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C.T. Phipps

The Vampire, Undead, and Bloodsucker thread

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Vampires have been a huge thing for the past century and show no sign of slowing down. I got started with my love of vampires with THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES by Anne Rice. I enjoyed everything up to TALE OF THE BODY THIEF but kind of fell out of it afterward. I've since become a huge fan of urban fantasy and while not a huge paranormal romance lover, I've got a few of those series I love too. Plus, I was a huge Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop gamer as well. I write vampire fiction myself but never would have without the awesome inspirations I've read.

So this is a thread about sharing your favorite vampire novels and how you like your undead.

Scary, sexy, horrific, inhuman, tortured, some combination thereof?

:)

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23 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

So this is a thread about sharing your favorite vampire novels and how you like your undead.

I guess I can't discuss the disappoint that I felt after reading Salem's Lot.

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A shout-out here to Antoine Augustin Calmet, the eighteenth century French Benedictine Monk, who compiled a detailed study of vampire and revenant folk traditions, 150 years before Stoker.

(He himself disbelieved in vampires. His reasoning? Resurrection comes from God. These alleged cases of undead? They are not like the resurrections in the Bible. Therefore they can't have come from God. Therefore they didn't happen).

Edited by The Marquis de Leech

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These two options are not exhaustive. I'd bet that Calmet considered and apparently rejected this, but one obvious (and I think traditionally considered) option is that undead are a kind of demonic phenomenon, i.e. some evil spirit somehow animates the dead body. (This also fits with the idea that devils and demons, unable of original creation, mock and ape God's creation/action and what could be a better example of this than undead half-life instead of real eternal life?)

I think I have read about 4 vampire books (discounting short stories). "Salem's lot" I found also rather disappointing, nothing special at all. I never read Dracula but I read Polidori's "Vampyre" and a totally weird book about that summer of Byron, Polidori, the Shelleys in Switzerland that also brought some supernatural element into it but its was so bad that I forgot author and title. And the first book of Lukianenko's series "Nochnoi dozor". Fairly original and atmospheric but lengthy  and not enthralling enough to keep going with the series. I probably should read "Dracula" at some stage.

Edited by Jo498

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I wouldn't really say I'm necessarily a huge vampire fiction fan in general. I think my favourites would be GRRM's Fevre Dream and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

Recently I also enjoyed @Derfel Cadarn's Resurrection Men and sequel.

3 hours ago, Jo498 said:

and a totally weird book about that summer of Byron, Polidori, the Shelleys in Switzerland that also brought some supernatural element into it but its was so bad that I forgot author and title.

Was it Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard? It fits the description although I imagine it's probably not the only book to be set around those events. I'm a big fan of Tim Powers' books but I thought it was one of his weaker works. I preferred the loosely-connected Hide Me Among The Graves which uses the same vampire mythology, although set a few decades later focusing on the Rosetti family.

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I like the usual suspects.

Dracula - among my favorite books and I like the Coppola movie though it is kindof bad

Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles - Loved the books and liked the first movie alright

Let the Right One In - loved the movie and the book

I did not like Joey Peacock and that sortof killed Lesser Dead for me...maybe I'll try it again one day

Those are all fairly different sorts of vampire.  I'm not sure which I prefer.

20 minutes ago, williamjm said:

Recently I also enjoyed @Derfel Cadarn's Resurrection Men and sequel.

I'm starting Resurrection Men tonight.

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12 hours ago, Teng Ai Hui said:

I guess I can't discuss the disappoint that I felt after reading Salem's Lot.

Eh, go ahead.

I don't think that vampires are in special need of defending as a genre.

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4 hours ago, Jo498 said:

These two options are not exhaustive. I'd bet that Calmet considered and apparently rejected this, but one obvious (and I think traditionally considered) option is that undead are a kind of demonic phenomenon, i.e. some evil spirit somehow animates the dead body. (This also fits with the idea that devils and demons, unable of original creation, mock and ape God's creation/action and what could be a better example of this than undead half-life instead of real eternal life?)

Calmet's work was originally published in two volumes - the first deals with spirits and demons. The second one, dealing with vampires, has since been republished separately. My local university's library only had the second one, so that's what I read. It wouldn't surprise me if Calmet deals with the demonic possibility in the first volume (he might have discussed it in the second volume too. It's been a couple of years since I read it). Calmet does spend a lot of time distinguishing vampire cases from situations where people have been revived after drowning.

The republished version was still using the 1850 English translation, by the gloriously named Reverend Henry Christmas. Christmas, a nineteenth century Anglican Reverend, clearly only did the translation because he wanted to demonstrate how silly those Catholics on the continent were. He says as much in the Foreword.

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Anyway, another Vampire classic people haven't mentioned - Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Inventor of the lesbian vampire genre, and written a quarter of a century before Stoker's Dracula.

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

I wouldn't really say I'm necessarily a huge vampire fiction fan in general. I think my favourites would be GRRM's Fevre Dream and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

Recently I also enjoyed @Derfel Cadarn's Resurrection Men and sequel.

Was it Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard? It fits the description although I imagine it's probably not the only book to be set around those events. I'm a big fan of Tim Powers' books but I thought it was one of his weaker works. I preferred the loosely-connected Hide Me Among The Graves which uses the same vampire mythology, although set a few decades later focusing on the Rosetti family.

Thanks :)

58 minutes ago, Inkdaub said:

I like the usual suspects.

Dracula - among my favorite books and I like the Coppola movie though it is kindof bad

Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles - Loved the books and liked the first movie alright

Let the Right One In - loved the movie and the book

I did not like Joey Peacock and that sortof killed Lesser Dead for me...maybe I'll try it again one day

Those are all fairly different sorts of vampire.  I'm not sure which I prefer.

