What's Going on?
Almost a year ago I was going to make an April Fool's entry where I pretended I was going to change this blog to a Choose Your Adventure blog. I wrote up most of the entry, and then just never finished it. Why'd that happen? Laziness? Pandemic induced ennui? Who can say. All I know is that the draft of this sat there for a long ass time. By the time I finally got around to updating this blog, I felt the need to "start fresh" with a Goosebumps entry. Still, I spent time writing and reading for this, it needn't go to waste. So here it is. My entry for Choose Your Own Adventure #71 - Space Vampire, right in time for Halloween.
Choosing My Adventure
I'm not going to read every single story line until I get all of the over 24 endings in this. Like times past when I have done this style of book I will give it 3 attempts to get the "good" ending. If I die 3 quick times well... then that's just a bummer isn't it?
To begin with I am briefed about the usual nature of the book, that you don't read it in a linear page by page fashion. I'm already aware of this but there is also a warning. The space vampire, it would seem, has extraordinary powers and a terrifying appetite. I will heed this warning!
In an interesting turn of events Space Force is real. Who knew Donald Trump stole his idea from a book in 1987? Not only is it real, but I am about to graduate from their academy on Mars. Dope. My communicator goes off, I'm needed immediately! I hustle through various hi-tech security protocol to the office of Jason Neff who appears to be some sort of... space Dumbledore. He declares that I, who have the cool code name of Osprey, am graduating first in my glass. Hell yeah, I'm the best. It turns out that my credentials as the best is going to be put to the test immediately. Am I to stop an alien invasion from the Canopians? No sir, the problem we're facing is.. SPACE VAMPIRES. You see Vampires are weak on Earth what with all the Sunlight and such. Deeper in space though? Not a problem. A space vampire has gotten aboard a transport ship and is killing a passenger each night. If I can't stop this vampire there may be a whole invasion of them! I don't have to take this mission though. If I want to pass it up, I can be on my way to Barnard's Star to see if it is suitable for colonization.
Listen this book is called SPACE VAMPIRES, of course I'm going to take the space vampire mission. For breakfast the cook hands me some garlic to improve the taste of my future space food. Can't imagine how that will come in to play, eh? Then its off into space and immediately into trouble. A Canopian attack vessel intercepts us and Captain Rick Field asks for my input. I can suggest we outrun them, or tell him to attack.
Let's attack these assholes. Or not. Rick Field doesn't give a fuck about my input. He thinks getting the space vampires is more important than destroying an immediate alien threat. Just like that I'm shooting pool at an officer's club waiting for reassignment. One decision and I'm already on the outs! I could maybe go after the vampire on my own though. The computer system still thinks I have security clearance. Ahead of me is a hangar hosting a very top secret special unique awesome spaceship. I could maybe borrow it to go eradicate the space vampire menace.... or I could play by the rules.
You don't kill space vampires by playing it safe. Let's commandeer this vessel an get to vampire murderin'. I start the process of "borrowing it" but the guys in the hangar seem to realize I don't belong. There are sirens and guard robots. It's close but I get my ass out of there unscathed and am on my way to the vampire infested transport ship. I consult the space computer about how to go and kill Spaceferatu and it highlights some pointers. Sunlight will do the trick. They can be captured with force field generators which I happen to have. They also recommend back up. I could call my friend Steve to come out a'vampire huntin' with me or I could go it alone.
The more the merrier when it comes to killing vamps I say. I invite Steve-o along but security forces are there! Has he ratted me out or did they intercept my message. My options are to surrender, to escape, or to "think of something else."
I'm going to escape. I've got the best spaceship in the fleet, I can handle a nice running away. Or at least I could if they didn't have override codes for my secret stolen spaceship. All I can do is wait for Space Force to come and arrest me. Damn you Donald Trump!
Ok, graduating head of the class, accepting the mission to kill space Dracula, intercepted by Canopian alien attack ship... but this time I'm going to tell the captain we should flee!
Flee we do indeed. We are able to get to the transport with the Vampire on it. Each night it kills a victim... What the hell does night and day matter in a space ship? Unless you're rotating on a planet night and day don't even really exist! Someone suggests we fire on the ship because they are an idiot and don't want any survivors at all. The captain asks for any DECENT input. I could tell him we should board the ship, or to wait until it lands on Earth.
