By Rae Lori
Vampires. The very name conjures up an array of images from the pop culture’s Bela Lugosi induced romantic Transylvanian hero of Dracula to crazy cannibalistic monsters in action and horror works. With the rise of paranormal romances featuring vampires as the new romantic heroes, vampires have cemented their way into our world as the true undead. With so many variations of the vampire myth interpretation, can we safely say that vampires are basically a genre of their own? After all, with so many different kinds of fans of the genre, I couldn’t help noticing that everyone is looking for a little something different in their bloodsuckers.
The horror group wants their vampires as monsters. Relentless killing machines that’ll soon rip out your throat, if they ever crossed your path or carefully calculate the path to a their prey’s demise. Think 30 Days of Night , both the graphic novel and the movie, I Am Legend and various other ‘man-against-monster’ survival horror works. Tons of B-movie sci-fi flicks also love to play with this genre using vampires not only as monsters but alien parasites in other worlds (I think I actually have one saved on my DVR now).
The paranormal romance fans love their blood suckers as the dangerous bad boys of the romance subgenre. Undead hotties that’ll seduce you into passionate abandon, if you were ever so fortunate as their heroines. ;-) Think along the lines of Moonlight, Blood Ties and even Buffy’s preternatural beaus. I thank Anne Rice for the rise of this genre who trailblazed the way in making vampires like a separate community outside of the human world where they battle with their own complex desires, loves, emotions and even a structure of politics.
Finally, there’s the in-between group. Fans who want their vampires, cool, kicking some major tail and shooting down anyone who dares get in their way to question them. These vampires are on a mission and are vulnerable to finding love but they are warriors first. Think along the lines of Blade, the Underworld movies and a good amount of Urban Fantasy works in books today.
The wonderful thing about vampires is they’re flexible enough to fit across all types of genres; whether they be true undead monsters, tortured romantic heroes on the way to redemption, the result of a life changing science experiment gone wrong or infected with a virus, it’s safe to say that the vampire mythos will be on the shelves for a very, very long time. Thank goodness for us vampire authors and readers because there is enough myth and back story across all cultures to explore the undead for many centuries to come.
Notable vampire works across the genre:
For Horror fans: J., Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (novel, movies, radio shows), John Polidori’s The Vampire (short fiction), Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, 30 Days of Night (graphic novel, movie), John Steakley ‘s Vampire$ (novel, movie), Jeanne Kalogridis’ Diaries of the Family Dracul , Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (novel), Suzy McKee Charnas’ The Vampire Tapestry
For Paranormal Romance fans: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles (novel, movies),Caridad Pineiro’s The Calling Series, Vivi Anna’s Blood Secrets, Silhouette Nocturne’s Holiday With a Vampire I & II, Twilight (book series, movie), Sookie Stackhouse series (novel and HBO’s True Blood tv adaptation), J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series (novels), Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series (novel), Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series (novel), Nora Robert’s Circle Trilogy, Christine Feehan’s Carpathian Series, etc. (just to name a small drop in a very large pond!)
For Urban Fantasy Fans: David Lee Summers’ Vampires of the Scarlet Order (novel), Underworld (novelizations, movies), Blade (comic book series, movies), L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress Legends, Lynda Hilburn’s The Vampire Shrink series series, Tanya Huff’s Vicki Nelson series, Jennifer Rardin’s Jaz Parks series.
Other: Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian (novel and possible movie), Lindqvist and Segerberg’s Let the Right One In (novel, movie & upcoming remake), Katherine Ramsland’s The Science of Vampires, Kim Newman’s Anno-Dracula (novel), Fred Saberhagen’s The Dracula Tapes (novel)
Vampire Documentaries worth checking out: Fang Vs. Fiction (on the Underworld 2 disc DVD edition), True Bloodlines: Vampire Legend & A New Style, Bloodsucking Cinema
I probably missed a few other favorites in the genre so feel free to comment on your own. Who knows, you may even recommend some goodies that other readers may have missed in their stash. What is your favorite type of vampire genre?
It’s true, vampires are timeless and transcend all genres. They can be funny, vicious, loving and everything in between. They are probably the most moldable of all creatures or monsters.
Let’s see, for young adults there are Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires, Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses series, Melissa de la Cruz’ Blue Bloods and R.L. Stine’s Dangerous Girls just to name a few.
