Anno Dracula
May 19, 2011 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Kim Newman discusses the novels that inspired Anno Dracula, his epic pop-culture mashup of all things vampire, set in a Victorian London ruled by Dracula. Newman's long fascination with Dracula led to two more novels in the setting and several short stories, several of which can be found online.
posted by Artw (36 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Really nice cover on the current edition of Anno Dracula.
posted by Zed at 12:30 PM on May 19, 2011


I've always wondered if the Anno Dracula books where the inspiration for the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on May 19, 2011


This looks great, can't believe I've never heard of it. I have a long flight coming up and I think I'll fly with Dracula.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:38 PM on May 19, 2011


You know, I've often wondered what would happen if Dracula (a vampire) bit someone at the same time as a zombie and a werewolf.
posted by notmydesk at 12:45 PM on May 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


That question really belongs in AskMe.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:52 PM on May 19, 2011 [10 favorites]


Anno Dracula was one of my better used-book finds in the past few years. I bought it on a whim after reading the back of the paperback and enjoyed the heck out of it. The other two books are good too, took me forever to find them, but the first one is still the best.
posted by beowulf573 at 12:53 PM on May 19, 2011


Anno Dracula books where the inspiration for the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen series

The "long fascination with Dracula" link above is to an article in which Newman notes the influence of Farmer on Anno Dracula. I think that Farmer is more likely to have been a more direct influence on the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (but I also find it hard to imagine that Moore didn't know about Anno Dracula and that it was mixed up in his mental stew, too -- I'm surprised it wasn't trivial to come up with an Alan Moore interview mentioning it.)
posted by Zed at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like how over time you can actually see the Vampire Myth being tweaked with and adpated into a more modern concept. Garlic and Crosses are out, silver is in.
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


How timely. I recently read Brian Stableford's short story, The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady, from a 1989 collection of the Year's Best Sci-Fi. It sets an interesting world for vampires, and was a fun read.

notmydesk, I think that might be one of the case studies for Three Stooges Syndrome, but in a simpler form.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always wondered if the Anno Dracula books where the inspiration for the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

Dare you besmirch Alan Moore's name with such lackadaisical theorums?
posted by longbaugh at 1:03 PM on May 19, 2011


'Anno Dracula' Author Kim Newman on Horror Mash-Ups

Farmer is pretty much the daddy of the pulp mashup of course.

I think Anno Dracula might have been a bit like the Velvet Underground - it only made a minor stir at the time, but a whole bunch of people who read it went off and did their own Alt. History/Mash-Up thing - Gordon Rennie as cited it as an influence on Necronauts, for instance.

Of course, if it had come out in 2002 instead of 1992 it might have been a massive, massive hit, riding the bubble of the Steampunk and vampire crazes, but would that bubble have been there without it?
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on May 19, 2011


I can't believe there's only been one Wold Newton post over the years.
posted by longbaugh at 1:11 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Props to this author for name-checking The Vampire Tapestry. If you've never read it, it still ranks in my memory as my favorite interpretation of the myth over the years. And I've read most of the books on this list.

(Never read Doctor Wears Scarlet, though. Looks interesting)
posted by lumpenprole at 1:13 PM on May 19, 2011


Farmer is pretty much the daddy of the pulp mashup of course.

"JC on the Dude Ranch."

That is all.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:15 PM on May 19, 2011


I can't believe there's only been one Wold Newton post over the years.

Oh, I'm sure that technically all our posts are Wold Newton posts...
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, I've often wondered what would happen if Dracula (a vampire) bit someone at the same time as a zombie and a werewolf.

That question really belongs in AskMe.


Hmmm...

(The Anno Dracula books feature pretty much every literary varinat on the vampire ever (well, not the sparkly kind... yet) from Lamias to the Bram Stoker kind to a weird space vampire that can pose as a Senator and feed off of the Psychic despair of peopel dragged before the HUAC commitee (A brief cameo of another one of Newman's creations) and so have a wide range of capabilities and vulnerabilities. There are some Fulci style zombies in Rome that are basically just degenerate vampires that get their blood from flesh, and a lycanthrope would basically just be a shape changing vampire. So in those books they would be all vampires, and either nothing would happen as a result of the cross-biting or you;d get some kind of weird fucked-up super vampire. /nerd)

Really nice cover on the current edition of Anno Dracula.

i think Titan are reprinting them all - which is great because they have been a shit to get for a bit - and then printing Johny Alucard, which is the 80s one that has been brewing for a bit.

Oh, and there's a new edition of Nightmare Movies out as well - Newman with his movie critic hat* on taking a look at horror movies since the 60s. I've not seen this edition yet so I don't know how much it's been updated, but the previous editons were great. The guy really knows his stuff.

* Probably a deerstalker.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


And if you like well-written literary mashup, get thee to a Howard Waldrop collection or two. The dude's brilliant and has been working this beat for a long time. Hmmm. Maybe we need a Waldrop FPP.
posted by Zed at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Somewhere on my to do list is to re-read the USSA stories and google every single reference...

A real pity his Hitler wins series (with Eugene Byrne) never got off the ground
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 PM on May 19, 2011


No love for Chelsea Quin Yarbro's Ragoczy (aka St. Germain)?

