This is a blog for fans of vampire fiction who are interested in engaging in critical discussion.
I’ll be exploring contemporary vampire fiction – but also looking back at some of the influential books and films of the last two hundred years and attempting to uncover the roots of some of the current trends and popularity of all this vampire material.
So why discuss vampire fiction at the moment? Obviously it is popular, with vampires cropping up everywhere from teen romance novels like Twilight to house dramas like Being Human. I’ll be considering why that is the case and also examining the growing trend of placing young women in strong roles within vampire fiction. But how, why and when did it get all romantic and broody? And does this mean vampire fiction has lost its bite?
Vampires certainly stubbornly refuse to fit in with one genre. Do they populate horror or romance? Drama, action or comedy? Are they funny or serious? Progressive or conservative? Beautiful or nasty? It seems they can flip from romancing high school girls to slaughtering whole populations of towns. An example that springs to mind of contradictory expectations of vampires can be seen in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season two episode “Lie to me”. While a room full of naive vampire wannabees await the beings they consider to be beautiful friends, Buffy warns, “This is not the mother ship people, this is ugly death come to play.”
The conflicting ideas of what vampires can or should be means they are free to shift and be constantly reinvented. They can be evil creatures without conscience governed by hunger. They can be tortured by their nature but ambivalent towards humanity. Or they can befriend humans, even falling in love with them. They can even become the hero of the narrative and use their inhuman strengths to protect people or help save the world from evil.
Maybe this is why they or all the works about them — books, TV shows, films, etc is so fascinating: to me anyway, and I am guessing to a lot of other people out there.
Some of the recent shows, books and films I will engage with include Being Human, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), Angel, the Twilight series of books and films, Let The Right One In, Thirty Days of Night, The Vampire Diaries and the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
This blog could be fun or serious, I expect it will be a bit of both, just as vampires can be. I hope resulting discussions will be too. Please note the focus of this discussion is not to argue over which vampire narrative is “best” or “right”. Neither is this a place to discuss who is your favourite actor, and how hot is Rob Pattinson. Please, there is enough of that out there already.
The first series of articles posted will trace the developments that have shaped current trends in mainstream vampire fiction.
A note on spoilers:
As a viewer in the UK I know how frustrating it can be to be behind on many shows and fall victim to spoilers. Much of the material I will be discussing has been out there for a while, but I will attempt to appropriately label it. Please bear in mind when commenting that not everyone has seen everything. You may want to add a spoiler label if discussing detailed plot points. Thanks.
Text ©Angela S