Techno Babble For the Modern Vampire


J. F. Lewis

Dracula never had an app for that.

He simply didn’t. If you’ve ever read Les Klinger’s Annotated Dracula (and you really should. Les is frick’n awesome… read his Annotated Sherlock Holmes while you’re at it) you already know that Dracula by Bram Stoker was a techno thriller. Shorthand was cutting edge stuff. Train schedules were mind-boggling. And when Van Helsing told Nina that she “had the man brain”, it was a compliment about how intelligent she was. After all, only Nina could keep anything complicated straight in that bunch of vampire hunters.

In the Void City series, though. Eric does keep up with the times. He can’t remember how to check his voicemail, but he does check email, surf the internet, and play the occasional video game. (Les has not yet had the occasion to do an annotated version of my books, BTW. Though if he did, there would no doubt be a great wealth of information about old movies, bands, and slang terms from various eras) And if Marilyn were to tell Tabitha that she “had the man brain”, it would be an insult.

But back to Dracula… the struggle to keep up with the mortals (but not the Joneses… them you just eat) has always featured in vampire novels to one degree or another. Dracula struggled with the way the world was changing from an era of more brutal politics and less civilized war. (Isn’t that an oxymoron?) Feminism was slowly rearing it’s head in Dracula’s time. Religious ideals were being brought into question.

Then again, jumping back to Void City, the same kind of struggle is taking place. There is a distinct societal clash for a World War II vet who is still “dating” (or hunting) in a post Y2K world. And in Book 4 (Eric will even have an app for that… though you’ll have to wait several more months to know what I mean by that). What is your favorite modern idea or device an eighty year old vampire (or 100 year vampire? or a 200 years old vampire?) would face in the world of today? What situation would you put them in if you could?

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