Vampire literature

This part of the mediography lists novels and short stories in which vampire-like beings play a major role. The date of publication listed is usually the first publication in a novel format. For the short stories, I tried to list the first publication, stating the magazine or anthology that it was printed in. For many of the short stories, information about further publications in other magazines or anthologies can be found in the Locus Index to Science Fiction.

The books are sorted alphabetically by the (first) author's last name. Complete book series about vampire-like beings have a secondary entry, listing all books in the series with their bibliographical information. Further information about the content of a particular book in the series can be found under the primary entry of each book.


Benson, Edward Frederic:
And No Bird Sings / Edward Frederic Benson. - Short story, published in: Woman. - December 1926.
In this story, the protagonist visits his friend Hugh and his wife Daisy in their estate in Surrey. Since it is such nice spring weather, he decides to walk the last part of the way and sends the driver with his luggage ahead. On his path he has to traverse a little wood, which, despite the bright and sunny day, seems very dark and spooky, and neither does he see any animals nor does he hear any birds. Later, Hugh tells him that his dogs are afraid to enter the wood, and that on several occasions he has found the bloodless carcass of an animal in its surrounding. Hugh is convinced that a bloodsucking evil spirit lurks in the wood...

Bloch, Robert Albert:
[The] Living Dead / Robert Albert Bloch. - Short story, published in: Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. - April 1967.
This is a wonderful and innovative vampire short story. During World War 2, the French actor Eric Karon works as a spy for the Nazis. It is his idea to install a secret radio station in the tomb of the abandoned Château Barsac. The peasants of the nearby village are afraid to come close to the castle, since they believe that the late count Barsac was a vampire. Just to make sure that the villagers stay afraid, Karon adopts the role of the count Barsac, and starts roaming around in a vampire costume during the night...

Blood Series:
1. Blood Price / Tanya Huff. - New York : DAW Books, 1991.

Bradbury, Ray [Raymond Douglas]:
Pillar of Fire / Ray Bradbury. - Short story, published in: Planet Stories. - Summer 1948.
This is an excellent scifi/horror story. William Lantry digs himself out of his grave. Looking at his own tombstone he sees that he lived from 1898 to 1933, and using the stars above him he calculates that it should now be the year 2349. It is an age of science and peace that has decided to ignore death by burning corpses and all books that present morbid ideas. Realizing that he is the last corpse left on earth, and driven by an overwhelming rage, Lantry decides to take revenge on this world by destroying the hated incineration plants.

Calder, Richard:
Dead Boys / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1994.
The second book of the Dead Trilogy. It is a pity, put the writing of this book is actually even worse than in the case of its predecessor. In an incredibly boring manner one sickening scene after the other is explicitly described (usually sexual violence against women) making it more than difficult for the reader to find anything resembling a story-line. It turns out that, in addition to the dolls, some male embryos are also affected by the nanomachine germs, only that their transformation into indestructible robots, called dead boys or Elohim, takes longer, being complete only in their early twenties. The primal urge of an Elohim is to torture the vampire-like dolls to death.

Calder, Richard:
Dead Girls / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1992.
The first book of the Dead Trilogy. Regrettably, this scifi book is very poorly written, having the problem of many cyberpunk novels, in that it desperately tries to present a "cool" language. The author uses so many french words and technical as well as science terms (of whose actual meaning he seemingly only has a very vague idea) that in many sentences he successfully hides the point he's trying to make. Also, the rather explicit s/m-sexscenes are not for everybody's taste (not for mine, anyway...). But if you hang in there and labor your way through the book, you find that the story (that actually is somewhere in there) is pretty neat. A high-tech disease that is transmitted by nanomachines turns infected girls in their puberty into blood-thirsty, vampire-like robots, called dead girls or dolls. When a doll bites someone, she infects the victim with the nanomachine germs, thus spreading the disease. The story has very interesting allusions to the Jewish myth of Lilith, supposedly the first wife of Adam, before Eve. The dolls are compared to the mythological offspring of Lilith, vampire-like demons called Lilim.

Calder, Richard:
Dead Things / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1996.
The third book of the Dead Trilogy.

Chronicle of Vampires:
1. Interview with the Vampire / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1976.
2. [The] Vampire Lestat / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1985.
3. [The] Queen of the Damned / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1988.
4. [The] Tale of the Body Thief / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1992.