I meant to add that I enjoy paranormal the most.
I don’t really enjoy seeing vampires as “killing machines”… seeing them as the bad character in a book just doesn’t appeal to me that much… though I’ll still read the book :D
my favorite is the paranormal romance… there’s nothing bad about a vampire finding his mate… and falling in love :-)
I really enjoy vampires in the Urban Fantasy genre. Kind of rough and real. Not too romantic, and not too monster-like. :) I also enjoy a setting that seems like some place I could live.
I love both of Susan Sizemore vampire series.
Thanks for such a great list of vampire favorites. There are definitely some on there I think I need to check out.
I enjoy the paranormal the most but Urban Fantasy is a very close second.
I really enjoy reading the different versions of the vampire. I will read them all as well. It will depend on my mood.
I enjoy urban fantasy most. Some of my favorites you missed are Near Dark (movie) and Vampire Hunter D (light novels, movies).
I’ve read the vampire romance, urban fantasy and too some fun series with vamps! I adore them all. The only route i don’t go to to read is horror. I am a wimp! :lol: Really, I never read Horror or watch anything scary. I didn’t think I’d read vampire romance when I heard about it. I was encouraged in a group to read this author and I got the book and I ended up returning it because I flipped out. :lol: Then they found out when chatting with me and convinced me to try it. So I went back and did. I realized all I was missing! So I love those vampire romances especially when they are series. I want to come back to the world over and over! With the Urban fantasy, I love reading about a new adventure each time. And so far I read one book that I’ve been able to find with humor within the vampire series and enjoyed it! I’m sure there’s more out there for me. The reason I don’t like the Horror is because of the real gory aspects of the books. I mean many vampire romances and series do have violence in them etc, but its much different than horror. And that violence that may be in the paranormal romance are more for the ‘bad boys’ that are totally violent to others and are monsters! Thats the best way to explain it, and it would be part of the story as well. Great topic today!
I am a sucker for romance, so I love the Vampire badboys from Paranormal romances! :D
vampires , i like the best of paranormal romance, but i like all the kinds of paranormal
I tend to write with a little of both in my vampire world the good ones that tend to be romantic and you want everything to work out but I also have some bad ones who would be the one’s that you would say give all vampires a bad name….
Leigh Savage Author of Angle of Death
I like all kinds of vampires, mostly the paranormal and urban fantasy stories. Another series I like besides all mentioned here is Maggie Shayne’s Twilight series.
WAVES HI!! I know RAE and she is a wonderful person and her books rock!
I love vampire romance the most, but also enjoy other kinds of vampire books. Some other vamp authors I’ve enjoyed are Cheryln Jac, Nina Bangs, Debbie Raleigh, Colleen Gleason, Linda Lael Miller, Patrice Michelle, Rosemary Laurey, Lynsay Sands, Hannah Howell, Nancy Gideon, Delilah Devlin, Emma Holly, MaryJanice Davidson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Lee Killough, Tanya Huff, Freda Warrington, Trisha Baker, Karen E. Taylor.
I tend to like vampires is urban fantasy the best, followed by paranormal romance. I like a lot of books and series that don’t necessarily have a vampire hero/heroine, but have main or secondary characters that are vampires: examples include Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, and Rob Thurman’s Cal and Niko Leandros books.
I like paranormal romance the best , with urban fantasy second.
I enjoy vampires in the urban fantasy genre.
I love the vampires from paranormal romances best!
I think it’s interesting how I can so like how one author/book/series portrays vampires while completely disliking how another in the same ‘category’ does it. I know all authors and stories are different, but . . .
And I think I like urban fantasy most-but there were a few of those paranormals that I think I had considered more UF. And hey, those Buffy vamps were pretty fun when they were bad :D
Richelle Mead has a great YA series (Vampire Academy) & Jeaniene Frost has some of my favorite vampire books!
I am a watcher of vampire movies, and a reader of vampire books from way back. I have seen them as killing machines, but I would much rather see them in a romance movie or read about them in a romance story.
I have to say that I am a paranormal romance …I like the happily ever after…sappy, I know. Although, I have to admit that I am really loving urban fantasy too. Oh, I just love vampires!!
I love the variety that various authors have brought to the vampiric genre…