Tough Traveling – Vampires

March 5, 2015

Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin …

This weeks theme? VAMPIRES

VAMPIRES are increasingly rare on the TOUR. They have been attracted over tot he Horror Tour by offers of better pay. Where they appear, you will find up to date Vampires wear expensive sunglasses and wish to drain you of energy rather than blood.


1850s Steamboat Vampires from Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin

Such a sense of setting in this one! Complete with a steamboat full of vampires gracing the Mississippi river. Some of these vampires are striving to blend with society, but others, well, they see mortal humans as cattle to sustain.



1950s Plague Victim Vampires from I am Legend by Richard Matheson

A plague is devastating the population, turning friends, family and neighbors in to bloodthirsty creatures, monsters, zombies, vampires, whatever you would like to call them. They are the plague’s fall out. The undead looking to feast on humans. And they have no plans to stop until every last human is either truly dead or one of them.


1970s Vampires that scare Vampires from The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman

Vampire children so small and disturbing that even the vampires are leery and disconcerted by them. Yeah, do you know how much I love stories with creepy mysterious children? Another win. 



2010s Banished Vampires from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Vampires are real. But, no one actually wants to live next door to them, do they? Solution? Place them all in their own walled off cities where they can enjoy life (or undeadness) all they want. Call them Coldtowns after their coldblooded residents. It actually sounds like such a cool idea, so cool I could almost envision tour buses taking mundane humans through to see how the vampires live (or, not live, just whatever it vampires do). But, then you find out that Coldtowns are much like the Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. So yeah, no tour buses going through these Coldtowns.


BlackCompanyCoverWereleopard Vampires from The Black Company by Glen Cook

A shapeshifting vampire you say? A bloody thirsty were leopard? Need I say anything else at all?




And I just can’t complete my post on vampires without including this picture of the lovely girls from Christmasland from The Wraith by Joe Hill. I don’t think they are technically vampires, but they are certainly crazed and out for blood!



  • Nathan (@reviewbarn) March 5, 2015 at 12:05 am

    I could have done without the last panel, that is some scary damn stuff. I thought of Fevre Dream way late, kicked myself, and was too damn lazy to go back and think of something to say about it. Love the Vamps through the ages through.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Tough Travels – VampiresMy Profile

  • nikki @bookpunks March 5, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Oooh, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown! That is an excellent edition to this list. I haven’t read it, but I love Holly Black.

    My list, if yer interested, is here:
    nikki @bookpunks recently posted…my favorite vampiresMy Profile

  • Bob (@beauty_in_ruins) March 5, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Okay, so apparently Fevre Dream needs to go on my TBR list – I’ve seen that a few too many times to ignore today.

    I Am Legend, of course, is an absolute classic (that no movie has ever, ever gotten right).
    Bob (@beauty_in_ruins) recently posted…Tough Travels with . . . VampiresMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) March 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yes, it definitely does need to go on your TBR! It’s a great book, I didn’t get as attached to the characters as I did in ASoIaF, but the setting and tone of the book was amazing. And, it’s hard to get as attached to characters in a one book story as in a long series.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile

  • Danya @ Fine Print March 5, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Yes, Coldtowns sound like a good idea until it starts feeling uncomfortably close to other instances of segregation…but I will have to read the book to know for sure! 🙂 Holly Black is one of my favourite YA authors, she can do no wrong as far as originality goes.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Tough Traveling: VampiresMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) March 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      I think the segregation impact was intentional, its not glorified like my silly post hinted at. It very much shows issues of the “separate but equal” bull.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile

  • Marisa March 5, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Loved that last panel! I just finished reading Coldtown and as crappy as their Coldtowns were, it’s still one of the better humans-and-vampires-coexisting arrangements I’ve read in fiction, I think. And I like the idea of not losing oneself when becoming a vampire.
    Marisa recently posted…The Tough Guide to VampiresMy Profile

  • Laura @ The Half-Strung Harp March 5, 2015 at 11:44 am

    The Lesser Dead sounds terrifying! And I’m so glad someone else mentioned The Black Company. 😀
    Laura @ The Half-Strung Harp recently posted…Tough Travels: VampiresMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) March 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Yep, The Lesser Dead is creeptasticaly terrifying! I was shocked when I read the The Black Company because I never expected it to have anything close to resembling a vampire (or a wereleopard!)
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile

  • Lynn March 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Haha, I love that last panel – it’s brilliant! A great list – I can’t believe I forgot I am Legend.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…‘My own brother, a goddamn shit-sucking vampire’My Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) March 6, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Yay! I’m glad someone enjoyed it 🙂 And I almost always have a facepalm moment when I see a book on someone else choice I wish I had thought. I love that actually 🙂
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile

  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum March 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Ah, a look at vampires throughout the ages! I had a feeling you and I were both going to have The Lesser Dead this week 😀 I never wrote a review, but man that was one creeptastic book.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile

  • Kaja March 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I won Coldest Girl in a giveaway a couple of months ago but I still haven’t managed to read it – mostly because I know it’s scary and I’m afraid to read it 😀 Still, Coldtowns do sound like a flawed idea.
    I didn’t know about Martin’s Fevre Dream, though, it seems interesting and I love stories set in the American South!
    Kaja recently posted…Tough Travels: VampiresMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) March 6, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Fever Dream is an amazing book and the setting is beautifully done! And, Coldest Girl is really good. I don’t know that I remember it being particularly scary, but then again I grew up reading horror, so maybe I’m not the best judge. 🙂
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – VampiresMy Profile