Vampire Novels You Should Be Reading Though Twilight‘s popularity has pushed vampires into the spotlight (or sunlight) once again, vampire tales have had a place on shelves for years. In 1819, John William Polidori wrote what some call the first vampire tale: “The Vampyre.” Since, vampires have captured readers and movie-goers’ attention in various genres and contextual settings. Here are some modern novels that should be read for their diverse content, genre and literary style. More work can be found at The Vampire Library.

Fledgling — Octavia Butler

(Seven Stories Press)

This novel reveals the story of a young African-American girl who isn’t who she appears to be. While she appears to be a prepubescent girl, she’s actually a 50-something woman from the “Ina” race. The Ina, it turns out, is a race that is based in vampirism (nocturnal behavior and blood drinking). The novel shows Shori, the protagonist, as she awakens without an understanding of her surroundings or what has happened to her. She’s been hurt, burned and and is in critical condition. She later meets a man who she feeds from, although — and this mutual relation is the key here — he allows her. He likes it. This isn’t to be confused with the sort of symbiotic relationship we see in True Blood (fangbangers, for example). The Ina aren’t evil, and they don’t use humans in an unkind way the way many vampires do in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. This is a novel for readers seeking not only excellent writing but multicultural commentary. This tale works well for young adult and adult readers.

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Rereading Christopher Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story The week of Valentine’s Day is an ideal time for a love story.  Christopher Moore’s third vampire novel, Bite Me: A Love Story, isn’t due out for another month, so this seemed an ideal time to reread Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, the first book in the series.

Twenty-six-year-old Jody Stroud has just gotten off work at her menial job in an insurance company in San Francisco.  She is dragged into an alley, bitten in the throat and forced to drink from her attacker’s arm, then drained of blood and left under a dumpster.

When Jody awakens the following night, she discovers she has the strength to toss the dumpster off her and that the hand that has been left in the sunlight is badly burned.  It doesn’t take too long for her to discover that she has joined the ranks of the undead.  She has a thirst for blood and she will remain exactly as she is for eternity.  She will never be able to lose that last five pounds she was intending to diet away.

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10 Steps To Making Science Fiction Romance A Contender the turbulent forces of publishing industry storms have been brewing, I’ve been wondering how science fiction romance readers, authors, and small press/digital publishers could take advantage of the changing times.

As I reflected on how to make science fiction romance a contender, ten points came to mind….

10) A new belief system is in order: The reader, not the bookseller, is the customer.

9) Customers are demanding affordable books, especially digital ones. (It bears repeating that paperbacks outsell hardcovers, and this article outlines “the shocking few [hardcovers] sold at that price [$20 plus dollars].” (Thanks to Jane from Dear Author for the link.)

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Read for pleasure, leisure, love and knowledge It’s true that new books arrive every week, but there is also the deep frustration of knowing I will read only a fraction of them.

My sense of hopeless-ness is compounded when I consider that the concept of “new” books is a relative one. As Samuel Butler observed: “The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”

But read I must, not only for pleasure, but also to increase my general book knowledge as a bookseller, and to find inspiration for writing this column. The only way to do this properly is to have a system so, at the beginning of the year, I decided that each month I need to ensure I read titles from each of the following lists: fiction, non-fiction, local, international, the classics, my own book-shelves, my book club, newly published titles, proof titles of books still to be published, and something that I stumble across and can’t resist (even if it’s schlock). I have also made a commitment to not finish books that are clearly not going to enrich, enchant, entertain or enlighten me.

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The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines “The Supergirls is a long overdue tribute to the fabulous fighting females whose beauty and bravery brighten the pages of your favorite comics.”—Stan Lee

A much-needed alternative history of American comic book superheroines—from Wonder Woman to Supergirl and beyond—where they fit in popular culture and why, and what these crime-fighting females say about the role of women in American society from their creation to now, and into the future. The Supergirls is an entertaining and informative look at these modern-day icons, exploring how superheroines fare in American comics, and what it means for the culture when they do everything the superhero does, but in thongs and high heels.

Has Wonder Woman hit the comic book glass ceiling? Is that the one opposition that even her Amazonian strength can’t defeat?

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Love is everywhere and we can find it in any book that we read. How many Vampire novels have you read lately? What do you think of Sci-fi Romance?

Have you read Christopher Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story? Join us in the forum for more discussions!