Let’s round out October with some horror fiction!

These are the first five of Fred Saberhagen’s Dracula novels — The Dracula Tape (1975), The Holmes-Dracula File (1978), An Old Friend of the Family (1979), Thorn (1980) and Dominion (1982). There are more, but Saberhagen returned to the series in 1990 and the covers just aren’t that swell from that point on.

The first novel is sort of an attempt to do what John Gardner did with Grendel (1971) to Dracula — tell the “true” story from the villain’s perspective, make him empathetic while still preserving the danger that is central to his appeal. It kind of works. Its fun, at least. As the novels goes on, the saga gets more preposterous and Dracula becomes ever more heroric, but the series never really runs out of charm. Worth pointing out, too, that the first novel is a recorded interview, a conceit Anne Rice would use for Interview with a Vampire the very next year.

First three covers by Bob Adragna. Thorn is uncredited. Dominion, surprisingly, is by Howard Chaykin.

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