Anno Dracula

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

The Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman is set in an Alternate History where Dracula defeated Van Helsing's group of vampire hunters and conquered Britain, resulting in vampires coming out of the woodwork and becoming visible (if not always exactly accepted) members of society.

One of the features of the series is that it is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, with every significant vampire in fiction getting at least a mention or a cameo, along with an enormous number of other famous fictional characters who had not previously been associated with vampires. One of the main characters is Geneviève Dieudonné, this universe's version of the title character from Newman's Warhammer Fantasy series The Vampire Genevieve.

It consists of three novels and numerous short stories:

  • Anno Dracula: 1888. Dracula rules England as Prince Consort. Jack the Ripper stalks vampire prostitutes in Whitechapel. Charles Beauregard, a (non-vampire) agent of the Diogenes Club, is sent to track the murderer down, and finds himself enmeshed in a plot to free England from Dracula's rule.
  • The Bloody Red Baron: 1918. World War I devastates Europe. Vampires fight on both sides.
  • Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha (alt. title Judgment of Tears): 1959. Every vampire who is anybody is flocking to Rome for Dracula's wedding, but there is a mysterious vampire killer on the loose.
  • "Castle in the Desert": 1977. A private detective investigates the death of his ex-wife, found at the bottom of her swimming pool with an iron stake driven through her, and the disappearance of her daughter, last seen falling in with a crowd of vampire cultists.
  • "Coppola's Dracula" 1976. Francis Ford Coppola is making the film for which he will always be remembered--an adaptation of Dracula starring Marlon Brando as Dracula and Martin Sheen as Jonathan Harker. The film crew is befriended by a young-looking vampire, who leaves with them when they return to America.
  • "Andy Warhol's Dracula": 1978. Johnny Pop, the young-looking vampire who came to America with Coppola's film crew, finds his place in his new homeland, on his way to becoming the next Dracula. He becomes rich and socially successful, but risks losing it all when the many enemies he makes along the way join forces against him.
  • "Who Dares Wins": 1980. The Romanian Embassy in London has been taken over by "freedom fighters" who want Transylvania to become a homeland for the undead.
  • "The Other Side of Midnight": 1981. Orson Welles receives funding from a mysterious source to film the ultimate version of Dracula, and hires a private detective to find out why.
  • "You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings": 1984. A covert mission using undead agents to unseat the Ceausescu regime in Romania.

Titan Books is in the process[when?] of reprinting the three novels, to be followed by a new fourth book incorporating some of the short stories.

The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Anno Dracula franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.

"Were you not alone Genevieve Dieudonne? And are you not among friends now? Among equals?"
"Impaler," she declared, "I have no equal."

