answer Roxanne Longstreet Conrad, Sex and the Single Slayer Nancy Kilpatrick, Lions, Gazelles and Buffy Chelsea Quinn Yarbo, For the Love of Riley Michelle Sagara West, A Buffy Confession Justine Larbalestier, The Meaning of Buffy Marguerite Krause, When Did the Scoobies Become Insiders Sarah Zettel, A Reflection on Ugliness Charlaine Harris, Unseen Horrors Shadowy Manipulations Kevin Andrew Murphy, Where s The Religion in Willow s Wicca Christie Golden, A World Without Shrimp Margaret L Carter these are all the essays I found to be either boring or pointless They really contributed nothing to my understanding or appreciation of the show.I loved the first essay, by David Brin, called Buffy VS The Old Fashioned Hero He compares Buffy to the likes of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, with the distinction that Buffy questions authority rather than obeys and she would rather break tradition than follow it, change the system rather than work with it This one quote sums up the point of the essay nicely Buffy is our future Brash, open minded, open hearted, Always willing to give someone a chance, even if they re low born, or even ew ugly Always questioning authority while willing to cooperate and learn something new To Buffy, old isn t always better as it is in Star Wars and Tolkien She s stylish, hip, caring, sweet, and nowhere near as dumb as outsiders might think The Good, The Bad, and The Ambivalent by Laura Resnick was another essay I really enjoyed It pinpointed one of the things I love most about the show, the complexity of the characters She goes through some of the characters contradictions In equal measures, Spike regularly repels us and wins our admiration He is both villian and hero, both demon and knight , Cordelia is self centered, snide, arrogant, and malicious, she is also brave, honest, sincere and capable of love , Throughout Buffy s tenure as the Slayer, there is a ruthless, ambivalent side of her character which is, in fact, crucial to her survival part of being the Slayer is being able to do what others find unthinkable , showing that every character has the capacity for good and evil, it s their choices that define them Dating Death by Jennifer Crusie is a great essay that suggests that Buffy The Vampire Slayer is one of the great romances of our time She takes us through all of Buffy s relationships, explaining why it worked and why it didn t Riley wears a milk moustache while Buffy s hands drip blood , with some really interesting and thought provoking musings on how love works and the difference between conditional and unconditional love the You complete me statement that sounds good but is really a threat Complete me or lose me, it s all about me Mature love goes beyond that and says that it doesn t matter whether the object is wonderful or not, the love is just there, like the air we breathe I particularly love her argument for Buffy as a great romantic heroine, not just a great action heroine, But first among equals, it is Buffy in her passion and in her blazing, defiant sexuality that most defines the myth, Buffy the great feminist icon as warrior, lover, and finally mature woman She s our Ishtar who aced the SATs, our Morrigan with a snarky sense of humor, our Kali with a better fashion sense, and the complexity of her myth, the depth of her metaphor, and the truth of her love stories makes her a great romantic heroine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer one of the great romances of our time The Power of Becoming by Jacqueline Lichtenberg makes the case for Buffy as Great Literature, and provides a psychological study of Willow, comparing her process of Becoming with Buffy s Innocence by Carla Montgomery explores sex and consequence within the show Matchmaking on the Hellmouth by Lawrence Watt Evans asks the question Who is the ideal mate for Buffy Angel, Riley, Spike It s someone you would never guess and although I was sceptical at first, I actually think I agree with his choice.There are other essays worth reading A Slayer Comes to Town, Skin as Pale as Apple Blossom, Love Saves the World, Slayers of the Last Arc but now onto the essay I truly hated The Search for Spike s Balls by Sherrilyn Kenyon This essay argues that Buffy is strong because she sucks the testosterone out of the men in her life Yes It sounds like something an MRA would right but alas The essay basically equates strength, heroism and courage with maleness and imply s that if a male character isn t fighting, fucking or being otherwise menacing and aggressive then he is stripped of his masculinity and is therefore a Bad Male Character It isn t well argued and really makes no sense On Riley Finally he could stand noof it and had to leave Sunnydale because he knew he could never be a man so long as Buffy was sucking the testosterone out of him Everything about this essay annoys me, arguing that whoever is the strongest is the one who has the balls implying that strength is inherently male and Buffy can t simply be strong because she s, you know, the Slayer But overall this collection of essays was mostly interesting and I would recommend it to fans of the show


  2. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Why read Received for review.What impressed me Many authors I had read, or at least heard of, contributed essays to Seven Seasons of Buffy I didn t agree with everything the essayists put forth, but appreciated the contrasting opinions that made me consider other outlooks This book is a celebration of everything that Buffy was, but doesn t hold back when presenting theories and ideas that show fans may rabidly disagree with.What disappointed me With any anthology of this nature, some essays Why read Received for review.What impressed me Many authors I had read, or at least heard of, contributed essays to Seven Seasons of Buffy I didn t agree with everything the essayists put forth, but appreciated the contrasting opinions that made me consider other outlooks This book is a celebration of everything that Buffy was, but doesn t hold back when presenting theories and ideas that show fans may rabidly disagree with.What disappointed me With any anthology of this nature, some essays were drier than other and some essayists seemed less familiar with the subject that they should have been It wasn t perfect, but it was one of the better books that look deeper into Buffy.Recommended Buffy fans, obviously, but thefanatical the better


