Nominees Announced for Vampire Novel of the Century Award

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the international association of writers, publishing professionals, and supporters of horror literature, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, proudly announces the nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award. The award will be presented at the Bram Stoker Awards™ Banquet at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 31, 2012, upon the centenary of the death of Abraham (Bram) Stoker, the author of Dracula.

From a field of more than 35 preliminary nominees, a jury of writers and scholars selected the six vampire novels that they believe have had the greatest impact on the horror genre since publication of Dracula in 1897. Eligible works must have been first published between 1912 and 2011 and published in or translated into English.

The nominees are:

The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983). Grant (1946-2006)was a prolific American writer of what he called “dark fantasy” and “quiet horror,” writing under six pseudonyms as well as his own name. Grant also edited numerous horror and fantasy anthologies. The novel is part of Grant’s 12-part series, set in the fictional small town Oxrun Station, Connecticut. Grant was a former president of HWA and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. First published in 1975, this was only the second work by the now-legendary American author of dozens of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror stories, comics, and novels. Set in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine, it tells of a man’s return to his hometown, where he finds a plague of vampirism. The book has  twice been made into television mini-series and has been recorded by the BBC. King’s work has won countless Bram  Stoker Awards™ from HWA, and King (1947-), a lifelong New England resident, was recognized with HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. First published in 1954, the novel is set in the mid-1970’s, when a plague has swept the world, bringing with it flesh-eating creatures identified as vampires. Richard Neville, the book’s protagonist, may be the last living human. The work has been filmed three times under various titles; its most recent adaptation (2007) starred Will Smith. Matheson (1926-), an American, has written screenplays as well as short and long fiction, and many of his works have been filmed or made into tele-plays. He wrote frequently for The Twilight Zone in its heyday.  Matheson received HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman first appeared in 1992. The novel imagines an alternate history in which Van Helsing and his cohorts failed in their attempt to rid England of Dracula. In this timeline, Dracula went on to marry Queen Victoria, ushering in an era of vampire aristocracy in England and elsewhere. The book is followed by two other novels and a number of shorter works set in the Anno Dracula universe, all meticulously researched to include numerous historical details and many characters of Victorian and more recent popular literature. Newman (1959-) is an English writer of fantasy and horror, as well as reference books in the field, and frequently appears as a host and critic for the BBC and other media.

Interview with the Vampire by American author Anne Rice first appeared in 1976 and achieved enormous popularity, selling more than 8 million copies. The book introduces the vampires Louis and Lestat, who, along with a dozen other unique individual vampires, appear in a long series by Rice known as The Vampire Chronicles. The novel was filmed in 1994 starring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis, and was produced as a Broadway musical in 2006. Another work in the series, Queen of the Damned, was filmed in 2002. Rice (1941-) has written numerous other gothic fantasy novels, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, and has won many awards, including HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, published in 1978, is the first of a 25-book (so far) series featuring le Comte de Saint Germain, a 2000+-year-old vampire. This novel overlaps in many details with the historical facts of le Comte de Saint-Germain, a mysterious figure. An American writer, Yarbro (1942-) publishes three or four books a year, under various pseudonyms, in a variety of genres, including mysteries and romance tales. She was awarded HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

The winning book will be announced on March 31, 2012. HWA will also celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary on that date.

For more information, please contact Leslie S. Klinger, chair of the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century jury, at mail@lesliesklinger.com, 310-475-1444.

2 Responses to “Nominees Announced for Vampire Novel of the Century Award”

  1. David Greybeard says:

    Not one title from the first 50 years of the century? That’s very decade biased. Surely there’s a great vampire novel from 1900 – 1953!

    “I Am Legend” stands above all the other books here. There’s really no competition. It’s the clear winner.

  2. Michael Myett says:

    Really? Not a mention of any of the Brian Lumley Necroscope series or F. Paul Wilsons’ “Midnight Mass”, better than many of the books on this list. Thankfully the two best made the finals, “Salem’s Lot” and “I am Legend”. Either one is an acceptable winner.