The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum.
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Showing posts tagged: vampires click to see more stuff tagged with vampires
Fri
Mar 6 2015 12:00pm

Evil Eighties: The Creepy Nursery Rhymes of Elizabeth Engstrom

Elizabeth Engstrom Black AmbrosiaIn this series, Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are back to uncover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks from the 1980s.

Reading horror paperbacks from the 80s is like buying drugs off the street. You wind up with so many bags of oregano that you lose hope, and then, suddenly, you’re clutching the real deal and the top of your head is lifting off and you can’t remember your name, your address, or whether you’re biologically human.

But finding the real deal brings its own flavor of depression because it raises questions like, “Why isn’t this author better known?” and “What happened to their careers?” Which is exactly how I felt when I stumbled across Elizabeth Engstrom’s Black Ambrosia and When Darkness Loves Us and realized I had never heard of them, or their author, before. It made me want to scream to the heavens, “Who’s responsible this???

[Read More]

Fri
Feb 27 2015 12:00pm

Take Back The Night: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Genre is a funny thing. Take the vampire movie. It’s been around since the silent days of cinema. It’s been used as a conduit for horror, action, romance, and comedy. It’s been used for trash. It’s been used for art. And, yes, it’s been showing signs of wear lately. When Dracula Untold hit theaters last year promising a “new” look at the most rehashed vampire tale of them all, it had all the earmarks of a tired genre piece from a wheezing genre that had finally exhausted itself through countless repetitions.

The undead will always rise again, though, and here comes A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the most interesting and original vampire movie to come along in…well, in a long time.

[Read More]

Thu
Feb 5 2015 3:00pm

Ambiguous Vampirism: The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich

The Orange Eats Creeps Gracie Krilanovich The degree of “speculativeness” in Grace Krilanovich’s beautifully bewildering debut novel, The Orange Eats Creeps, is a matter of opinion—are Krilanovich’s drug-addled teenagers wandering the Pacific northwest in the nineties really vampires, or is their “vampireness” more a metaphor for a profoundly deranged inner state?

The Orange Eats Creeps never gives us a definitive answer, nor should it. The ambiguity is part of the point.

[Read More]

Mon
Dec 8 2014 10:00am

Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange

Tales of the Marvellous

Welcome to Tiamat’s Terrain! In this first roundup, we follow fantasy from its birth 1000 years ago all the way to present-day Jarmusch-like retellings of vampires in Iran. But this is why we’re here right? To see what happens to genre fiction that emerges from a region stuffed with a deep complicated history of culture and literature and hits the equally complicated vectors of our contemporary world. Chaos and madness, bombs and monsters. Let’s get started!

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Sat
Nov 8 2014 9:00am

Bram Stoker Created a Horror Classic from the Anxieties of his Age

Bram Stoker Art by David A. Johnson

Bram Stoker’s interest in the macabre seems to have been with him from his youth. While at Trinity College, Dublin, he became a member of the University’s Philosophical Society, and the first paper he presented was “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.” After graduation, he married his classmate Oscar Wilde’s ex-fiancé (it took a few years for them to mend the friendship, but Stoker ended up being one of the friends who visited Wilde in France after his incarceration) and worked as a theater critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. The paper was owned by Sheridan Le Fanu, who ended up being a far larger influence on Stoker’s creative life a few years later.

[From many influences, Stoker created a unique classic]

Fri
Oct 31 2014 11:00am

The Bloody Books of Halloween: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Anno Dracula Kim Newman

Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???

So now it’s Halloween and you want one read, one that’s scary and smart, entertainingly macabre, a book you simply have to recommend to friends, one in the great tradition of classic horror. And I have just the book for you: Anno Dracula.

Kim Newman’s 1992 novel is one of the most accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable books I’ve read in recent years. It’s big, bold, brazen, showcasing Newman’s prodigious knowledge not only of Draculean lore and legend, but also of 19th century London, Jack the Ripper, Holmesian detection, and British literature both classic and vampiric. With the kind of breathtaking effortlessness that instills burning jealousy in horror-writer hearts everywhere, Newman weaves together the twin nightmare mythologies of real-life monsters Vlad Tepes and Jack the Ripper into a sumptuous whole. “What if Dracula had won?” Newman has posited, and what a cracking yarn that question inspires, a dense yet deftly written 400-page novel in which readers can lose themselves completely.

