May is a major month for us, lots of new fiction to read, and I figure I'd give you a quick update to let you know what's happening
B L O O D L U S T - U K . c o m
V A M P N O I R S E R I E S
Issue: #47, May 2002
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IN THIS ISSUE:
+ NEW SUBSCRIBERS
+ VAMP NOIR FICTION SPECIAL
+ MORE NEW VAMPIRE FICTION
+ CAPTION COMPETITITON WINNER
+ NEW VAMPIRE PICTURE GALLERIES
+ NEW FRONT PAGE
+ THE BLOODLUST-UK COMMUNITY
+ LIFE IN GENERAL
+ NEXT ISSUE
+ ADVERTISE IN THIS NEWSLETTER
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V A M P N O I R S P E C I A L
It was raining, raining in the city when she walked in. She had legs right up to where it mattered and eyes that lit up my weary mind. Girl had teeth on her that would have impressed a Great White, straight away I knew she was going to be trouble...
Noir, Hammet, Hammer, Bogart, Bacall, Cagney, classic Noir where the men are grey and the women's morals change with the colour of their dresses, murky worlds in dirty cities where the rain always comes down and the plot is thicker than the fog. And when you bring the vampire into the equation, well, then that Femme just becomes that little bit more "Fatale"
And of course it needn't be classic noir either, Noir for me encompasses modern "Hard Boiled" fiction, James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, Edward Bunker, Robert Crais and the gonzo violence and hilarity of Joe R Lansdale. Detectives (and criminals) who take on a dark world in their own terms and more often that not pay the price in pain and blood. In the noir world it doesn't always turn out for the best, the white hats don't always win and often those white hats are pretty badly stained anyway. In the noir world you should never trust things to be as they appeared in the first place, doing so is likely to get you a bullet in the head, or in our case, a tooth in the neck.
There are Vampire Noir writers too, the foremost of these, I'd say, is Laurel K Hamilton whose heroine Anita Blake has all the attributes of modern Hard Boiled writing, a kick ass attitude, the ability to take a lot of pain and a thorough knowledge of weaponry (for what is probably the best piece of Vampire Noir novelisation I recommend "Obsidian Butterfly"). The name of my main character "Dead Dave" appears in one of the early Blake books as a vampire barman, any similarities in name are entirely co-incidental, ahem.
For a long time my fascination with crime and Vampires has met in the "Dead Dave" series, each time I write it I feel I'm getting a little nearer to what I'm aiming at, the plot gets twistier, the violence becomes more painful, the one liners get more flippant and I get a few more fan letters than the last time. A lot of people reading this will already be familiar with Dave, Louie the Werezombie and Aloysus the Vampire Preacher so I won't bore you with too much about them. For those of you that aren't, a quick resume, lots of weaponry, lots of one liners, the odd bit of nastiness. For your enjoyment I offer up "Immortality (Unlimited)" with what I believe is the first ever appearance of a homosexual, ballet dancing, Siberian vampire (I kid you not).
Bloodlust-UK's other resident author and editor offers up a story which, when I first read it, knocked me flat on my back. Helen has eschewed her love of cyber-ish future violence and also the more romantic aspects of her writing to bring us "Liverpool After Midnight". Set now, the sense of realism and her knowledge of her home city is almost palpable in the dialogue and throwaway little bits of information she drops in. Her heroine is also one I look forward to reading a lot more about. Helen had the following to say about "Liverpool After Midnight":
"I wrote 'Liverpool After Midnight' as something of a knee-jerk reaction to all the stories set in the darkest heart of America, or in eastern European countries, or the far-flung future. I've seldom seen any tales firmly set in England, or if they are, it's invariably London (or maybe Whitby, Hels? RJ). Liverpool has as much cultural diversity, remarkable architecture and vibrancy as London - we have the largest, oldest Chinatown in Europe and as a sea port, history and heritage enough for countless stories. I wanted to create a story steeped in the Northern English sensibility - the Scouse attitude to life and the city. You won't find any guns, flash cars or banal accoutrements of Americana.
I took the favoured elements of post-modern horror/noir - the seedy nightlife, the private detective, the main character who isn't quite what they seem - think Raymond Chandler after watching a British-made vampire B-movie. Vampire literature has moved beyond capes and bats and evolved into something more sophisticated, more shocking, more dangerous. It's punk Goth dress sense and clubland lifestyle rather than evening suits and Victorian manners - amorality and uncertain redemption rather than the brave hunters versus the evil count(ess). It's about supernatural subcultures and cliques - all the nasty, grubby little corners of preternatural society that nice people think don't exist. The divisions between 'us' and 'them' aren't quite so clear cut. Just be careful getting the bus home tonight..."
