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OK, I know it’s close. All day the polls have wavered by just a few percentage points between victory for dachshunds and victory for viral vampires.

It may be that desperate times call for desperate measures. But, really, David? The best you can come up with is that viral vampires are dachshund corpse jewelers? You just made sparkling vampires around the globe shake their heads at the state of bloodsucker affairs. For the record, I want you to run away, viral vampires. Not traipse around a runway with your messed up fashion statement.

As the talented Nic Boshart contends in a follow-up piece of MS Paint artwork, your creature of choice is suffering from a VIRUS. It makes a human ugly to look at but can’t spread to my dog.


FTW? I think not.

Vote on the left for dachshunds!

Leave a pro-dachshund (or, if you must, pro-viral vampire) comment here to win prizes! You have until midnight ET.


A Treatise Concerning the Superiority and Presence of Fear Inescapable of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens Vampirus Viralis over that Most Inferior and Oddly shaped sub-Species of Canis Familiaris, the Dachshund.

Part the Second – The Origins of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Vampirus Viralis in the Literature of the Colonies: Legendarum sum, or I Am Legend

It has recently come to my Attention, that the argument for the Dachshund, and its Base and Cute-driven proclivities has Taken a turn for what Ms Kruger has Labelled “Scientifick”. I Cough and Sputter at said Statements, and instead Turn you towards the Writings, most Interesting and Terrifying, of a Mr Richard Matheson of California, formerly New Jersey, by way of Norwegian extraction, the Colonies.

In the mid-1950s, Matheson brought to Us a work of seminal Horror and Brutality, akin to Dracula in terms of its Influence and Role in the world of Vampirick fiction. The Book, and I Tip my Hat to Mr Matheson’s Brilliant and Excellent choice of Words most Simple and effective, is entitled I Am Legend, and is a Classic of the Genre, influencing many a Book, Moving Picture (the Horrible excrescence The Omega Man, notwithstanding – I promise you, Gentle Reader, that there exists in the Book not a single Mention, either implied or forthright, of a Hot Rod). The Premise is Simple, albeit terrifying: the Apocalypse has come to the Near Future, and a Certain Mr Neville does his Best to survive in a World overrun by the Plague to end all Plagues: Vampirism.

While I have referenced the Toxick biologickal origins of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis as it refers to Disease, paying particular attention to those of Sexual origin, I Am Legend presents what I believe to be the First example of a World overrun with Vampires (certainly not a base sub-Species of canine familiaris), and of the Social and Apocalyptick themes and Tropes bound up in this Lofty Theme. A fáth airicc, indeed, though I doubt Mr Matheson is at All aware of the previously Mentioned Celtick literary term (apparently, Literary Terms need not all necessarily be of Gallic or Germanic Origin, offering no Offense to my Compatriots across the Ocean in the Halls of Paris or Berlin, excepting, for the Moment, their entirely useless Teams of Foot-the-ball).

The Book was also Made into a Moving Picture itself, with Will Smith as the the main Actor, and in many ways, he was the entirety of the Dramatis Personæ. The Film, and it is not without Merit, for it is terrifying and full of Horror, differs from the Book in a truly Substantial Way. The Vampires in I Am Legend are Cogent and in full Possession of Their Critical faculties, if somewhat Twisted and Debased by the Presence of the Vampirick Disease within their Bloodstreams. Those in the Film are far more Akin to Zombies, another Horrifying creature (and certainly More brutal and blood-Curdling than the squat, sausage-shape Dachshund), though Far more Powerful (please Recall, that the Zombie, by itself, is a Containable Creature – it is far easier to Control, and even Subdue, when in Small Numbers – the threat of the Zombie, is, of course, the Horde). They exist in Vast Numbers.

The Horde, of course, is the True terror of the Viral Vampire. While many Books and Moving Pictures, and many of them are quite Wonderful, if terror-Inducing, have Spent a great Deal focusing on the Vampire as a Solitary Creature of nocturnal Disposition, those of the Viral sort Become all the more Brutal when One Considers their Sheer numbers. There are over Six Billion people on Earth, and the threat of Disease, especially of one which Turns the Populace into a Ravenous, blood-Craving Horde, cannot Help but remove vast Quantities of Humours from the Body, and cause the Hairs to Bleach, and even Eject themselves from the Body, to say Nothing of the Digestive Tract and its Associated Ejection System, but I leave that Entirely to Your imaginations.

