VAMPIRES, HORROR, AND DARK FANTASY

Can't wait for the next Anita Blake book to come out? Itching for some supernatural fun? Check out these books!

Vampire Novels

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Count Dracula sleeps in a lordly tomb in the vaults beneath his desolate castle. His stony eyes are open. His cheeks have the flush of life beneath their pallor. On his lips a mocking, sensuous smile and scarlet - fresh blood. He has been dead for centuries, yet he may never die......
Here begins the story of an evil ages old and forever new. It is the story of those who feed a diabolic craving into the veins of their victims, into the man and women from whose blood they draw their only sustenance. It is a novel of peculiar power, of hypnotic fascination. The reader is warned that he who enters Castle Dracula may not escape its baleful spell, even when he closes the book.

Dhampire by Scott Baker

David Bathory knew well the dark heritage that was his.
He knew he descended directly from Dracula and the evil Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who bathed in the blood of peasant girls to retain her beauty. But it was not until David's wife, Alexandra, fell victim to bestial violence that he was drawn into his family's mysterious and violent orgiastic circle.
For David Bathory is a living descendant of the living dead. Scion of the world's last vampire family, suddenly possessed with incredible, vast powers and an even greater curse.
With a beautiful, mystical woman he may find salvation - but only if he defeats his ancestors in a war between the living and the dead!

Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu

"Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu is an authentic work of literature in which LeFanu uses Central European folklore as the armature on which to construct a subtle tale of vampirism that is at once physical and psychological. Carmilla, with its female vampire and her female victim, also has the virtue of high seriousness as it deals with what still feels like a very contemporary theme, 'the rapture of that cruelty which yet is love.'
The story’s protagonist, young Laura, tells us that she is the daughter of an Englishman who as retired to a castle in Syria. One night, Laura is visited by a strange and frightening apparition, a young woman who ‘carressed me with her hands, and lay down beside me on the bed, and drew me towards her, smiling.’ Twelve years later Laura and her father hear about the death, in suspicious circumstances, of their neighbors niece. At the same time Laura and her father harbor a young woman named Carmilla whose mother leaves her in their charge after their coach breaks down. Laura, enchanted to have a visitor, welcomes Carmilla warmly only to be betrayed by her vampire friend."
- Leonard Wolf’s Introduction to Dracula, slightly edited

The Shadow Saga by Christopher Golden

They are called shadows......
Led by Peter Octavian, they must drink blood. Yet they do not steal life. New Shadows are created only by individual choice. They even count humans among their ranks. Peace is their only hunger.
The minions of Hannibal have a different goal: the enslavement of humanity. They kill for pleasure and for thirst. They indiscriminately create more eof their own. And they embrace the title of myth, of terrible legend.....vampire.
Shadows and vampires. One and the same. And now, once and for all, their war will be decided....

The Valentine Saga by S.P. Somtow

Consists of Vampire Junction and Valentine

The Night World Saga by L.J. Smith

These are a series of young adult books featuring good witches, bad witches, werewolves, vampires, and vampire hunters. If you can take the fairly simple plots I highly recommend them.

Horror

Black Oak Genesis by Charles Grant

Black Oak Security is a crack team of private investigators led by brilliant, enigmatic Ethan Protor. He takes on cases that range form normal to the unaccountably bizarre. Now one of his people, Sloan Delaney, has disappeared during a weekend getaway in the Cumberland Mountains. The last message he left - on Protor's answering machine - was a tortured scream for help. Soon Proctor is heading into the Kentucky wilderness, following in Sloan's footsteps to a secluded backwoods motel where a dreadful mystery is buried. But the truth behind Sloan's disappearance is only the beginning. For whatever is roaming the hills has left an entire town cowering in fear. Something unspeakable.......and too close to home.

Dark Fantasy

The Secret Books of Paradys by Tanith Lee

The strange and the tormented dwell in Paradys - prowling its dark streets and twisted alleyways, passing the endless hours in the city's elegant mansions and smoke-tarnished inns, wandering in the moldering graveyards and the stark surrounding countryside. For the land here is bound by a timeless, soul chilling magic, and that power has cast its spell over all who have ever lived in this foreboding and dangerous place.

I cannot recommend these enough. They are truly the most evil dark fantasy I have ever read. Absolutely wonderful!
They are available in a two volume set form the Science Fiction Book Club or separately in four books entitled The Book of The Damned, The Book of the Beast, The Book of the Mad, and The Book of The Dead.

Ravenloft

Centered around the D&D type role playing game Ravenloft is a series of open-ended Gothic horror tales.

Cold Iron and Sister to the Rain by Melissa Michaels

These aren't exactly dark fantasy, but they have a sort of LKH type of world. Here, fairies cross over from Fairie on a regular basis. The main character is a human PI named Rosie. The first book, Cold Iron, deals with a Fairie Rock Band and the second book, Sister to the Rain, puts Rosie and her partner Shannon in the midst of an elven revolution.

Mis.

Gabriel Knight

There is an interesting series of fantasy/horror games starring Gabriel Knight. The first involves voodoo, the second werewolves, and the third vampires. Aside form the three computer games Jane Jensen wrote a book adaptation of the second game(the werewolf game) The Beast Within. It is available from Roc.

Shadowrun

Shadowrun is a series of table top role playing games(it is also played in on-line chat rooms) There is an extensive series of novels that take place in the world of Shadowrun, a 21st century realm of magic, gods, secrets, and mystery. Vampires exist in this world as do mages, shamans, and vampire hunters. Even if you're not into role playing games, the books are worth checking out.

White Wolf Games

White Wolf is the publisher of Vampire: The Masquerade a part of the World of Darkness gaming series. Quite fun. Check them out. Also check out the fiction spawned form the games.

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