Copper, Basil:
Dr. Porthos / Basil Copper. - Short story, published in: The Midnight People / Peter Haining [Editor]. - New York : Popular Library, 1968.
This is a rather traditional, but definitely entertaining, horror short story. After the death of his uncle, the protagonist of the story is confronted with a rather unorthodox testament: he and his wife Angelina will inherit a rather considerable amount of money, under the condition that they will live for at least five years in the late uncle's house, which is located somewhere in the English countryside. Just after a week of living in the house, Angelina is bitten by something during the night and becomes ill. They consult Dr. Porthos, the former family doctor of the uncle, a mysterious and unfathomable man. In spite of his treatment, Angelina's condition does not get better, or is it rather because of the treatment that she is withering away?

Dead Trilogy:
1. Dead Girls / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1992.
2. Dead Boys / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1994.
3. Dead Things / Richard Calder. - London : HarperCollins, 1996.

Derleth, August William:
Bat's Belfry / August William Derleth. - Short story, published in: Weird Tales. - May 1926.
A very traditional vampire story, written as a collection of letters and diary entries of Sir Harry Everett Barclay from London, who buys an old house located in a swamp on the English country-side. After discovering several books on black magic in the loft, Barclay finds out that the former owner of the house, the late baronet Lohrville, was feared by the inhabitants of a nearby village, who blame him for the mysterious disappearance of several girls. While staying in the house, Barclay and his butlers start having nightmares, in which they are haunted by strange, beautiful girls and a distinguished old gentleman.

Derleth, August William:
[The] Drifting Snow / August William Derleth [under the pseudonym of Stephen Grendon]. - Short story, published in: Weird Tales. - February 1939.
This short story presents an interesting variation of the vampire theme: snow vampires. In her remote house in the woods of Wisconsin, Mary is visited by her nephews Henry and Ernest, who comes together with his wife Clodetta. Many years ago, Mary's father died on a hill west of the house during a snowstorm, and since then she put up the adamant rule that after sundown the western windows have to be covered. That night, while a snow storm comes up, Clodetta as well as Henry break the rule and look through the western windows. Both believe that they saw someone in the snow, and Henry decides to go outside and investigate...

Gordon, Robert Kay:
Beowulf / Robert Kay Gordon [Translator]. - Translation of poetry, published in: Anglo-Saxon Poetry. - London : J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1926.
This is a translation into (more or less) contemporary English prose of the Anglo-Saxon heroic epic "Beowulf". The epic itself was composed in Old English alliterative verse by an unknown, possibly Northumbrian, poet during the 8th century a.d. and the oldest preserved manuscript dates back to about 1000 a.d. The tale is set in the 6th century a.d. and tells the story of the Swedish hero Beowulf. One of the main events is the fight of Beowulf with the demon Grendel at the court of the Danish king Hrothgar. The description of Grendel is in several ways reminiscent of a vampire: he has a basically humanoid shape (although he is larger than a normal human) with gleaming, fiery eyes, and is invulnerable to human weapons. He only comes at night, when he hunts for human prey at the Danish court. Once he has a victim, he tears it open and drinks the blood from his veins (before devouring the rest of the body). It is interesting to note that the origin of Grendel that is presented in the story is already rooted in the Christian tradition: Grendel is a descendant of Cain, who was driven away from mankind by God for slaying Abel. Thus, he became the source of all evil monsters on earth, including Grendel.

Holland, Tom:
[The] Vampyre : the Secret History of Lord Byron / Tom Holland. - ? : ?, 1995.

Horler, Sydney:
[The] Believer : Ten Minutes of Horror. / Sydney Horler. - Short story, published in: The Vampire. - London : Hutchinson, 1935.
This story describes a vampire to be a human possessed by a bloodthirsty demon, who grants his host supernatural powers but forces him to kill other humans for their blood. The tale is told by a priest, who, while he was still young and working in a city in the West of England, got to know a stranger called Joseph Farington. Everybody meeting Farington, who had recently come to town and bought a house, felt uncomfortable in his presence and thought him to be somewhat strange. When a young woman was found dead, with bite marks in her throat, the people were quick to suspect Farington of being the murderer. He turned to the priest and actually confessed to have killed the girl, but he swore that it was not his fault, but that he was rather possessed by an evil spirit that made him do it...