Mr Matheson set the Groundwork for the Terror, and to him I tip my hat, yet Again. The Dachshund is, at Best, a sub-Species, and its Numbers come nowhere Close to the possibility of Total Infection. While Canis familiaris is a Pack animal, and I do Acknowledge this, the Dachshund is Hardly threatening the Countryside in Vast numbers of slathering Beasts. The Premise of Homo sapiens sapiens vampirus viralis induces Fear by the conception of both the Apocalypse and Simple Mathematicks. Every person, every man, woman, and Child, is a Potential victim in the Presence of a Vampirick plague; and the Dachshund falls Flat. Leave it to its Tunnel-boring and Badger-hunting, because That is where the Viral Vampire will find it. And it will find it.

All 6,000,000,000 of them.

As anyone who has a dachshund in their life can attest, these little dogs may look funny compared to other dogs, but they should not be under-estimated. You know, the very way that a certain someone here has done.

Believe it or not, dachshunds were bred as hunting dogs. Their very name instills fear in their prey. And we’re not just talking rats. No, dachs in German refers to badgers, the vampires of the animal kingdom. And that “half a dog tall, two dogs long” shape has a distinct purpose. One that could be easily re-purposed for taking down not just Bunnicula but also viral vampires.

It may be easy to laugh at their little bodies, but other foe have done so…to their demise.

Remember, friends of dachshunds, vote for the four-legged at the top left of this page.

And don’t forget that we’re running a contest during this mini-round. Best comments for pro-dachshund and pro-viral vampire will win cool stuff.

Meg Cabot‘s Insatiable is finally on sale and to celebrate this wonderfully hilarious supernatural tale so are three book trailers.

Insatiable is the story of Meena Harper (a vampire non-believer) who meets and falls in love with Lucien Antonescu (a vampire). Meena has the ability to see how people are going to die (not that anyone believes her anyway) but since Lucien is already dead, he could be the prefect guy for her. Right? Maybe not.

Meena thought Lucien had everything she ever wanted in a boyfriend but it seems he is turning into a nightmare…

Start reading Insatiable now

Watch bloopers from the filming of the book trailers here

First there was The Strain, now it’s The Passage.

My friends on this blog are scared to read both after dark. Why? Because of the viral vampires contained within the pages of the above.

To that I say, in the eloquent words of Deanna: pffft.

So, in a mini (un) Death-Match round, David S. Ward will be defending these so-called menaces. I’m putting aside werewolves this round to contend that there is another creature, dear to my heart, that could open up a can of Whoop Ass™ on these new fiends: dachshunds.

That’s right. Because after having recovered recently from another virus called conjunctivitis or, in laymen’s terms, pinkeye I’m pretty sure my four-legged friend is fiercer.

So there you have it. Voting is now open. Cast your vote in the poll on the upper left side of the page (for dachshund, of course).

Oh, and we’re offering prizes! Best pro-dachshund and pro-viral vampire comments throughout the round will win stuff. So go comment below or on any of the other upcoming posts in this round.

Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings and Spells, evaluates the pros and cons of dating in the supernatural world.

— Katerina


Back in 2008, someone suggested that the horde of zombie movies was losing ground to a clan of vampire flicks in some kind of sociological class warfare allegory. It was an interesting observation, but we paranormal authors know better than to play Freakonomics with the undead.

Supernatural trends are clearly about the romance!

Take vampires, for example. They say only a vampire can love you forever — excepting angels, demons, and a plethora of other immortals, natch — but the thrill doesn’t stop there! Tall, dark, and handsome? Check. Hungry, passionate longing with a hint of danger? Double-check. Of course, California tans and sunset walks on the beach are right out, but with that list of Class-A features does anyone really think we’re reading about vampires because of subconscious political metaphors?

