Spending your eternity plotting with style...
November 6, 2011 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Courtly goth/vampire and horrific torment filter: I'm looking for entertaining fiction that can be written, comics or movies, of the kind that includes decadence, lovely visuals and more of a tendency for supernatural beings to be a focal point than just the thing that the hero gets to kill.

Let there be ridiculously pretty men in foppish shirts, kinky themes/art and court intrigue. Let there not be an excessive quantity of teenage romances and twinkling day walkers. Webcomics, online writing or even computer games are cool too.

So far I enjoyed Requiem Chevalier Vampire and Vampire Phantasm (the latter of which ended abruptly when the author lost interest), as well as the very silly Anita Blake comic. I liked the True Blood conversion of the Southern Vampire novels, but found the endless make-up/break-up thing they had going on was a little excessive.

Dracula, Blade, etc... all touch on this when describing the life of their vampires, but I'm not really interested in the bad ass hunters as the things they're hunting. I spent way too much time as a teenager playing World of Darkness and I got a taste for century long territorial disputes and minions.

I don't really care if they're fairies, mermaids or werewolves, as the thematic elements are what's important to my search, however I've found that this most commonly tends to fall under the umbrella of "Vampire". I'm also not adverse to things which are literary junk food, or even down right stupid/badly written, as long as they're fun.
posted by Phalene to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Storm Constantine's "Burying the Shadow." Trashy, but fun trashy (in a ridiculously overwraught kind of way). I think it'll be right up your alley!

If you like it, definitely check out the rest of her books.
posted by liet at 8:37 PM on November 6, 2011

Er, have you ever read Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles? Trashy, sure, and some of them are truly dreadful, but I bet "The Vampire Armand" and "Blood and Gold" especially would be of interest. They're pretty much classics in the "foppish vampires as main characters" genre.

If you don't mind modern-day/more silly stuff, you might enjoy "Happy Hour of the Damned" etc by Mark Henry.
posted by trunk muffins at 8:42 PM on November 6, 2011

Best answer: Also, no vampires or supernatural creatures but you may well enjoy "Swordspoint" and "The Fall of the Kings" by Ellen Kushner.
posted by trunk muffins at 8:43 PM on November 6, 2011

You've seen True Blood, right? If you're ok with the setting being a small town in Louisiana, that show fits your description perfectly, escpecially in the category of literary junk food. My partner enjoyed reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels on which the show is based.
posted by free hugs at 8:44 PM on November 6, 2011

The movie Underworld touches on it a bit if you haven't seen it. I was going to also suggest the game World of Darkness, but I see you used to play that a ton!
posted by Deflagro at 9:15 PM on November 6, 2011

Since you mention World of Darkness, have you played Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines? Although the game mechanics are a bit dated, it's well written, beautifully voiced, and definitely has a great urban gothic flavor. (And you play a vampire.)

Completely across the map, Christopher Moore has written some amusing novels whose main charcacters are slacker vampires, starting with Bloodsucking Fiends.
posted by zompist at 9:17 PM on November 6, 2011

Yeah, seconding Anne Rice.
posted by number9dream at 9:29 PM on November 6, 2011

J.S. Le Fanu's "Carmilla."
posted by stoneandstar at 9:41 PM on November 6, 2011

For comics, maybe Preacher?
posted by maqsarian at 10:28 PM on November 6, 2011

I'd say Camilla, too. But can I suggest Holly Luhning's debut novel Quiver? It's not a Vampire novel, as such, but it turns on the modern-day fetishization of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who bathed in the blood of virgins to preserve her beauty: it's a 20th century horror story with strong gothic overtones. Creepy and compelling.
posted by jrochest at 10:55 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's a more modern take, but Poppy Z Brite's Lost Souls might mesh with your interests. I big chunk of it is vampires getting gay with each other and doing drugs in a van. It's super trashy and written for goth teenagers but a load of fun all the same.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:07 AM on November 7, 2011

Tom Holland: Supping With Panthers and Deliver Us From Evil may both fit your bill.

I enjoyed the first couple of Rice's Vampire Chronicles but they quickly became unendurable shite from the third or fourth book. The fourth is one of the handful of books I've never been able to finish reading.

I'll echo the Underworld movies, although in many ways they seem like a fanfic on the White Wolf Vampire setting.

Clive Barker has some interesting and complex moral universes; Cabal, Imajica, and Weaveworld all spring to mind.

Gaiman's Neverwhere may work for you.
posted by rodgerd at 1:08 AM on November 7, 2011

If you like Steampunk, you might want to try the Vampire Empire series by Clay and Susan Griffith. (Two books of a trilogy are out so far).
posted by Hanuman1960 at 5:41 AM on November 7, 2011

It's a bit trashy, but Dead Witch Walking, and the rest of the Hollow series might fit your bill.

But I found it very entertaining to read.
posted by rich at 6:58 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not really vampires, but you might like Anne Bishop's books. They're all about courtly and decadent - I really like them.

You said you'd read the Anita Blake webcomic. Anita Blake is a character written by Laurell K. Hamilton and you might therefore enjoy her books. I don't, myself - too much torture porn - but many do. Next to Laurell K. Hamilton in the bookstore (full disclosure: I work in a used bookstore) you will find Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong as well as many others; you might like some of their work as well. I think the genre you might want to browse the next time you're in a store is paranormal romance although most of it is set in the present day and kind of short on elegant decadence.

And, hey, I'm going to recommend two of my favorite 80s movies for you: Gothic and Lair of the White Worm. You cannot beat those two for atmospheric weirdness.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:07 AM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: As always, I'll recommend Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. Excellent female protagonist, mystery, all the backstabbing and ruthlessness of the non-Disneyfied Faerie Court. Sounds like they might be just what you're looking for.
posted by ashirys at 7:43 AM on November 7, 2011

I really loved Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. It's more of a murder mystery in some ways, but it's very Victorian, and the main character, Genevieve, is one of my favorite literary vampires.

Those Who Hunt the Night
is pretty nifty too, and there are a couple of sequels.

I feel like the Anita Blake books started off decent, as kind of a detective/vampire hybrid, but they really degenerated into porn porn porn, which is fine if you're into that sort of thing, but I liked the mystery plot in the first novel.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:06 AM on November 7, 2011

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