Saturday, May 16, 2009

More tales featuring the Children of Judas

The Kiss of Judas & The Death of Halpin Frayser is sort of like one of those old Ace Books double novels ... but not really.

1893 “The Kiss of Judas” (novella) by Julian Osgood Field (X.L.)
1893 “The Death of Halpin Frayser” (story) by Ambrose Bierce
1893 “Vampires” (article) by Thomson J. Hudson
This is the latest book in the series, published in February 2009, and marks the third cover to feature art by Dave Carson.
Two more titles were published: Montague Summers' survey of vampire literature; and a new novella by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawks. I'll post these titles soon.
The series will continue. Presently, I have at least 4 more books in the planning stages. Expect one in the Summer of '09. Limited to 26 lettered copies. So feel free to take it to the beach. If it gets wet I'll sell you another. (Obviously I need the money. I'm putting my dog through obedience school.)

You can relax now: Here's An Uneasy Repose

Okay, I realize I'm starting to post some of the titles out of order. Even I can't keep up with the bloody books! Nevertheless, here's Classic Vampires Revisited: An Uneasy Repose


1889 “Will” (story) by Vincent O’Sullivan
1889 “The Dead Smile” (story) by F. Marion Crawford
1889 “The Stone Chamber” (story) by H. B. Marriott Watson
1900 “The Old Portrait” (story) by Hume Nisbet
Cool cover by Allen Koszowski

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Botanical Nightmare

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Botanical Nightmare
Forget The Little Shop of Horrors. Here's 5 classic tales of bloodsucking plants!

1881: “The Man-Eating Tree” (story) by Phil Robinson
1894: “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid” (story) by H. G. Wells
1899: “The Purple Terror” (story) by Fred M. White
1915: “The Pavilion” (story) by E. Nesbit
1919: “The Sumach” (story) by Ulric Daubeny

Cover art by Allen Koszowski.

This is the first and only anthology of vampiric vegetation. I believe the only similarly themed anthology is Parry's 1976 Roots of Evil, but that book dealt with the broader theme of plants that figure in weird fiction and included only Wells' “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid”.

A Botanical Nightmare gathers stories stretching from 1891 to 1919 and hence does not fit neatly into the vampire tale chronology.

Mario Guslandi posted a nice review of the chapbook at

And Still We Hunger for more classic vampire tales!

Classic Vampires Revisited: And Still We Hunger
Two great detectives match wits with the undead. Plus a story that had not been reprinted since its first appearance in Weird Tales.

1922: “Blood-Lust” (story) by Dion Fortune
1922: “Negotium Perambulans” (story) by E. F. Benson
1924: “The Sussex Vampire” (story) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
1925: “Four Wooden Stakes” (story) by Victor Rowan

Another incredible cover by Allen Koszowski.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Fearful Feasting

Because I'm an animal lover, this remains one of my favorite covers. And because the photo captured the creature's great intelligence. Okay, okay, I did do something to the photo to "tweak" it.

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Fearful Feasting

1914: “Dracula’s Guest” (story) by Bram Stoker
1914: “An Episode of Cathedral History” (story) by M. R. James
1914: “Aylmer Vance and the Vampire” (story) by Alice & Claude Askew
1920: “The Vampire” (story) by Jan Neruda
1922: “Mrs Amworth” (story) by E. F. Benson

A Harvest of Horror

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Harvest of Horror
features some of the greatest practitioners of the weird tale!
1904: “Count Magnus” (story) by M. R. James
1905: “For the Blood is the Life” (story) by F. Marion Crawford
1909: “An Authenticated Vampire Story” (article) by Franz Hartmann
1910: “The Singular Death of Morton” (story) by Algernon Blackwood
1912: “The Transfer” (story) by Algernon Blackwood
1912: “The Room in the Tower” (story) by E. F. Benson

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Shocking Revelation

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Shocking Revelation


1907: “The Feather Pillow” (story) by Horacio Quiroga
1907: “A Case of Alleged Vampirism” (story) by Luigi Capuana
1908: “The Blood Fetish” (story) by Morley Roberts 1909: “The Vampirine Fair” (written 1797-1801) (poem) by Thomas Hardy

Cover art by Dave Carson

Shocking, isn't it?

