The "Gothic" James Bradley


After valiantly working his way through scads of vampire-themed literature, tv and film Australian author James Bradley published his views on the whole genre in the July issue of the "Australian Literary Review".  And then, last week, he continued with a discussion with Ramona Koval on ABC Radio National's "Book Show" about the same subject.  Maybe he's now becoming the vampire "go-to" guy in Australian letters. 

Anyway, one point he made in his discussion on the radio came after Koval asked him if the current vampire trend would continue.  Bradley pointed out that if publications such as the ALR were writing about a cultural trend then it was probably already over and done with.  The next question, of course, is: what's next?  Bradley didn't know - and I can't blame him for that as I don't think anyone else does either.  So I went to the prime source of wisdom in matters of this sort: my sixteen-year-old daughter.  She just looked at me blankly.  Stephanie Meyer is old hat now. The American television drama series True Blood is now the front-runner, and, though she hadn't yet seen anything of the British TV series Being Human, she was aware of it.  But the whole vampire thing seems to still have a fair way to go she thought.  I asked if she had any hint of the "next big thing", and it was at that point over breakfast that I was convinced, yet again, that she thinks I'm a total idiot.


I suggest steampunk. See Richard Harland's Worldshaker, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, and Arthur Slade's Hunchback Assignments.

If not steampunk, then zombies.

Sorry! Though since most teenagers' sense of worth relies upon their parents being hopeless, out-of-touch dags, you're probably actually doing her good by fulfilling the stereotype.

Amber, we are getting a trickle of zombie material (see "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - - by Seth Grahame-Smith) but I don't see it as a major force. Too much of a one-trick pony in my mind.

From a librarian in Newcastle: we can't get enough Stephanie Meyer and enough vampire books in general. I personally have been loving zombies for years, but the 2 zombie books on our blog haven't had any hits. I'm interested to see what happens with steampunk.

Ah...look more closely at the YA scene! How about Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth? And the raging zombies-versus-unicorns debate due to result in an anthology edited by Holly Black (team unicorn) and Justine Larbalestier (team zombie)?

My money is still on steampunk, but I think zombies are shambling up on the inside rail. And zombies don't give up easily. It's one of their most endearing qualities.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 21, 2009 1:42 PM.

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