As much as I enjoy the subgenre of vampire fiction, I am equally grateful that the allure of it has worn off. The king of the supernatural subgenres has been dethroned.
When you consider the fact that Anne Rice was writing about her vamps in 1976, the vampire-as-protagonist (or lover) has been going on for quite a while. And yes, I know Dracula was written almost a hundred years before that; but that was vampire-as-monster, which is quite a bit different. But really, when we’ve gotten to a point where grandmothers can argue that the vamps in their day were sexier*, you know it’s time to find something new to write about.
2016 will make it 40 years of vampire-as-protagonist, which is kinda mind boggling, though it probably didn’t reach it’s peak until the 2000s. Hell, even Weber tried to get in on the cash cow that was vamp fiction (His vampire novel really requires a post of its own)**.
Why do I think it’s finally over? No more Twilight novels. No more Sookie Stackhouse novels. The Undead and Un____*** series of novels are one away from being done. LKH will still be writing the Anita Blake novels, but already she’s been focusing more on the shapeshifters.
This isn’t to say that there will never be another vampire novel! Yarbro & Feehan will keep going (not that I really think they are at all the same, one is quality and one is fluff) but it’s telling that we’re going from a dozen top names in the field to 2ish. Vampire novels have gone from being automatically publishable to maybe. If it’s good enough.
The limited success of the movie Dracula Untold really makes it clear that readers and movie goers are ready to move on. Had it come out in 2009, it probably would have done amazing. Unfortunately, these days the markets are hungry for the current monster ‘king’ (zombies), and are already looking for the next****.
And we can safely return to using the vampire-as-monster again, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
*My mom still thinks Christopher Lee made a sexy vampire.
**His take on it is… interesting.
***Just put a random Un___ word in and you’ll probably find a vampire novel she wrote.
****Because we like sexy monsters, and zombies are kinda gross.