Huff, Tanya:
Blood Price / Tanya Huff. - New York : DAW Books, 1991.
This book, the first in the Blood Series, is a standard horror novel, written in a fairly nice style, but offering nothing that is particularly new or noteworthy. The private investigator Vicki Nelson, formerly a police officer of Toronto's homicide department, witnesses a vicious murder in a subway station. Other murders of a similar pattern follow, usually leaving behind corpses drained of blood. Nelson is hired by the first victim's girl-friend, who is convinced that the killer is a vampire. During her investigation, she meets the writer Henry Fitzroy, who turns out to be a vampire, born centuries ago as the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. Fitzroy, who has learned to survive without killing, is after the murderer for his own reasons, and he offers Nelson to team up for the hunt...

James, Montague Rhodes:
Count Magnus / Montague Rhodes James. - Short story, published in: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary / Edward Arnold [Editor]. - ? : ?, 1904.

James, Montague Rhodes:
[An] Episode of Cathedral History / Montague Rhodes James. - Short story, published in: The Cambridge Review. - June 10 1914.
In this interesting short story Mr. Worby, the sexton of the cathedral in Southminster, tells the tale of how a bloodsucking ghost terrorized his city. The problem began in a hot summer in 1840, when an anonymous tomb was uncovered during construction work in the cathedral. The tomb had a crack in its side, which mysteriously resisted every attempt of a mason to mend it. At the same time, many people in Southminster started getting ill, and an old widow told about her dreams of a dark creature with red eyes stalking from the cathedral into the houses of the city during the night.

King, Stephen:
Salem's Lot / Stephen King. - ? : ?, 1975.

Kleiner Vampir Series:
1. [Der] kleine Vampir / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1979.
2. [Der] kleine Vampir zieht um / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1980.
3. [Der] kleine Vampir verreist / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1982.
4. [Der] kleine Vampir auf dem Bauernhof / ; Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1983.
5. [Der] kleine Vampir und die große Liebe / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1985.
6. [Der] kleine Vampir in Gefahr / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1985.
7. [Der] kleine Vampir im Jammertal / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1986.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan:
Carmilla / Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. - Novellette, originally published as a short story in: In a Glass Darkly. - ? : ?, 1872.
This alltime classic of horror literature was the first story to feature a female vampire, and it defined several typical characteristics of vampires that were later adopted by other authors. The story is set in 19th century rural Styria, where the young aristocrat Laura lives in her father's castle. One day, they witness a traveling carriage having a wreck, and they agree to take one of the passengers, the young lady Carmilla, as a guest in their castle, so that she may recover from the accident. Laura, who is increasingly infatuated with their guest, notices an uncanny resemblence between Carmilla and an old portrait of the countess Mircalla Karnstein, who used to live in the neighborhood. While Laura's health mysteriously declines, a friend of the family arrives, the grief-stricken General Spielsdorf, who has recently lost his daughter due to a sinister woman who called herself Marcilla...

Leiber, Fritz:
[The] Girl With the Hungry Eyes / Fritz Leiber. - Short story, published in: The Girl with the Hungry Eyes and Other Stories / Donald A. Wollheim [Editor]. - ? : ?, 1949.
This very interesting short story does not feature a traditional blood-sucker, but rather a being that absorbs the life-energy of other people. One day, the protagonist of the story, an unsuccessful fashion photographer, meets a mysterious skinny girl with remarkable, hungry eyes. She offers to model for him, but only if he meets several strange conditions that will grant her complete secrecy. Reluctantly, in default of a fitting model for his next job, he decides to give her a chance. Overnight, the girl becomes a shooting star, but weird things start happening...

Lumley, Brian ():
Necroscope / Brian Lumley. - ? : ?, 1986.

Matheson, Richard:
Drink My Red Blood / Richard Matheson. - Short story, published in: Imagination. - April 1951.
This wonderful short story is the first one that I know of to describe a teenager who shows the "I-wanna-be-a-vampire" syndrome. The boy Jules is different than other kids, he looks pale and fragile, and has very strange interests. At the age of twelve, he sees "Dracula" in a movie theatre, and from that day on he is mesmerized. He buys the novel and reads it over and over again. When at school they have to write an essay on what they want to be when they are grown up, he is eager to read what he has written to the class...

