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Thread: Vampire horror?

  1. #1
    Closer than ever efreysson's Avatar
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    Vampire horror?

    Something recently occurred to me: I have been exposed to very little vampire horror in my life. Plenty of vampire, little horror. I can think of Dracula, Carmilla and maybe three movies that I would really consider horror. The rest falls under fantasy, drama, dark comedy and action. I know there is "romance" too, but I would rather read about botched vasectomies than expose myself to that.

    So I find myself with a sudden itch to read a proper scary vampire novel. A badass vampire-hunter dude in a trenchcoat blowing away dozens of vampires is all well and good. But I would like to see a more suspenseful, even psychological approach where a single vampire is a very real threat, and ordinary people are confronted by something unnatural and terrible.
    I would like to see more of the horror inherent in the concept of an unholy revenant that preys upon man with powers beyond that of mortals.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Today is your last day. FOTSGreg's Avatar
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    The Night Stalker by Jeff Rice. Also a pretty decent movie.

    House Of Dark Shadows is also a decent (and bloody) vampire movie.

    The Light At The End by Craig Skipp and John Spector (I think). Good Vampire novel told from a different perspective.

    They Thirst, also by Skipp & Spector - vampires overrun LA.

    Salem's Lot by Stephen King - considered the modern day Dracula by many.

    Thirty Days Of Night - quite good in blog, novel, and film versions.

  3. #3
    The colors! THE COLORS! leahzero's Avatar
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    The Passage - Justin Cronin.

    Pretty decent post-apocalyptic epic about vampires overrunning the world. His vampires are very feral--beastly, terrifying things, not your typical seductive humans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOTSGreg View Post

    They Thirst, also by Skipp & Spector - vampires overrun LA.

    Salem's Lot by Stephen King - considered the modern day Dracula by many.
    I agree with Greg on Salems Lot and They Thirst. They Thirst is the best scary vampire novel of all time (IMO). But Robert R Mccammon wrote They Thirst. Don't know if Skipp and Spector did another. In McCammon's version, some of the vamps are on motorcycles lol. But it's great.

    I haven't read the other books, but thanks for the recommendations.
    Last edited by Tinman; 11-25-2012 at 04:22 AM.

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    Sometimes I creep myself out. AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson

    Both the novella and the expansion to novel are well done. The movies are HORRIBLE. Avoid them at all cost.

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    Why so serious? writeontime's Avatar
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    Good grief. I haven't heard of They Thirst. I'm adding it to my tbr list.
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  8. #8
    Does I Am Legend count as a vampire book? Not enough gothic architecture maybe?
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    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    Definitely 'Salem's Lot. Definitely not The Strain. Awful book.

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    Closer than ever efreysson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seun View Post
    Definitely 'Salem's Lot. Definitely not The Strain. Awful book.
    Yeah, I forgot to mention 'Salem's Lot along with Dracula and Carmilla.
    As for The Strain . . . ugh, I liked right until the climax, when the protagonist makes an incredibly stupid decision which has terrible consequences.

  11. #11
    Horror Man seun's Avatar
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    I was disappointed with The Strain pretty much all the way though. Basically, if you've read Dracula and 'Salem's Lot, you've read The Strain.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by FauxCyclops View Post
    Does I Am Legend count as a vampire book? Not enough gothic architecture maybe?
    This is a question?

    Of course it counts.

    I know this is tongue-in-cheek, but I'll go ahead and use this post to point out that there are no required goth-y tropes for any given vampire novel.

    Anyways. Good question. Most of the vampire novels I've read--even the good ones--are more action/urban fantasy than straight-up horror.

    Having said that, here's a few more:

    Let the Right One In (or Let Me In, depending on which translation you're looking at)

    The Society of S (the vampires aren't the monsters here, but it's definitely creepy, and extraordinarily well written)

    Agyar, and if quicklime were here he'd remind me who the author is and exactly what it's about...

    I haven't read all of those yet, but they come highly recommended.
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    Boldly going nowhere in particular. Jess Haines's Avatar
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    I second most of the ones already mentioned, and also recommend 33 A.D. by David McAfee and an out of print anthology called Under The Fang which is well worth getting your hands on. Detailed review here if you want to check for triggers that would put you off.

    If I ponder it a bit, I'm sure I can think of a few more, but those two are very good.
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    Today is your last day. FOTSGreg's Avatar
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    TinMan, thanks for the correction.

    Empire Of Fear by Brian Stableford is a good alt-history piece as well (1623 Europe ruled by vampires)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FOTSGreg View Post
    TinMan, thanks for the correction.
    Greg, no problem. If I didn't have a copy of They Thirst sitting on my desk, I might not have caught it lol.

    And good luck to anyone looking for a copy. I read somewhere that McCammon won't allow reprints of his first three (four?) novels because he doesn't like them (there must be something wrong with me because I think those are his only good ones). Anyway, because there are no reprints, Amazon has only two or three copies of They Thirst for under $20. I don't know about EBay.

