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The Vampire Archives

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The Vampire Archives by
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Sep 29, 2009 | ISBN 9780307473899

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    Sep 29, 2009 | ISBN 9780307473899

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  • Feb 15, 2011 | ISBN 9780307912312

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Author Q&A

Q: What inspired you to create “The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published”? Why vampires, and why now?

The initial impetus for the book was the great success of my previous Vintage anthology, The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps. My editor said let’s do another book—what should it be? I suggested Horror. He’s smarter than I am, so fine-tuned it to Vampires. I’ve read a great number of vampire stories over the course of a long reading life and knew there was a deliciously large trove of first-rate stories from which to choose. Why now? Are you kidding? The staggering success of Stephanie Meyers, Charlaine Harris, the HBO series, etc., etc. Vampires are everywhere.
Q: Between Twilight, True Blood and rumors of a remake of Buffy: Vampire Slayer, it seems we’re experiencing a vampire heyday.  Why do you think that is?

A: The image of the male vampire underwent a major shift with Anne Rice, and a still greater image maker-over with the Twilight books and film. Vampires are seen, more than ever, as handsome, romantic, loving. They are so much cooler than the dorks who spend their waking hours hanging out at the mall, doing meth, and texting.

Q: Do you think any of these modern vampire tales will ever take precedence over the original Dracula?

That’s like asking if Agatha Christie took precedence over Arthur Conan Doyle, or if Michael Connelly is taking precedence over Agatha Christie. They are all excellent, and unique in their own way. Count Dracula will live forever. Certainly the more recent books are more accessible, with a faster pace and less baroque language, especially to younger readers. Whether they will stand the test of a century remains to be seen.

Q: As a follow-up, in all your research for THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES, did you notice any trends about the popularity and content of vampire tales throughout history?

The early stories, those beautiful Victorian and Edwardian tales of terror, tended more often to feature castles, cathedrals, old country manors, and, of course, the ever-popular graveyards and tombs, frequently crumbling, while contemporary tales find vampires walking among us in ordinary settings, dressed like everyone else. Stories written before World War I tend to be quietly creepy and scary, while later stories are often more overtly violent or, starngely, humorous. There are plenty of exceptions to both eras, of course.

Q: Do you have any favorite stories?

Inevitably, among 84 stories, some will resonate more than others. A few of the most famous stories and authors wouldn’t make the top of my list, probably because of over-familiarity. If you want to read some truly memorable tales, try Gahan Wilson’s “The Sea Was Wet as Wet Could Be,” the two very short stories by Hume Nisbet, “The Old Portrait” and “The Vampire Maid,” and the chilling story by Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann, “Down Among the Dead Men.” Oh, and Lisa Tuttle’s “Replacements.” Oh, and…so many more.

Q: Do you prefer the Bram Stoker Dracula vampire, or the Stephanie Meyer Twilight vampire?

A: Give me the guy with a castle and a tuxedo any day.

Q: The vampire myth has changed so much over time—why do you think vampires persist, and why do you think their mythology keeps getting rewritten?

It hasn’t changed as much as you think. Vampires remain, for the most part, immortal blood-drinkers. There are truly evil ones today, as there always have been, and there are also some who try to do the right thing, who are smarter than ordinary humans (one advantage of living for centuries is you get to learn a lot of stuff, especially history), and who are relatively benign. This is as true in contemporary fiction as it was in the 19th century. With so many millions of readers for so many years, clearly there are numerous reasons for the enduring popularity of these creatures. People love to be frightened, just so long as they know they really are safe. Roller coasters, bungee jumping, ghost stories, eating in an authentic Chinese restaurant—all scary, all popular. Vampire stories are mostly scary. I think there is also the appeal of immortality. It is common for readers to identify with the hero or heroine of a book or movie. So here is someone who will live forever. Not unattractive.

