Posts Tagged ‘Bram Stoker’

Drakula Istanbul’da (Dracula in Istanbul) is a Turkish horror film from 1953.  The screenplay was based on a 1928 novel by Ali Riza Seyfi called Kazikli Voyvoda (“Impaler Voivode”), and is more or less a translation of Stoker’s novel, but there is no Renfield character and Guzin, the “Mina” character, is a showgirl given to performing in revealing outfits.  Drakula/Dracula is played by balding Atif Kaptan.  Long believed lost, Drakula Istanbul’da is considered the first non-western film version of the Dracula story, and oddly, one of most faithful to the Bram Stoker original.  With Dracula scaling the castle walls, implied infanticide, and the ceremonious end of the vampire, with first a staking, then a beheading, then stuffing the mouth with garlic (as per the instructions in the novel), this movie adaption contains more of the creepier elements of the book than many higher-budgeted and more pedigreed productions.  Perhaps it’s the proximity of Turkey to the Eastern European setting of the novel, or perhaps shared similar legends and folklore, but Drakula Istanbul’da, in all its threadbare grace, seems to have an authentic and maybe innate feel for the myths of the region that cannot be found in any Hollywood back lot.

Say what?  And yet it’s true, the above from CREATIVECOMMONS.COM, with the information brought to us via E. K. Leimkuhler in “Dracula Retold:  Early Variations on a Gothic Classic” in DEARDARKLING.COM.  This, in fact, is the film version of KAZIKLI VOYVODA, a Turkish “translation” of DRACULA by Ali Riza Seyfi that follows the main plot points pretty well, albeit with Turkish characters substituted for the English originals and other changes (e.g. Dracula fears not the cross, but the Quran) to make it more relatable to a Turkish 1920s audience.  Also, unlike the “real” DRACULA, there’s an actual direct connection to “Vlad the Impaler,” the Harker character prior to meeting the Count in fact wondering if he could possibly be a descendant of the historical Vlad.

The DEAR DARKLINGS article covers four variations in all, the Turkish book being the third.  First is “Dracula’s Guest,” originally a part of Stoker’s novel but left out of the final version, published separately in 1914, two years after Bram’s death, by his widow Florence.  Then in second place is another “translation,” MAKT MYRKANNA (a.k.a. POWERS OF DARKNESS), a 1900 Icelandic version published “by” Bram Stoker and Valdimar Asmundsson.  After the start, however, this one varies considerably from the original (e.g., [a]mong other misadventures, Harker finds multiple rotting corpses [which don’t disturb him nearly as much as the Count’s lewd banter], encounters an allegedly insane Dracula cousin, and witnesses the Count leading a Black Mass a la Hammer.  Additionally, the Count’s machinations involve a somewhat convoluted international political conspiracy) although, according to Leimkuhler, there’s some indication Stoker may have at least shared unused parts of his notes with Asmundsson.  Both this and the Turkish book version have since been translated into English, with links provided (a third variant in Swedish has yet to be translated, however).  Then, finally, Universal’s Spanish language film of DRACULA, made concurrently with the Bela Lugosi version in 1931, is cited, again with a link, this one to an omnibus edition of all six Universal “Dracula” films (i.e., up to and including 1948’s ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN) which includes the Spanish version as an “extra.”

And so, to see for yourself, check here.  But also a bonus, linked to as well in the DEAR DARKLINGS piece but deserving a special place here as well, what of that Turkish Dracula movie?  To see it for yourself, with English subtitles (at least of a sort — and with the desk clerk at the inn early on, despite its reimaging into Islam, still crossing herself when Dracula is named), press here.


Editor Cliff Garstang announced today that EVERYWHERE STORIES:  SHORT FICTION FROM A SMALL PLANET, VOL. II (see June 19, May 10, February 29, et al.) has had its official publication date moved up to September 26, scarcely more than two months from now.  Also announced, the book now has its own Facebook page, including interviews with two of its authors (thus far) and a table 13557669_1757143324503838_5186470872707740661_nof contents.  The latter (for which, see also just below), reflecting the book’s international theme, is divided into five major sections spanning five continents (or maybe just over four, depending on how you count “Oceania”) in which my story of family values gone awry, “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” appears in the first, “Africa,” representing the country of Mali.

