science fiction



London night
Photo by Flickr User Pug Girl: London

I love FANTASY books.  They’re imaginative. Unique. Challenging. There are nearly 60 subgenres – and each subgenre is different.  Alternate history fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy… I’ll write about genre soon. What do you think?

I LOVE modern British fantasy. I’ve picked five of the best. Who would you have chosen?

  1. NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman
London Underground
Photo by Flickr User _dChris: London Underground

American Gods is genius. But Neverwhere was the TV series, which turned me on to urban fantasy in a big way. It’s now also a book. Richard is the everyman character, who falls through the cracks into London Below. A world literally beneath London. It’s magical, unpredictable and terrifying.




A strange, challenging and original book. It reimagines the entire history of England. It’s set in the nineteenth century in a world where magic once existed and is now being brought back by two magicians. It questions ‘Englishness’ and the line between ‘reason’ and ‘unreason’. It won a bunch of awards.

Urban Fantasy – Burned by Benedict Jacka
  1. FATED by Benedict Jacka

A dark mage with the ability to see into the future – that’s it. Alex Verus’ whole powers. Apart from his dry – very English – sense of humour. It’s marketed as being an English Dresden Files – and it is. What’s not to enjoy?

  1. RIVERS OF LONDON by Ben Aaronovitch

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    Photo by Flickr User Nicolas Raymond: Starry London Night

Here’s a mythologised London: its past and its legends. Peter Grant – a detective – learns about magic, whilst investigating a murder. He becomes an apprentice wizard. This is a police procedural within an urban fantasy.

  1. THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman

There should be no division between women and men writing in the fantasy scene. But in the last few years there’s been a large number of powerful books written by women within fantasy in Britain. The Invisible Library won, however, because it celebrates London. It bursts with ideas. Irene – the librarian – has to retrieve (i.e. steal) precious books from across perilous parallel universes…with vampires and werewolves…luckily Irene has her wit and intelligence to survive.

What would you have chosen?

My British fantasy novel, Blood Dragons, is also set in London. But this time it’s a divided world: between the First and Blood Lifers. Where the predators are also the prey.

Rebel Vampires Volume 1: Blood Dragons is released on the 14th August.Blood Dragon Button 300 x 225

There will be a virtual launch and release day blog tour.

I’ll post the calendar of events nearer the day, so you can follow, share and join in.

E-mail me at if you’d like to be part of the launch or blog tourBlood Dragons Banner 851 x 315

10 OF THE BEST VAMPIRE BOOKS – Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror

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Photo by Flickr User Ivan: Vampfinger

I’ve always loved vampire books. The best ones twist the concept of ‘vampire’. They unsettle and disturb, reflecting back something about society. Of course they must still be thrilling.

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Cave in Gibraltar

I haven’t chosen the most obvious novels – for example, BRAM STOKER’S Dracula (1897) . Or LAURELL K HAMILTON’S Guilty Pleasures (1993).

If you love vampire fiction (and what’s not to love?) it’s hard to narrow down BUT here are ten of the best:



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Photo by Flickr User Sebastien Lebrigand: boeing 777 sun

10. THE STRAIN by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hugo (2009). Its most interesting aspect is its biological emphasis. The book’s centred on a vampiric virus and what happens when infected passengers from a Boeing 777 infect New York.

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New York

9. THE FLEDGLING by Octavia E. Butler (2005)

Brilliantly written. It has a decidedly sci-fi flavour and yet another twist on the meaning of ‘vampire’. It’s a great example of how horror and science fiction can be used to hold up a looking glass to society: racism, sexism and poverty.

8. LOST SOULS by Poppy Z Brite (1992)
A horror novel. Unique, graphic and evocative. The vampires are the anti-heroes. They can even feed on beauty and love, as well as blood.

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Photo by Flickr User Jeff Turner: Walking the Dog – New Orleans – Panorama

7. FAT WHITE VAMPIRE BLUES by Andrew Fox (2003)
Who said vampire novels had to be serious? Darkly comic writing at its best. The fat, white vampire in question is Jules, a New Orleans vampire. He’s simply struggling to get by. Unexpected and original.

6. I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson (1954)
Haunting and disturbing. A study in loneliness. Robert is left as the sole survivor of a pandemic of a virus, which looks like vampirism.

5. LIVE GIRLS by Ray Garton (1987)
A cult classic. Followed by a sequel in 2005 Night Life. When Davey loses his job, girlfriend and self-esteem, he makes the mistake of visiting a seedy peepshow ‘Live Girls’…The novel is gritty and dark. Blood and sex are linked explicitly.

4. CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT by Dan Simmons (1992)
Vampirism is given a clear, scientific explanation. With a sci-fi feel, the novel is both realistic and disturbing.

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My Vampire Books

3. THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova (2005)
Kostova blends history and folklore of Vlad Tepes and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula. This is the read for anyone who claims they’ll never read a vampire novel.

2. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN by John Ajvide Lindqviste (2004)
Freaky, in just the right way…About the relationship between Oskar, a twelve year-old boy and a centuries-old vampire child, Eli. It explores the darker side of humanity: alcoholism, bullying, anxiety, fatherlessness and murder. Yet it’s beautiful, poignant and haunting.

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Photo by Flickr User Thierry Ehrmann: Anne Rice, Painted Portrait

1. INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE by Anne Rice (1976)

All right, so this is well known…but Anne Rice is one of my favourite writers. A revisionist novel, which turned vampire fiction on its head. It contains a family unit of vampires. It also shows how a society of vampires would function.

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Fantasy Book: Blood Dragons

My new vampire book – Blood Dragons – also twists the genre.

Blood Lifers are ‘the Lost’ species: a camouflaged predator. They’ve evolved alongside humans (First Lifers) but are hidden – both predator and prey.

Rebel Vampires Volume 1: Blood Dragons is released in paperback and e-book in August.

Welcome to My Blog

Rosmary A Johns Urban Portraits

Hi, this is my first post and it’s great to have a blog now. I’m looking forward to talking to and getting to know you. I’m deep in writing mode. Also preparing for the release of my debut novel – Rebel Vampires Volume 1: Blood Dragons in August.


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