First there was high fantasy… elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, and the race of man… people saw it and were pleased. (1970s)
Then came the aliens craze, starting with horror, and moving into action and urban fantasy. People saw it and were pleased… (Late 70s-1980s)
Then came angels. They were sensitive, romantic, and powerful. Drama lovers saw it and were pleased. (1990s)
So as many of my followers know, I’ve been trying to find a new fantasy to read. My writing has regrettably dried up a little recently, so I’ve tried to turn my attention back to reading and hopefully give the creativity engine a little time to refuel. So I decided to trek out to Barnes and Noble with a gift card that I’d received for Christmas. I spent quite a while trying to figure out what to do with it as I don’t do much reading (admittedly), but I was determined to find something.
Well I failed…
Let me preface the next part by saying that I can’t STAND the vampire craze. I don’t even really consider it a vampire craze per se, especially given some of the more recent… euphemistically phrased ‘interpretations’ of that fantasy species.
In the beginning, I thought that the entry into dark fantasy would be a good thing. The angel craze of the 90s was all but dead, the marvel explosion was in its infancy, and everyone was looking for a new focus. Vampires were cool, and at first, the Vampire craze lived up to that. The Underworld series was enduring, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was awesome (until the last few seasons), and Blade is to date one of the best action movies I’ve ever seen… but then sh^t got weird.
With the complete bombing of movies like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Van Helsing, it looked like the Vampire craze was to be short-lived… then Twilight came out… I saw the movie in theaters (and I still miss the $9 I spent), and I hated it, but I thought… ‘Okay, maybe this is just a one-time thing but it’ll give new life to the craze…
Well… it did, but not in the way anyone who had previously liked vampires wanted it to. Soon, new interpretations of Vampires came about. Suddenly vampires were no longer the unholy horrors most of us fantasy gurus grew up with. They were sensitive, sparkly, pale creatures hiding in plain sight. They had become sex symbols (True Blood), leaving the rest of us going… WHAT THE F***!?
But I digress…
I went to the book store to pick something up, being the old school, hard-copy, guy I am. I immediately hit the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section and… ugh… There was one huge section of Game of Thrones, one huge section of all things Tolkien, and then shelf after shelf of Vampire books! Yes, there was the occasional dragon vs. knight, pirate, viking, or other misc fantasy in the mix, but for the most part, it was all vampires! Every book had the cover of either a sexualized women licking her lips with blood flowing, or a metro-sexual male with his fangs hanging out in a tux with either a gun or a sword.
It doesn’t end there either… vampires have invaded comic books, including series that have NOTHING to do with that sort of fantasy, video games have upped the anti on this. Heck, even high fantasy seems to have accepted both the werewolf and vampire species into their mix of human/elf/dwarf casts.
Speculation was that, with the release of series like the Hunger Games, that the Vampire Craze was going to give way to the strong female lead in a Post-Apocalyptic World Craze, and while that style of fantasy still seems to have a pretty strong following, it now seems to be in open competition with the Vampire Craze… and given the mixed reviews of the latest set of movies… it appears that the trend which the Hunger Games started… is losing that fight.
The Vampire Craze has outlasted every other craze thus far and, despite the fact that no major motion pictures appear to be slated for release, it has found a way to sink its claws into every other medium it can.
This isn’t going away people… not any time soon at this rate…
I feel your pain.
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I’m not sure if this book with quench your thirst (sorry not sorry for the bad pun), but maybe try reading Fiend by Peter Stenson. Sort of an apocalypse novel, but written in a truly fresh and unique point of view. I won’t write more, for the purpose of respecting spoiler boundaries, but, I enjoyed it, for whatever that’s worth. Also, people I know have started up a comic by the name of Epochs. I don’t read graphic novels, but it’s getting awesome reviews, and I am almost positive they would send you one. https://www.facebook.com/epochscomicscanada This isn’t me trying to sell them, either. I’m not particularly close with the writers of it. Just trying to lend a hand to your reading conundrum.Take it…or leave it. P.S. Thanks for the like on my newest post. I look forward to reading more of yours! Take Care. 🙂
Thank you! I’ll look into it!
I agree. Vampires are extremely boring at this point!
I feel your pain as well. Not a “sucker” for vampire tales. However there is a great series called The Book of Life trilogy starting with A Discovery of Witches. I loved it so much I read the first book twice. Check it out if you’re interested ☺
Another respectable representation of vampires comes in Bone Palace, the second book in Amanda Downum’s excellent Necromancer trilogy – it’s mostly political backstabbery with crime thrown in, and magic and necromancy, but there is a society of vampires that aren’t sparkly, and aren’t relentless and aggressive like the original Dracula. They’re more conservative, and are trying to maintain their culture, not destroy others – they’re really quite cool. Admittedly they’re a bit of a subplot that the book doesn’t really need, but it’s better than Twilight!
I’ve heard of it. Yeah I definitely have seen some decent vampire stories out there. There have to be some, given the vast quantities, my issue is with the sheer amount… and how many are pretty much twilight clones.
What with 50 Shades being made into a movie, even the Twilight fan-fiction is getting mainstream coverage.
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Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. Though now that I have read this post, you have me worried. hah! I hope you at least enjoyed what you read. I do have to assure you that the visions in my head long preceeded the horror of Twilight. Blade…very nice. Let the right one in — original…also very nice.
I hope you come back to visit 🙂
Don’t worry, your take on things did intrigue me!
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