I'm starting Resurrection Men tonight.

Hope you enjoy Resurrection Men. The first 10 chapters are perhaps a bit slower paced than the rest of the book, and there's perhaps a sense of "where's the story going?" but the scope broadens and the pace picks up. 

I seem to be the minority in that I really enjoyed Salem's Lot. I also enjoyed Dracula and Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series.

Re how I like vampires, I prefer the focus on undead, i.e they';re not interested in romance, sex etc. What draws me is the notion of intrigues and feuds lasting centuries, that being 'dead', they're not interested in romance. 

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

Was it Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard? It fits the description although I imagine it's probably not the only book to be set around those events. I'm a big fan of Tim Powers' books but I thought it was one of his weaker works. I preferred the loosely-connected Hide Me Among The Graves which uses the same vampire mythology, although set a few decades later focusing on the Rosetti family.

The only Powers I read was Anubis Gates and I loved that book. I cannot imagine that he wrote something as horrible as the book on Polidori etc. even granting that Powers might be an author of uneven quality.  I suspect that the book I meant could have been "The Merciful Women" (Las Piadosas) by Federico Andahazi because the German title (Lord Byrons Schatten) seems familiar. It wasn't really about vampires at all, now that I think of it, only about the writing of that famous "Vampyre".

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There are so many versions of vampires and their mythology that I have enjoyed.

The original Dracula

Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles

Barbara Hambly's James Asher books, starting with Those Who Hunt the Night (which thanks to this thread, I was checking on the name of the second book and discovered she had written another 6 books in the series that I was unawre of, hopefully they are as good as the first two).

Brian Lumley's take on vampires in his Necroscope seriesm where the vampires are actually parasitic creatures invading a host, similar to the Stargate Goa'uld

Robert McCammon's scary They Thirst

The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman where Dracula survived van Helsing and friends and took over England

The Madness Season by C.S. Friedman where a vampire goes into space to defend earth from alien invaders

And I also enjoyed Resurrection Men and Lord of the Hunt

Just to name a few

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3 hours ago, Inkdaub said:

Let the Right One In - loved the movie and the book

I've not read the book but the original film is one of the best vampire movies I've seen (I've not seen the American remake).

1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

The only Powers I read was Anubis Gates and I loved that book. I cannot imagine that he wrote something as horrible as the book on Polidori etc. even granting that Powers might be an author of uneven quality.  I suspect that the book I meant could have been "The Merciful Women" (Las Piadosas) by Federico Andahazi because the German title (Lord Byrons Schatten) seems familiar. It wasn't really about vampires at all, now that I think of it, only about the writing of that famous "Vampyre".

That might be more plausible, while it isn't my favourite of Powers' work I didn't think The Stress of Her Regard was a bad book. I did like its interpretation of vampires as beings who felt much more alien than the 'evil humans with fangs' interpretation that we often see. The interpretation has got some similarities to Derfel's books because they both equate vampires with the biblical nephilim, although Powers' nephilim do feel more inhuman. Like most of Powers work it also did a good job of integrating the supernatural elements with real historical events.

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I really like Anne Rice's first three vampire books as well as Sunshine by Robin McKinley  and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I think that's it. I don't really like vampire books in general though I like vampires in other media (TV, movies, art, music, etc.)

For example, I love Love Song for a Vampire by Annie Lennox.

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Dracula is really creepy early on in Harker’s Diaries, though the tension overall siffers a bit by being told in diaries etc; if someone writes about their experiences, they’re clearly still alive.

Am occasionally tempted (as it’s public domain) to write Dracula’s journal entries.

The Coppola film is probably the most faithful. I liked how they did Dracula’s shadow; instead of not having it, they made it almost a separate entity. 

I read Polidori’s The Vampyre when I was about 11, so needless to say found it a bit dull and the subtext went over my head.

Trivia: The Ladybird Dracula book (for kids) freaked me out for months and gave me no end of nightmares. The artwork was creepy as fuck. My mum ended up taking it off me.

scroll down a little to see thr cover

https://cobwebbedroom.blogspot.com/2013/01/ladybird-horror-classics-books-and-tapes.html?m=1

 

 

Edited by Derfel Cadarn

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TV-wise I’m a big fan of Penny Dreadful. I like the Dracula in it.

Had I deen Penny Dreadful before I started writing my books, I suspect I’d have brought my gang together sooner. Book 3, Lucifer & Son, which I’ll likely start on Monday (Nano!) will be my homage of sorts to that show.

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10 hours ago, Inkdaub said:

 

I did not like Joey Peacock and that sortof killed Lesser Dead for me...maybe I'll try it again one day

 

 

I enjoyed The Lesser Dead but I also didn't mind Joey Peacock.

I really enjoyed Fevre Dream. Interesting take on vampires.

I can't say I've read many vampire books. Mostly film and tv for me.

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I really loved THE MAVEN OF THE EVENTIDE (Elise Hansen) doing a read of THE VAMPYRE:

My only regret is that Poilidori gets a lot of unfavorable comparisons to Lord Byron. Listen, man, Polidori created the vampire genre. Byron was cool, yeah, but show props to a man who made a genre.

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17 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Hope you enjoy Resurrection Men. The first 10 chapters are perhaps a bit slower paced than the rest of the book, and there's perhaps a sense of "where's the story going?" but the scope broadens and the pace picks up. 

Got into it last night.  I'm not far in yet but it's going well so far.  I already like it better than the book I read previous. 

15 hours ago, williamjm said:

I've not read the book but the original film is one of the best vampire movies I've seen (I've not seen the American remake).

Same.  The book is good but very dark.

Another vampire book I liked was Kostova's The Historian

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