You, Darkness

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Title: You, Darkness
Author(s): Nan Dibble
Date(s): 1991
Genre: het
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
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You, Darkness is a controversial Beauty and the Beast (TV) story by Nan Dibble.

It was printed in Acquainted with the Night #1.

The title of the story is from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.


"Vincent's worst nightmare comes true after he's captured by Paracelsus' followers."

Fan Comments

Hold onto your stomach — Vincent as a child molester has been written. Well, the thirteen boys and girls are teenaged; but rape, dismemberment and disemboweling do count as molestation, don't they? "You Darkness" by Nan Dibble, as an optional story in her zine Acquainted with the Night 1.[1]

I was horrified to learn the contents of one of the stories in Acquainted with the Night. I can't fairly comment on it, not having seen or read it, but assuming it's as you describe ifs very hard for me to understand how writers could gain any satisfaction out of so distorting Vincent's character. (And that, I feel, is putting it mildly!) [2]

“You, Darkness” is strong, controversial stuff. Pro writer.[3]

This zine is the first in a series that explores the developing relationship between Diana and Vincent. Stories tend to focus on the darker side of all the characters often making them harsh in comparison to what we have come to expect. This trend culminates in the last story, 'You Darkness,' which has Vincent captured by the bowers who are still under the evil influence of Paracelsus, long after his death. Drugged and placed in a situation beyond his control, Vincent rapes, murders, and mutilates 13 teenagers during an orgy and later struggles with his guilt. This story will be too intense for some readers and will mainly appeal to those who want to see Vincent's darker side closely examined. We would give this story a stronger rating than the PG-13 that applies to the rest of the zine. The author includes a warning and the story can be skipped without losing the continuity when reading the sequel.[4]

Nan Dibble's Acquainted with the Night series is an extraordinary creation. The author is an accomplished science fiction professional, and her skill shows in every sentence. Plotting, continuity and setting are all vividly realized


All Acquainted lacks, in fact, is a warning sign across the cover Handle With Care: Explosives Inside. Most obviously, this would apply to the final story in Volume 1 You, Darkness in which the drugged and virtually hypnotized Vincent participates in a pagan cult orgy, ends up slaughtering his fellow revelers and begetting a child on some unidentified woman (apparently Lena, who was an agent of Paracelsus all along).

Rest assured. You, Darkness" is neither gross nor X-rated. To the contrary, it is part of a powerful elemental fable, haunted by the same "terrible beauty" as the Trilogy and the best of the Third Season. Dibble creates and sustains a level of mythic grandeur. But if you are looking for stories of Vincent and Catherine achieving a happy ending, this is not for you. (On the other hand, Vincent and Diana do seem destined for good things.)

Dibble has come up with a powerful idea. Vincent is a multiple personality. The angelic Vincent we all love is dominant but he has an autonomous second personality, consisting of everything he fears in himself and has struggled to repress. This other, who acts out sex and violence for Vincent, is psychologically the "father" of Catherine's child—which is the reason that the "good" personality can't remember. He is, in fact, Vincent's Id isolated and personified. And he loved Catherine too. Greatly.

All this. I think, is implicit in the original story and the character, but has never been so clearly articulated or dramatized as in Dibble's stories. I've dealt with the theme in my own zines, but Dibble does it better.


The truth is, most other B&TB zines taste like weak tea next to Dibble's intoxicating brew. This is story-telling with class. And if Dribble wants her characters to evolve in startling new directions, to discover new possibilities, well, she has the right.


I'd also like to comment on Barbara Goulter's review of Acquainted With The Night by Nancy Dibble. Yes, Nan Dibble is (in my opinion) an excellent writer. The fact that the zine was well written was the only thing that kept me reading it. Having said that, I'd like to add that (again, in my opinion) what Nan Dibble has written is not B&TB. If s not even third season B&TB. It's not Vincent and if s not even Diana. As far as "You, Darkness" not being gross, I guess that depends on your definition of the word. The review describes "Vincent participating in a pagan cult orgy, ends up slaughtering his fellow revelers and begetting a child on some unidentified woman..." — that's pretty gross to me.
Diana, in Dibble's characterization, was a very unkind person. If I were a Diana fan, I would have found it offensive. She didn't have a charitable thought for anyone. To her, William was an obnoxious fat man, Lena was a bitch, and Catherine had ruined Vincent's psyche by letting him kill (something which, according to Dibble, he'd never done before). If anyone called me "babe" as often as Diana does Vincent, I'd claw their face off! I think that she and Vincent, as well as everyone else down to Father, Lena, Cullen and Kristopher Gentian are outof character—so much so that they are different people. To enjoy this fanzine, Goulter tells us, we must "accept Catherine (and baby Jacob) as essentially irrelevant." That's asking for quite a lot even if you are a fan of third season. Yes, "if Dibble wants her characters to evolve in startling new directions... she has the right." But, I want my characters (the characters I love and want to read more about) to remain in character! [5]


  1. ^ from Tunneltalk (April 1991)
  2. ^ from Tunneltalk (May 1991)
  3. ^ from Helpers' Network Quality Fanzine Review -- 1997
  4. ^ from The Beauty & the Beast Buyer's Guide to Fanzines
  5. ^ comments by Barbara Goulter in Tunneltalk v.2 n.3, response by Ellie J in Tunneltalk v.2 n.4/5