    I forgot about Midnight Mass. As an F Paul Wilson fan I should be shot lol.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post

    Let the Right One In (or Let Me In, depending on which translation you're looking at)
    Those movies were based on a book? :O I had no idea and I'm going to suggest that now, too.
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  17. #17
    Oh, honey. You are so in the right place.

    Which is to say--yes! The author is John Ajvide Lindqvist, and it's originally in...Swedish? Somebody help me out--I get the Scandinavians mixed up sometimes. I believe "Let the Right One In" is a closer translation, but I'm not sure about that either--just what I've heard.
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  18. #18
    Eight Legs, All Holding Pens ArachnePhobia's Avatar
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    Polidori's The Vampyre is a short story, but it's also considered a classic, and Lord Ruthven is definitely supposed to be scary.

    My personal all-time favorite vampire book is Varney the Vampyre, by Thomas Preskett-Prest et al, but I'm not entirely sure it's what you're looking for. It does feature a normal heroine, Flora Bannerworth, and her family, and they do spend the first good third of it just trying to figure out the unnatural enemy who's swept into their lives out of nowhere. It's Varney himself who has me concerned. I adore him (he's my second favorite vampire next to Kain from Legacy of Kain), and he's properly intimidating and villainous, but a late-book plot twist reveals it's not the kind of villainy normally associated with vampires.*

    *If you want the MAJOR SPOILER, he's a vampire thief who uses his powers to perform daring heists, and it turns out, he's only trying to torment Flora and co. into moving because there's treasure hidden on their land.
    Last edited by ArachnePhobia; 11-27-2012 at 07:30 AM. Reason: Figured I should add the "et al," since it has multiple authors
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  19. #19
    Closer than ever efreysson's Avatar
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    Well, I just wanted to add that I've started reading The Light At The End and it's looking pretty damn good. Good recommendation.

  20. #20
    I was only joking! Honest! mirandashell's Avatar
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    Another recommendation for Let the Right One In. If you want horror, this book is the one. Some bits of it are..... urgh. But it is brilliantly written.
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  21. #21
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoda Nightingale View Post
    Agyar, and if quicklime were here he'd remind me who the author is and exactly what it's about...

    .


    agyar is by stephen brust, and is sort of Twilight if Edwin was, instead of a sullen, controlling, emo whiner chasing a clumsy twit and sparkling, an actual vampire, who happened to be controlling and heartless, but slowly fell in love anyway, to a girl who can actually carry her own, all while being summoned by the vampire who made him so that he can take the fall for her fuck up. I'd recommend it for a number of reasons, the biggest being economy/subtlety: I'm pretty sure the word "vampire" isn't used a single time. "blood" maybe shows up a half-dozen.

    Agyar is a vampire who was bitten about a century ago, and now moves town to town, seducing a woman or three and binding them, then bleeding them as he sees fit. In this town he was summoned by Kelleck, his maker and former lover. She brought him, and he has doubts on her intent, but cannot refuse her. He seduces and binds a college girl, then slowly falls in love with her roommate while trying to battle Kelleck, who brought him there to frame for the murder of a woman Kelleck killed because she has bound and taken as her new lover the same girl's fiance. better than it sounds, perhaps, it is a favorite of mine and on the short list to re-read (about the only books I intend to re-read in the near future are Agyar, The Cormorant, and Bag of Bones....)

    others:
    I am Legend...and I would say "The Strain" because it wasn't my favorite, but it was a different take....I also have a vampire anthology at home with shorts by Matheson, Zelazny, and a number of others, and the antho is nice because in 400 pages you get ten or fifteen takes on the mythos....sort of like "speed dating". I think it isn't a bad idea to familiarize yourself with multiple takes on the vampire myth if you're going to write one yourself. In some books they take over the world, and walk in aylight, in some they remain shadow-bound....in some silver kills, in some it does not...etc. etc.

    "Bite" and "The Stake" and "The Traveling Vampire Show" were all interesting books by Laymon, but a lot of folks don't like him for his sex.....hell, I'll read him but wish he edited a bit tighter, and probably wouldn't have let him babysit my kids Still, interesting books and premises...especially The Stake.
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  22. #22
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    My favorite vampire story by a huge margin is Stephen King's The Night Flier. To me, that's true horror done perfectly.

  23. #23
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    also liked the night flyer, as well as popsy and one for the road.

    king did shorts extremely well.
    Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...


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    Quote Originally Posted by quicklime View Post
    also liked the night flyer, as well as popsy and one for the road.

    king did shorts extremely well.
    Yes, he does. I liked Popsy and the Night (Nite?) Flyer too, but One for the Road is the best of the three. Doesn't hurt that it's a spinoff of Salems Lot.

  25. #25
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
    Yes, he does. I liked Popsy and the Night (Nite?) Flyer too, but One for the Road is the best of the three. Doesn't hurt that it's a spinoff of Salems Lot.

    after Everything's Eventual" I am a bit more of the "did" camp..... :-(
    Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...


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