So that’s sort of nice, putting me third in the book as a whole, even if it’s all a matter of alphabetical order within geographical/political hierarchies.  Or something like that.  But more to the point, the Facebook page may be browsed at leisure by pressing here.

In other announcements (and in this case simply random, no magic in today’s date either, it just popped up as a “see also” on Facebook) GOTHIC.LIFE brings us “19 Facts About Bram Stoker You Didn’t Know.”  Actually I did know some, and some are a little repetitious, one for instance telling us he married Florence Balcombe and hobnobbed with several literary lights of the day including Oscar Wilde, another that he and Wilde were also rival suitors for Florence’s hand (both in the column of those I already knew, but I didn’t know that Flo Stoker brought out the short story collection, DRACULA’S GUEST AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES in 1922 — though it is consistent with things I do know).  Also I keep forgetting the name of Henry Irving (Who he?  Well, to find out you’ll have to see for yourself by pressing here).

And then, back again to EVERYWHERE STORIES, here’s the lineup of authors and titles:

Egypt: The Hôtel Paradis – Pamela Hartmann
Kenya: Too Old for War – Frank Scozzari
Mali: The Wellmaster’s Daughter – James Dorr
Morocco: The Stop—Alison Grifa Ismaili
Sierra Leone: Jonkshon—Brandon Patterson
The Americas
Brazil: Let us go forth into the wide world – Gabriela Maya
Guatemala: The Eye Man – Mark Brazaitis
Mexico: Today, Quite Early – Christopher Woods
Panama: Mí encanta Panamá – Robert Kostuck
United States: Epistolize the Abandoned – Candace Robertson
India: Almost Enlightened – Lucinda Nelson Dhavan
Lebanon: Jackal Weather – William Kelley Woolfitt
Pakistan: No Covenant – Hira Cheema
South Korea: The Monk in the Window – Frances Park
Turkey: Memiş the Conqueror – Joel Hodson
Belgium: Street of the Candlesticks—Rijn Collins
Ireland: All that Water – Brooks Rexroat
Norway: An Idea of the Journey – Chris Cleary
Poland: The Guardian – Barbara Krasner
Samoa: Fatu Ma Futi – John Matthew Fox

“The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” incidentally, was originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, November 1991.

Thursday night, one may recall, brought readings of poetry.  These were followed a half hour later by a panel on TERRIFYING TROPES:  DARK CARNIVALE:  FREAKS, GEEKS, MAGICIANS AND SPIRITUALISTS covering, well, just that.  “Magic, mystery, and romance” — except you don’t know what hides under the greasepaint.  The panels I got to struck me as quite good in almost all cases, in this case also touching on nostalgia — weirdness and whimsy — and different takes between children seeing the glitter and wonder, rides, excitement, lots to do, versus teens where it becomes highly sexualized, a place to take girls where anything can happen, versus adults who now take their kids.  And the carnies themselves as playing roles, but even after the gates are closed as members of a separate culture (cited here was Tod Browning’s movie FREAKS).

Friday brought more TERRIFYING TROPES:  POE-ETICS:  SETTING SCENE AND ATMOSPHERE IN SUPERNATURAL FICTION, with a note that “The Dark Place” in horror is any place in that it’s being seen through the protagonist’s eyes.  So, in writing, establish the protagonist’s hang-ups — what’s in his mind — and think like an actor to not just see but react to a setting (and don’t forget other senses too, especially sound).  And look for details, especially ones the reader might not expect, as well as picking your own words carefully, also with an ear to their sound and their connotations, in setting a scene in the reader’s head too.   Then WEIRD SOUTH:  FROM VOODOO TO RATTLESNAKE REVIVAL:  SOUTHERN FOLKLORE IN HORROR LITERATURE brought in mixtures of cultures, especially in places like New Orleans, and distortions brought through oral retellings.  Thus the Devil may have been to some people an African god, yet close and personal to a Christian.  In that the South industrialized late, people still live close to the ground, and folk magic plays in people’s minds — the idea of Hoodoo, a large collection of magical techniques, versus Voodoo and Santeria which are actual religions.  But the truly frightening person is not one the Devil speaks to, but the one who says he’s been spoken to by God, because he’s the one who’s going to act on it.  DEADLY DEFINITIONS:  WE ARE BIZARRO!  BEATING ON THE BONGOS AND SCRAPING THE VISCERA OF HORROR’S ZANIEST SUBCULTURE then spoke to “the weird stuff” — Burrough’s NAKED LUNCH, BUBBA HO-TEP, David Lynch movies, THE KAFKA EFFECT.  To try to add something that “completely f ***s up, doesn’t blend in, twists 180 degrees” . . . but still works.  Surreal, or told in a surreal way.  Or, as one panelist put it, think Dr. Seuss, noting that that’s one of the first things, with talking animals, that we give our children.

