The Horror Writers Association has announced their nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award, to be presented at the World Horror Convention in March. (Fun Fact: Sherrilyn Kenyon will be this year’s Author Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City.) Many groundbreaking vampire novels of the 20th century are being considered for the award.
The award is in honor of Bram Stoker's classic tale Dracula, which was originally published 100 years ago. Horror Writer Association’s President Rocky Wood said in a recent announcement, “HWA is proud to present our iconic Award on the centenary of Bram Stoker’s passing and pleased to be doing so in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate. While Stoker’s novel is undoubtedly the most influential of all vampire fiction, we look forward to recognizing the vampire novel that has had the greatest impact since publication of Dracula.”
The nominees include:
The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983)
Salem's Lot by Stephen King (1975)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (1992)
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1991)
Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (2011)
All of these are outstanding selections, and for anyone looking for quality vampire fiction of the past, every book on this list is a must-read. I personally think Salem’s Lot and I Am Legend are classic, not-to-be-missed vampire tales, but ultimately I believe Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire should get the honor. While Rice’s writing career includes titles from across the genres, her chilling paranormal tales are some of her most memorable. And I think it would be hard to argue that Interview with the Vampire is one of the most iconic vampire novels ever written. A beautiful, haunting tale set in late-18th century New Orleans, Interview with the Vampire tells the tale of a trio of vampires who terrorize the young city before fleeing to Europe to find more of their kind. The story ultimately shows the pain and frustration that comes with being immortal, and kicked off Rice’s immensely popular Vampire Chronicles series.
This list of nominees exemplifies the best of the best from across the decades, and all of these books are deserving of the title of best vampire novel of the century, so I’m looking forward to finding out the winner. In the meantime, you can read more about the nominees here.