East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


I never wrote a vampire story

It’s something I realized a few nights back, while watching the new BBC adaptation of Dracula.
It was the classic realization thing in three movements, like a symphony, that’s often mentioned in writing handbooks:
first movement – damn, I can write better stories that this!
second movement – hey, I actually never wrote a vampire story! Never, in all these years…
third movement – opens a new folder and a new file in Scrivener.

Which of course leads to the question… why not?

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Kim Newman on Drachenfels

Curiously enough in the last two nights I suffered from a ferocious attack of insomnia, and so I grabbed the first book on my bedside table and started reading. The book is The Vampire Genevieve omnibus, by Kim Newman writing as Jack Yeovil, to me still the best RPG tie-in book aver, and a great example of horror/sword & sorcery crossover.
The first novel in the omnibus is, of course, Drachenfels.

And here is a lengthy interview with Kim Newman about the novel, and what he was intending to do when he wrote it – the influences, the twists and everything else.
Quite interesting.

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In bed with the vampire Genevieve

Sort of a follow-up to yesterday’s post, this one.
A few days back, on my Italian blog, I mentioned The Vampire Genevieve, a volume that collects Kim Newman’s contribution to the Warhammer Fantasy line of books.
Thebook, that’s been resting on my nightstand for ages, is worth a new read – because it’s true, I re-read, year-in, year-out, either Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun or Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, but there is sitill room enough for other big, massive books.
In particular, two books I return always happily are Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles and Kim Newman’s The Vampire Genevieve.


As Newman himself explains in the funny, insightful introduction to the volume, the Warhammer novels were mercenary work the young writer did to make ends meet, lured by a promise of unimagined riches and literary fame.

The end result is weird, in a very good way.
Let’s see a little bit of history. Continue reading