Friday, March 31, 2017

The Sky is a Poisonous Garden: Vampire Paperbacks of the 1990s

As the 1990s rolled on, so did the evolution of horror paperback covers. They became more photo-realistic, thuddingly square and obvious, with cheapie fangs pasted onto models ready for their "90210" walk-ons. Most of these books seem precursors to the paranormal romance subgenre that has today taken over bookstore horror shelves, absolute ugh. My appreciation of these covers is mostly nil, although I do kinda dig Vampire Apprentice's neatly tucked-in look and Vampire Beat's legit badge and gun, while the teasing-tongue vamp of Celebrity Vampires (kudos to artist Harvey Parker) has some subtle incisors which you'll discover after it's too late. I've not read a single one of these, don't ever plan on it, but I'd be interested in knowing if any of y'all have.

 

9 comments:

Tex velis said...

Yeah I started reading a lot of these but sadly never finished any of them. Near Death was the best of the lot I think but I did not finish it. Curse of the Vampire's cover is cool or it appeals to me. because they are bats and people cool.

Griffin Calhoun said...

The original US paperback cover of Anno Dracula is decent.

John said...

For my money, the three best vampire novels of the '80s were Ray Garton's "Live Girls", Nancy Collins' "Sunglasses After Dark" and S.P. Somtow's "Vampire Junction". Most of the books shown above had their moments, but very few of them.

AndyDecker said...

I remember reading Courtney's Vampire Beat and liking it, but this was years ago.

John's list is pretty good. Collin's first Sonja Blue was a fine novel, the sequels were a mixed bag.

Space-Badger13 said...

Vampire books have just never been my cuppa - the only good ones I think I have read are Salem's Lot and Lestat.

Luis said...

Not only were the covers generic but the titles as well. Curse of the Vampire, Kiss of the Vampire, etc.. Really?? And also Unquenchable and Insatiable are pretty much interchangeable.

Ron Clinton said...
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Ron Clinton said...

The only one of the batch I've read is THE LAST VAMPIRE, but it's been too long to recall any of it. Many of those covers look familiar from my bookbrowsing adventures, but I've never been much of a vampire fan, so didn't pick any of the others up. That said, John mentions above Garton and Collins, and I did read all their vampire output back in the day...also read the Somtow novel, but not much else by him.

Karen said...

Nice to see the old covers. I have not only read a lot of these, but I wrote four of them. Just saying. Thanks!