Literature: Anno Dracula

aka: Dracula Cha Cha Cha
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 Genevičve Dieudonné, this universe's version of the title character from Newman's Warhammer Fantasy series The Vampire Genevieve.

It consists of four 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 One 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.
  • Johnny Alucard: 1976-1991. Incorporates several of the short stories below, then takes the action up to the early 90s. A vampire turned by Dracula comes to the United States with power on his mind.
  • "Vampire Romance": 1923. A group of influential elder vampires meets in an isolated country house, and Genevieve Dieudonne attends at the behest of the Diogenes Club. Then the road washes out and somebody starts killing off the guests.
  • "Aquarius": 1968. Kate Reed investigates a series of vampire-related murders in Swinging London.
  • "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 has all four books in print.

The Anno Dracula series provides examples of:

  • AB Negative: In Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha, the vampire Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock boasts that he can only drink AB- blood.
  • Ace Pilot: The Bloody Red Baron sees Biggles, Captain Midnight and The Shadow go up against the Red Baron, Hans von Hammer and Airboy's ally the Heap.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Penelope paints a haunting portrait of Dracula after she kills him, as a relic of a lost world who cannot keep up with the faster, modern world, despite of Dracula's fondness for modernity. When she kills him, Dracula appears to welcome final death, even driving the silver knife further in. Or Penelope is just trying to make herself feel better. Hilariously, He not only gets better, he gets revenge in Johnny Alucard.
  • Alternate History: The heroes of the original novel fail, Mina joins the undead and Dracula is free to spread his vampirism. However this isn't as bad as you think.
  • All Myths Are True: Vampires are real. Every fictional character who is a vampire is real. Everyone and everything native to Universal or Hammer Horror is real. Characters from all corners of the horror genre are real. Characters from works that owe anything to the horror genre are real.
  • Alucard: John/Johnny Alucard.
  • Anyone Can Die: Charles dies of old age in "Dracula Cha Cha Cha", and Dracula is murdered.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Most vampire elders (slang for any vampire who's outlived their mortal lifetime twice over) are assholes. A significant proportion of them go by "Count".
  • Ascended Extra: Kate Reed, who was actually written out of Dracula before publication, becomes a major character.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Dracula is a veritable giant in the climax of Anno.
  • Badass Boast: Genevieve Dieudonne has one towards the end of Anno Dracula when she and Charles meet Dracula himself after he gives a long speech to her. Dracula is fifty years younger than she, and having seized control of London, murdering innocents and making himself a tyrant Prince Consort, is overly arrogant:
    "Were you not alone Genevieve Dieudonne? And are you not among friends now? Among equals?"
    "Impaler," she declared, "I have no equal."
  • Bigger Bad: Dracula, naturally.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The series starts out like this. Dracula manages to defeat the hunters, turns Mina into one of his brides and creates his vampire army as planned. The end of the series itself (or at least as of the publication of the various short stories and new material that makes up the book Johnny Alucard), is effectively this as well.
  • 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.
    • Anno Dracula features a cameo by an American reporter in a white suit and straw hat commenting on the Ripper case as a time-displaced Shout-Out to one of Newman's favourite shows. Since this is clearly supposed to be Carl Kolchak, Newman has later admitted to kicking himself for lacking the foresight to see that the series would go on have installments set in the 1970s, where he could use Kolchak more naturally.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • Dracula Cha Cha Cha has an actor who played Tarzan meet up with the actual Lord Greystoke.
    • In The Bloody Red Baron, Bela Lugosi impersonates Dracula during a suicide mission.
  • 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.
  • Composite Character: Done a few times, to work as many references into a character as possible. In particular, Dracula himself is implied to be every version of Dracula, ever (when we first see him, his body is constantly changing shape, and in the second book Bela Lugosi can pass as his double).
