Sunday, 1 July 2012

Upcoming books 4

Dr. Bob Curran
In the previous instalment, I mentioned a few details had to be sorted before publishing this follow-up. Essentially, there were two upcoming books I'd stumbled upon. They seemed 'familiar', so I double-checked whether or not they were reprints—by contacting their authors.

While that was going on, I also received two updates on upcoming works—one's only just been published. Therefore, this is the first edition of 'Upcoming books' to feature a 'Special mention' and 'Update'!

25 September 2012


Fangs: everything the modern vampire needs to know / Amy Gray

Readers may be familiar with Gray's previous book, How to be a vampire: a fangs-on guide for the newly undead (2009). Is this a follow-up? I had my suspicions, as the subtitle indicates a very similar theme. So I contacted Gray by e-mail, asking whether it was an original or a reprint.1 She said, 'Fangs is a reprint of the 2009 title. From what I understand, it's a rejacket so the only difference is the cover art', adding 'It's a little bit of a shame because there is so much more content I wanted to add about the history and archetype of vampires in cultures around the world.'2 A shame, indeed. Including her extra material could've at least justified the book's retitling as a new or revised edition, but there you go.

30 September 2012


Dracula / Elizabeth Miller

I didn't realise this book in Parkstone Press' 'Temporis' series might be a reprint, until I saw its inclusion on Kyle Van Helsing's blog: 'So anyways, this book is a hardcover edition of a previous release.' That info isn't mentioned in the book's Amazon description. How did he know? Trawling through the Amazons, I did find references to a similar work published on 1 February 2001 and 15 June 2001; both hardcover. Miller's publications page lists, 'Dracula. 134 illustrations. New York: Parkstone Press, 2001. Also available in French and German editions.' Might this version be an update? On June 28, I posted a message on Miller's Facebook page, asking whether the book was a reprint. She said, 'It's a reprint - so is not as up-to-date as it could have been. Published initially by Parkstone Press (2001) in coffee-table book format in English, French & German.' Mystery solved.

1 October 2012


The rise and fall of the femme fatale: from gothic novel to vampire tale / Heather L. Braun

A femme fatale is 'is a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations.' The vampire connection was established by the 'vamp', a figure made popular by Philip Burne-Jones' 1897 painting, The vampire and Theda Bara's movie stardom. I'm aware of at least two other books specifically devoted to this subject: Andrea Weiss' Vampires and violets: lesbians in film (1993) and Pam Keesey's Vamps: an illustrated history of the femme fatale (1997). However, Braun's subtitle suggests an emphasis on the vampiric aspect. Will it pan out? Wait and see.

22 October 2012


American vampires: their true bloody history from New York to California / Bob Curran

Readers may be familiar with Curran's other vampire works, namely, Bloody Irish: great Irish vampire stories (2002), Vampires: a field guide to the creatures that stalk the night (2005), Encyclopedia of the undead: a field guide to creatures that cannot rest in peace (2006), Vampires (2007) and Biblio vampiro: an essential guide to vampires and, more importantly, how to avoid them (2010). The book's Amazon description suggests it'll be in the 'field guide' vein tapped into by contemporaries like Jonathan Maberry and Theresa Bane: 'The vampires that lurk in the American darkness come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can produce some surprising results.' Will it be in the same league as Michael E. Bell's Food for the dead: on the trail of New England's vampires (2001), the works of Christopher Rondina or even Thomas D'Agostino's A history of vampires in New England (2010)? I'd be surprised if it actually did anything substantially new to the genre. We'll see.

23 October 2012


Medusa's gaze and vampire's bite: the science of monsters / Matt Kaplan

Though vampires feature prominently in the title, this work will cover a variety of monstrous wonders: 'What caused ancient Minoans to create the tale of the Minotaur that was imprisoned in a subterranean maze? Did dragons really exist? What inspired the creation of vampires and werewolves, and why have they endured as figures of horror?' I'd be surprised if the coverage given to the origin of the vampire myth will be very substantial, but the author's credentials as a 'noted science journalist and enthusiast of both the hard facts of science and the fantastic fictions of myth' are certainly intriguing.

23 November 2012


New vampire cinema / Ken Gelder

Gelder's best-known in vampire circles for Reading the vampire (1994), one of the more popular academic works on the undead. At first, I thought this might be a retitled reprint, till I read its description: 'A study of around forty vampire films, from 1992 to 2010. This book looks at new vampire cinema as a genre, asking what is at stake when the cinematic vampire and the modern world encounter each other'. Should be good.

Special mention

Last year, I mentioned a book in the works by Andy M. Boylan, author of vampire movie review blog, Taliesin meets the vampires. On 29 June, he informed me of the publication of his book via Facebook: 'just to let you know the reference book is out. Only on Lulu at the mo but should be picked up through Amazon etc soon.'

He also said I'm 'referenced twice' in the book. Nice! Boylan's book was published on 28 June. It's called The media vampire: a study of vampires in fictional media. It's sure to be a worthy addition to your wish lists. In the meantime, here's some 'shameless self-promotion'.


You may also recall my involvement in a Kickstarter project to help publish a book called The undead and theology. Here's the latest status on the book by its editor, John W. Morehead:
Among other things, working on manuscript for Theology and the Undead with Kim Paffenroth. Our editor at Wipf & Stock considers this a collection of quality pieces of academic work on a very interesting subject." A few questions to answer and then we move to first proofs to check.
Good to see it's coming along nicely.

Boylan's tip-off highlights an issue I'd like to address. My primary source for upcoming non-fiction vampire books is Amazon. However, Amazon isn't the only online marketplace for books—but it is the most accessible, convenient and well-known. 

So, if you're an author whose upcoming non-fiction vampire book doesn't appear on Amazon, feel free to let me know. Reprints—retitled or otherwise—don't count, though. But revised editions do. My contact details are on my profile page.

1. A Hogg, email, Thursday, 28 June 2012 3:46:02 PM.  

2. A Gray, email, Friday, 29 June 2012 9:21:02 AM.

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