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Tue
Oct 28 2014 2:15pm

The Lesser Dead is Christopher Buehlman’s Greatest Yet

The Lesser Dead Christopher BuehlmanJoey Peacock looks fourteen... at least, most of the time he does. He’s actually pushing fifty. He was turned by a vampire who used to be his housekeeper, a fearsome Irishwoman named Margaret. The two of them carve out a comfortable existence in 1970s Manhattan, where Margaret is the undisputed alpha of a tight, clean-living vampire crew who inhabit the New York subways, mesmerizing people on the rare occasions when they run into trouble, leaving most of their victims alive.

Sustainable hunting practices aside, these vampires are settled into a comfortable routine with each other. They share a laundry; they’re practically family. Each maintains a set of regular human victims, whom they visit and drink.

Then one day Joey sees a bunch of little undead kids on the subway, using their charm to lure a hapless dad type into the tunnels. Somehow these new arrivals don’t look like they’re playing catch-and-release.

[Read more]

Tue
Oct 7 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter pop quiz interviewWelcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Faith Hunter, bestselling author of the Rogue Mage novels (Bloodring, Seraphs, Host) as well as the Jane Yellowrock Novels (Black Arts, Blood Trade, Death’s Rival). Broken Soul, the eigth Jane Yellowrock novel, is available now from Roc. Read an excerpt here on Tor.com!

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 4:00pm
Excerpt

The Brothers Cabal (Excerpt)

Jonathan L. Howard

The Brothers Cabal Jonathan L Howard excerpt Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.

As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.

Join the brothers Cabal as they fearlessly lie quietly in bed, fight dreadful monsters from beyond reality, make soup, feel slightly sorry for zombies, banter lightly with secret societies that wish to destroy them, and—in passing—set out to save the world.

Read an excerpt below from The Brothers Cabal, the fourth installment in Jonathan L. Howard’s Johannes Cabal series—available September 30th from Thomas Dunne Books!

[Read an excerpt]

Wed
Sep 17 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Alys Arden

Alys Arden pop quiz interview Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Alys Arden, debut author of The Casquette Girls, a Southern Gothic tale of history, magic, and vampires, set in the city of New Orleans. Alys grew up in the Vieux Carré, cut her teeth on the streets of New York, and has worked all around the world since. She tends to talk a lot. Travel a lot. And obsessively document things. She still plans to run away with the circus one day.

[Join us!]

Wed
Sep 3 2014 12:30pm

Out of Time: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks David Mitchell review

An exquisite exploration of the beauty and the tragedy of mortality, The Bone Clocks is a soaring supernatural sextet split into sections carefully arranged around the novel’s initial narrator.

A baby-faced runaway when we meet in the mid-eighties, Holly Sykes has become a wistful old woman by the book’s conclusion in the year 2043. Between times David Mitchell depicts her diversely: as a friend and a lover; a wife and a mother; a victim and a survivor; and more, of course, as the decades prance past. The Bone Clocks is, in short, the story of Holly Sykes’ life: a life less ordinary that leads her—as if by the whims of some Script—into the midst of a macabre conflict between eternal enemies fought in the farthest fringes of existence.

[Read More]

Tue
Aug 26 2014 1:30pm

Echopraxia: The Latest Attempt by Peter Watts to Stomp Your Assumptions to Death

Peter Watts Echopraxia review Scientist Daniel Brüks is what everyone sneeringly calls a baseline, a human being with so few augments that even the drugs he uses to make himself smarter (drugs required so he can qualify for tenure at his university job) are taken in pill form rather than via the clever synthesizer and pump arrangement all the cool kids use. He accesses the Internet much as we do, looking at displays rather than dumping the information right into his brain.

This outmoded and retro approach to technology gets him branded ‘old school’ by people who really mean technophobic, wimpy, and downright eccentric. But Dan has bigger PR problems than mere Luddism. Some of his research has been used to kill people, and guilt has driven him out to the desert. There he camps, hides, and commits research, sampling the local wildlife to see whether any of them might be baselines in their own right, or if all of their DNA has been overridden by humanity’s various runaway biotech projects.

[Can’t a fellow even enjoy a good sulk without the zombies showing up?]

Fri
Aug 8 2014 12:16pm

Universal Pictures Planning a Whole New Generation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles Movies

Universal Pictures rights Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles books Interview With the Vampire Prince Lestat

We already knew that Universal Pictures is prepping an Avengers-style shared universe of classic monster movies, but it turns out they’re interested in more iconic vampires than just Dracula. Deadline reports that the studio has secured the rights to Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series.

[Read more]

Tue
Jul 29 2014 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: Vampire Academy (2014) and Byzantium (2012)

Vampire Academy Byzantium

Vampire Academy and Byzantium have two things in common. Each of them centres around a strong, vital relationship between two women: in Vampire Academy, this relationship is between adolescent best friends Rose and Lissa, while in Byzantium the central thread is the relationship between mother-daughter pair Clara and Eleanor Webb. They are also both films about supernatural creatures who require blood to survive—vampires, although Byzantium never uses the word.

