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Poll Time!

Happy birthday to astromachy and manonlechat, and happy early birthday to shalna, estellye, green_key, reynardine, arisbe, dirtwitch, and dominique012. May all of you enjoy a wonderful day and a fantastic year to come!

The Horror Writers Association has announced the nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award. The six finalists for "Vampire Novel of the Century" are as follows: The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983), Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (1975), I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954), Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (1992), Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976), and Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1978).

Most of my gothic reading predates this past century, so of these titles, I'm sorry to say I've read only one: I Am Legend, which I absolutely love (and highly recommend). Anno Dracula has been on my "to read" list for some time, so I think I'll move it to the top of the pile. As for titles not listed, I do remember quite liking Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt the Night (1988), but I'm not certain that it's "best of the century" material. I also thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian (2000), although it qualifies as a 20th-century work only by the skin of its (pointed) teeth.

Once I saw this list, I was anxious to hear what you thought, my clever and well-read friends. So I ask...

Poll #1811840 What is the greatest vampire novel of the century?

Of the finalists chosen by the HWA, which should win "Vampire Novel of the Century"?

The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

What title(s) did the HWA miss? If you could "write in" your own nominee(s) on the ballot, which would you choose for "Vampire Novel of the Century"?

The question of the "Vampire Novel of the Century"...

will keep me awake tonight.
may be the most pressing issue facing humankind (after the zombie apocalypse, of course).
is of no use to me unless it explains the mystery of "The Reichenbach Fall." (How did he do it?)
wants to drink my blood.
drives a stake in the heart of ticky-boxes.

"There are such beings as vampires, some of us have evidence that they exist. Even had we not the proof of our own unhappy experience, the teachings and the records of the past give proof enough for sane peoples."
- Bram Stoker, Dracula


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
Not that I'm a huge fan of Anne Rice (anymore), but that book really did change the game. I read it in high school, when it was still relatively new.
Jan. 18th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Probably Anne Rice, even though I don't like it either. The Stress of her Regard by Tim Powers is not his best but I prefer that. Also, Lair of the White Worm qualifies, as does Carpe Jugulum but I've read neither. Tanith Lee has written some fine vampire short stories but I've not read any longer ones of hers.
Jan. 18th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, dahlink!
Jan. 18th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
I haven't read any of the nominated books; honestly, I sort of avoid post-Stoker vampire novels because the few I have read haven't been all that great.
I did start reading The Historian once, I wasn't terribly impressed but I do mean to pick it up and finish it some time. I've read maybe five pages of various Anne Rice novels (my sister adores her books) and, well, it took the publication of Twilight to make me realise that Anne Rice isn't all that bad in the grand scheme of things.
Gaiman's The Graveyard Book had a vampire in it, but it doesn't quite count as a vampire novel (it's also firmly on the side of the 21st century).
Brian Lumley's Necroscope series is about vampires. I read the first two or three books a while back and enjoyed them immensely. Not sure if they're "best of the century" material, but they are some of the best post-Lovecraft horror I've read (not that that says much, my reading tastes are ancient).

I think I will add I Am Legend, Those Who Hunt the Night and Anno Dracula to my list of modern books I should get around to reading some day.

I suppose it's just that Stoker's successors (unlike Doyle's) never quite live up to their model (Doyle's are hit-and-miss).
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
Some great choices there. I'm amazed I still haven't read Anno Dracula!
Jan. 18th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'd add Sunshine by Robin McKinley (and the Historian) also the only one of the nominated novels I've read is Interview with the Vampire, which I read over Christmas break. I really didn't care for it much at all, but I must admit it was well written...
Jan. 18th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
My gut says Grant's even though I haven't read it. I love Charles Grant madly. And actually just ordered this book to read simply because I've never read it, and didn't know it actually existed. So once I actually READ it? I can say "The Soft Whisper of the Dead" based on something OTHER just who wrote it, and how much better horror writer he is that virtually anyone else in the field.

Jan. 19th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
This was tough, but I had to go with Rice because it took a risks some of the others didn't.

Some others to consider might be Robin McKinley's Sunshine and Dan Simmons' Carrion Comfort.
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
Did you see the vampire marks on Sherlock's neck in that very last scene? It explains everything!
Jan. 19th, 2012 04:43 am (UTC)
That would mean that
*spoiler alert!*

Moriarty isn't really dead, either. Since he would have been the vampire to begin with.
Jan. 19th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
I voted for Yarbro, and then clicked, and then realized that I had missed what I consider the true best horror novel of the century: Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think.
Jan. 19th, 2012 11:02 am (UTC)
Salem's Lot really stuck with me, but Interview with the Vampire really stands above the rest. I didn't really like any other of Anne Rice's books, but this one was obviously written from the heart.

As a previous commenter mentioned, it really was a game changer.
Jan. 19th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
I once tried Anno Dracula but couldn't get myself to finish it. Probably the biggest issue I had with it was the vampire hooker character who practically had a giant neon sign over her head that said Mary Sue. I'd probably go for either Matheson or King.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you, my dear! *hugs!*
Jan. 21st, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the birthday wishes! I had a lovely day! :)
Feb. 3rd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
I want to know how Sherlock did it, and I want to know how John is going to take him coming back, will MF's John Watson faint? I somehow can't see it, however I could see him punching him again... ;-)

Oh, this was about Vampires... well Interview with The Vampire was something of a game changer but I can't say I like Anne Rice's writing very much and her Vampires were so boring at times.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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