The Harry Keogh cosmodemonic crossdimensional Necroscope Wamphyri (Vampire) epic thumped to an end with last year’s Necroscope: Avengers, the 13th doorstopper in the series.
The whole masterwork, completed in eleven years, is far longer than volumes projected by Rowling’s Harry Potter series or Stephen King’s Dark Tower epic—though possibly not Robert Jordan’s Wheels of Time. Necroscope began as a paperback series and, now that it’s done, Tor is reissuing the early volumes in hardcover for reasons best known to Tor, which perhaps has found itself warped into that Lumley metamorphic multimap that zaps through several astral planes in the abstract hopscotch of the author’s general plan. Deadspawn (1991), the fifth and best entry in the series, expands upon Deadspeak (the fourth), giving fearless vampire hunter Harry Keogh richer depths while rounding out the first Necroscope quintet before entering The Blood Brothers trilogy and then The Lost Years and the final Jake Cutter/E Branch quartet of volumes. (A necroscope is one who talks with the dead.) From a truly distant Lovecraftian dimension, Lumley’s Wamphyri are far stronger, more vicious and bloodthirsty than any vampires dreamed up by American authors—and yet, on a literary level, they’re presented in far less distinctive prose than Kim Newman’s brilliantly colorful British vampires. These two horror authors, it would seem, have strongly distinct fanbases—one that thrives on humorless pulp, and one that loves flair and fun, audiences that never cross over.