A little over three weeks out from Halloween, I thought it might be fun to write a quick post about vampire fiction. I’ve read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s great, but I prefer Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. Mr. Stoker literally wrote the rules on vampire fiction with Dracula, and Mr. King followed suit with some flourishes of his own.
Since then we’ve seen many non-traditional takes on the fictional vampire. I am particularly fond of two.
Octavia Butler’s Fledgling mixes strong and accessible prose with a unique angle on the vampire genre. Her vampires constitute a species apart from humans, not undead supernatural monsters. She tells the story from the perspective of a young (by vampire standards) girl who must recover her lost memories and learn what it means to be something other than human.
In American Vampire writer Scott Synder and artist Rafael Albuquerque have taken the classic vampire mythos and added more than a dash of grit and grime. The stories of their characters play out over the history of America, moving deftly back and forward in time to key moments in their personal histories, and different eras in the history of the nation. Even if you don’t normally read graphic novels, give this series a try. The first volume even includes a story from Mr. King!
There’s a lot of great vampire fiction out there, so I would love to hear about more of it—conventional or not!