In a brilliant reimagining of Bram Stoker’s horror classic, an inventor travels back in time to save humankind from a nightmarish enslavement by vampires
Joe Bodenland has figured out how to manipulate time—a discovery that leads him to Utah and an impossible sixty-five-million-year-old human gravesite. It is here that he learns of the existence of a monstrous race of intelligent predators as old as the dinosaur, and of the remarkable “train” the undead creatures use to travel back and forth from a Paleolithic past to a monstrous far future in which Homo sapiens are enslaved cattle. With the fate of all humanity at stake, Joe commandeers the ghostly transportation and rides it back to Victorian England, where he enlists the aid of a powerful ally, the author Bram Stoker, in the battle to secure Earth. But to prevent the coming apocalyptic nightmare, they must first confront and destroy the most cunning and deadly being the world has ever known: Lord Dracula, the immortal vampire.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards and the Prix Jules Verne, Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss puts a bold new science ficion spin on Bram Stoker’s classic tale of vampiric horror. An ingenious reinvention of the Nosferatu myth, Dracula Unbound is a breakneck thrill ride from one of the most revered names in science fiction and fantasy.
Science fiction harbors an unfortunate subgenre wherein time travel is used to explain away the creative genius of past artists. A sample of his work might be brought to a master before ``he'' has created it; he might be exposed to another era and thus to events that then inspire his (now unimaginative) work. Aldiss ( Greybeard ), winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, here sails very close to that wind. Dracula sends assassins to kill Bram Stoker before he can write his novel about vampires. Joe Bodenland hijacks a time train from the vampires and rides it to London in 1896, where he teams up with Stoker. Together they set off to save humanity from the undead, with assistance from Stoker's gardener and Bodenland's family. The writing is drab, imparting none of the excitement expected from such fertile subjects. The introduction of time travel does nothing to enhance the original vampire story. Except for Stoker, the characters lack motivation and substance enough to make them attractive to the reader. Even Lord Dracula lacks bite.