  3. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    I very much enjoyed this As a person who was a late Buffy fan I started watching when I was 25 m, it was so interesting to read a collection that came out right after the finale I m someone who thinks Buffy is outstanding, from Season 1 7 I think The finale was one of the most outstanding finales to ever grace television, and I was perturbed to find that some viewed it as disappointing This sort of anthology is how I want to consume fandom For the most part, even the essays that I disagre I very much enjoyed this As a person who was a late Buffy fan I started watching when I was 25 m, it was so interesting to read a collection that came out right after the finale I m someone who thinks Buffy is outstanding, from Season 1 7 I think The finale was one of the most outstanding finales to ever grace television, and I was perturbed to find that some viewed it as disappointing This sort of anthology is how I want to consume fandom For the most part, even the essays that I disagrees with were absolutely excellent I rated this down to a 4 5 because there were three essays that I felt should have been eliminated entirely The Search for Spike s Balls was so disgustingly sexist I was appalled I was evenhorrified that a woman wrote it It was misogynistic, uninformed, and almost embarrassing I wish it had been cut completely The essay on Ugliness in Buffy I also found to be somewhat useless and poorly argued I will admit that it s a little bit because I think Charlaine Harris is an atrocious writer so I set no store by her opinions And the essay regarding Buffy potentially having a relationship with Wesley Price was a bit off the wall, too It had the flavor of someone trying to be subversive by just grasping at straws blindly The true subversive choice here is that the right boyfriend for Buffy is that women don t need boyfriends to thrive and be happy Oh and the one about Willow Wicca Overall, that one seemed to have little to do with Buffy and a lot to do with someone just being an offended Wiccan Overall, I love love loved such a collection of thoughtful and nuanced pieces on what is now my favorite show I particularly adored the final essay, which outlines all of my personal feelings re Why Season 7 is the absolute perfect ending to Buffy, and why it is one of the single most incredible television shows every produced.It would be really interesting to see a revisitation of these essays now


  4. TammyJo Eckhart TammyJo Eckhart says:

    22 essays in this collection, all of them seem written quickly after the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I wonder if the time that has passed,than 15 years now, would change what these authors wrote or not I think it has given metime and thus I think I read the essayscritically than I might have within the first year or two after the show.Let me say that I have seen the entire series from start to finish 3 times live and then twice on DVD over these past years 22 essays in this collection, all of them seem written quickly after the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I wonder if the time that has passed,than 15 years now, would change what these authors wrote or not I think it has given metime and thus I think I read the essayscritically than I might have within the first year or two after the show.Let me say that I have seen the entire series from start to finish 3 times live and then twice on DVD over these past years I ve seen individual episodes up to a dozen or so times I think in some cases, these essays could have usedtime particularly Sherrilyn Kenyon s essay The Search for Spike s Balls which seems to have completely ignored every flashback and discussion the show gave us about his past This was the only essay in this collection that I didn t believe in any shape or form.7 essays were weak I could see what the author was trying to say but I felt they either lacked evidence or the essay needed some edited to make it flowcoherently Sadly these included essays from Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Zettel.8 essays were strong with solid evidence but they didn t make me nod my head or say That s right when I read them They had evidence but didn t say something that truly resonated with me Among these were Lawrence Watt Evans and Jacqueline Lichtenberg s pieces.That leaves 6 essays that I no only agreed with but felt were wonderfully crafted in terms of argument Among these were essays by Laura Resnick and Jennifer Crusie


  5. Olivia Ambrose Olivia Ambrose says:

    An interesting collection of essays about Buffy A bit too focused on Angel or Spike, but I did particularly like the essay When did the Scoobies become Insiders by Sarah Zettel which talked about how the Scoobies moved from outsiders to insiders over the course of the series and how that affected the show I ve read better written andcritical essays, but it was a fun read Good for any Buffy fan.


  6. Bethany Bethany says:

    Admittedly, I skipped a few of these essays If it didn t grab my attention, or said something that annoyed me, I just didn t read it That being said, the ones I DID read were mostly solid, and insightful Also, turns out part of the reason it was such slow going is because the book is listed at 240 pages, but it s actually like 205 So There s that.


  7. Ms. Przybylski Ms. Przybylski says:

    A few of the articles were spot on, in my opinion, and a few missed the mark, but in that way that I can respectfully disagree with So why didn t I enjoy itI guess maybe it hasn t aged well, I don t know, but I found myself skimmingarticles than I usually would.


  8. Tiffany Tiffany says:

    This was okay Some essays were enjoyable, others were terrible and tedious I wanted to DNF so many times but I was reading this book for a specific challenge and so I carried on Wouldn t really recommend.


  9. Cheryle Ross Cheryle Ross says:

    An excellent collection of highly interesting essays.


  10. JulieJ JulieJ says:

    A fun read for any Buffyphile into analyzing the show and its characters.