Of course not! We read about vampires because we want a boyfriend who went to high school with great-grandpa, but still looks like Rob Pattinson.

Same deal with zombies: what girl doesn’t want a man who can appreciate her for her brains? And with the advent of cologne and duct tape, even that pesky decay problem is no obstacle to true love with these monosyllabic shamblers!

In the last two years, even zombies and vampires have given up ground to an advancing army of paranormals. Werewolves, for example, are all the rage! Loyal, rugged men who will definitely keep you warm at night. Let’s face it — everyone is furry for Jacob. Granted, these boys have a time of the month that goes way beyond cranky, and don’t get me started on the state of the soap after they shower . . . but really, who’s perfect?

Why stop there? Sooner or later, someone will realize that vampires, zombies, and werewolves all have one thing in common: ear-nibbling is out, and that just bites. Instead, why not date a faerie? Ethereal beauty, a love of the outdoors, and a wicked sense of humor all come together in this perfect pixie package. They can be a little flighty, it’s true, but once they’re bound to you, they’re bound for life. Make sure you ask what his real name is on your first date. Trust me, that’s information worth worming out of him.

Those paranormals a little too much to handle? Maybe a wizard or warlock is more up your alley. Human enough to fit in as the boy next door, these guys can spoil you better than any millionaire, with a wave of their magic wand — assuming they can see past the end of it. But watch for prejudiced magicians who might turn their back on you if they discover you’re kind of Muggle-y.

Still haven’t found your perfect match? Don’t worry! We’re not done yet! There are demons (the ultimate bad boys), angels (a little pious but oh so sparkly!) necromancers (very helpful should you succumb to the bad guy!) . . . even Cthulu has probably taken out a personal ad from time to time (he’ll eat you up he loves you so).

So you judge. Is our fascination with the supernatural based on obscure and subconscious social leanings? Bah! Clearly, all you need is love.


Benicio Del Toro In Wolfman

Push it hard.

Here I am months later accepting complete and utter defeat. The werewolves not only bested my vampires, but also Tan’s angels, and I’m 100% sure they’d kick ass at any other supernatural being we throw at them.

I never thought it would be possible. How could a drooling, toothy, flea-bitten wolf-man-beast hybrid could be seen the better of my cultured, deceptively gorgeous, literary, smart, and all kinds of other adjectives you know you want me to list, vampires.

Now, that’s not to say that we won’t have a Great Undeath Match Redux when certain authors (ahem, Del Toro and Hogan) publish the next book in the series and try to take those pesky furballs down again. Don’t let anyone tell you I’m not already packing ammunition in the form of vowels and consonants these days. You better bet I am. What? Did I say that out loud?

For now, here are some things I am willing to admit:

1. Kelley Armstrong has an awesome and rightfully justified fan base. Kudos to Katie for picking the right book — it’s not just about the creature peeps, it’s about what the writer does with them, right? Right.

2. Even I am willing to admit that Benicio Del Toro makes an awesome looking werewolf, even if the film’s getting lacklustre reviews.

3. Not even the pre-tween masses who love a little book called Twilight could propel me to victory. Now that’s saying something.

4. I really thought Tan and her angels had a shot.

5. If Dracula, the ultimate undeath match hero, can’t be in it to win it, what hope did we ever have.

So, I tip my hat, my fangs, my irrational lust for Alexander Skarsgård, to you Katie. You are victorious, indeed.

But what now?

Well, it’s up to you sweet readers. What Undeath Match do you want to see next? Which creatures would you pit up against one another and defend for their lives? What author has a fantastic book or series we might have missed that truly calls out to be defended, supported and then promoted?

We’re looking for guest posts, guest smackdowns, suggestions, and anything else that you might have to say to us over the next few weeks. Email me or Katie with your ideas (deanna [dot]  mcfadden [at] harpercollins [dot] com or krugerkat [at] gmail [dot] com) and we’ll have a user-generation whale of time these next couple months.

