Soundtrack Monday: Sleep


Another week, another Soundtrack Monday.

I was flicking through playlists and thought I should really rebuild the one for Selene, so I did. (You can find it here.)

Selene and Nikolai’s story was written well before the Valentine books; it makes sense, since it’s set in the aftermath of the Awakening and the Republic of Gilead’s fall. I thought about writing some parts from Nik’s point of view, but it was not his story and he tends to try to take things over–I think it’s a function of his age, since he’s learned how to survive the way a Master Nichtvren usually does, with control, coercion, strength, and terror.

Our girl Lena, however, gives short shrift to that strategy, being on the receiving end of it more than once. Her difficulty with him is only partly because he’s so goddamn controlling, it’s also that he’s essentially an alien being, having survived so long. But there were one or two songs that gave me a window into him.

One of those is the Dandy Warhols’s Sleep, which I’d play on repeat while building a few scenes he featured in. He was particularly fond of layered voices, probably because that’s what it’s like inside his head all the time. He’s constantly weighing things for likely danger, gaming out scenarios, making plans to keep “his” people safe. While Selene, naturally, goes about things in a vastly different way.

It was good I wrote this story first. I suspect I would never have found my way into Japhrimel if I hadn’t, and I also suspect the reason why he and Nik get along so well is because they’re both essentially alien predators whose love languages–if you can use the term–are perilously controlling. I’m fascinated with the question of what would really happen psychologically in a functionally immortal being, especially one with enough power to arrange most of their immediate surroundings to their liking–and the ancillary question of what it would be like to actually be in a relationship with such a being.

Also the idea of tantraiiken was in the Valentine books from the start, though Danny was very clear she was not one. I was only mildly surprised when the House of Pain showed up in Dead Man Rising, because I knew Selene and Danny had things to say to each other. Oh, and if I ever write the Hell Wars books, we’ll see the two of them in action together…

…but that’s another story.