Sunday, May 3, 2009

GuestFicRec: A Halo for Alien Edwards

Halo Jones

Stephenie Meyers once recalled how she clashed with Robert Pattinson over the motivations and nature of Edward. Robert didn't understand how a guy who's seen a century come and go would allow Carlisle to play "Daddy" to him. He didn't understand how Stephenie could say Edward was content with his existence, when there were implications of a darker nature lying just underneath the designer clothes. After the conversation, Meyers worried Robert would play her beloved Edward all "emo."

She ended up creaming her pants over Robert's portrayal, saying he was pitch perfect. And yet, when you take a closer look at his performance, you can't help but wonder if Robert's interpretation of the character won out in the end. Robert's Edward isn't exactly dishy and dazzling. His Edward is awkward; so out of touch with normal human interaction, you want to cringe watching him attempt basic small talk with Bella in Biology. He's more parts E.T. than Mr. Darcy in that scene as he tries to "gloss over" their nearly violent first encounter.

It's THAT version of Edward - the vampy dude who is so pretty on the outside, so book smart on the inside, yet so ass - backwards socially and emotionally, he comes off like an alien encased within the body of a Prom King - that I love to see in fanfiction. You don't see him often enough, neither in the actual Twilight series or in fanfictionland, but he's there. The first story I can recall where I saw THAT Edward-months before I ever heard about Robert's interpretation- was last year with the fanfic "Of Curses and Cures."

The main attraction for me initially was Edward in all his awkward glory. He was bloodlusty, yes. And lusty for Bella as well. But the story focused more on how he was this old soul who nonetheless hadn't experienced much within such a youthful body. He was knowledgable as an observer of life - but naive as a participant.

Edward meets Bella on a very significant day. It's his first day of residency, his first attempt at applying his knowledge from medical school(four times over) to real life situations. Things go well, until the pretty human girl who would also make a delightful mid-morning snack shows up.

Their story isn't about struggling against bloodlust so much as trying to locate normality in the most abnormal of situations. Edward tries to be a real boy for her; picking her up like a proper date, taking her to the movies, walking her to her front door. Bella tries to pretend she doesn't think it's weird that he's climbing through her window at hours that would be considered...improper. The struggle to meet someone at their own level when you are naturally on a different plain was one the features I liked the most about this story.

In Twilight, Edward tells Bella, "I may not be human, but I am a man." Sometimes SM made her beloved Edward so cuddly and chivalrous, it's easy to forget this vampiric Pinocchio was not a real, live, human boy. Readers often seem to forget as well, arguing he's an abusive boyfriend, or as one critic called him, a "controlling asshole." If that's all they can throw at a serial killer vampire who chugged down the blood of his human victims like a Big Gulp, they are letting him off easy! Reacting to love as a man but not as a human is one of the more interesting aspects of the series for me, political correctness be damned.

Watching this Edward navigate between man and vampire and ex-human situationally in order to love and protect Bella properly is one of the more interesting aspects of this fanfiction as well. Edward isn't a young vampire who can't control his passions; instead, he's taken a century to learn how to reign it in enough to be around humans. Now he has to relearn how to lose control just enough in order to live, not just exist.

It's not an easy path to maneuver. Sometimes, finding out where he has to draw the line of losing control can be heartbreaking. Sometimes, what he can offer up isn't enough for his human Bella. Yet they both forge on, trying to meet each other in the middle of their intersecting natures.

One thing I noticed in fanfiction is that either Bella will own the story, or else Edward will. Edward seemed to be owning this fanfiction with his E.T. twist. But Bella ended up having a few surprises up her characterization sleeve as well in later chapters. Gradually, we come to understand that Bella may take a vampire's odd way of lovin' in stride because he isn't exactly her first foray into the supenatural.

The author makes it clear from the start that she is a busy gal in school with too much on her plate. She acknowledges that her story isn't the most polished fanfic out there in terms of content, style, or presentation(she doesn't have a beta currently). She can take awhile to update - this story has been around since February of 2008. And yet, I wait out the update intervals patiently, because I have a little thing for Alien Edwards and Flip-about-all-things-supernatural Bellas and Boy-can-she-keep-a-secret Renees.

Halojones has dipped into the fanfiction writing well three times, with mixed results. Her goal of making the greatest ice crotched Bella in history was accomplished in "I Hate Myself For Loving You," while she regularly apologizes to reviewers for suffering through her AU-Crackfic, "10 Steps To Seducing Your Hot Virgin Vampire Boyfriend"--which didn't even include ten steps. And yet, all those apologies haven't stopped her from writing, and even including an E.T. Edward of her own in her story "She's Royal." She spends too much time image googling Robert Pattinson, and wondering who he's making out with.....which then leads to her printing up a picture of the alleged makeout partner, pasting it to the wall, and throwing darts at her pretty pucker.


  1. Halo, thanks for reviewing this story. I have been a huge fan of 'Of Curses and Cures' since the beginning. I know it will gain an even bigger following now that you have recommended it.
    Oh, and please don't throw darts at my picture. Can't we all just get along? ;-)

  2. I found of Curses and Cures about a month ago and loved the whole characterization. Thanks for reccing it.

    And who doesn't Google Image Rob at least 10 times a day?

    I'd rather just google him.....

  3. halo, i'm so proud of you! you dun wrote that ent-tire article without once calling him eduardo!
    cheers to you, cheers to eduardo... and cheers to macarobward.

  4. This is one of those fics that I lost along the way. (The days of being a lurker and then losing my browser's history. Firefox, putting me in my place) So... I'm really happy to be able to continue it now.

    I snorted at the Smeyer, Rob anecdotes you gave here. Laughed when I read them back then and laugh now. As of late I've been reading and really enjoying how authors explore, and in a much more believable/realistic way than SM, Edward's past slash his one-hundred and years of existing, it's been a long and bitter road for him, so I appreciate when authors don't shy away from that.

    Now I have ten or more chapters of this fic to catch up on.


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