The House of the Vampire

George Sylvester Viereck's 1907 novel The House of the Vampire was the second book I published. This is a classic tale of a psychic vampire who preys on the New York literati.

The cover photo depicts a building in New York, circa 1907. Just the sort of "pad" where our villain would hang out.

In the Dwellings of the Wilderness

I searched for three years before finding a copy of the extremely rare 1904 novel In the Dwellings of the Wilderness by C. Bryson Taylor. Here it is, complete, reprinted in all its glory, etc., etc. A surprisingly good novel with some fine passages and several creepy scenes.

Allen Koszowski did the beautiful cover art.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Ripening Evil

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Ripening Evil

1900: “The Tomb of Sarah” (story) by F. G. Loring
1900: “Marsyas in Flanders” (story) by Vernon Lee
1900: “The Vampire Maid” (story) by Hume Nisbet
1902: “Luella Miller” (story) by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

Cover art by Allen Koszowski. Allen signed all the copies of this book. It's the only one he's signed, so far. But that's only because I haven't got around to asking him to sign another. Soon, I promise.

A Consuming Passion

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Consuming Passion
1893: “The Last of the Vampires” (story) by Phil Robinson
1894: “The True Story of a Vampire” (story) by Count Stenbock
1896: “The Vampire of Croglin Grange” (story) by Augustus Hare
1896: “Good Lady Ducayne” (story) by Mary E. Braddon
Batman artist Andy Fish did this cover art for me. I have another piece he did for the series. I'm hoping to use it soon.
Another Phil Robinson story appears in Classic Vampires Revisited: A Botanical Nightmare, an all man-eating, bloodsucking plants volume in the series.

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Growing Fear

Classic Vampires Revisited: A Growing Fear

I loved being able to include Gilbert & Sullivan's contribution to the evolution of the Literary Vampire!


1886: “The Vampyre” (poem) by Vasile Alecsandrai
1887: “A Mystery of the Campagna” (novella) by Anne Crawford
1887: “Ruddigore” (storyline) William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Cover art by Allen Koszowski


The DLP edition of Carmilla by J. S. Le Fanu included the Introdution "From Folklore to Formula." Interesting to see how many elements in this 1872 novel Stoker used in Dracula, elements which have since become part of the standard vampire novel formula.

Contents: full text of the 1872 novel, plus an
Introdution and a short bio of Le Fanu.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lords of Gardonal (by William Gilbert)

Another interesting work of vampire fiction, nipping hard at the heels of The Mysterious Stranger, is The Last Lords of Gardonal by William Gilbert

1867: “The Last Lords of Gardonal” (story) by William Gilbert
1871: “Vampyres and Ghouls” (article) Anonymous (conducted by Charles Dickens)
Afterword, "The Other Gilbert", by Tom English
Cover by Allen Koszowski

I'll say a bit more about this one later, as well as continue listing the titles in the series. I'm a little weary at the moment. Could be weak from all the blood I gave at the office. What's that? You work for a vampire, too?!

Well, try and get some rest, my friends. Sleep tight and don't let the vampires bite.

The Mysterious Stranger

Again, a couple of future books, now in the planning stage, will fill in the gaps between Poe and Gautier and the novella that I printed in the next chapbook,
The Mysterious Stranger, an anonymous work, probably translated from German, which immediately brings to mind many of the plot elements of Dracula. We could all cry "foul" but, alas, we haven't a leg to stand on, since this work appeared three decades before Stoker even started researching his novel.
1860: “The Mysterious Stranger” (novella) by Anonymous
(ahem, and my Introduction, of course)
Fabulous cover art by Allen Koszowski.

Red Scare

Classic Vampires Revisited: Red Scare
is a companion book to Black Sunday.

Introduction, "Red Scare" by Tom English
1847: (translation into English in 1884) “The Curse of the Vourdalak” (story) by Aleksey Tolstoy
1906: (English translation, 1907) “Lazarus” (story) by Leonid Andreyev

These two stories are unnerving. As good as anything being done today in the horror genre. No, better!

Another great piece of cover art by Allen Koszowski.

