Dracula, the book that …

dracula by bram stoker, 1916 coverThe lovely folks at The Writers Bloc — great name for a collective! — asked me to tell them about ‘the book that …’ and of course I had to wax lyrical about Dracula. You’re about 16, there’s a storm outside your bedroom window, and the vampire is creeping down the castle wall … You can read more here, and see what these creative folks are up to in furthering the writers’ cause.

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Nahrung on the rack at OFW

On Fiction Writing’s Michael Keyton donned his ninja garb and spirited me away to the Rack, where I spilled the beans on that horror thing, and found out that Sheri ties a good knot. You can read the interview here at the Rack.

A Salvage interview, reviews, and a copy up for grabs

Salvage by Jason NahrungSome Salvage washing up on the interwebs:

  • Sean the Bookonaut has reviewed Salvage, most kindly, and it’s so pleasing to see reviewers respond to the relationship drama of the story and treat the narrative with such sensitivity, for it is a slow-build, this one, and it is anchored in matters of the heart. And of course, it’s very pleasing indeed to see reviewers enjoying it!
  • The Galactic Suburbia podcast has also mentioned Salvage, again kindly, in the reading lists of both Tansy and Alex, and again focusing on the relationship of the heroine with her husband and the woman who gives her pause for thought. Favourite quote courtesy of Alex: ‘compassionate and cold-blooded’. You probably need to hear it in context, but it made my ears warm with satisfaction.
  • Rowena Cory Daniells has been running an informative series of blog interviews with women fantasy writers — Australia is privileged and perhaps, the suggestion is, unusually blessed, with a high ratio of talented ones. But now she’s branching out, kindly inviting me in with some thoughtful queries about writing and publishing. She’s also giving away a copy of Salvage, so let’s read who you’re favourite vampires are: my money’s on Bram Stoker’s version of Dracula, simply because he blew my 16-year-old mind. I’ve listed 15 of the best movie vampires here, in case you need some inspiration, and top 5 vampire and werewolf movies to chew over.
  • Which is as good a time as any to mention again the forthcoming launch in Brisbane, on August 10 at Avid Reader, and the Twelfth Planet Press Showcase at Melbourne Writers Festival on August 26, at the Yarra Building.
  • Dracula on the airwaves

    dracula by bram stoker, 1916 coverBrisbane community radio 4ZZZ’s Book Club show is celebrating Dracula tomorrow night (3 May) at 7 o’clock. As part of the program, host Amy and I had a wee chat about Stoker’s magnificent creation and the impact the novel has had since. Fangstastic fun! This cover illo from a 1916 edition of the book illustrates one of the scenes we talked about. *shiver* The show is available on the net, too.

    UPDATE: You can listen to the interview portion of the show here.

    The timing was cool, because I’d just finished listening, albeit in a distracted fashion, to the novel read by Christopher Lee. Overall, an entertaining and atmospheric reading, enhanced by background music, with Lee investing himself in the telling. All those first-person narratives certainly come to the fore, and his link to the cinematic Dracula just adds to the glee.

    Worldcon/Aussiecon appearances

    the darkness withinI’ve scoured the Aussiecon4 program online and come up with these appearances at the convention, at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, for those who might like to catch up (outside of the bar area):

    Saturday, Sept 4, 5pm

    If anyone has a dusty copy of The Darkness Within lying around they’d like signed (or maybe an anthology such as Dreaming Again), I’ll be in Room 201-02 with pen in hand. (I believe Guest of hHnour Kim Stanley Robinson, amongst others, is also signing at that time.)

    Sunday, Sept 5, noon

    A reading in Room 215

    Sunday, 1pm

    Presenting a chat (for teens only) about the evolution of the vampire from Dracula to now, in Room 218.

    Sunday, 2pm

    I’ll be joining some very cool people indeed to support the anthology Dreaming Again (probably my proudest publishing credit), in Room 211 (keep your eyes, or ears, peeled, as there *might* be an audio version of my story ‘Smoking, Waiting for the Dawn’, available during the con).

    Monday, Sept 6, 1pm

    Joining a discussion on the taboos in dark fantasy, again with some very cool people, in Room 211.

    I’m very happy indeed to be able to support the worldcon through this participation, so I hope some folks can come along to any and all of these: the more input the better 🙂

    More bloody vampires

    Marianne de Pierres is scoping for readers’ (and viewers’) favourite vampires at her blog, while Nicole Adams has assembled a dubious top 14 vampire stories at hers. Good to see Dracula and Nosferatu made the Phlebotomy cut, despite their lack of supplementary cross-media tie-ins that seem to inform the rest of the selection. Nothing like a list to get tongues wagging, eh?

    To whit, I’ve already listed my favourite vampire movies, so, riffing off MdP, here’s my pick of the screen vampires:

    Bela Lugosi’s Dracula

    Max Shreck’s Orlok

    Klaus Kinski’s Orlok

    Gary Oldman’s Dracula

    Christopher Lee’s Dracula

    Ingrid Pitt’s Carmilla

    Near Dark’s vampire gang

    Buffy’s Drusilla (and Spike, and Darla)

    Catherine Deneuve’s Miriam

    Willem Dafoe’s Shreck

    Tom Cruise’s Lestat

    Kirsten Dunst’s Claudia

    Udo Keir’s Dracula

    That’s 15 and quite a mouthful. I wonder if Kiefer Sutherland and David Boreanaz are unjustly omitted? And you know better than to mention Edward here, right?

    So what is it about these screen portrayals that makes them stand out for me? Let’s see. Udo’s a maniac, Cruise excelled where no one expected him to. Shreck is impossible to forget and both Kinski and Dafoe paid amazing homage (Kinski in Vampire in Venice was also divine). Lugosi and Lee are likewise iconic. Near Dark is gritty and nihilistic. Dunst, Oldman, Deneuve and Pitt all offer nuances of characterisation you just don’t often get in a screen vampire. Buffy’s bunch are simply damn good fun, each in their own way. If there’s a theme running through these portrayals, it might be one of dealing with immortality – there’s a loneliness to these vampires, an otherness, that strikes deeper than the usual predator of the night depiction. They might be sexy, zany, insane, downright nasty, but all seem to suffer from the common malaise of being more-or-less alone in their timelessness. Maybe that’s part of why their performance lingers long after the credits have ended.

  • I’ll be rabbitting on about the evolution of vampires in literature and screen at the Melbourne Science Fiction Club’s mini-con on May 22. More details when they’re available.