Matheson, Richard:
I Am Legend / Richard Matheson. - New York : Fawcett, 1954.
This excellent horror/scifi novel was the first to explain vampirism as a disease produced by bacteria. It is probably the most influential vampire story since Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (1897) and has inspired several movie adaptations. The story is set in 1976 (22 years in the future at the time it was written), in a post-world-war-III USA. The protagonist, Robert Neville, seems to be the last living human being, while the rest of humanity was killed by a mysterious plague and transformed into brainless, zombie-like vampires. By night, he barricades himself in his home, but during the day, he stalks the sleeping undead and tries to exterminate as many of his enemies as possible. At the same time, he investigates his adversaries and finds scientific explanations for several of the traditional vampire myths. Then, one day, he meets another survivor, a woman who calls herself Ruth...

Maupassant, Guy de [Henri René Albert]:
[Le] Horla / Guy de Maupassant. Short story, published in: Gil Blas. - October 26 1886.
[Original version is in French language. Published in English as "The Horla" in: Weird Tales. - August 1926.]

Miller, Peter Schuyler:
Over the River / Peter Schuyler Miller. - Short story, published in: Unknown. - April 1941.
This excellent short story is the first one that I know of that is written entirely from the point of view of a vampire. It is a spring night, and a man walks through the woods. He can't remember how he got there, but he observes that moonlight is good for him. He sees the lifeforce in everything around him, the trees and other plants, but especially the animals. A burning thirst drives him to kill an owl and a rabbit, and he notices that drinking their blood expels the aching cold that he feels in his body. He stumbles on through the woods and finally reaches a house, as a woman steps out of the door. Realizing that he knows her, he is irresistably drawn to her...

Muth, John J.:
Dracula : a Symphony in Moonlight and Nightmares / John J. Muth. - ? : ?, 1992.
Picture book.

Pike, Christopher:
[The] Season of Passage / Christopher Pike. - New York : Tor Books, 1992.
This book is a very interesting mix of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. For a scifi story, the "science" part is admittedly a bit thin, but since the "fiction" part has a lot of suspense it works nicely as a horror story. The storyline centers around Dr. Lauren Wagner, MD, who is part of the first American manned mission to Mars. Their main goal is to investigate what happened to the first Russian manned mission, which landed two years earlier and disappeared. At the beginning, the book is a real pageturner, but towards the end it loses a lot of its speed, a problem that many modern horror novels seem to have. Anyway, the book presents an interesting and rather unusual explanation for the origin of the vampire myth in general, and for several attributes that are often associated with vampires in particular.

Poe, Edgar Allan:
Berenice / Edgar Allan Poe. - Short story, published in: Southern Literary Messenger. - March 1835.
This is not a real vampire story, actually Poe never wrote one. Nevertheless, it does use some of the pictures and allusions that are typical of vampire stories. Berenice is a young, beautiful, and healthy woman. Yet, one day she becomes ill and develops features that are often associated with vampires: paleness, lifeless eyes, and prominent teeth. Her cousin Egaeus, the narrator of the story, becomes so infatuated with her teeth that it drives him into madness.

Poe, Edgar Allan:
[The] Fall of the House of Usher / Edgar Allan Poe. - Short story, published in: Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine. - September 1839.

Poe, Edgar Allan:
Ligeia / Edgar Allan Poe. - Short story, published in: American Museum. - September 1838.
Like "Berenice (1835)", this short story also features a woman with an appearance that is reminiscent of a vampire: tall, slender, pale, with raven-black hair and large, hypnotic eyes. She is the victim of a strange disease and withers away until she dies. Nevertheless, from beyond the grave she returns to her heart-broken husband.

Polidori, John William:
[The] Vampyre / John William Polidori. - Short story, published in: The New Monthly Magazine. - April 1819.
This short story, which has erroneously been attributed to Lord Byron, was the first work of prose to be published about vampires, and it introduced the literary archetype of the sophisticated and seductive male vampire. The story is about the young Aubrey, who meets Lord Ruthven in London and is immediately captivated by the fascinating appearance of this mysterious man. He decides to accompany Lord Ruthven on a journey through Europe, but during this trip Aubrey observes strange and malicious traits in the character of his companion, so that he decides to leave Lord Ruthven and continue on his journey through Europe alone. In Greece, Aubrey falls in love with the peasant girl Ianthe, who introduces him to the concept of the vampyre. He meets Lord Ruthven again, and under tragic circumstances the supernatural and sinister nature of his former companion become clear...

