I was trawling through the Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror section in Waterstones yesterday after work. The Sci-fi and Fantasy section is by far the largest part, with Horror relegated to 2 sides of a half shelf.
What is it about vampires? Their popularity seems to be as immortal as the creatures themselves, yet most small press publications shy away from vampire stories unless they are startlingly original. For a startlingly original vampire short story, I suggest checking out Murky Depths issue#4 and the story Day Boy by Trent Jamieson or, from the same publication’s issue#5 So This is Mi by Alison Littlewood which manages to tell a story of blood drinking without mentioning anything else traditionally associated with vampires.
Personally, I have grown thoroughly bored with them, but their popularity is consistently renewed – see the whole Stephanie Meyer phenomenon. I picked up one of her books to see if I was missing out on some great thing, but lost interest rather swiftly. If I never see another introspective, philosophical dandy vampire speaking in mock-Georgian English it won’t be soon enough. The modern picture of a vampire that so many teens seem to swoon over again and again is that of a pale, scowling, effete arsehole smelling of flowers or, with the crossover type thing that I first saw in Blade, ridiculous weaponry using all the dull staples of garlic, silver etc… in leather coats looking moody on a rain swept rooftop at night.
I guess the vampire is here to stay – a sub-genre that is very much a genre of its own now. Are there really no new ideas out there? I often feel that there must be some primal or mythic source that is sitting there waiting to be mined and turned into a new legendary creature. If anybody finds one, can they let me know?