Also on Friday were several showings of short films that I got to, in whole or in part, plus PANEL/READING:  DARK POETS FACE TO FACE in which a group of poets (one, though, in absentia whose plane hadn’t come yet) read one another’s works, explaining why they chose that particular poem and commenting on it.  This was a repeat of a panel I was on in New Orleans two years before (cf. June 19 2013) and then, as now, it was interesting as a look into the poets’ minds as well as just fun, whether as audience or at the table.

Saturday’s fare included more panels, with DEADLY DEFINITIONS:  WHEN THE WEIRD GO PRO:  EXPLORING THE PARAMETERS AND CONSIDERING THE DIRECTIONS OF A LITERARY RENAISSANCE concluding that maybe the “new weird” isn’t that new.  There’s Lovecraft too, where when you end with a monster too big to kill, that’s “weird, not horror.”  Post-Lovecraft we’ve become more self-absorbed, but the knowledge at the end of a story that here’s a thing we’ll never understand, that’s weird.  Giant butterflies that will eat your soul . . . a magician with a spell that will destroy everything . . . that’s weird as well.  But there’s always been weird fiction, it’s just that we’re talking about it in a perhaps new context.  Also weird fiction “works better in short form, while longer novels need to include redemption.”  WEIRD SOUTH:  I WILL NEVER GO HUNGRY AGAIN:  WHY ARE SO MANY CONTEMPORARY VAMPIRE NOVELS SET IN THE SOUTH spoke of Southern traits, as surface politeness that may mask darker feelings underneath, as well as the South’s dark history in general (“that’s why we fear clowns, they have smiles painted on and you know it’s hiding something”).  Thus vampires, beautiful people, cultured, walk among us and, unlike, e.g., zombies, we don’t smell the rot that lies underneath.  Then add tradition, strong religious feelings including the darker parts of the BIBLE, resistance to outsiders and “foreign” ideas (such as fearful Counts from places like Transylvania), master/slave relationships which the South still has trouble handling, and like the South, lush and green where everyone flourishes except the outsider, like kudzu and vines that grab hold and won’t let you go, so is the vampire both beautiful and grasping.

Earlier Saturday but to the point too, was SPECIAL PRESENTATION:  DACRE STOKER:  BRAM STOKER/TRAVEL GUIDE NEW DISCOVERIES 118 YEARS LATER, a PowerPoint presentation by Bram Stoker’s grand-nephew on Stoker’s life and experiences that led to the writing of DRACULA, with places and backgrounds, plus some recent discoveries adding to our understanding of the novel; plus a presentation, MEDIA:  WHCFILM:  SKIPP’S SATURDAY SINEMA FUNTIME, in which Director John Skipp showed a short film and possibly pilot for a TV series, BOMBO AND FLOPSY IN “AN HONEST MIS-STAKE.”  Clowns . . .  and vampires.

