Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- Apex Publications Acquires Shock Totem Book Line
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 8
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 7
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 6
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 5
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 4
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 3
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 2
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 1
- Splatterpunk #7
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Every year at the World Horror Convention and many other horror and sci-fi/fantasy and comic conventions, there’s at least one if not more panels devoted to the topic of vampires in fiction—what’s happening to them, what fans have enjoyed as well as scorned in previous years, the history of vampires, why they’re still so popular, and usually, what the fate of vampires is; that is to say, what will become of vampires in the future?
A few years ago I had the chance to attend a library discussion on the subject that included authors Tanya Huff and Bram Stoker expert Elizabeth Miller. It proved to be a lively and engaging debate that ended with the assertion that someone somewhere would always find something new and exciting to do with vampires despite some of the more traditionally disliked works among purists and hardcore fans (*cough* Twilight *cough*). At the time of the discussion, the work that many pointed to on the panel as being the next great vampire book was Justin Cronin’s The Passage, which incidentally is great if you haven’t read it, despite the sheer volume of the work.
One of the works to stand out for me in the last few years is Enter, Night, by Canadian author Michael Rowe. The book takes place in small-town Ontario, which in some ways provides the best backdrop for the story because of the isolation mingled with the First Nations mythology incorporated into the plot.
Although the vampire panels at last year’s World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City were great, and it was a real treat to have a special presentation from Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew, Dacre Stoker, this year’s World Horror panel left a bit to be desired, at least for me. Moderator and vampire author Nancy Kilpatrick did ask wonderful questions, though, and each of the panelists brought something interesting to the table, particularly Les Klinger, who always makes good contributions as he’s something of a treasure trove of vampire lore; but perhaps because it was held in New Orleans, which has such a history with vampires (and not just with Anne Rice), I felt a tad let down.
There was some discussion at the end of the panel about what everyone thought was the future of vampires in horror fiction and what would be the next big thing. Right now, we’re in a post-Twilight cycle and despite the raging popularity of shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries (including its spin-off, The Originals), zombies are the big thing now, it seems, although they’re slowly starting to taper off in preparation for the next big trend.
One of the panelists mentioned we were going to see more science-related plots in vampire books, which brought to mind thoughts of the hugely successful series starting with The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, which has more of a scientific influence in the vampire aspects. It’s hard to predict what the next really big vampire novel will be.
Despite the continued success of our fanged friends in paranormal romance, more authors in the subgenre are moving away from vampires for their next series not only as a way to branch out and make sure they’re not typecast as being purely vampire fiction writers, but also because their vampy fare won’t sell well forever.
What do you think will be the next big trend in vampire fiction?
I’m just gonna come out and say it. When I first heard of the Bloop—which is a sound so bass-y and loud that some sciencey people claim it can only come from a creature many times larger than a blue whale—I instantly knew its source: my girlfriend.
You know you would!
Fooled you! I’ve never had one of those before. What, your sister? The one working at the movie theater? Pffft! Fooled you again! I was only using her for free movie tickets. BWA HA HA HA HA HA! But seriously, she handed those out like candy. How else could I have seen Agent Cody Banks 2 so many times? I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU, I’M NOT MADE OF MONEY!
Not like me.
More like me.
So the Bloop. It all began back in 1997 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (who I can only assume are the scientists that astronomers stuff into lockers at some zany Science High School) stuck some microphones into the Pacific Ocean. Why would they do this? Hoping to listen in on some sweet, sweet whale lovin’, you say? Probably! That was my first guess, too. Unfortunately for the oceanic peeping toms, they only managed to capture a powerful sound blasting from the depths. What made the sound so special was the fact it was picked up by two different microphones—3,000 miles apart.
Think about that for a second. A sound so loud it traveled 3,000 miles. That’s like having to wear earplugs in Los Angeles because those Coldplay assholes won’t turn down the volume at their concert in New York.
Some of the more boring, cynical scientists who’ve lost their sense of wonder say that it might have been ice cracking and falling into the sea, but since the Bloop sounds nothing like overzealous cries of “Icebergs: 1, Titanic: 0!” I don’t think that’s the case.
So what is it?
Apparently, it’s Cthulhu. IRL. I don’t know about you, but filling my hear-sound organs with the cries of an ancient alien/god from the blackest depths of the Pacific Ocean is not my idea of LOLZ. You go ahead and try. Tell me how it works out.