• Author Kim Newman on his new Anno Dracula novel, Johnny Alucard (plus excerpt)

    Johnny Alucard is the fourth book in the Anno Dracula series; the earlier novels are Anno Dracula,The Bloody Red Baron and Dracula Cha Cha Cha — and the definitive Titan editions include the long novellas ‘Vampire Romance’ and ‘Aquarius’.

    The premise is that in 1885 Count Dracula came to Britain, as Bram Stoker describes in his novel … but rather than being defeated by Van Helsing, he rose to power, becoming Queen Victoria’s second husband and popularising vampirism as a lifestyle choice at the heart of the British Empire. He also imported all the other surviving vampires of fiction as his retinue of hangers-on and toadies.

    All this is in the first book — which revolves around Stoker’s Dr. Seward, who has become a vampire-slaying Jack the Ripper. The subsequent volumes cover the next hundred years and have a global reach, with Dracula moving from country to country and era to era … and manifesting the ills of the century even when seemingly dead again. In Johnny Alucard, the story moves from Europe to America, and we follow the rise of a Romanian orphan who becomes Dracula’s heir apparent as he conquers such American fields of endeavour as drug-dealing, movie production, serial murder, and covert military intervention in other countries.

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