Carpe Sanguis!

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With the recent media explosion around True Blood (TV, novels), Twilight (film, novels), and the Vampire Diaries (TV, novels), vampires are swooping back in to mainstream popular culture. Vampires aren’t just for Goths anymore! Readers of all ages are hooked and they’re thirsty for more.

Scary Monsters & Super Creeps is designed to be a reader’s advisory resource for librarians, booksellers, teachers, and the more general audience of readers.

Within this site, you will find a good deal of information on a wide range of contemporary vampire works of the past 35 years. There will be a summary and review for each work, whether novel or short story. At the end of each annotation, I will give one or more suggestions for recommended reading, based on one or more plot elements.

For example, if a reader is interested in a romantic story with Egyptian elements, having read The Blood of Kings, then I could recommend The Companion by Susan Squires. If they are more interested in an action-adventure story with Egyptian elements, I could recommend The Soulless by L.G. Burbank.

I am including a visual icon system that will make it easy to scan for items of interest (e.g. strong female character(s), bisexual character(s)) or items to avoid (e.g. explicit sex, graphic violence). Each annotation will be followed by one or more icons.

Selection criteria:

  1. Each work must include the presence of a vampire as a primary, or major secondary, character.
  2. Selections are limited to no more than two works per author, in order to explore a broader range of possible characterizations/interpretations of the vampire myth.
  3. I will be dealing with Adult, Young Adult (YA), and GLBTQ short stories and novels. Each category encompasses a wide spectrum of genres, from romance, to humor, to drama. I have limited my scope and will exclude children’s books, graphic novels, and manga (with one exception).
      The Adult category: The characters are heterosexual and conform to the gender binary of male and female. The works in this category are intended for those who are 18+ years of age.
      The Young Adult (YA) category: The characters are adolescents, or in the case of vampires, were turned while still adolescent. The works in this category are intended for young adults aged 12 to 18.
      The GLBTQ category: The characters are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. In the vampire literature sphere, there are very, very few works that are both gay and intended for a Young Adult audience. The works in this category, therefore, are intended for those who are 18+ years of age because that is the audience they are geared toward. Until the Full Moon is the one exception on the list, and I will include a list of any other GLBTQ YA works I am able to find.
  4. Nearly every culture has myths about revenants and/or vampires. Western vampire tales were selected to significantly narrow the scope of this site.
  5. Concerted effort was made to incorporate novels featuring non-Caucasian protagonists & vampires, but they are less prevalent than one might wish in Western vampire literature.
  6. The same goes for non-Christian-based belief structures.
  7. I tried to select works that had female vampires, as well as male vampires, in order to create a more balanced selection. It may interest readers to discover works without the typical big, bad vampire man that seduces the sweet, innocent human lady.
  8. Anne Rice’s vampires have been extensively written on, and I did not see a point in revisiting such well-documented territory.
  9. These works were intentionally kept to those published in the last 35 years. To include all vampire literature is the work of years, and not within the purview of this project. Some vampire classics will be mentioned, but that’s as far as I will delve into the literary past.

A note about navigation…

I have done my best to make this site intuitive and easily navigable. Here is a short description for each page:

Home – The home page can be reached at any point by clicking the tab at the top that says “Home.”

About – The about page gives a little information about why this site was created.

Classics & Scholarly Works – This page contains a list of some of the most well-known vampire literature classics, from LeFanu to Stoker, with brief synopses. Several books and articles are listed with a short description for further reading and research.

Novel Reviews – The main novel reviews page contains an alphabetical bibliography of all annotated novels by age/interest (YA, GLBTQ, Adult). The “Novel Reviews” tab has a drop-down list of the reviews, divided alphabetically in order to reduce the number of reviews per page to make each page easy to scan.

Short Stories Reviews – The main short stories reviews page contains an alphabetical bibliography of all annotated short stories by age/interest (YA, GLBTQ, Adult). The “Short Stories Reviews” tab has a drop-down list of the reviews, divided alphabetically in order to reduce the number of reviews per page in order to make each page easy to scan.

Visual Key – This page contains explanations of the icons that accompany each annotation.

Glossary – A brief list of terms and their definitions as used within this project.

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