A Beguiling Corruption

Next in line, chronologically moving forward toward the 1897 publication of Stoker's Dracula :

Classic Vampires Revisited:
A Beguiling Corruption
1835: “Berenice” (story) by Edgar Allan Poe
1835: “Morella” (story) by Edgar Allan Poe
1836: “The Dead Lover” (“La Morte Amoureuse”) (novella) by Théophile Gautier

Yes, yes, and with an intro by me.

Poe often explored vampirism in his work. Decades before Le Fanu's Carmilla, Poe and Gautier made the femme fatale a mainstay of vampire literature.

The creepy cover art is by my good friend Allen Koszowski, a World Fantasy Award-winning artist.

Black Sunday

There are a couple books in the series that will cover the years between Polidori's 1819 work "The Vampire" and the appearance in 1928 of "Viy", but these chapbooks are still in pre-production. So, next in line is Classic Vampires Revisited: Black Sunday, which contains my intro on Gogol and the Mario Bava film inspired by his Russian vampire novella

Introduction, "Black Sunday" by Tom English
1835: (translation of 1928 novella) “Viy” (novella) by Nikolai Gogol

The striking cover image is by UK writer/editor/illustrator Dave Carson.

The Vampyre (by Dr John Polidori)

Polidori's The Vampyre; A Tale is the first chapbook DLP published, and has since become the hard-to-find "holy grail" of the series.

In the chronological evolution of the literary vampire genre, the book is 3rd in the series, immediately following Dark Sucklings.

Is there someone in your life who is constantly taking from you? Asking and demanding and manipulating and in general bleeding you dry?

The poet Lord Byron was the vampire in Dr. John Polidori's life. The young, starstruck Polidori, personal physician to Byron until he was coldly cast aside, modeled his aristocratic vampire, Lord Ruthven, after his vain employer. Almost 100 years before Dracula, the archetype of the bloodsucking nobleman was born in the character of Ruthven, and The Vampyre ignited a feeding frenzy for stories and plays depicting the undead that lasted for more than half a century.

Introduction, "Dr Polidori and the Vampyre" by Tom English
1819: “The Vampyre: A Tale” (story) by Dr. John Polidori
1819: “Fragment of a Novel” (story fragment) by Lord Byron

Dark Sucklings

Classic Vampires Revisited: Dark Sucklings, the 5th book published in the Literary Vampire series, is a sequel to The Bloody Roots. The contents comprise the earliest vampire literature penned by English writers:

"Dark Sucklings", Introduction by Tom English
1801: “Thalaba the Destroyer” (poem) by Robert Southey
1810: “The Vampire” (poem) by John Stagg
1813: “The Giaour” (poem) by Lord Byron
1816: “Christabel” (written 1797-1801) (poem) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1820: “Lamia” (poem) by John Keats
1820: “La Belle Dame sans Merci” (poem) by John Keats

The Bloody Roots of the Literary Vampire Series

In May 2005, I chose the name Dead Letter Press and published The Vampyre by Dr. John Polidori, the first in a long series of uniform chapbooks exploring the evolution of the literary vampire genre. Each book in the series has a limitation of 26 copies, plus 4 or 5 PCs (publisher's copies) used for review copies and record keeping. I wanted to keep the print runs low in order to make the books collectible. I set the retail price at $25 per copy and then worked hard to justify that price: I spent weeks researching material for each book, writing entertaining and thoughtful introductions, carefully laying out the pages and covers to create an attractive and easy to read package. And, who knew, not only did the first volume sell, but collectors were very enthusiastic about the first book and the idea of an ongoing series. 23 volumes and 4 years later, the series continues to be praised for its literary and entertainment value and prized by collectors of rare books.

Although Classic Vampires Revisited: The Bloody Roots was the 4th chapbook published by Dead Letter Press under the Department of Dead Letters imprint, the book's contents comprise the earliest depictions of vampires in the English language (the English translations of important works by German writers).

The Bloody Roots contains complete versions of the following works:
1748: “Der Vampir” (poem) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder
1774: “Lenore” (poem) by Gottfried August Bürger
1797: “The Bride of Corinth” (poem) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
c. 1800: “Wake Not the Dead” (story) by Johann Ludwig Tieck
Also includes the Introduction by Tom English ("The Bloody Roots")