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It’s the A SMALL CHARRED FACE giveaway contest!

by nickmamatas

Next month we’re releasing A Small Charred Face, an amazing vampire novel by Kazuki Sakuraba. The early reviews are great and it’s coming out next month, just in time for long autumn nights meant for reading something creepy. So of course it is time for one of our giveaway contests!

As usual, the giveaway will work like this: leave a small essayistic (or poetic!) comment on this post, this time describing your favorite vampire story in any medium, and telling us why. We’ll select our four favorites on Friday August 25th, around noon Pacific time, and we’ll ship copies of the book to the winners. We ship anywhere, and read Japanese, Spanish, and Greek as well as English! So tell us what you think!

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11 Responses to “It’s the A SMALL CHARRED FACE giveaway contest!”

  1. Steve Berman says:

    My favorite vampire tale is actually Lost Boys because it’s so damn gay (thank you, Joel Schumacher) but tries to hide so much of the homoerotic and queerness through both the culture of the late 1980s and the attempt to portray divorcee’s family. But repeated viewings truly show the bond of homosociality – the Frog Brothers and Sam Emerson, the pack of vampires, they prissy father figure of Max. When Michael turns into a vampire, his brother’s reaction is not so much fear but disgust, as if he came out. And, of course, the infamous Rob Lowe poster in Sam’s room (supposedly a prop belonging to Schumacher). Every gay boy in the audience suddenly sat up in his chair and said, “Holy shit, Sam must be gay!” So, A Small Charred Face sounds like it has an inherent queerness that I will adore and tell other guys about. I’d love a copy.

  2. Lara Alonso Corona says:

    My favorite vampire story is Silvia Moreno-García’s Certain Dark Things. It’s rare to read a vampire story that’s not inspired in the same trite European traditions and especially refreshing to see Latinos as the heroes and villains of the story. Plus the novel has plenty of noir undertones, and I can’t resist a good noir.

  3. Nathan Filizzi says:

    My favorite vampire story is probably The highgate Vampire by Sean Manchester, because it’s “true.” Back in the 70s, there were reports of vampire sightings in Highgate Cemetery in London, and Manchester, being a vampirologist (and bishop of the Old Catholic church) valiantly hunted it down and wrote a book about it. He also got into feuds with various other people involved in the hunt (most notably fellow whack-job David Farrant who wrote his own book on the alleged event). It all makes for an entertaining, if odd book that’s a great read for anyone interested in the paranormal or weirdos.

  4. Mike D. says:

    Brian Aldiss (1925-2017) was an ingenious science writer whose career spanned more than 60 years. While most of his fiction dealt with the stereotypical science fiction elements of space, aliens, time travel, and the future, Aldiss wasn’t one to shy away from other topics that weren’t well received in his genre of choice; one example is his novel Dracula Unbound (1991), which was written after his epic Helliconia trilogy. Dracula Unbound is bizarre in it’s own right as it includes time travel, yet, even to this day, the novel sets itself apart from the slew of vampire fiction on the market. Where most of today’s vampire fiction is clearly supernatural and aimed at either audiences of the so-called “urban fantasy” genre, Dracula Unbound will forever stand apart as being conceptually unique as it captures the fictional rise of vampires as it’s source: Bram Stoker.

  5. Terrence Yunits says:

    Best vampire story has to be Shiki (spoilers). I really enjoyed the character designs, and they really made you feel for both their victims and the “vampires” themselves. Probably one of the best doctor characters in anything too. He does some crazy stuff to learn what makes the vampires tick, and how to stand a chance of combatting them.

    Shame we don’t have the original novel in English yet. I hear the novel is really well written, but the anime was decent. I don’t watch too much vampire stuff, so this was definitely the best thing I can remember in recent history (unless you count the vampire student of My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World).

  6. Jim Rion says:

    My favorite vampire story, the one I best remember all these years later, it’s Cyril M. Kornbluth’s “The Mindworm.”

    I read it as a jr high kid in one of those countless Golden Age SF collections they put out in the 80s, and it sticks with me because of the weird intersection of horror and SF it represents. It has the 50s SF fascination with esp and mutants, and yet still manages to play on the old world vampire tropes of Hammer films, all wrapped up in Kornbluth’s snappy prose.

    I reread it again recently, and it has held up remarkably well.