  • Captain Ersatz: The series mostly prefers the Lawyer-Friendly Cameo, but occasionally resorts to characters who, as the saying goes, resemble but are legally distinct from the Lollipop Guild. These include vampire hunter Barbie Winters in "The Other Side of Midnight" and secret agent Hamish Bond in Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha.
  • Chinese Vampire: One makes an appearance in Anno Dracula.
  • Church of Happyology: "Castle in the Desert" has L. Keith Winton, the vampiric author of Plasmatics: The New Communion, and founder of the Church of Immortology.
  • Creative Sterility:
    • In The Bloody Red Baron, Edgar Allan Poe has not written a word of fiction since he became a vampire.
    • In "Andy Warhol's Dracula", there's a subversion -- it's widely agreed that the artworks Warhol created after he became a vampire lack an essential spark present in his earlier work, but it turns out at the end that Warhol never actually crossed over, only adopted vampire mannerisms, and remained human his entire life.
    • Also played with in that several other famous people -- such as Bob Dylan -- are mentioned to have become vampires, and suffer the same lack of creative spark in their later works. However, several of these criticisms have also been raised about the real, non-vampire artists as their careers have progressed and their fields have moved on.
  • Deconstruction Crossover
  • Depraved Homosexual: Anno Dracula has Vardalek, a diseased, murderously sadistic member of the Carpathian Guard.
  • Dying Clue: Played with in Anno Dracula, where one of the Ripper's victims, in her dying spasm, grabs the trouser leg of the attending doctor. The protagonists jokingly suggest that she was trying to tell them the killer's name was "Sydney Trouser", or that she was aiming for "Mr Boot" and missed. It takes them much longer to discover what the audience by this point already knows: that it was the doctor who did it.
  • Emergency Transformation: In Anno Dracula, there's a scene where Genevieve attempts to perform an Emergency Transformation on a friend who has been fatally wounded in an attack, but the friend chooses to die rather than become a vampire.
  • Fantastic Slurs: In Anno Dracula some living humans call vampires "leeches" (and some vampires have a rather derogotary way of saying "the warm"). In "Castle in the Desert", a California diner has a sign saying "No Vipers".
  • Genius Loci: Mama Roma in Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha
  • Historical Domain Character: Bram and Florence Stoker, Queen Victoria, and Jack the Ripper are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
  • In Spite of a Nail: By the second book, World War I is happening in roughly the same way it did in our history (with a Lampshade Hanging that many believe it wouldn't have happened without the vampire influence), and by the third book (set in The Fifties) the vampires seem to have had no real effect on history at all; they exist, but everything else is the same. "Coppola's Dracula" recapitulates the making of Apocalypse Now with bizarre precision, considering it's set in a different history and concerns a film based on a different book.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: For instance the unnamed gumshoe in "Castles In The Desert" - who just happens to have Philip Marlowe's backstory, up to and including Poodle Springs.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover
  • Mugging the Monster: A couple of high-ranking vampires are bullying the locals in a pub when Genevieve calmly approaches them and asks them to stop. They initially dismiss her as a 'newborn' (i.e. a recent vampire) and attempt to throw their weight around with her too, but soon learn that she's far more powerful than them. One of them, however, has either more brains or sharper senses than his fellows and decides that discretion is the better part of valour in this case.
  • The Necrocracy: England toggles back and forth from malevolent to somewhat decent. The subjects include both vampires and "the warm." The former can be good, but the ones who wind up in authority tend to be somewhat self-serving.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Vampires, when they die, tend to revert to whatever shape they'd be if they hadn't become vampires (ie. rotting corpses, or if they're old enough, dust). Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha has a weird twist where a model, who became a vampire to preserve her youthful beauty, gets killed and immediately gains all the weight she would have put on if she'd remained mortal.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires come from a number of various "Bloodlines", but are considered biological entities with "just a touch" of magic (they don't cast reflections, for example). Some may be able to transform, while others have corpse-like features, and others suffer from blood frenzy. Religious symbols and even garlic only affect those vampires who believe they can. Sunlight only hurts younger undead, and silver only serves to counter their regeneration abilities; any sufficient organ damage (like, say, a stake though the heart) can kill them for good. Notably, Dracula specifically isn't vulnerable to as many things as he is in Bram Stoker's version; the turning point of history comes when he shrugs off an attack that, in Stoker's novel, seriously inconvenienced him.
  • Precision F-Strike: Both meta- and in-universe; towards the end of Anno Dracula, a chapter clinically details the movements of the two main characters as they, quite unwittingly, head towards one of Jack the Ripper's particularly gruesome murder scenes. The next chapter, which details what they see and what happens when they arrive, is simply called "Fucking Hell!" It appears that one of the main characters had quite this reaction word-for-word in-universe as well.
  • Public Domain Character: Dracula, obviously, and also Mycroft Holmes and others.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Gregor Brastov in Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha is a Blofeldish cat-stroking archvillain who turns out to be just a puppet manipulated by the real archvillain -- his cat. Hamish Bond should have remembered that some vampires have Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Shout-Out: Oy. Where to start?
  • The Three Faces of Eve: In Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha, the Genius Loci "Mama Roma" takes four forms: girl, mother, whore and crone.
  • Troubled Production: "Coppola's Dracula" is an In-Universe example, being the alternate-history version of the making of Apocalypse Now.
  • The Unmasqued World: After Dracula takes over England and all the vampires come out of hiding.