    • The first book concerns Jack the Ripper killing vampire prostitutes, combining the real Ripper (whoever he may have been) with the fictional Dr. Seward from the original Dracula novel.
    • Another example is one of the thugs who attacks Hamish Bond in Dracula Cha Cha Cha — physically he resembles Frankenstein's Monster, but he has Jaws' teeth, Oddjob's hat, and his nickname is Flattop.
    • In "Vampire Romance", there is a Chinese elder vampire who is both Kah (the priest whose body Dracula takes over in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires) and the evil kung fu villain Pei Mei. His name is simply Kah Pei Mei.
  • 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.
  • Deuteragonist: Charles Beauregard and Genevieve are the first book's main characters, being the focus of the most chapters.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Newman gets a kick out of this trope. He is, after all, a film critic. For example, Francis Ford Coppola's take on the Dracula story in this universe stars Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen.
    • Not limited to films, either. In-universe I Am Legend is treated as an anti-vampire propaganda novel.
    • In Dracula Cha Cha Cha, vampire Edgar Poe is called to Rome to write the film version of Jason and the Argonauts, starring Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles (as the ship), Fritz Lang (as the voice of God), and Clark Kentnote .
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Played with in Johnny Alucard. Dracula, who begot the title character, has been living on inside him as a spirit. At the end, he displaces Johnny altogether. Johnny's sudden "death" occurs between paragraphs and is unnoticed by just about everyone.
  • 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 the doctor is the Ripper.
  • 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.
  • External Retcon: Van Helsing and his cronies are revealed to be less virtuous than Bram Stoker depicted them in Dracula. (Dracula himself is much the same, though, and certainly not a misunderstood hero.)
  • 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".
    • The Victorians sneer at noveau vampires as "murgatroyds", after Gilbert, despite turning vampire himself, satirizes them in the alt-world version of Ruddigore WITH VAMPIRES!
  • Foreshadowing: In "Vampire Romance" there is plenty of foreshadowing as to who The Crooked Man really is, with references abounding to the person themselves. When it is finally revealed, Genevičve mentions that a penny in her head all night finally dropped. Specifically, his murder of two young boys, which the character himself refers to as a part of a long-ago formed habit.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Dracula in the climax of Anno Dracula.
  • Genius Loci: Mama Roma in Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha
  • Genre Shift: Happens a few times. The Victorian murder mystery in the first book is interrupted (though only temporarily) by a Wuxia martial arts fight when a Chinese Vampire cuts in.
  • Genre Throwback:
    • The short story "Vampire Romance" is a throwback to Agatha Christie style murder mysteries.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Bram and Florence Stoker, Queen Victoria, and Jack the Ripper are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Also, Jack the Ripper's victims, while vampires, are all named after the real Ripper victims.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • In "Vampire Romance", the villain turns out to be a vampirised Richard III, who is worse than Shakespeare portrayed him. He resents Will for saying he sent someone to kill the Princes in the Tower; he dealt with them personally.
    • Hanns Heinz Ewers appears in The Bloody Red Baron as a murderous and arrogant man whose plans to slaughter an "inferior" woman are only foiled by the undead Edgar Allan Poe. The real Ewers was attracted to the nationalist and militarist aspects of National Socialism, but split with the Nazis over their antisemitism.
  • In Spite of a Nail: By the second book, World War One 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.
  • Karma Houdini: Lord Ruthven and Caleb Croft, who helped Dracula set up his police state and then ran one of their own for the next 30 years. At last report, Ruthven was Home Secretary in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet (and planning the next in his seemingly endless series of ascents to the big chair), while Croft had retired to become an esteemed sociology professor.
  • 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.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: The first murder in "Vampire Romance".
  • The Lost Lenore: Lucy Westenra for Jack Seward in the first book.
