The Face-Stealer, by Robert Scott-Norton (5:28)

IOD-FaceStealerToday I learned how strongly I feel about “borrowed” content. (Hint: I pulled the plug based on a single WTF.)

What I gleaned about the story: Some ancient evil is on the loose, in the body of a young woman. Maybe it’s somebody else’s body that’s been possessed, or maybe it’s the creatures own form. I’m not sure. She killed some people, and now she kills some more. And then stuff. Probably.

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WTF #1: Killer creature chick is confronted in the water by commando-type dudes…

She smirked and a cold sensation dropped in Thadeus’s stomach.

“Bored now,” she said, as she took Marlow’s head in her hands and with a sickening crunch twisted his head violently to the side. When she let go, his lifeless form bobbed in the water, his head moving awkwardly against the water.

Analysis: Sorry folks, but when you take a famous scene from a famous TV show, and then try to pass it off as your own, I’m pulling the plug. No apologies. No excuses entertained.

It’s perfectly fine to borrow a line like that if you’re going to use it in an ironic context, but no such tribute or nod of the head was given. The scene just continues as though the line and accompanying image of casual violence are entirely original.

For those who might not recognize it, it is one of the most chilling moments in the entire Buffy-verse, Season 6, Episode 20.

Unselected, by John Kipling Lewis
Pay Me, Bug! by Christopher Wright (40:00)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is uniquely unqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.