Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Ten Things about Vampires

You know vampires, right? Bloodsuckers, issue with the sun, blah blah blah? Well, here's 10 things about vampires, or rather 10 takes on the vampire I've come across.

  1. Go Bram Stoker, Mr Dracula himself! His book has to be the most famous vampire book, ever, and the only one (as far as I can tell) that's acceptably transcended into the "classics" section. Another book with a "dark and evil" take on vampires is Stephen King's Salem's Lot, which should be considered a classic, too, if you ask me. 
  2. Way the go, Anne Rice. You rock. Thank you, thank you, for giving us the sexy, seductive, endlessly compelling and wholly ruthless Vampire Lestat. I do believe that without him (or rather Ms Rice), vampires would not be what they are today. 
  3. Laurell K Hamilton, in her Anita Blake books, shows us a slow revelation of vampires as (very sexy and rather over-sexed) real people (with all the flaws real people have, from petty to megalomaniac, from compassionate to sociopathic)(ok so maybe there's more sociopaths but hey, you try living that long). I'm speaking early books, here, the series slides a bit further into erotica with every book (not necessarily a bad thing but not everyone's cup of tea, either). Her vampires are sexy (for the most part) and come in different varieties depending what bloodline they belong to. This can range from succubus/incubus powers to being able to let their body rot and repair again (need I tell you which ones are the good guys in most cases?). They are manipulative as hell, too. There's even a Church founded by a vampire, the church of eternal life... 
  4. Christine Feehan, with her Dark series covering the "Carpathians", as she calls her vampires - a different race entirely, searching for their true mates who are the only ones to save them from true darkness and turning into the more classically evil kind of vampire. They're immortal warriors (for the most part), shape-shifters and blood-drinkers but also extremely sensual. A much darker, grittier take on the "mates for the warrior vamps" theme can be found in JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series for those who need more suffering and angst with their romance. 
  5. MaryJanice Davidson's iconically funny Betsy, vampire queen and beloved of Sink-Lair (as she calls him). This is chick lit with vampires, pure and simple. It's quirky, it's fun, and there's lots of pretty shoes involved. Brilliant. 
  6. Ms Meyer's Sparklepires. Please don't make me say more. 
  7. Gail Z Martin's Chronicles of the Necromancer is the first book I came across that's fairly classic fantasy and has vampire characters in it. I'm sure it's been done before, but this is the first time I read something like it. Usually, it's urban or historical or some such.
  8. In Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniels series, vampires are mindless beasts 'navigated' by people with power over the dead (necromancers, to use the newly fashionable designation for such people). The vampires themselves are not characters, merely tools to be used. 
  9. And then, of course, there's Blade, ultimate movie vampire that he is. Daywalker, the only one in existance. Come on, admit it! He's cool. 
  10. More recently (Sparklepires aside), there's a lot of YA takes on vampires, with interesting variations. A good example is Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series, which also has a "dhampire" in it. Then there's P.C. and Kristin Cast's House of Night series, which starts out great (I lost interest later on in the series but hey that's just me), too - vampires as those chosen by the goddess of the night. Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series is cool, too, full of fascinating characters, ghosts and intrigues. There's many more, but these are the first few that occured to me. 
There, that's 10 takes on vampires, more or less.. did I miss any earth-moving vampire variations? What do you think of vampires, and what sort of vampire would you (or would you not) be interested in? I think I may do shifters/werewolves next....


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Blade is cool! And Salem's Lot was creepy. I'd also add Underworld's vampires, if only because Kate is hot.

mshatch said...

I completely agree with you about Anne Rice. She paved the way for more fun with vampires, be it Anita Blake or Stephanie Meyers. Loved Blade, and Alex's pick, Underworld. I own those movies. I'd also add The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, a sort of historical vampire tale.

vamp said...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Can't forget Buffy the Vampire Slayer :D

Unknown said...

*cough*True Blood*cough*

One of my favorite vampires movies is 30 Days of Night. Evil, horrible, completely scary vamps FTW!

*flying my Team Eric flag*

Christine Rains said...

I like the dark take on vampires. The mindless ones, the parasites. There was a horror book I read years ago, I can't remember what it was called, but vampires were literally sentient leeches that crawled out of a swamp and took up residence in human corpses. That was a cool take on vampires. I'm horrible for remembering titles!

julie fedderson said...

Anne Rice totally made me love the undead. And lol to "sparklepire". I must use that term now.

Eric W. Trant said...

Just read the Lot, and Blade is one of my favorite man-movies. Every once in a while I rent one of the Blades or all three and grab some beer and sit in my underpants and watch some vamps get whacked. Same with Underworld, which you neglected to mention and you've already been chastised for.

You are correct that Rice, with her background in hardcore erotica, paved the way for today's emasculated vampires.

I don't say emasculated pithyly or cheekily or in any way mean. Rice made the vampire both erogenous and androgynous. Even Brad Pitt's vamp left lipstick marks on your neck.

She eviscerated the vampire's horror by stripping away his masculinity. Brad Pitt was eating RATS!

Somehow this made the vampire more sexually desirable to women and opened the way for things like Twighlight and its lovey-dovey moony-croony vampires.

Compare Blade to Lestat. Now Blade, there's a vampire!

I don't take away from Rice, despite my sarcastic tone. I read and enjoyed her books.

But that's what she did -- she emasculated the vampire, and in doing so she transformed him from a gruesome monster into a broken man.

- Eric

Angela Brown said...

Sparklespire. Got to love it. Blade rocked. And there is, of course, Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith.

Elliot Grace said...

...from a fella's perspective, yeah, gotta add Buffy into the mix ;)

Hey, we've all got our weaknesses!


Heidi W said...

Can't believe Buffy didn't make the cut!

And although I'm not as obsessed with Underworld as Buffy, a shout out to Selene too...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

In my world mythos, they are known as revenants -- and like humans, they are each their own individual.

Abigail Adams rules the American Confederacy of Revanants, clinging to the ideals of her husband.

Empress Theodora rules the European Revenant Empire with the ruthlessness of the bear trainer she once was.

And Father Renfield, a vampire priest, tries to walk the fine line between his hunger and his faith. Tough going, but that is the path of a heroic spirit, right?

Another great post, Roland

Carrie Butler said...

Hi, Tessa! I'm a fellow Campaigner. It's nice to meet you! :)

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