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 9:00am

Everything I Learned from the Buffy Rewatch

Buffy rewatch wrap up

Once upon a time, a girl was chosen for a singular destiny, a life of solitary combat, ending, inevitably, in a premature but possibly noble death. She wasn’t the first, and nobody expected her to be the last. She was a dutiful soul, and went to war with the forces of evil, just as fate seemed to require. Then she expanded the fight, redefining her destiny by putting together a group of committed and powerful allies. In the end, she and these followers remade the world.

Vast oversimplification, right?

[Read more...]

Fri
Jul 11 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Universal Horrors of Charles L. Grant

Charles L Grant

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Moonlight over a lonely town. Fog swirls. Whispering shadows. Footsteps in the forest. A voice from the darkness. A movement seen from the corner of the eye. A slowly spreading stain of red.

New Jersey-born writer and editor Charles L. Grant (1942–2006) championed these hallmarks of old-fashioned horror tales, even in spite of their simplicity, their overuse, indeed, their corniness, because he knew in the right hands such subtle details would build up to an overall mood of dis-ease and weirdness. Evoking fear of the unknown, not the graphic revelation of a psychopath with a gore-flecked axe or an unimaginable, insane Lovecraftian nightmare, is what a truly successful horror writer (or, for that matter, filmmaker) should do. And especially during the 1980s, when he published dozens of titles through Tor Books’ horror line, Grant did precisely that.

[Read More]

Mon
Jun 30 2014 4:00pm

Getting What We Paid For: Penny Dreadful’s Season 1 Finale, “Grand Guignol”

Penny Dreadful Grand Guignol

Coupling grotesque supernatural thrills with our culture’s insatiable nostalgia for Victorian pomp isn’t a bad bet for any TV show. Back when Dracula and Frankenstein were turned into their 1931 film counterparts, making an hour-long movie based on a book was also a safe bet, because the recognition of those novel titles helped to ensure butts where squirming around in those seats. Not quite a hundred years later, we’re still digging on Dracula and Frankenstein, albeit now with these newer, subtler-and-yet-more-obtuse versions of them.

With the season finale of Penny Dreadful, the easy question to ask would be: did it deliver on its various promises? But then, you have to remember it didn’t actually promise all that much in the first place.

[Read more]

Mon
Jun 16 2014 4:00pm

Shoot-Out at the Undead Corral: Penny Dreadful Ep. 6 “What Death Can Join Together”

Penny Dreadful What Death Can Join Together

It’s no spoiler that in the Harry Potter books He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is actually named Voldemort. And though those books didn’t make Voldemort’s name a spoiler at all, Rowling did pull back the curtain on Voldemort’s whole deal fairly slowly, giving us just a smidgen of information about her particular dark lord with each book. But if you’d already known who Voldemort was, say, because he appeared in an older book or TV show before, then the slow reveal of his machinations may have gotten a little old.

The latest Penny Dreadful keeps on teasing out the existence of “the vampire” or “Dracula,” but continues to relegate their version of this famous monster to not only to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named status, but instead to He who must not be named, clothed, understood, or seen for more than a few seconds at a time.

[Read more]

Fri
Jun 13 2014 2:00pm

Hit the Sand Running: Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar

Saltwater Vampires Kirsty Eagar reviewSo it’s summer (at least here in the northern hemisphere), which means the days are longer, the nights warmer, and readers are busting out their beach reads. So what do I cozy up with as my first pick of the summer? Saltwater Vampires by Aussie YA author, Kirsty Eagar.

If you didn’t find the ocean a tad bit creepy before (and you should, just think of how many people have died in there), you certainly will now. Sign on here for bloodsuckers, revisionist history, secret societies, and of course—some killer waves.

[Some are born immortal, some achieve immortality, and some have immortality thrust upon them.]

Mon
Apr 14 2014 12:00pm

Detroit Wilderness By Nightfall: Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston

When someone tells you that there’s a vampire film starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston out now, your first reaction is obviously, “Teleport me to a theater where I can clap eyes on this stunning achievement.” If you’re a fan of Jim Jarmusch’s work, that’s only going to make it more enticing.

But since Only Lovers Left Alive is not exactly on wide release, you might be wondering, “Is it worth it for me to search for a theater playing this film festival gem?” In this viewer’s succinct opinion: Run, do not pace thoughtfully.

For a less abridged version, read on.

[We are zombies, and we are ruining everything, by the way.]