Novel approaches to vampires

October 30, 1994|By Nancy Pate

Although Anne Rice is the most famous of contemporary vampire novelists, she is by no means the only one.

Several hundred vampire novels have been published in the past 25 years, with writers such as Chelsea Yarbro, Fred Saberhagen, P. N. Elrod, Tanith Lee, Lori Herter and Elaine Bergstrom turning out multiple tales. Horrormeisters Stephen King, Peter Straub and Clive Barker have all tried their hand at fictional vampires.

Here's a look at some of the latest offerings in the genre:

* "The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula," by Roderick Anscombe (Hyperion, $22.95): In this first novel, Dracula is a mortal man -- an aristocrat and a doctor whose perverted desires and tortured blood lust lead him to murder young women.

* "Bloodletter," by Warren Newton Beath (TOR, $21.95): Stephen Albright is a successful vampire novelist who comes to believe his fictional vampire is real and out to destroy him.

* "Covenant With the Vampire: The Diaries of the Family Dracul," by Jeanne Kalogridis (Delacorte, $19.95): Beginning 50 years before the start of Bram Stoker's novel, this first novel introduces readers to Dracula's family, which is bound to serve and protect Dracula, even if it means providing him with new victims. The first installment in a projected trilogy.

* "Mina: The Dracula Story Continues," by Marie Kiraly (Berkley, $5.50): In this sequel to Stoker's famous novel, Marie Kiraly (a pseudonym for Elaine Bergstrom) tells the story of Jonathan Harker's beautiful wife who, even after a stake is driven through Dracula's heart, is haunted by sensual dreams of her demon lover.

* "Bloodwars," by Brian Lumley (TOR, $23.95): In the third volume in Mr. Lumley's Vampire World series, the saga of twin brothers -- one a shape-shifting vampire lord and one a powerful force for good -- comes to a finale.

* "Seance for a Vampire," by Fred Saberhagen (TOR, $21.95): Famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes teams with his cousin, Prince Dracula, to investigate a band of spiritualist swindlers.

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