Suffered from the Night: Queering Stoker’s Dracula

Steve Berman et al.

One of the more admired characters in Western literature happens to be a murderer, a villain, a fiend: Count Dracula. Irish author Bram Stoker’s classic novel stands high in the canon of speculative fiction, influencing countless twentieth- and twenty-first-century storytellers in a variety of mediums. It is only natural for the outsiders of society to reinterpret the world’s most infamous vampire through the lenses of their own experience. Who is more outside of society than Dracula? Perhaps the writers of queer-themed speculative fiction and their characters….

In Suffered from the Night: Queering Stoker’s Dracula, editor Steve Berman provides a worthy companion to Lethe Press’s widely acclaimed earlier anthologies of queered canon, A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes and Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe. Here you will find dark tales (and a poem) of Dracula himself, his minions willing and not, his implacable enemies, and their heirs. Prepare to be guided into the deep recesses of the queer imagination by an impressive array of award winners, veterans, and bright new lights.

Suffered From The Night: Queering Stoker’s Dracula allows authors to play in Stoker’s world and explore characters in ways  the mores of Stoker’s time would not allow him to. It’s a collection well worth picking up.”
Lambda Literary

Stories and poems by: Jason Andrew / Laird Barron / Steve Berman / Seth Cadin / Traci Castleberry / Elka Cloke / William P. Coleman / Sven Davisson / Rajan Khanna / Livia Llewellyn / Ed Madden / Jeff Mann / Damon Shaw / Lee Thomas

Four of the authors—Traci Castleberry, Elka Cloke, Jeff Mann, and Bill Coleman—were interviewed at Outer Alliance. Here’s a link to the podcast

Steve Berman is the author of the young adult novel Vintage, A Ghost Story, a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. He has sold nearly a hundred short stories, most gay-themed. He has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies, including the recent releases The Touch of the Sea and the Wilde Stories series that reprints the best gay speculative fiction of the prior year.

From Elka Cloke’s “Bloofer Ladies“:

Watching her I felt I was looking into a mirror. The effect was heightened by the fact that I could not see myself in the window glass, only her. It was very odd since I could see the whole street but not myself. It was as if I did not exist.

Then I began to think that if I did not exist it did not matter what I did or did not do. If nothing I did was real, then could I not do anything I wanted? I had always wondered what it would be like to kiss myself. I have kissed my own face in the mirror many times, but the cold glass was not like my own lips. I wanted to know. I wanted to kiss her mouth and tangle her dark hair with my blonde hair, somewhere out of the light.

I watched until she came out the back door of the shop to toss the rubbish and then grabbed her, placing my hand over her mouth so she could not scream. She bit me on the hand and even drew a little blood but then she went limp and then just quietly moaned as if too tired to move. I drained her as near death as I could, to sate the hunger. Then, when she was quiet, I kissed her lips.

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