And then Sunday, finally, brought WEIRD SOUTH:  THE DEVIL CAME DOWN:  GROWING UP LOVING HORROR BENEATH THE MASON-DIXON LINE which amplified several themes from the days before, on the South’s unique features, but authors too including Edgar Allan Poe (though born in Boston, brought up in Virginia), story-telling traditions that affect all classes, folk expressions and word choices and multiple meanings and high-context cultures.  Then, one hour later, from noon to 1, TERRIFYING TROPES:  THE DEATH PANEL:  FUNERALS, CEMETERIES, BURIAL, AUTOPSIES, AND DECOMPOSITION brought the convention for me back to DEATH TO DUST (as in my mis-citation in my Friday panel) with many excursions from mourning customs, to green burials and “death composting,” uses of cremains, paintings and photography of the dead, “death cafes,” food used in funerals, medieval medicine, books bound in human skin, and other objects preserved in museums.

After which time it was time to go.

Well maybe not quite an orgy, but this afternoon the Indiana University Cinema ended a run of a lot of Canadian surrealist director Guy Maddin’s films (included:  TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL, ARCHANGEL, MY WINNIPEG, BRAND UPON THE BRAIN, THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD . . . plus Buñeul’s [with Salvador Dali] L’AGE D’OR as an example of the kinds of movies that influenced him), including talks by Maddin himself on Thursday and Friday, with one of the more unusual interpretations of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, DRACULA:  PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY.  To quote from the program book:  “Canadian cult auteur Guy Maddin has concocted his most ravishingly stylized cinematic creation to date.  Beautifully transposing the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s interpretation . . . from stage to screen, Maddin has forged a sumptuous, erotically charged feast of dance, drama and silent film tec220px-Draculaballethniques.  The black-and-white, blood-red-punctured DRACULA:  PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY is a Gothic grand guignol of the notorious Count and his bodice-ripped victims, fringed with the expressionistic strains of Gustav Mahler. . . .”

As with many of his films, Maddin borrows techniques from the silents, including the use of title cards which, with a familiarity with the novel DRACULA, should allow the storyline to be followed with relatively little difficulty.  Also it is filmed in black and white, often with a purposefully shadowy quality reminiscent of early movies, although with tinting and spot color also used in places to draw attention — and, yes, that color often is red — or simply as accents.  Also, the film can be thought of as falling in two parts, the first in England with the seduction of Lucy, as performed by Tara Birtwhistle, and introduction of Dr. Van Helsing to explain to the others, and us, the true nature of the disease that affects her.  And then the second, here straying in some parts from Stoker’s original toward the end, where Dracula himself, performed by Zhang Wei-Qiang, comes to the fore, beginning with Mina’s joining her fiancé Jonathan Harker where he’s recuperating in an East European convent-hospital following his escape from Dracula’s castle, then taking us to the pursuit of Dracula and the vampire’s ultimate destruction.

In introducing the film, the docent explained that Maddin had been discouraged by the poor reception of his 1997 TWILIGHT OF THE ICE NYMPHS and, while his short, THE HEART OF THE WORLD, was much better reviewed a few years later, DRACULA in 2002 marked in a sense his feature film comeback.  Also noted was Maddin’s feeling about the original novel as “all rooted in male jealousy,” leading perhaps to an emphasis from the beginning of DRACULA as an invasion novel (akin, in that sense, to H. G. Wells’s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, published the year after Stoker’s book in 1898), voicing a Victorian English fear of contamination through immigration — and in particular from the east.  Especially in this second part, too, the use of shadows and settings and darkness adds to a German expressionist feeling, with Mahler’s music and fantastic dancing (the music excerpted from his 1st and 2nd Symphonies) leading dramatically up to the climax.   Or, to quote the IU Cinema’s program book again, itself adding its own quotation:  “THE NEW YORKER declared that ‘Victorian sexuality and melodrama are brought together in a shadowy world of expressionistic images and an athletic, almost rabid, choreography.’”

So, is this a film I would recommend for any lover of Bram Stoker’s novel, DRACULA, or even just of vampires in general — regardless of whether one is a fan of dance or music?  Resoundingly, yes.

Courtesy of Victorian Vampire Society UK via Facebook

“The Art in photography ~1897,” courtesy of Victorian Vampire Society UK via Facebook.   Lest we forget, 1897 also was the year DRACULA was published.