The Palace was the first, and arguably the best, historical vampire novel I ever read. Set in Florence during the age of the Medicis and the Borgias, the main character is (loosely) based on an actual, intriguing historical figure--a man who never seemed to age and reportedly dabbled in alchemy (he is said to have borrowed a lady's jeweled necklace, only to return it to her with larger genuine stones replacing the original jewels).

I remember originally choosing the book because our library's copy had lovely cover artwork of a man cradling a woman in his arms, though.

This is actually the second in Yarbro's series of St. Germain novels; the first was Hotel Transylvania (The Palace, IMO, is the best in the series, though).
posted by misha at 2:39 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Palace Cover that sucked me in.
posted by misha at 3:04 PM on May 19, 2011


If we're playing the literary mashup progenitor game, then Farmer was inspired mainly, or partly at least, by William S Baring-Gould, who wrote Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, a fictional biography in the same vein as Farmer's Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life.

Baring-Gould also wrote another crime-based fictional biography, Nero Wolfe of West 35th Street, and added the twist that Wolfe was actually the son of Holmes and Irene Adler, which became a feature of Farmer's Wold Newton family. It wasn't Baring-Gould's idea to begin with though; he just popularised it.

Fittingly, along with Newman's forthcoming Anno Dracula reissues, there's his Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbevilles on the horizon, giving the whole thing a pleasing circularity.
posted by permafrost at 3:10 PM on May 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


By starting with Dracula it sounds like he's disregarding Ann Rice and John Lindqvist's contributions to the vampire milieu. I don't mind so much that it also would imply he's ignoring Stephenie Meyer.
posted by nervousfritz at 3:26 PM on May 19, 2011


By starting with Dracula it sounds like he's disregarding Ann Rice and John Lindqvist's contributions to the vampire milieu

er? His list starts with Polidori's The Vampire, includes Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire and he notes that "If I were compiling a list of best or favourite vampire novels [as opposed to a list of books that helped inspire Anno Dracula[ Anne Billson's Suckers (1993), Tim Lucas's Throat Sprockets (1994) and John Ajvide Lindquist's Let the Right One In (2004) might edge out a couple of classics."
posted by Zed at 3:32 PM on May 19, 2011


my bad
posted by nervousfritz at 3:34 PM on May 19, 2011


No love for Chelsea Quin Yarbro's Ragoczy (aka St. Germain)?

I love Hotel Transylvania, and it's become my favorite vampire novel of all time (Anno Dracula takes second place.) It took me three and a half years to find a copy in remotely good condition that wasn't a gazillion dollars. If my house was on fire I'd do anything to salvage the copy I have. It needs a reprint, dammit!
posted by Anima Mundi at 3:51 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't read this, but in the 80s sometime I read a paperback anthology called Under the Fang. It was a short story collection by different horror writers, all writing stories under the premise that vampires had taken over the world, and were using humans as food/cattle/prisoners/slaves, etc. Very good stories, I should re-read it someday and see if they hold up.
posted by zardoz at 6:40 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still holding out for an Anno Dracula film one of these years...
posted by Apocryphon at 11:12 PM on May 19, 2011


I'm still holding out for an Anno Dracula film one of these years...

Oh my, yes indeed! This would make me so very happy. I've no idea who I'd like in the cast but perhaps Guillermo del Toro as director??
posted by ninazer0 at 12:37 AM on May 20, 2011


> Oh, and there's a new edition of Nightmare Movies out as well - Newman with his movie critic hat* on taking a look at horror movies since the 60s. I've not seen this edition yet so I don't know how much it's been updated, but the previous editons were great. The guy really knows his stuff.

Kim Newman very kindly signed my copy of his new Nightmare Movies book at the BFI recently, and I started reading it this week. It's amazing, and in terms of updates—well, it's now twice as big. The first half of the new edition is essentially the old book (covering 1969-1988, using Night of the Living Dead as a starting point) refreshed with wry little footnotes, and the second half covers 1988 to the present. I'm currently reading the chapter on torture porn, titled Why Are You Doing This To Me?

I'm fascinated by this post, Artw, as I'm a huge fan of Newman's horror criticism but haven't yet read any of his fiction. And there's a shiny new copy of Anno Dracula sitting on my bedside table...
posted by hot soup girl at 7:41 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It *was* a deerstalker, wasn't it? At minimum I'd hope for him to be wearing a cape.
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on May 20, 2011


No hat or cape, I'm sorry to say; just the mandatory cravat and waistcoat.
posted by hot soup girl at 9:04 PM on May 20, 2011


I've met Kim a couple of times and he was dressed pretty normally it was a bit of a disappointment frankly.

I'll have to dig up the interview and article I did years ago and slap it on the interweb... though I've a feeling it'll seem horrifically pretentious now as I was really into post-modernism at the time.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:23 AM on May 21, 2011


Heh.

Yeah, no one really talks about post modernism anymore just because you've got James Bond fighting Frankenstein or somesuch.
posted by Artw at 8:42 AM on May 21, 2011


Anno Dracula’s Kim Newman - People I’ve Borrowed
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:43 AM on May 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


More new stuff from Kim (he's on a roll): Ten Favourite Vampire Movies, What if Dracula won? The secret inspirations behind "Anno Dracula", and Kim Newman interview: Anno Dracula and more.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:59 AM on May 24, 2011


Blimey. he really is on a roll: The ‘If’ Moment: A Brief History of Alternate Histories
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on May 24, 2011


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