ghosts by gaslight
Rocky Wood wins a Stoker
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 An updated version of Rocky’s Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished was recently made available as a pre-order only as a fundraiser for the writer’s ALS fund, to help him cope with the effects of motor neurone disease.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 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.