Well, there was Carmilla and, before her, Lord Ruthven, and let us not forget Varney and Geraldine and Byron’s Giaour, not to mention tales in other languages going as far back as Apuleius, but what really started vampires off for us in the 20th and 21st  centuries was Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel DRACULA.  Is there unlife post-DRACULA, though?  To honor the centennial of Stoker’s 1912 death, the Horror Writers Association in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Estate decided to offer a special Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award™ at last year’s World Horror Convention on March 31 2012 for the purpose of “recognizing the vampire novel that has had the greatest impact since the publishing of DRACULA.”  But vampires have come a long way since then, and so to choose which novel of all that were published in the last hundred years most deserved this honor, the HWA appointed a jury of five putative vampire experts to read, discuss, and weigh the evidence, coming up first with a short list of main contenders, and ultimately to decide on a winner.

By a confluence of accidents of fate (a major one, ahem, being that I had published a book of vampire poetry, VAMPS:  A RETROSPECTIVE, only the year before, for which see picture at top of the column just to the right or look for more overt references to come as “Vampire Week” continues), I was a member of this jury.  And so, for today, for more of the story I point you back to January 20 2012, and the key phrase “Vamp Fans Recommended Reading,” for an entry including an explanation as well as a press release announcing the six “finalists” we had narrowed it down to, all of which are worthy of reading for those who might have missed one or another.

As for the winner, well “Vampire Week” has ten days in it this year (how like a vampire, excessive in all things!) and so, to have patience, the announcement should be forthcoming in no more than four days.  (One hint, however:  the Anne Rice entry came in second.)

I couldn’t resist.  A poem of mine, as yet unpublshed, “The Vampire’s Advice” gives instruction to a protégée to “smile, my dear, smile,/ let them think of those ruby lips/ . . . .”  Nor is my vampire the first in this strategy.  The jewelry, below, is by Salvador Dali (1945) via Facebook, courtesy of The Bram Stoker Estate, while the quotation that follows is from Jonathan Harker’s Journal in DRACULA concerning the ladies resident in the Count’s castle.


“All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips.  There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear.  I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.  It is not good to note this down; lest some day it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain; but it is the truth.  They whispered together, and then they all three laughed — such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips.  It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of water-glasses when played upon by a cunning hand. The fair girl shook her head coquettishly, and the other two urged her on.  One said: —

“’Go on!  You are first, and we shall follow; yours is the right to begin.’  The other added: —

“’He is young and strong; there are kisses for us all.’ . . .”

Depicted, courtesy of Victorian Vampire Society UK via The Bram Stoker Estate on Facebook (though ultimately, I believe, the Brooklyn Museum) is a woodblock print by Biho Takashi, 1890-1930,  titled “Bat Before the Moon.”  It is dated circa 1910 and is 23.5 x 24.3 cm (roughly 9 x 9.5 inches) in size.  As some have said, this pre-dates Batman but, more to the point here, is only thirteen years after the publication of DRACULA.

Which brings us to the month of November and, four days from now, November 8th, the 165th birthday anniversary of Bram Stoker, born in Clontarf, a coastal suburb on the northside of Dublin, Ireland on November 8 1847.  Fifty years later, in 1897, his most famous novel was published and, in the years that have followed, DRACULA has grown to be one of the major icons of horror in the Western and probably the entire world.  So a tip of the hat to Abraham Stoker, who died at the age of 64 in 1912 (cf. April 2, January 20, et al., for the Horror Writers Association’s commemorative selection of the best vampire novel of the first 100 years following Stoker’s death) but has left a legacy which may endure for many centuries after.

So what have I been doing other than partying over the holidays?  In that today marks the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, let it be revealed that in honor of a different writer but one who might be as revered in his way, Bram Stoker, I’ve been reading lots of vampire novels.  Lots and lots of vampire novels.  At the behest of the Horror Writers Association, I and four others, chairman and internationally-respected authority on both Dracula and Sherlock Holmes Leslie S. Klinger (editor THE NEW ANOTATED DRACULA, W. W. Norton, 2008, et al.), Stoker winner and HWA Trustee short story writer and poet Linda Addison, HWA Trustee and writer/researcher Ron Breznay, and British publisher/writer/poet Jo Fletcher (winner of both the World Fantasy Award and the British Fantasy Society’s Karl Edgar Wagner Award), have been compiling a list of six nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award, and choosing from it the most influential vampire novel since Stoker’s death in 1912.  In the words of HWA President Rocky Wood:  “HWA is proud to present our iconic award on the centenary of Bram Stoker’s passing and pleased to be doing so in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate.  While Stoker’s novel is undoubtedly the most influential of all vampire fiction, we look forward to recognizing the vampire novel that has had the greatest impact since the publishing of DRACULA.”

