HEXES the sunday spectra

HEXES The Vampire Special

© John Bolton

So pale, this little flower,

just a whisper of the song she was meant to sing— 


From the HWA, oh boy…

The Vampire Novel of the Century Award

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the international association of writers, publishing professionals, and supporters of horror literature, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, proudly announce the nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award, to be presented at the Bram Stoker Awards™ Banquet at World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 31, 2012. The Award will mark the centenary of the death in 1912 of Abraham (Bram) Stoker, the author of Dracula.

A jury composed of writers and scholars selected, from a field of more than 35 preliminary nominees, the six vampire novels that they believe have had the greatest impact on the horror genre since publication of Draculain 1897. Eligible works must have been first published between 1912 and 2011 and published in or translated into English.

The nominees are:

The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983). Grant (1946-2006) was a prolific American writer of what he called “dark fantasy” and “quiet horror,” writing under six pseudonyms as well as his own name. Grant also edited numerous horror and fantasy anthologies. The novel is part of Grant’s series of 12 books set in his fictional small town Oxrun Station, Connecticut. Grant was a former president of Horror Writers Association and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. First published in 1975, this was only the second work by the now-legendary American author of dozens of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror stories, comics, and novels. Set in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, it tells of a man’s return to his hometown, where he finds a plague of vampirism. The book has twice been made into television mini-series and has been recorded by the BBC. King’s work has won countless Bram Stoker Awards™ from HWA, and King (1947- ), a lifelong New England resident, was recognized with HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. First published in 1954, the novel is set in the mid-1970’s, when a plague has swept the world, bringing with it zombie-like creatures identified as vampires. Richard Neville, the book’s protagonist, may be the last living human. The work has been filmed three times under various titles, most recently in 2007, under its original title, starring Will Smith. Matheson (1926- ), an American, has written screenplays as well as short and long fiction, and many of his works have been filmed or made into teleplays. He wrote frequently for The Twilight Zone in its heyday. Matheson received HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman first appeared in 1992. The novel imagines an alternate history in which Van Helsing and his cohorts failed in their attempt to rid England of Dracula. In this timeline, Dracula went on to marry Queen Victoria, ushering in an era of vampire aristocracy in England and elsewhere. The book is followed by two other novels and a number of shorter works set in the Anno Dracula universe, all meticulously researched to include numerous historical details and many characters of Victorian and more recent popular literature. Newman (1959- ) is an English writer of fantasy and horror, as well as reference books in the field, and frequently appears as a host and critic for the BBC and other media.

Interview with the Vampire by Southern American author Anne Rice first appeared in 1976 and achieved enormous popularity, selling more than 8 million copies. The book introduces the vampires Louis and Lestat, who, along with a dozen other unique individual vampires, appear in a long series by Rice known as the Vampire Chronicles. The novel was filmed in 1994 starring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis; another work in the series, Queen of the Damned, was filmed in 2002; the novel was also produced as a Broadway musical in 2006. Rice (1941- ) has written numerous other gothic fantasy novels, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, and has won many awards, including HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, published in 1978, is the first of a 25-book (so far) series featuring le Comte de Saint Germain, a 2000+-year-old vampire, whose adventures in many historical periods are recounted. This novel overlaps in many details with the historical facts of le Comte de Saint-Germain, a mysterious figure. An American writer, Yarbro (1942- ) publishes three or four books a year, under various pseudonyms, in a variety of genres, including mysteries and romance tales. She was awarded HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

The winning book will be announced on March 31, 2012. HWA will also celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary on that date.

For more information, please contact Leslie S. Klinger, chair of the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century jury.

The Vampire Novel of the Century Award is sponsored by Jeremy Wagner.


Vampire Gallery

Theda Bara

Dracula’s Brides

Edvard Munch Vampire i & ii

Guy Davis

The Space Vampire from Buck Rogers

Dracula by Master Frazetta

Nosferatu 1979



Team Radu

All hail the king


And the other King, too.

— Thanks to everybody who submitted ideas and images for the Gallery —

and finally (finally).

‘It’s a glimpse into a time capsule, an alien world’

Steven Severin on scoring 1932’s Vampyr


Following his 2010 Blood of a Poet tour, which saw him perform a new score to Jean Cocteau’s 1930 black & white surrealist classic, musician Steven Severin returns this month with a rare opportunity to experience his score for Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 silent horror, Vampyr.

Best known as the founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Severin’s film scores have earned him rave reviews and the tour is eagerly awaited by both music and film fans around the country.

I spoke to Severin about his work on the new score which comes at a busy time for silent cinema in Scotland.

Jonathan Melville: Why did you choose Vampyr as your latest project?

Steven Severin:Vampyrjust seemed to dovetail really nicely with the other two films I’d previously toured with: Germaine Dulac’s The Seashell & The Clergyman & Jean Cocteau’s Blood of A Poet. It struck me that there was a kind of subconscious thread running through my choices namely, that of a single male protagonist trapped in a dreamworld he can neither make sense of nor escape from. So in that sense Vampyr feels like the bookend to a trilogy of work.

How long did it take to write the score?

The whole process takes months. Most of that time is spent watching, re-watching, researching and gestating.  Once I know “how” & “where” to begin, the process of writing the music is very fast. Two weeks solid, probably.

What originally inspired you to start scoring silent films?

I can’t remember an original spark as my desire to do this goes so far back. I saw John Cale do The Unknown and Phillip Glass do Dracula in the 90s but my interest stems from a much earlier date. I just had this dream to do it, to be commissioned but once the technology was available I decided not to wait around for the South Bank to call. That’s just as well because they still haven’t.

Silent film seems to back in fashion just now, with a number of classics being screened around the UK and the release of The Artist. Why do you think we’re still so fascinated with silent cinema?

I think it’s partly because we enjoy seeing real craftsmanship, real imagination at work. People really stretching their limitations. CGI and 3D for the most part is employed in such a lazy manner it doesn’t really move us. It’s also a glimpse into a time capsule, an alien world really.

Do you still enjoy touring?

Yes. I love being in different places, being exposed to different cultures, different cuisines and I really love performing my music to these films. I’ve learned to blank out all he tedious bits in between, thankfully. I think I must have Romany blood to still want to do it after all these years. Six months at home is about my limit then I start the anxious pacing.

Steven Severin begins his Scottish tour of Vampyr at Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema on Thursday 12 January, before moving onto Inverness’ Eden Court on Friday 13, Aberdeen’s Peacock Centre on Saturday 14 and finallyDundee’s DCA on Sunday 15. Full details can be found at

This will conclude HEXES the Vampire Special

Thanks to the usual gang of troublemakers


2 replies on “HEXES The Vampire Special”

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