  7. The Kim says:

    I’m gonna go old school here and say my favorite has to be Dracula. There’s a reason he’s endured the ages as a go-to vampire figure for both horror and romance.

    For those who focus on the horror, yes, he can be fricking SCARY. The prose touches you in places you do not want to be touched. It finds you in your bedroom, holds you down, and forces you to do things you don’t want to do. It turns you into something you’re not. And you are never the same after.

    For those focused on the romance, it’s a story about unleashed feminine power and sexuality that seduces you away from your ordinary life and transforms you into something new and beautiful. Even though the main heroine eventually rejects that power in lieu of a more traditional feminine role, for a moment she was divine. And even in that traditional role that she chose for herself, she is still forever changed. She tasted that divinity for one brief dark moment, and she will never be the same again.

    And neither will we.

  8. Richard Alan Scott says:

    I don’t Measure Karl Edward Wagner
    and The Count lacks a pernicious bite.
    I can’t find the Lost Boys arousing
    but those wraiths of Thirty Days of Night !

    Aaaaaaaaaahhh !!!

  9. Kristy Dalton says:

    I probably shouldn’t say it because it will cause some groans, I’m sure, but my favorite is “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice. Although, Louis does irritate me, and the first time I read “Interview with the Vampire”, I almost stopped because I couldn’t take his whining. I guess I’m more of a Lestat fan in that respect. But if I hadn’t read the book, I wouldn’t have met Lestat, who is my ideal vampire: bad boy, beautiful, and lethal, all qualities I look for in vampires, unless it’s Nosferatu or those types of vampires that are more demon than semi-human. However, I do have to wonder if it weren’t for Louis and Lestat would we have had Angel and Spike (from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”)?

  10. TC says:

    Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

    The novel is terrifying not because of the vampires (though they are plenty scary), but rather because of the darkness of humanity. The relationship between the two protagonists provides some bright spots, but it is an incredibly dark work. What these characters are capable of, and what they do, is horrific, and yet you will still feel some empathy for them, because Lindqvist’s characterization is so good.

    It has been several years since I last read it, but it still hasn’t left my mind.

  11. Ken P says:

    “I Am Legend,” by Richard Matheson, is definitely my favorite. For one, Matheson is an outstanding writer in the horror genre, and the success of his stories rely on there being this subtle tweak somewhere along the way which will either flip or abolish any of the safety of genre conventions. The major thing is that you’re going to feel alone when you take on a Matheson novel, and nowhere is this made more abundantly, more morosely clear than I Am Legend.
    Despite the strange film adaptation which hardly resembles the original, the novel of I Am Legend deals with vampires having overtaken the world, with protagonist Robert Neville seemingly the last man alive. Vampires rule the night, but during the day Robert can move about— anywhere and everywhere. Everyone is gone, and everything has stopped working. Robert is desperately searching for any sort of “human” life, which is to say anything non-vampiric, with the most significant part of the novel involving the sheer joy Robert feels when he sees a dog which has avoided the vampiric infection. Through this dog Robert is able to ameliorate the gravity of his loneliness for a time, immediately obsessing about the dog and the color of its life, and that’s where the novel really sets home its power. You know Robert is alone, afraid that he is forever alone, from the first page of the novel; but its the ecstasy, the geyser of faith which surfaces when Robert simply sees an uninfected creature, a creature which he can still determine under Human sensibility, that the book basically reaches out and stabs you with this terribly sharp Existential blade that you had no idea was lying between the lines all along.
    It’s an amazing book, particularly for its portrayal/study of how loneliness affects a human. But I don’t want to overlook the vampires; while they serve more as accessories to the inner conflicts of Robert, Matheson’s vampires are also an extremely odd and highly original take on the creature. In general, vampires have always been cast as broody cast-offs, lonely people who can’t have friends on account of their inevitably eating them and all that, but Matheson dives away from this. The role of the vampire here is not as sinister or lonely but instead evolutionary and united. The object of killing humans isn’t the point; instead, it’s that humans are to be surpassed, and that the vampire, and really any creature which climbs the Darwin scale, is always representative of a more conjoined and harmonious species. And that’s a reallllly strange thing to have presented in these weird, pale vicious creatures that have wiped out mankind— but it’s also true. They’re not “bad guys,” not in I Am Legend anyway, and it’s just a complete mind throw.


    Wow. Wrote too much there. But boy; I loved that book. Think I might just go read it again now!


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