Despite its futuristic setting Ed Mckeown's "Gourmets from Outer Space" is probably the most traditional "Noir" piece in this issue. Being that it's set in a police station and we have more of a hint of the down at heel private eye in his lead character, Macmanus, the disrespect for authority and it's rules, the younger partner and the snappiness of the one liners. It also has the distinction of being the first piece that the whole Bloodlust-UK editorial staff agreed on. I loved it, Ed had this to say about it:
"The story came from my love of noir, campy SF stories with lurid titles, and my background on the somewhat seedy streets of NYC, particularly in Brooklyn. NY is a great backdrop for any story.
I like to "reverse engineer" my characters for believability. Vampires couldn't exist here or the combined militaries of the world would destroy them. So they came from somewhere else. I posited a cool red star which would discourage plant life and breed exclusive and determined carnivores
who could exist on prey without necessarily killing it and exhausting the supply. They are exposed to very little vegetation hence allergies to wood and garlic. It also made their fear of our fierce yellow sun more probable. A creature implies an ecology. As for their decadent and sensual nature,
what's a vampire story without a sexy vampire?
This is the third story with these recurring characters. The prior ones are "Lair of the Lesbian Love Goddess" and "Into the Robot Harem". A fourth is in the works."
Noir isn't always about detectives, noir can be set in prisons or within a Mafia crime family, Noir can take us into places we would never visit from our cosy little armchairs, it can put is into the mind of a criminal as well as the mind of a detective. I'm not going to say much about our last piece as I don't want to give much away, suffice to say that it's one of those things you read, and as a writer, immediately think "now why didn't I do that?"
"Of the over 100 stories I've written few have been vampire tales. Many editors prefer submissions not include vampires because there's just so much a writer can say that's new about bloodsuckers. With "A Pound of Flesh" I wanted to go a completely different way, adding a touch of urban legend while at the same time sneaking in a little social commentary. A vampire shares much in common with an addict, and since a vampire's need for blood is every bit as strong as an addict's, why not take it a step further?"
So there you have it, four pieces each very different in feel from the last but each undoubtedly coming under the banner of "Vampire Noir". Feel free to let us know what you think by adding comments onto our message board here -link-, if you have any comments or questions you'd like passed onto the authors then put them up and we'll make sure they hear about it.
Enjoy, I did.
RJ Barker (Sub-Editor)
+ BLOOD SUCKING GOURMETS FROM OUTER SPACE +
by Ed McKeown
+ A POUND OF FLESH +
by Kenneth C. Goldman
+ LIVERPOOL AFTER MIDNIGHT +
by Helen C. Murphy
+ DEAD DAVE: IMMORTALITY INC +
by Robert-James Barker
BLOODLUST-UK.COM: VAMPIRE FICTION
Business as usual for the other fantastic fiction we are seeing at BloodLust-UK.com.
Introducing Nicola Harlow's 'The Stuff of Life'
Having originally trained in Fine Art, Nicola Harlow's subsequent careers as interior designer, prop-maker, professional carer, and now ecclesiastical statue restorer, and mother of recalcitrant two-year-old have given her an unusual perspective on life. She has been writing seriously for over ten years and published two novels: Meru - (Castle of Dreams 1995) Russian Dolls (Insignia Press 199 , two novellas, several short stories, poetry and articles and is currently drafting her new novel - a rework of Pygmalion with a gothic twist - and other short stories.
The idea behind 'The Stuff of Life' came from Nicola's job of caring for elderly people during their last moments of life (and almost winning a similar prize to the one mentioned in the story). She confesses to a secret belief in angels that probably stems from her Catholic Convent school upbringing - in fact, she attributes her lifelong fascination with vamps and all things weird and wonderful to Catholicism. Nicola loves writers who cross the horror/mainstream divide like Flannery O'Conner and Will Self, though does admit a penchant for Anne Rice and Steven King.
+ THE STUFF OF LIFE +
by Nicola Harlow
VAMPIRE CAPTION COMPETITION
This month's winner is VIXENX, whose winning caption has been made into an e-card entitled "MARMITE" which can be found at:
+ VAMPIRE E-CARDS +
New Caption Competition:
Picture: Closing date end May 2002. Winners will have their caption made into an e-card, which is published on site with the collection!
