Vampires are some of the greatest monsters ever created in the horror genre. They are our dark reflections, our desires and drives run amok, and they are half wish fulfillment and half cautionary tale.
The Vampire is an elusive creature and has left the crypts and crumbling manors of the horror genre for romance, action, comedy, and any other type of story that can use some fresh, ahem, blood. But for all their romancing of teenage girls and goofing around as New Zealand flatmates, the Vampire is still plenty scary on their own. So, for all you horror fans out there, we have put together a short list of some fantastic Vampire fiction that AREN'T Dracula or Interview with the Vampire. Some of these may be very familiar to Vampire fans, but we hope that a few of these surprise you.
1) The Passage by Justin Cronin
A story of a Vampire apocalypse, The Passage tells the story of a world ravaged by a virus that turns its victims into Vampire-like creatures. The story follows Amy Harper Belafonte, a child infected with a version of the virus that provides all the benefits without many of the drawbacks. The story spans incredible distances and decades as government scientists try to find a cure. Cronin apparently wrote the book at the request of his daughter, who wanted to read about a girl saving the world. The Passage is the first of a trilogy that has become a beloved modern example of Vampire fiction.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2F75qT1
2) Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
A transgressive and homoerotic piece of 90s Goth fiction, Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite is one of the most important horror novels of the era. The book is about a cross-country journey between Nothing, a teenage Goth boy with dark desires; Zillah, the leader of a trio of vampires as well as Nothing's father/lover; and Steve and Ghost, band mates and reoccurring characters in Brite's universe. The vampires in this story are a separate species, and they travel through a twilight world of Goth clubs and willing victims. This book is great for fans of Near Dark and for people who want a visceral Southern Gothic tale.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2Dy30jM
3) Motherless Child by Glen Hirschberg
A story of maternal instinct at war with predatory hunger, Motherless Child is a fantastic modern Vampire novel from Stoker Award Nominee Glen Hirschberg. During a girls night out, Sophie and Natalie are transformed into vampires by the Whistler, a charismatic musician with a taste for his fans. The women awaken the following day disheveled and with dark appetites. For the sake of their children's safety, they hit the road in search of the vampire who changed them. An energetic and emotional novel, Motherless Child contains some of the most fascinating Vampires in modern literature.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2F82tkN
4) The Light at the End by John M. Skipp & Craig Spector
The Light at the End took the horror community by storm during its release in 1986 and ushered in the Splatterpunk literary movement within the genre. It was the debut novel of musicians John Skipp and Craig Spector, and it captured 1980s New York in all its sleazy glory. The plot involved a Vampire killing subway riders and the community of burnouts, artists, and other fringe survivors hunting the creature down. Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, later said that the inspiration for the vampire Spike came from the predatory Rudy Pasko in the book.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2n2eCkT
5) Salem's Lot by Stephen King
This one is probably the most well-known book in this list, but it's so good that it's a must-read for any Vampire enthusiast. Originally conceived of as a modernization of Bram Stoker's Dracula, the book tells the tale of the slow corruption of a Maine town called Jerusalem's Lot with the arrival of the sinister Kurt Barlow. One of King's earliest and most frightening works, this tale focuses on the old image of the Vampire as the bringer of plague. It was later turned into one of the scariest TV movies of all time, and the image of the unearthly Kurt Barlow traumatized a generation of horror fans.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2F8kVdf
6) Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Probably the best modern Vampire story, the Swedish novel Let the Right One In quickly earned its place in the canon for its heartbreaking story of a lonely boy who forms a poisonous relationship with a centuries old Vampire trapped in the body of a twelve year old child. A bullied child with an alcoholic mother and distant father, Oskar endures both loneliness and repressed rage. One night he discovers a strange man and a little girl moved into his apartment complex. A friendship forms between Oskar and his new neighbor Eli, with devastating consequences for all. This book has been made into two different films and it has captivated audiences all over the world with its saga of a doomed friendship.
Buy it here: http://ebay.to/2n5o8Uf
Did we miss any favorites? Let us know in the comments. And please share this story with other Vampire fans in your life.