Aussie writer Rocky Wood has won a Bram Stoker Award for best non-fiction book of 2011, a case of third time lucky. Rocky, flying the Aussie flag as the Horror Writers Association president, won for the most recent of his five titles about Stephen King’s works, Stephen King: A Literary Companion. An updated version of Rocky’s Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished was recently made available as a pre-order only as a fundraiser for the writer’s ALS fund, to help him cope with the effects of motor neurone disease.
King also featured on the winners’ list, for best short story, in the awards run by the US-based HWA. Other finalists from Australia were Kaaron Warren for short story and Jack Dann, who co-edited the Ghosts by Gaslight anthology.
The full list of Bram Stoker Award winners.
The HWA also announced Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend as the vampire novel of the century. (Note that the century was actually a hundred-year period, not an actual calendar century.) The scenario of a last man on earth surrounded by zombie-like vampire hordes is striking. It’s been filmed three times: once with pathos starring Vincent Price, once with a sense of impending doom starring Charlton Heston, and once with ridiculous special effects and titular corruption starring Will Smith. Wikipedia says there’s a fourth, straight-to-video version with even less relevance to the text.
For my money, it’d be hard to go past Interview with the Vampire for the most influential vampire novel of the 20th century. Stoker’s Dracula (1897) misses out by four years.
A quick pass of the Guardian UK reveals these juicy morsels:
SEEING THE LIGHT: Anne Rice on why she left the Church (again) and still thinks angels are cool
This is crazy. There is no basis in scripture for any anointed hierarchy, let alone a male hierarchy. It’s just not there. And how in the world did this man-god die, preaching against the temple, and then we wind up with St Peter’s in Rome? How did that happen? There were so many issues where I thought the church was flat-out immoral. I had to leave.
CRITICS TAKE FLIGHT: Pigeons, famous for crapping on the Kings of Leon and ending their concert, take aim at recent music in a laugh-out-loud funny review (okay, it’s from July and I’m still catching up, but how can you go past gems such as this?)
Now we’re usually drawn to cheesy music – reggae buskers, organ grinders, Kevin even exploded by flying too close to the speakers at a Ted Nugent gig once – but this is too much even for us. The jaunty upstrokes! The overpowering odour of 1996! The fact that this song insists you think of that droopy-faced streak of piss Neil Hannon having sex! Crap in its mouth! CRAP IN ITS MOUTH!
FIGHTING FOR RIGHT: And this rather timely piece about a bunch of Muslim-inspired superheroes forging an alliance with DC’s heroes. Here’s a taste of the border-breaking article, courtesy of The 99 creator Dr Naif al-Mutawa:
“In Kuwait, it’s so sad, it’s funny. When I was growing up, Animal Farm was banned. At least in the Soviet Union they understood the problem was that it’s about anti-totalitarianism, whereas in Kuwait it was banned because it had a pig on the cover.”