Wait until it lands on Earth? That's dumb! Then we'll have vampires on Earth! No, we are gonna board the ship. The captain agrees and suggests using human bait... What an asshole. Do I volunteer to be bait or not?
Sure why the hell not, go big or go home I say. (and that worked so well for me last time when I stole a space ship) My mission is to lay there helplessly and let a vampire go in for the kill. My shipmates will catch him in a force field while he is overcome with bloodlust. I didn't know this plan was quite this shitty when I volunteered but no backing out now I guess. I get into bay... wait... and... holy shit it worked. We captured the vampire. Now the only problem is getting him to sunlight. I am ordered to watch over him and shoot him with a stun gun if he starts to escape. I gotta be the bait AND his watcher. Graduating first in your class sucks. While watching over him I yearn to talk to him. I could learn so much about vampires. Should I strike up a conversation?
Hell no. This tricky vampire scum is gonna die and I won't be fooled into feeling pity. I stand watch until arrive near enough the sun to do him in. His spirit is broken, and in the full sunlight he shrivels to nothing. The book suggests I feel a little sad about what I've done as if I've "killed a magnificent tiger." Once again I say hell no. This vampire scum is dead and won't be preying on earthlings anymore. This book may try to steal victory away from me, but I won't accept it. Mission fucking accomplished, vampire fucking dead.
Well even though I succeeded in killing the vampire I did say I would attempt this 3 times and there are at least 22 more endings so lets get at it. This time instead of accepting the mission to kill the space vampire I'm going to go on the mission to evaluate Barnard's Star for colonization. Weeks away on a scout ship, the mission turns out pretty boring. I could take my job seriously and pay close attention...or I could go for a nap...
A little nap never hurt anyone says I. Maybe I as wrong though. I slept 3 hours and no one came to relieve me of my shift. Turns out no one did so because they'd all been killed by a vampire. Oops! Sorry bros, my bad. The vampire confronts me and demands I set course for the space vampire home world. He wants to tell his fellow vampires how delicious human blood is. I have to play along, but where should I send the ship? I could start heading to Akbar, the vampire home world, or start flying to the Sun.
Well the sun kills vampires so sunward ho I go. Vampy notices pretty quickly that we're heading to the sun and he is not a real fan of that idea. I accelerate to throw him off balance. By the time he attacks you again we are in range of the sun. He disintegrates and I manage to get ship off course of the sun and heading towards earth in the nick of time. They'll be so glad I killed a space vampire that they probably won't even mind that all my crewmates are dead.....
What I Thought
Outer space is perhaps not what one first thinks of when they think of the horror genre, but it's a natural fit. Sci-fi is all about the unknown, and what is scarier than that? There are countless movies about all sorts of crazy aliens attacking. One of the best known movies Alien itself is fundamentally a horror movie with an alien villain, so this premise is not a huge stretch.
One of the problems however, is that space is about the UNKNOWN and part of the appeal of aliens are so foreign. These aliens however, are just straight up regular vampires. Every little kid knows what a stereotypical vampire looks like. Heck, they have a vampire on sesame street! Using an established trope like a standard vampire for a space story while silly and fun, also kind of robs you have having a unique and interesting alien type. That is half the fun of aliens.
The setting of space can be interesting and isolating. I also feel like kids this age often go through "space" phases, where they learn all about the solar system, so it works from that angle, but they are kind of dumb about space. For example talking about day vs night for vampires, where that doesn't really apply in space without rotation and orbit. It's probably a lot to ask for a smart take on sunlight in space versus vampires in a cheap kids book, but it would have been nice.
Ultimately this book sort of just is what it is... the 71st entry in a cheap pulp series for kids. It's silly, it's fun, it's a bit stupid. No doubt dedicated kids who got this far into the series would enjoy it. Kids who love vampires and/or space would probably enjoy it too. Unless you are super dedicated to Choose Your Adventures I would probably pass on this. If you wanted to check it out though it's quick to thumb through a few attempts. I guess all in it doesn't convince me to switch from Give Yourself Goosebumps as a series.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Space Vampires
I've been very inactive on this blog until recently, and I'd really wish I could promise I'll be way more active in the future but I'm not sure that is a promise I can keep. Still, I would very much like to not take another year to update like happened previously. There is a small chance I will get one more update here before 2022. If not, then hopefully soon after New Years I can get an update in. We shall see. Likely it'll be a mainline original Goosebumps book. Hope to see you then, thanks for reading.