Vampire Books I Like – Science Fiction

I am not a huge fan of vampire romance, so my favorite vampire books are mostly from the science fiction and fantasy genres. Here are my top three science fiction choices.

My all-time favorite vampire book is The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas. Not only is it a wonderful work in itself – it consists of four separate stories of the same vampire, each from a different point of view – but it gives science-fictional touches to the vampire myth that for me add to its realism. The vampire isn’t sure how old he is; periodically, he hibernates and while asleep forgets his previous life, as a method of protecting himself from becoming too close to humans, who are his prey. So far as he knows, he is the only one of his kind, a species of one. And instead of fangs, he feeds on blood as a mosquito does, via an organ beneath his tongue, so his human victims rarely notice. As the story begins, the vampire is hiding himself in plain sight as a respected university professor, Dr. Weyland.

More about The Vampire Tapestry on the author’s website and her essay about the book, Scarlet Ribbons (link is to part one of four – note that there are a lot of spoilers in the essay).

My second favorite vampire novel is a long, emotionally intense novel by C.S. Friedman, The Madness Season. It’s set in a future where alien invaders have destroyed human society. The vampire protagonist, Daetrin, is also in hiding as a university professor, at one of the few schools the aliens allow; but soon they discover that he’s not human, and capture him. He must confront his own nature and his own skills as a shapechanger in order to save both himself and the rest of humanity. There is more than one type of vampire in the novel, and it’s interesting to see how Friedman plays the different species and their views off of each other.

The last book on my list is Fledgling by Octavia Butler. The book was published shortly before Butler’s death. I love it because of her original science fictional take on the vampire myth. Here are a couple of detailed reviews, in Strange Horizons and The Washington Post. Butler’s much earlier novel Wild Seed featured a character that, to me, was also vampiric, but not in the traditional sense; he lived by stealing bodies and inhabiting them, one after another.

Please share your favorite sf vampires!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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4 Responses to Vampire Books I Like – Science Fiction

  1. Jeannie Lin says:

    Nosferatu has got to be the scariest vampire around!

    I'm kind of with you on vampire romance — though I did enjoy Twilight in all of it's teen angstyness. I haven't read any vamp scifi, but there was this movie called Lifeforce. Not the best production, but the vamps came from space and the infection spread like the plague. The military considered nuking ground zero. I loved how the movie went in a couple different places you usually didn't see in vampire flick.

  2. Mima says:

    thanks so much for posting this. i read too much romance so i'm going to pursue this list. checking out speculative fantasy spreads my horizons more.

  3. Calila1988 says:

    I am totally a sucker(haha) for all things vampire related. Movies, TV show, and books all are must see,watch,read.

    Love JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Confess to loving the Twilight Saga.

  4. Victoria Janssen says:

    Lifeforce sounds interesting. I also want to check out a British show, Ultraviolet.

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