  • Mainlining the Monster: In "Andy Warhol's Dracula", the central character is a drug dealer whose product uses vampire blood as its key ingredient.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: A combination of characters from both Victorian/Edwardian fiction in general as well as vampire characters, from Blacula to A.J. Raffles.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Jack Seward turns out to be the Ripper.
  • 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.
    • By the 1970s, a number of vampires have also gained mirror reflections.
    • "The Bloody Red Baron" has a particular focus on bloodlines, as the Germans are experimenting with it to create the ultimate vampire: capable of becoming giant man-bats. It's also revealed that some vampires can heal from moonlight, while some become even stronger from it.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They definitely exist in-universe, but we've yet to meet one. Usually werewolf gets spelled with a hyphen because that's how Stoker spelled it in Dracula.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Classic Romero flesh-eaters. Actually a bloodline of brain-dead vampires that "chew" blood rather than suck it. Nobody seems concerned about the possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse; they seem mostly confined in a Roman slum.
  • Paranormal Episode: Yes, even in a story with vampires. Dracula Cha Cha Cha features a trio of witch-goddesses who control the city of Rome.
  • Put on a Bus: Genevieve doesn't appear in The Bloody Red Baron.
  • 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.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dr. Seward increasingly breaks down over the course of Anno Dracula, eventually becoming unable to distinguish his vampire lover from the very-dead Lucy Westenra.
  • Shout-Out: Any piece of seemingly unnecessary exposition, any background character who gets more than a sentence of description? A Shout-Out to something.
  • The Spymaster: Mycroft Holmes, Charles Beauregard, Armand Tesla, Dr. Mabuse, Edwin Winthrop, Gregor Brastov, and Caleb Croft (who was "C" at Universal Export and "Control" at the Circus).
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Dracula is killed and beheaded off-screen in "Dracula Cha Cha Cha", his unlife ending seconds after appearing.
  • Switching P.O.V.: For example, the first book follows Charles Beauregard, Genevieve, Kostaki of the Carpatihian Guard, Jack Seward and Lord Godalming.
  • Take That: Newman isn't shy about giving unflattering portrayals to real-life personages he doesn't care for. Hanns Heinz Ewers, Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and Enoch Powell are seen in a particularly bad light.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: "Vampire Romance"
  • Token Good Teammate: Kostaki alone of the Carpathian Guard displays decency and empathy. He is cordial to and respects Mackenzie, a warm policeman, while disapproving of many of his peers: cruel Von Klatka, blusterer Iorga and arrogant Hentzau. He also shows sympathy for his Christian opponents, having once fought a holy war himself, and respects Genevieve appropriately unlike the rest of the Guard. He'll still follow Dracula's orders and hold up his regime, but he'll resent some of its less ethical behavior.
  • Troubled Production: "Coppola's Dracula" is an In-Universe example, being the alternate-history version of the making of Apocalypse Now.
  • '20s Bob Haircut: "Vampire Romance", set in 1923, begins with Genevieve getting a bob as part of fitting in to the new era. (The chapter title, "Genevieve Bobs Her Hair", is a shout-out to F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair".)
  • The Unmasqued World: After Dracula takes over England and all the vampires come out of hiding.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Some vampires are implied to have the traditional fangs (Inspector Lestrade's are described as tusks) and evening dress, but walk about in public without a second thought. Also, characters like Frankenstein's Monster apparently don't arouse any suspicion on the streets of Rome.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: A common theme, as to be expected in a vampire novel.
  • Your Vampires Suck: "Vampire Romance", set in 1923, uses certain fictional characters of the period as expies of Newman's fellow vampire writers - with unflattering results. Salome Otterbourne wrote the Nitelite Saga, with a hero who "glittered like a Christmas tree" and a heroine who kept on swooning, even in chapters that she was narrating; Rosie M. Banks penned the Mal de Mer mysteries, which "were written in baby-talk and took about half an hour to get through", featuring characters with such silly names as Snookie; and Harriet Vane was responsible for the Vampyrhhic Chronicles, which were written from the vampire's point of view and contained long and tedious descriptions of ancient history and Roman Catholicism.

Alternative Title(s):

The Bloody Red Baron, Dracula Cha Cha Cha