Yesterday, I dropped a bit of my take on the use of vampires in modern horror and urban-fantasy. Cliff’s Notes: I’m all in for monsters. Not so much when it comes to suave European royalty a la Bela Lugosi and Anne Rice.
I outlined a few uses in the genre that I do like. Of course, I missed a few, and forehead-slapping ensued. Here’s a few of my faves that I overlooked:
The Keep, F. Paul Wilson. The antagonist isn’t really a vampire, but Wilson does a marvelous job laying out the backstory of an ancient being that inspired the legends. First book in an epic series. Wilson is, in my very humble opinion, one of the best storytellers of today. Skip the movie adaptation, though. Honorable F. Paul Wilson mentions: Midnight Mass and Draculas. Standalone, but still worthy of a read. The prior involves a literal vampire apocalypse, if that’s your sort of thing, and the other envisions a pandemic outbreak in a hospital.
The Necroscope series, Brian Lumley. British horror is a bit hit-and-miss for me, and the series goes a little off the rails as it progresses, but it makes cool use of vampires and ghosts early on.
The Strain, Guillermo Del Toro. This is kind of a weird series. It was initially developed as a TV project, scrapped, and then turned into a book trilogy. The first two books are really good, but the third was a little disappointing. The FX series that (finally) aired the past few summers polished out some of the rough edges and tweaked the plot line a bit. A lot of people complained about the “annoying kid” trope used in the show, but it was spot-on to the portrayal in the books. The real stars of The Strain are its vampire-analogues, and man, are they terrifying.
If you like your vampires blown up or staked, that should be a good start for you. If you’d like a hint as to the possibility of vampires in my own Paxton Locke series, be sure to check out book 2, Night’s Black Agents, on June 19.
Oh, and conveniently enough, I’ll be on a Vampires vs. Zombies panel at LibertyCon next month. Hopefully I don’t get staked by fans of romantic vampires. 🙂 Be sure to check it out if you’ve got your tickets as the con is sold out.