Friday, October 23, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Last Halloween I picked my favorite three vampire films. Today I figured I should pick my fave three vampire books. These are in order, but can be changed from emotion to emotion, or night to night. In lieu of my upcoming trip to New Orleans, Anne Rice’s brat prince comes in at numero uno vampiro.


#3 is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He is, after all, the king of vampires, the “Sacred Ancestor”. While werewolves and zombies have been trying to take a bite out of his omnipresent undead ass as the king of pop culture horror for years now, it’s still his and the children of the night’s party, this holiday we call Halloween. And no single book or character has been as influential in the deluge of Hollywood films and literature the past several decades as the daddy of them all. Dracula is absolutely as iconic as Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, or perhaps more appropriate, the Devil himself.


#2 Vampire Hunter D Volume 2: Raiser of Gales is my Lord of the Rings, my Star Wars and Harry Potter all rolled into one uber-dork fest of vampire novels. It’s Sci Fi, fantasy and horror rolled into one, and this combo makes for one hell of a cool story. D can be a bit one-dimensional at times, with his talking hand stealing most of the scenes, and especially since the volumes are into the teens, but that’s his meal ticket, and the baddies throughout these stories talk about him in the past tense as they hold him in the same regards as a god, as the father and king of all vampires, Dracula. The little things make this novel special to me and it’s the way that Hideyuki Kikuchi presents the infinite vampire science as magic. That’s what made the hairs on my arms stand on-end as I read this story. The translation by Kevin Leahy is outstanding, but I only wish I could read it in the native Japanese…

#1 The Vampire Lestat, of course, is my favorite vampire book to sit by warm candlelight with a bottle of pills – I mean bottle of wine – and read the night away. Like I’ve mentioned elsewhere before, I can put the homo eroticism aside and enjoy the story for what it is: a fantastic vampire tale spanning centuries. No where has there ever been a group (or coven, as it were) of vampires that are so depressed with their Dark Gift, i.e. immortality. Some people just don’t know how good they got it! But it’s the way that they all attract each other, and yet repel one other so much that defines their existence. Loneliness is personified in Lestat in that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and smugly believes that the secrets of the universe are owed to him simply because he is preternatural. And it’s this vanity which ultimately brings God and the devil to his doorstep.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anne Rice, the Queen of the Vampires

So I’ve spoken with Anne Rice. It was via email, but I was excited nonetheless. Anne was very nice, pleasant and respectful. She responded quickly to my email, too. Within hours… Before I realized that she no longer lived in New Orleans (somehow I forgot this important little fact) I asked her if it would be a possibility to have my original copy of The Vampire Lestat signed by her. I’m usually not one for autographs, but I figured while I was in her New Orleans, I would give it a shot. Now, I did not ask to meet her in person; no, I flat out said that I could place it in her mailbox or P.O. My intention was never to seem like another stalker-fan.

Basically she said no, at the moment, but it was understandable. She is inundated with book-signing requests, and it apparently became out of control, the eBay enterprise. But she even requested that I contact her again in the near future, and that hopefully by then she would have a system in place to accommodate my request.

Just the fact that she even replied to my little letter made me lover her even more for it. She’s an amazing woman, and probably the best writer I have ever had the pleasure of reading. So this is basically just my small shout-out to her, the Queen of the Vampires.

God bless you, Anne Rice.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Vampire Lestat and Philosophy

So I’ve been re-reading The Vampire Lestat again, and I’m wondering how much this book in particular fashioned some of my ideas about the world and life, or if I simply enjoyed the character and the Vampire Chronicles so much because my attitudes towards death and Heaven and Hell are so similar to Lestat’s?

I first read the book in 1997. That’s about the same time I was coming up with my own anti-God, anti-Christian musings. And you know, I’m actually kind of worse off for it all. I mean, like Lestat mentions before being turned, blue skies are never quite as blue since I began to question these things. Sure, I’m not always doom and gloom, but the world changed the moment I began to question everything, the moment I realized, if you will, that there isn’t anything after this. And that is the hardest thing to believe. This mentality empirically reveals that living is the hardest thing of all to do. We’re the ones with regrets and worry and anger, while those who pass are consigned to a peaceful yet unaware nothingness. They do not have memories of the life they left behind, and we the living are the only ones to mourn this loss.

But isn’t it great to be alive and see a blue sky at all, no matter what the shade or season? I’ve learned in a very short time that life is precious, no matter what is out there after our heart stops beating and we either are placed in the ground or ashes are scattered in some beautiful place, it’s all worth it. Every single minute of it.

Looking at life this way has only one curse: life goes by quickly. But I’m enjoying it nonetheless. With every book I read or song I listen to or every time I make love, I’m having the time of my life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tru Blood & Gold Ball



We are headed to the Vampire Lestat Fan Club’s annual gathering, dubbed for 2009 Tru Blood and Gold Ball. Obviously there’s a nod to Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books and Anne Rice’s later Vampire Chronicles books. An ideal title considering that Charlaine will be at this year’s ball. Personally I’m stoked! I’ve tried for years to get to New Orleans for the ball, and I will finally be there this Halloween. This is a revelation. I've been re-reading The Vampire Lestat in anticipation, and I've started the sequel to Fat White Vampire Blues, called Bride of the Fat White Vampire.




I will be costumed as one of Charlaine's characters, a simpleton undead Elvis Presley called Bubba. An Elvis wig, Elvis glasses and pair of vampire fangs are the gist of my costume, and my lovely hot-assed girlfriend will be a Merlotte’s-garbed Sookie.

Wow, walking around New Orleans during Halloween. I pray for fog… This is going to be great. If you're interested check out the fan club: Vampire Lestat Fan Club