Tough Traveling – Vampires


The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.

This week’s tour topic is: Vampires

VAMPIRES are increasingly rare on the TOUR.  They have been attracted over to the Horror Tour by offers of better pay.  Where they appear, you will find up to date Vampires wear expensive sunglasses and wish to drain you of energy rather than blood.

Mogsy’s Picks:

Hmm, we can easily get overloaded with vampire books this week, so how about I limit my choices to only 5? Okay, 6. Or maybe 8. And only a) my absolute favorites, b) books that feature unconventional vampires, and/or c) those that I don’t think get showcased often in Tough Traveling lists.

39f2c-thegreyfriarThe Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

This is a really fun, adventurous (and also quite romantic) steampunk series that I love bringing up whenever I get the chance. Set in an alternate history in which humans and vampires have been locked in a bitter war for more than a century, the blood drinkers have conquered the northern lands, driving the humans towards warmer climes.

NOS4A2NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t your typical vampire novel. The antagonist Charles Manx is a vampire-like creature all right, but he feeds on souls instead of blood. He prefers children as victims, spiriting them away to his creepy other-realm called Christmasland.

Generation VGeneration V series by M.L. Brennan

I could have gone with any number of Urban Fantasy series on my shelf (Mercy Thompson, Dresden Files, Anita Blake, etc.) all of which feature vampires, but 1) here we have an actual vampire protagonist and 2) vampires in this are pretty unconventional, and 3) I just ADORE THIS SERIES TO BITS.

CarpathiaCarpathia by Matt Forbeck

I didn’t love this one, but it does have the distinction of perhaps being the first Angry Robot book I’ve ever read. The Titanic hits an iceberg and starts sinking on the night of April 14, 1912. The Carpathia races to its rescue, but with vampires on board. Out of the frying pan and into the fire for those survivors who were picked up, so to speak.

EchopraxiaEchopraxia by Peter Watts

How did we get genetically engineered vampires in Watts’ world? They actually died out thousands of years ago, but humans recently resurrected them, hoping to exploit their predatory talents. The result: smart, deadly, hyper-advanced vampires.

The Lesser DeadThe Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman

What’s scarier than vampires? Vampire children. These creepy kids have lived longer and have seen and done more messed up things on this world than we can ever imagine. And their appetites are insatiable.

Blood OrangesSiobhan Quinn series by Caitlín R. Kiernan/Kathleen Tierney

A half-vampire-half-werewolf is pretty interesting, right? It’s also nice to see a vampire that isn’t drop-dead gorgeous (ahem, Anne Rice) or sparkling (ahem, Twlight). Siobhan’s eyes are as black and dead as a shark’s and her teeth are so terrible that she needs to disguise herself with contact lenses and make up.

The StrainThe Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

A vampire virus arrives in New York on a dead plane. It spreads via parasitic worm-like creatures and turns its victims into zombie-vampires and changes them physically, giving them long stinger tongues with which they use to feed. The vampire’s jaw can also unhinge, opening up like a snake’s. In other words, they’re disgusting.

30 Comments on “Tough Traveling – Vampires”

  1. I tend not to read vampire stories; they usually don’t appeal to me. But I read Deborah Harkness’s “A Discovery of Witches” last year, which has vampire characters. I had some issues with the book’s pacing and overdescription, but WOW was it ever addictive.


  2. Peter Watts is one author I wish I’d thought to include in my list. Even though I went with a fantasy theme, it was the vampire element that attracted me to his series . . . and I always like to wave the Canadian flag. 🙂


    • Oh I didn’t know Peter Watts is Canadian. That book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, being too hard sci fi for me, but it was fascinating nonetheless.


  3. Okay, I’m definitely intrigued by the Greyfriar. A romantic steampunk series with vamps? Danya book crack. Good call on Generation V, I think that one’s going to be on a lot of lists this week!


  4. Great list full of books on my TBR list, especially Vampire Empire. And I didn’t realize Echopraxia was a vampire story, so I must check it out.


    • Echopraxia isn’t exactly a vampire story, it just has some really twisted, souped up vamps…oh, and zombies. It’s a strange book.


  5. My lack of horror reading is apparent as I skim the lists. Lots of horror books on every one else, none in mine. Especially creepy vampire children (outside of the one in Blood Oranges of course). I have either you or Tabs to blame for my Gen V love, can’t remember where I saw it first at this point.


    • Nothing wrong with that, it was a while before I eased myself into the horror genre from my usual SFF. It still makes up for a small portion of my reading, but I’m trying to increase that bit by bit, picking up books that sound interesting.


    • There are vampires everywhere in my reading! It’s easy if one reads a lot of UF 😛

      And you should give NOS4R2 a shot, I hear it’s his best book yet and I’ve also been hesitant to pick up Horns and Heart-Shaped Box because of that.


  6. Great list – I will have to go and check out this Greyfriars now! And I can’t believe I still haven’t read Joe Hill. I will do – eventually.
    Lynn 😀


    • I think The Greyfriar was one of my first review books, courtesy of Pyr. I have good memories of it, not just because of that though, it was a very good book. Clay and Susan Griffith have a new book upcoming that I want to read too, called the Shadow Revolution 🙂


  7. Oh shit I wish I hadn’t read that Strain description. Ewww! See, this is exactly the sort of vampire I’d hate! I’m really not made for horror.
    But the Greyfriar sounds very interesting, so thanks for the suggestion! 🙂


    • I can read horror, but I can’t really watch it. You know how the Strain was made into a TV show on one of cable networks, I watched one episode or two and my delicate nerves couldn’t take it anymore, lol.


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