July 3rd, 2007

monk john

Dracula Rests

It brings me no joy to note that Fred Saberhagen died on June 29th. (There is some irony to linking to his Wikipedia entry since I found out about his death on Chuqui's site, in an entry talking about how fubar'd Wikipedia is.)

I discovered Saberhagen via Omni magazine, who had published some short stories of his from his Berserker line. I can't say that I was instantly a Saberhagen fanboy, but I enjoyed them quite a lot. He came up with some rather fascinating scenarios for how life was able to fight back against its greatest threat.

However, it was The Dracula Tape, and its lesser-known cousin, The Frankenstein Papers that I ended up enjoying far more. Saberhagen broke no ground in telling a monster story from the monster's point of view, (Grendel by John Gardner beat him to that by a few years.) But he told Dracula's side with panache and style, and a voice that was completely believable as that of Vlad Tepes. True, the rest of the series was a bit hit and miss, (Sherlock Holmes is Dracula's nephew in some bizarre way), and sometimes stretched a bit thin, (Fighting Morgan Le Fay on a frozen Lake Michigan in Chicago), but even in its weaker moments, Saberhagen kept Dracula from getting too silly as a character. That alone makes that series a highly enjoyable read.

So goodbye Fred, you'll be missed.

I think that's one of the downsides of getting older...you see the people who created what you love dying off.