I have always loved the idea of vampires, they are the one fictional character I still harbour a secret desire to meet in real life, and no not the vegetarian sparkly kind although I am a Twilight fan, but the proper vampires; I’m not stupid, I’d  be protected with my crucifix and garlic cloves of course. My preferred vampires are darkly dangerous, inhuman and truly horrifying vampires who don’t want you to love them, just entertain and feed them. With that in mind here are The Top Five Vampire Novels in the World according to me.

1, Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

I think this was the first ever vampire fiction I ever read and I don’t mind admitting I thought it was pant wettingly scary, and I’m still unnerved by it today. Stephen King at his finest brings you the stuff of nightmares and will have you garlanding your windows with garlic and holy water.
The Marston House in Jerusalem’s Lot has long been the subject of speculation and gossip, Ben Mears has returned in the hope of laying a few of his own demons to rest. Of course, this being King, you know it’s not going to be an easy ride.

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2, Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice

I only read this a short time ago at the urging of many of you who follow us on our Facebook page. Why did I wait so long? Anne has managed to make vampires both horrifyingly frightening and desperately pitiful all at once and the introduction of Claudia, an ancient and worldly wise vampire trapped forever inside the body of a child is a real touch of genius. Not only that but this is the first in a series of (soon to be) 14 books, what more could you want?

 

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3,  Dracula  – Bram Stoker

No list of vampire literature would be complete without including the original novel. I read this over and over when I first had it, to the point of my copy falling apart and I never bored of it, I still haven’t. I loved the language, I loved the terrifying build up as Harker  voyaged to Transylvania and I loved the naughtiness. So many fictional creatures are improved upon as time passes but for me, Stoker’s Dracula will always be the best.

 

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4, I am Legend – Richard Matheson

Have you seen the film with Will Smith? You have? Forget it, the book absolutely wipes the floor with it and then kicks dirt in its face. I read this because I’d watched the film and quite enjoyed it. I read the book and was smitten!  Robert Neville is the (probable) sole survivor of a plague that has  left the rest  of the world rabid vampire like creatures of the night with an insatiable hunger and dwindling prey. Seriously if you loved the film, read this book, if you liked the film, read this book, Hell if you hated this film, read the book. You won’t be disappointed.

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5, Blood Brothers – Brian Lumley

The sixth Necromancer novel but the first in the Vampire World trilogy, this book will take you to alternate universe of Starside/Sunside and the eternal battle between the Wamphyri and the Szgany. Here we are lead to believe the vampires are defeated, all dead but as we all know, vampires have a tendency to not stay dead forever.  A really refreshing and truly horrifying take on the vampire genre.

 

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Those are the five that are my personal favourites but when it comes to vampire fiction I am always on the hunt for new material so if you have any that you think are missing from my list, please let us know in the comments.

The YA Book Prize Opens for Submissions

By | Authors, Children's Literature, Literary Awards, News | No Comments
Do you know anyone who’s written a brilliant young adult novel? If so you may want to give them the heads up as submissions open for the YA Book Prize 2018.

The YA Book Prize has been running in the UK and Ireland since 2014, and serves to champion the breadth and brilliance of Young Adult writing. The deadline is a couple of months away yet so authors have time to prepare! Read More

10 Thoughtful Quotes By E.M. Forster

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Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, and died in June 1970. As a novelist, essayist, and short story writer he published under the shortened name of E.M. Forster. Forster is best known for his ironic and wry novels full of thoughtful prose looking at class difference in early 20th-century British society. He shone a light on hypocrisy in the social order, and with his 1910 novel Howards End, he offered a humanistic examination of life. His mindful understanding is summed up in the epigraph to Howards End:

“Only connect”.

Here are ten of our favourite Forster quotes from various novels… Let us know if we have missed your most loved Froster quote.

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Terry Pratchett: His World – A Review of the Exhibition

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On until January 2018, the Salisbury Museum with donations and support from The Estate of Terry Pratchett, and Paul Kidby – Sir Terry Pratchett’s artist of choice – present an exhibition entitled ‘Terry Pratchett: His World’.

The exhibition is a unique collection of artefacts which portray his amazing life and career, from his first novel The Carpet People which was published in 1971 to his later novels including the Discworld series. Artwork from the Discworld novels including over 40 original illustrations by Paul Kidby adorn the walls and will make any Discworld fan nostalgic for the books.

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The Private Lives of Authors: Sylvia Plath

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Many people know about Sylvia Plath’s writing, her relationship with Ted Hughes, and her battle with mental illness. A little known fact about Plath, however, was her passion for beekeeping.

Her love for bees began with her father, Otto Plath, who was a bumble bee expert.  Otto Plath’s book Bumblebees and Their Ways was published in 1934 and is still used today. Plath’s father grew up in Germany where he gained the nickname Beinen-Konig, meaning King of the Bees. Boston University recognised his knowledge and passion, giving him a place on their academic staff as the Professor of Entomology.

 

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Philip K. Dick: From Book to Film – A Video Essay

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Philip K. Dick December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982 was an American writer notable for his works of science fiction where his writing is dominated by authoritarian themes, alternate universes and altered states of consciousness, many of which have been adapted for film and television.

His work has spanned many decades, and you can often age people by what they know him for. In the early 80s when the movie adaptation was released, we all passed around copies of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, today The Man in the High Castle is big news thanks to Amazon. Read More

Philip Pullman’s New Novel Accidentally Published Early

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Readers in the Netherlands have had a bit of a treat this week as Philip Pullman’s new novel The Book of Dust has been accidentally published in the country several weeks early.

The Book of Dust: Volume 1 ‘La Belle Sauvage’ was due for worldwide publication on 19th October but due to a mix up, Dutch publishers Uitgeverij Prometheus distributed copies early, seeing copies of the books hit the shelves on 4th October.

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