So I understand there are people quite perturbed at the amount of Twilight-mania that’s going on, since Part 1 of the “final”* book has hit cinemas this weekend. People are going apeshit over it (vampshit?) and it will make a ton of money. This is known. And granted, I’m not saying don’t make fun of them (a certain incident we staged with a pinata springs to mind), but keep it in perspective.
So for those of you who find yourselves overly concerned about the amount of attention this is giving to Vampiricus Sparklibus, I have three things for you:
If you need some suggestions to throw at them, save these five in your internal memory storage and call upon it in your hour of need. “Sorry to hear your vampire series is over…have you tried…?” In fact, if you know any of these folks, grab a used copy from Amazon (or a bookstore, whatever works) and throw it at them for Xmas.
Five books to throw at Twilight fans in the hopes of getting them to read more. In alphabetical order. Go.
#1. I Am Legend. Screw the movie. Movies. Nothing can touch the original Richard Matheson book. Long touted as Stephen King‘s favorite novel, it’s something that you can easily read in one sitting (I did). The last man on earth vs. gajillion vampires. Here, here’s the opening paragraph. One of my favorite in all of fiction.
Love it. I’m amazed how many genre-knowledgeable people haven’t read it. It’s a great one to throw at people because it has name recognition because of the movie. (Available in paperback used on Amazon for as little as a penny.)
#2. The Light at the End. John Skipp & Craig Spector’s novel about a punk who gets turned by a much older vampire (as I recall it) just for the hell of it. Then turned loose on the streets of New York City. This sets in motion a series of people who want to stop his murders. Hijinks ensue! It’s been a while since I cracked this open, but damn, I remember it being a fun read. Vampire hunters and vampires under New York City–what’s not to like? (Available in paperback used on Amazon for as little as a penny.)
#3. Salem’s Lot. I know, you’re thinking, “Who hasn’t read Salem’s Lot?” But no, a lot of people have not, especially your target audience with this conversion routine. And this is a nice stepping stone backwards to, say, Stoker’s original, since that was the direct model for King’s tale of a town under attack by a vampire lord. One of my favorite “starter King” books to recommend to folks–and, even with my limited amount of reading time, I’ve still managed to read this through seven times. It’s that good. (Available in paperback used on Amazon for as little as a penny.)
#4. The Tomb of Dracula. A comic book? Yes, a comic book. Marv Wolfman and some of the finest vampire art ever from the late great Gene Colan. Seventy issues of the Lord of the Vampires facing off with the descendents of the Harkers and Van Helsing. Yes. The other lead-in to this is: they may be aware of Blade, which spun out of its pages. (Admittedly pricier than the above, Vol. 1 goes for $10 new or used. So still not bad.)
#5. Vampire$. Screw the movie. This is, as Bailey first told me, “John Wayne vs. the Vampires.” Full-on testosterone, “Get the women and children to safety,” type of action. Just hellaciously fun. The thing I tell people to give them a taste: each of the vampire hunters have a custom made stake to be buried with them in case of their demise. One character’s bears the inscription: “Not One Damned Regret.” Badass. Granted, use this one selectively, as this is about as far as from soap opera sparkle as it gets. (Again, we’re back in bargain territory: Available in paperback used on Amazon for as little as a penny.)
Remember: Twilight may have their attention now, but it will end for long enough to use your opportunity to broaden their horizons. Remember: every time you convert someone from a Twilight-only reader to a genre lover for life, a real vampire gets his fangs. And we all know vampires see non-readers as easier to kill than readers. So everyone wins! Good luck!
P.S. This is just five. I’m sure there are scads of others out there. What would you give to someone to try to convert them? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
*–Final my ass.