So which will it be?  Well, you’ll just have to wait until March 31 when it will be announced at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet to be held at World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, March 29-April 1 2012.  But the finalists have been announced this month, so to whet readers’ appetites (as well as to give an opportunity for catching up on reading, then seeing if you can outguess the panel), herewith the nominees:

PRESS RELEASE (to be issued January 2012)

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the international association of writers, publishing professionals, and supporters of horror literature, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, proudly announce the nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award™, to be presented at the Bram Stoker Awards Banquet at World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 31, 2012. The Award will mark the centenary of the death in 1912 of Abraham (Bram) Stoker, the author of Dracula.

A jury composed of writers and scholars selected, from a field of more than 35 preliminary nominees, the six vampire novels that they believe have had the greatest impact on the horror genre since publication of Dracula in 1897. Eligible works must have been first published between 1912 and 2011 and published in or translated into English.

The nominees are:

The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983). Grant (1946-2006) was a prolific American writer of what he called “dark fantasy” and “quiet horror,” writing under six pseudonyms as well as his own name. Grant also edited numerous horror and fantasy anthologies. The novel is part of Grant’s series of 12 books set in his fictional small town Oxrun Station, Connecticut. Grant was a former president of Horror Writers Association and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. First published in 1975, this was only the second work by the now-legendary American author of dozens of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror stories, comics, and novels. Set in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, it tells of a man’s return to his hometown, where he finds a plague of vampirism. The book has twice been made into television mini-series and has been recorded by the BBC. King’s work has won countless Bram Stoker Awards™ from HWA, and King (1947- ), a lifelong New England resident, was recognized with HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. First published in 1954, the novel is set in the mid-1970’s, when a plague has swept the world, bringing with it zombie-like creatures identified as vampires. Richard Neville, the book’s protagonist, may be the last living human. The work has been filmed three times under various titles, most recently in 2007, under its original title, starring Will Smith. Matheson (1926- ), an American, has written screenplays as well as short and long fiction, and many of his works have been filmed or made into teleplays. He wrote frequently for The Twilight Zone in its heyday. Matheson received HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman first appeared in 1992. The novel imagines an alternate history in which Van Helsing and his cohorts failed in their attempt to rid England of Dracula. In this timeline, Dracula went on to marry Queen Victoria, ushering in an era of vampire aristocracy in England and elsewhere. The book is followed by two other novels and a number of  shorter works set in the Anno Dracula universe, all meticulously researched to include numerous historical details and many characters of Victorian and more recent popular literature. Newman (1959- ) is an English writer of fantasy and horror, as well as reference books in the field, and frequently appears as a host and critic for the BBC and other media.

Interview with the Vampire by Southern American author Anne Rice first appeared in 1976 and achieved enormous popularity, selling more than 8 million copies. The book introduces the vampires Louis and Lestat, who, along with a dozen other unique individual vampires, appear in a long series by Rice known as the Vampire Chronicles. The novel was filmed in 1994 starring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis; another work in the series, Queen of the Damned, was filmed in 2002; the novel was also produced as a Broadway musical in 2006. Rice (1941- ) has written numerous other gothic fantasy novels, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, and has won many awards, including HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, published in 1978, is the first of a 25-book (so far) series featuring le Comte de Saint Germain, a 2000+-year-old vampire, whose adventures in many historical periods are recounted. This novel overlaps in many details with the historical facts of le Comte de Saint-Germain, a mysterious figure . An American writer, Yarbro (1942- ) publishes three or four books a year, under various pseudonyms, in a variety of genres, including mysteries and romance tales. She was awarded HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

And the winner is. . . ?  Well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

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