This is a pretty big month for Undeath Match at the box office. Deanna, Katie and I are all pretty excited about the release of Daybreakers, Wolfman and Legion respectively. (But really, were all pretty excited for all three of these movies!) So we just had to know which of these movies you, our Undead Devotees, are most excited for. Check out the trailers below, and vote in our mini-poll.


Wolf Man


The people have spoken and werewolves have taken down vampires in Round 2 of (un) Death-Match! It was a valiant fight, Deanna, but vampires can only marginalize so many people before the rest of society takes a stand. The clear victor here was werewolves, the people’s creature: strong, loyal…unsparkling.

Now we’re heading into round 3. So, naturally, the first question is: what supernatural creature will be going head-to-head with werewolves?

And…the answer is…


What the what?! Oh, come on! You’ve got to be kidding me.

Angels?! At Christmas time? Werewolves might as well be going up against the freaking Easter bunny. Look people, let me just remind you that this isn’t a cute competition, OK? I know it’s hard for you to look into the eyes of an angel and vote against it, but seriously, this is a match of ferocity and sheer terror. Not, well, this:

Keep dreaming, little angels. It'll all be over soon.

The only fight these two stand a chance to win is a tickle fight. And, despite what vampires will tell you, werewolves aren’t ticklish. Nonetheless, I suspect it’ll be a losing battle for the defending champions this week what with the holidays and all the angel propaganda taking place.

Anyway, here are the books being defended:

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate


Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

If you’ve been following the site from the start, you know the drill. If not, place your votes on the upper left of this page, come back and vote often.

Before we unveil round 3 of (un) Death-Match, I thought I’d squeeze in one final anti-vampire post just to put the last nail in the proverbial coffin. Here are the top 10 completely irrational phobias that vampires have, making them the hypochondriacs of the undead world: (Thanks to @ssmith on Twitter for being my muse on this one.)

Proceed with caution. You might get your hands dirty.

10. Photophobia (sunlight): Sun goes up, vampires cringe. Have they never heard of sunblock? This fear is unsurprising, really. As I’ve said before, vampires are pretentious. Since they come mostly from aristocracy, historically speaking, tans were a sign that you worked out in the field. Who ever heard of a peasant vampire?

9. Alliumphobia (garlic): It’s a good thing for them that vampires aren’t able to digest any real food because some of the best recipes I can think of include garlic. I’m pretty sure this has everything to do with image again. They want people to fear them for their presence, not recoil from bad breath.

8. Aichmophobia (sharp objects): Every kid is taught to not run with sharp objects. In the case of vampires specifically, maybe they need some PSAs with safety reminders on how to carry wooden sticks. I can only imagine how they’d react to a splinter.

7. Staurophobia (crucifixes): Or maybe it’s actually symbolophobia, the fear of symbolism. Like what sparkles represent in the decline of terror in vampire lore.

6. Hydrophobia (water): Holy water to be exact. Combined with the previous fear, I suspect they’re also theophobic (aka afraid of religion). Which is probably another reason why they can’t win round 2, what with the holidays upon us. Want to date a vampire? Forget about ever checking out Vatican City. And trust me, the Sistine Chapel is something you want to see IRL.

5. Enochlophobia (crowds): If we’re being honest here, it’s not just the angry mobs. Crowds are simply too bourgeois for vampires.

4. Arsonphobia (fire): The very thing that defines human civilization is the thing that vampires shun. Without fire we would never have come out from our caves. Kind of a slap in the face to human society to shun our humble yet innovative beginnings, isn’t it? You think you’re too good for our fire, vampires? Well, maybe our blood is too good for you, too.

3. Argyrophobia (silver): True, werewolves have a similar fear of silver. In bullet form. Kind of a big difference between that and a little bit of bling.

2. Traumatophobia (injury): Considering all the fears above, no wonder vampires only come out at night. They must be nervous wrecks.

1. Commitmentphobia: A word of advice to vampires here. Nobody likes a person, undead or not, who commits a dine and dash. In the words of Beyoncé, “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”

So, there you have it. A roundup of why vampires should truly be henceforward known as wimpires and lose to the awesome prowess of werewolves.

Keep posted for details of round 3 of the (un) Death-Match smackdown tomorrow.

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