Rice, Anne:
Interview with the Vampire / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1976.
The first book of the Chronicle of Vampires.

Rice, Anne:
[The] Queen of the Damned / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1988.
The third book of the Chronicle of Vampires.

Rice, Anne:
[The] Tale of the Body Thief / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1992.
The fourth book of the Chronicle of Vampires.

Rice, Anne:
[The] Vampire Lestat / Anne Rice. - ? : ?, 1985.
The second book of the Chronicle of Vampires.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 1979.
[Original version is in German language. Published in English as "My Friend the Vampire".]
This is the first of the wonderful childrens' books of the Kleiner Vampir Series. Anton Bohnsack is a small boy living in a German town, and his favorite hobby is reading scary stories. He is horror-stricken as one night a real vampire sits on his window-sill! Nevertheless the vampire, Rüdiger von Schlotterstein, who is himself still a little boy, turns out to be quite harmless and the two become friends. Rüdiger borrows Anton a vampire cloak, which enables him to fly. Together, they visit the tomb of Rüdiger's family, where Anton also makes friends with Rüdiger's younger sister Anna, who is still so small that she has no vampire teeth and has to live of milk instead of blood, and his older brother Lumpi. Nevertheless, Anton has to beware of the rest of the family, which tends to be rather thirsty... There is a subtle magic to the story, which is funny and suspenseful at the same time. Highly entertaining reading for children and grown-ups alike.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir auf dem Bauernhof / ; Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1983.
[Original version is in German language. Published in English as "The Vampire on the Farm".]
Fourth book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir im Jammertal / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1986.
Seventh book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir in Gefahr / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1985.
Sixth book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir und die große Liebe / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1985.
[Original version is in German language. Published in English as "The Vampire in Love".]
Fifth book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir verreist / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1982.
[Original version is in German language. Published in English as "The Little Vampire Takes a Trip".]
Third book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Sommer-Bodenburg, Angela:
[Der] kleine Vampir zieht um / Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. - ? : ?, 1980.
[Original version is in German language. Published in English as "The Vampire Moves In".]
Second book of the Kleiner Vampir Series.

Stoker, Bram [Abraham]:
Dracula / Bram Stoker. - ? : ?, 1897.

Stoker, Bram [Abraham]:
Dracula's Guest / Bram Stoker. - Short story, published in: Dracula's Guest. - London : Routledge, 1914.

Thomas, Roger M.:
[The] Bradley Vampire / Roger M. Thomas. - Short story, published in: Weird Tales. - May 1951.
Rather traditional, but nicely written vampire story, set in 1872 on the English country-side. While his wife has left to visit her sister for a few days, James Bradley is haunted by a strange, beautiful lady. His neighbor, Charlie Redik, who's originally from Hungary, knows all about vampires and realizes the danger of the situation. However straight-forward the story is, the solution of Redik for Bradley's problem is rather unorthodox...

Wellman, Manly Wade:
When It Was Moonlight / Manly Wade Wellman. - Short story, published in: Unknown. - February 1940.
This interesting short story features the famous writer Edgar Allan Poe as a protagonist and pits him against a vampire. In 1842, Poe works on an article for the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper about people being buried alive. He hears a rumor that a month ago the widower John Gauber, while visiting the grave of his recently deceased wife, heard a noise from underneath. It was said that Gauber had the grave opened and found his wife alive. Deeming this an interesting fact for his article, Poe decides to investigate the case and visit the couple. Coming to the address he finds a dilapidated house and knocks at the door. A woman with vigilant, glowing eyes opens the door and, after he has stated the purpose of his visit, she bids him to come inside...

Wells, Herbert George:
[The] Flowering of the Strange Orchid / Herbert George Wells. - Short story, published in: Pall Mall Budget. - August 2 1894.
The first story that I know of to feature a vampiric plant. The British orchid grower Winter-Wedderburn buys a strange, unidentified orchid at an auction and hopes that it might prove to be a new species or even a new genus that could make him famous. The plant does turn out to be rather unusual, particularly since it has a special taste for human blood...

Wells, Herbert George:
[The] War of the Worlds / Herbert George Wells. - London : William Heinemann, 1898.

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