Skip to main content

Searching for Christopher Pike

"Nostalgia is denial of the painful present." - Paul, Midnight in Paris

Having developed a tendency to frequently shuffle the 90s playlist on my iPod and honor the anniversaries of certain movie releases, it's been brought to my attention that I have become the King of Looking Back. And if it's because I refuse to accept and face the "painful present," then...oh, who am I kidding? That's the reason. My bank account shames me whenever I glance at the balance on my ATM receipts, a diet of Diddy Riese cookies and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has done nothing for my health, and the pressure to do that whole "figure out my place in the world" thing is a struggle I face almost every day. But I continue to revisit the past. This month I have decided to dig up old copies from Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series and reread the fifth and sixth installments, Evil Thirst and Creatures of Forever, for a couple of reasons. First, the bestselling young-adult author has recently released a seventh Vampire novel after his publisher capitalized on the whole bloodsucker craze and repackaged the first six books as two mega volumes titled Thirst (an eighth book, or fourth "volume," is expected to hit shelves in the fall). Needless to say, this piqued my interest, and I wanted to refresh my memory before I dived into these new stories about our immortal heroine, Alisa, and her epic dramas involving Egyptian gods, nuclear espionage, reincarnation, and becoming a mother to a creature as deadly as her worst enemy. The other reason was to see if these books held up fifteen years after I first read them as a 16-year-old working at an amusement park on the shores of Long Island Sound in New York. And they do. The engaging first-person narrative of these particular novels far surpasses the writing in most of the YA thrillers that were popular at the time. And from what I remember, the more mature content and three-dimensional characters in Pike's other books made his stories all the more compelling to read. There were no contrived tales of terrorized babysitters, teenage fatal attractions, or other cliched adolescent fodder. Sure, his characters were in high school, but he went beneath the trendy surfaces and touched upon themes - both cosmic and existential - rarely seen in demographically similar novels. My rekindled relationship with Christopher Pike actually came about last year when I was inspired to track down the ever elusive author (his real name is Kevin McFadden, and he's known to be somewhat of a recluse). I even spent a good part of last summer putting together a pitch for a documentary about a struggling writer's quest to meet one of his literary idols (guess who was the protagonist?), and I turned to a few friends and acquaintances for help:
It's clearly a work in progress, just like the rest of my life. Speaking of which, my 9-year anniversary of living in L.A. is quickly approaching, and I have much to reflect upon...but more on that later. Searching and searching, H.P.M.


Popular posts from this blog

The Class of '98 Turns 40

We are the Class of '98. We're a little too old to be Millennials, yet too young to be GenXers. As of now, half of our lives has lived in one century while the other half lives and moves forward in another. For us, Cabbage Patch Dolls were the 80s, Tamagotchi was the 90s, and Napster was the dawn of the 00s. We grew up with cassette tapes and Saturday morning cartoons. We came of age with CGI dinosaurs and the rise of the Frappucino. And we approach middle age with memes, reboots, and viral videos all designed to distract us from middle age. We were too young to fully understand the words "Challenger explosion." We were too young to appreciate the fall of the Berlin Wall. But by the time places like Waco, Oklahoma City, and Littleton pinged on everyone's radar, we started to grasp how scary the world could be. Our adolescence was defined by jagged little pills, prescriptions from Dr. Dre, and the fact that some of us were naughty by nature. We learned t

13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Golden Girls'

When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. Certain patterns appear as you continuously witness the consumption of countless cheesecakes inside a fictitious Miami kitchen and hear one St. Olaf story too many. Here's what I noticed after playing my DVDs of this 80s classic over the past several months ( and if you're already familiar with the following factoids, excuse me for underestimating your fanaticism )... 1. Actor Harold Gould, who played Rose's long-term boyfriend Miles Webber from Season 5 to Season 7 (and throughout most of the short-lived spinoff,  The Golden Palace ), also appears in the first season as Arnie Peterson, Rose's first serious beau after her husband's death. 2. The same can be said for Sid Melton, who played Sophia's deceased husband Sal (in flashbacks and dream sequences). He also appears in a Season 6 episode as a jester in a medieval-

Just Because: 9 Music Videos That Take Place in Laundromats

It's one of the biggest music video tropes that's rarely explored in pop culture. The public laundromat has become a go-to location for artists when making a music video for a single they wish to sell to the masses. But WHAT IS IT about a space where ragtag groups of strangers gather to fluff and fold their delicates? Is it the obvious metaphor of dirty versus clean? The scintillating possibility of people stripping off their clothes for a wash? I was feeling a little nostalgic (as usual) and took a look at some of the vids that have fallen under the spell of spin cycles over the past 30 years... "EVERY HEARTBEAT" / AMY GRANT (1991) Back in the early 90s, the Christian pop tart followed up her massively successful "Baby Baby" with "Every Heartbeat," a personal childhood favorite of yours truly  (the Body & Soul Mix, of course). In one of the two vignettes featured in the video, a laundry-toting hottie attempts to flirt with a young