Table Of Contents

Foreword: Kim Newman
Preface: Neil Gaiman
Introduction: Otto Penzler
Good Lady Ducayne: M. E. Braddon
The Last Lords of Gardonal: William Gilbert
A Mystery of the Campagna: Anne Crawford
The Fate of Madame Cabanel: Eliza Lynn Linton
Let Loose: Mary Cholmondeley
The Vampire: Vasile Alecsandri
The Death of Halpin Frayser: Ambrose Bierce
Ken’s Mystery: Julian Hawthorne
Carmilla: Sheridan Le Fanu
The Tomb of Sarah: F. G. Loring
Ligeia: Edgar Allan Poe
The Old Portrait: Hume Nisbet
The Vampire Maid: Hume Nisbet
The Sad Story of a Vampire: Eric (Count) Stenbock
A Case of Alleged Vampirism: Luigi Capuana
An Authenticated Vampire Story: Franz Hartmann
Revelations in Black: Carl Jacobi
The Master of Rampling Gate: Anne Rice
The Vampire of Kaldenstein: Frederick Cowles
An Episode of Cathedral History: M. R. James
Schloss Wappenburg: D. Scott-Moncrieff
The Hound: H. P. Lovecraft
Bite-Me-Not Or, Fleur De Fur: Tanith Lee
The Horror at Chilton Castle: Joseph Payne Brennan
The Singular Death of Morton: Algernon Blackwood
The Death of Ilalotha: Clark Ashton Smith
The Bride of Corinth: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The Giaour: Lord Byron
La Belle Dame Sans Merci: John Keats
Place of Meeting: Charles Beaumont
Duty: Ed Gorman
A Week in the Unlife: David J. Schow
Four Wooden Stakes: Victor Roman
The Room in the Tower: E. F. Benson
Mrs. Amworth: E. F. Benson
Doctor Porthos: Basil Copper
For the Blood Is the Life: F. Marion Crawford
Count Magnus: M. R. James
When It Was Moonlight: Manly Wade Wellman
The Drifting Snow: August Derleth
Aylmer Vance and the Vampire: Alice and Claude Askew
Dracula’s Guest: Bram Stoker
The Transfer: Algernon Blackwood
The Stone Chamber: H. B. Marriott Watson
The Vampire: Jan Neruda
The End of the Story: Clark Ashton Smith
The Lovely Lady: D. H. Lawrence
The Parasite: Arthur Conan Doyle
Lonely Women Are the Vessels of Time:
Harlan Ellison
Blood: Fredric Brown
Popsy: Stephen King
The Werewolf and the Vampire: R. Chetwynd-Hayes
Drink My Red Blood: Richard Matheson
Dayblood: Roger Zelazny
Replacements: Lisa Tuttle
Princess of Darkness: Frederick Cowles
The Silver Collar: Garry Kilworth
The Old Man’s Story: Walter Starkie
Will: Vincent O’Sullivan
Blood-Lust: Dion Fortune
The Canal: Everil Worrell
When Gretchen Was Human: Mary A. Turzillo
The Story of Chugoro: Lafcadio Hearn
The Men & Women of Rivendale: Steve Rasnic Tem
Winter Flowers: Tanith Lee
The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady: Brian Stableford
Midnight Mass: F. Paul Wilson
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire: Arthur Conan Doyle
A Dead Finger: Sabine Baring-Gould
Wailing Well: M. R. James
Human Remains: Clive Barker
The Vampire: Sydney Horler
Stragella: Hugh B. Cave
Marsyas in Flanders: Vernon Lee
The Horla: Guy De Maupassant
The Girl With the Hungry Eyes: Fritz Leiber
The Living Dead: Robert Bloch
Down Among the Dead Men: Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann
Necros: Brian Lumley
The Man Upstairs: Ray Bradbury
Chastel: Manly Wade Wellman
Dracula’s Chair: Peter Tremayne
Special: Richard Laymon
Carrion Comfort: Dan Simmons
The Sea Was Wet as Wet Could Be: Gahan Wilson
The Vampire: A Bibliography:  Compiled by Daniel Seitler

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