It looks like the long awaited Johnny Alucard is about to see print. Which makes me very happy.
In 1993, I was a tender 21 years old, a book came out by an author called Kim Newman (whose work I knew from Interzone) which became one of my favourite books of all time. It still remains so, despite me losing my paperback copy many years ago and fearing I would never get to read it again.
[caption id="attachment_699" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Anno Dracula (1993)"][/caption]
Browsing round Waterstones I came across a new edition.
[caption id="attachment_700" align="aligncenter" width="660" caption="Anno Dracula (New Edition, 2011)"][/caption]
That must be a picture of the American cover. The one in front of me has the top quote from Neil Gaiman saying:
"Compulsory reading ... glorious."
Everything else is just the same. I do wonder what words they missed out from Neil though:
"Compulsory reading for the addled internet generation addicted to anything vampiric. Compared to staking yourself in the eye with sharpened garlic this book is glorious."
If that is what you said Neil shame on you. Shame!
Unlike what I imagine Neil might have said I loved the book. It is set in an alternative 1888 oh hold on here is Amazon to the rescue:
It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders. Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history. Acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. This brand-new edition of the bestselling novel contains unique bonus material, including a new afterword from Kim Newman, annotations, articles and alternate endings to the original novel.
Not mentioned above the book is funny. Not in a comedy sense but in the sense of being great fun as characters from all over Victorian era fiction are met. Imagine Jasper Fforde meeting Michael Moorcock and Bram Stoker and them all having a fight. This is the book they might have written in the post fight love up.
Quite why the book is being re-released now after so many years I have no idea, I suspect lawyers.
The sequels look like they are soon to follow:
The cover for the new re-print of The Bloody Red Baron (the sequel to AnnoDracula), has been revealed. It will go on sale in April 2012.
I still own my copies of The Bloody Red Baron, Dracula Cha Cha Cha and even my binary of Andy Warhol's Dracula.
In short if you see this book buy it.
If you were expecting discussion of plot development, writing style, characters and such like do not bother. I have just finished reading this book after a drought of well over ten years. It is still every bit and fabulous as my rose tinted memory told me it would be.
If not better.
Bookgeeks Review: http://www.bookgeeks.co.uk/2011/06/06/kim-newman/
Kim Newman News: http://www.johnnyalucard.com/main.html#news