+ NEW CAPTION COMPETITION +
BLOODLUST-UK.COM: VAMPIRE PICTURE GALLERIES
New film pictures, took long enough getting around to this...but I get there eventually:
+ PICS FROM QUEEN OF THE DAMNED +
+ PICS FROM INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE +
BLOODLUST-UK.COM: NEW FRONT PAGE
Yesss, for those of you who haven't been to the site in a while, please do, as I've had some new flashy flash stuff done for the front page by Steve at Ravenart Graphics =
Sit back, slip your headphones on and enjoy:
+ NEW FRONT PAGE +
BLOODLUST-UK.COM: COMMUNITY MUSINGS
+ QUEEN OF THE DAMNED REVIEW + RARE VAMPIRE BOOKS +
+ BLADE II REVIEW +
+ HTML, LINKY THINGAMY'S +
+ NECRONOMICON +
+ NASTY JOKE PICS + EVIL CATS +
+ SHOPPING THERAPY +
+ VAMPIRE & DARK POETRY +
+ BLOODLUST INTERACTIVE +
ALL AVAILABLE AT: BloodLinks:
Title: Black Phoenix Studios
Category: Vampire Clothing / Associated Businesses
Description: Diabolical Designs For Diseased Minds: Deathglam, Gothic, Industrial, Deathrock, Fetish and Occult Fashion, Decor and Apothecary. Dark t-shirts galore. Home decor by Hellcat Housewares, original clothing designs by Rachel Girard, and a fully stocked alchemy shop featuring custom-blended
Incense, oils, baths and powders by Los Angeles\' most reputable and experienced Master practitioner, George H. Derby.
Category: Vampire / Horror E-Zines
Description: Online zines devoted to vampires and other gothic horrors. Articles, reviews, interviews, poetry, fiction, recommended links and more.
Title: Vampyrbibliothek (Vampire Library)
Category: General Vampire Sites
Description: A German Vampire Site!
Title: Anathema Occult Books
Category: General Vampire Sites
Description: Portal to the Occult Underground: Sex Magick, Fetish, Vampires, Crowley, Chaos, Satanism, Dark Art, Links and more...
Title: Digital Vampiric Discs
Category: Vampire Film/Literature/Fiction/Poetry
Description: Vampire movies on DVD: information, news, and reviews.
Title: Gothic Graphix
Category: Vampiric or Dark Art
Description: Gothic site containing Vampire art, gothic art and Vampire Portraiture.
Title: God of the Grim
Category: Vampire Film / Literature / Fiction / Poetry
Description: Dr. Matthew Winter has it all: a brilliant career, an adoring
wife, and the enviable power of his vampiric heritage, not to mention his talent
for casting spells. Since helping his twin brother destroy the most vicious of
blood drinkers eight years ago, his life has been content. When he\'s accused of
compromising his professional ethics for financial gain, he leaves his hospital
to work in a research center specializing in vampiric medicine. There, he
rescues a child--a descendant of the Origin
ALL AVAILABLE AT: BloodLinks:
LIFE IN GENERAL
'That's it' you say? What do you mean IT, I have a job too y'know!!
So what else have I been up to?
Well, I have lots of things going on with the site lately. I always get nervous and stressed when someone other than me is doing 'something' with my web site. It's my baby, after all, and unless I'm in complete control I'm not 'all that happy'. (read: 'is neurotic')
Been working too (yes! Job as well!) we are in one of our 'in between' phases kind of thing. It's the worst time, because you really have to struggle to keep yourself busy and motivated. The next phase isn't due til June (I'm writing this 12th April) and for a while you think you have plenty of time to plan, the next thing you know the time is upon you. I shall find something to do no doubt, that's actually work related and not to do with my site!
That'll do for my mindless babbling for the month, take care guys!
It's a surprise, but, amongst other things:
+ BLOODSUCKING GOURMETS CONTINUED +
+ LIVERPOOL AFTER MIDNIGHT CONTINUED +
+ IMMORTALITY INC CONTINUED +
+ MORE NEW VAMPIRE FICTION +
+ QUARTERLY MAGAZINE NEWS +
+ THE BLOODLUST-UK PENDANT +
+ A GARGANTUAN, SEARCHABLE VAMPIRE BOOK AND FILM DATABASE +
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