Ken MacLeod, Author of “Undead Again”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

It’s about a vampire who chooses cryonic preservation in the hope of a cure.

What was the genesis of the story–what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it?

It was originally inspired by thinking about viruses that spread through changes they make in the host’s behaviour.

Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

I had the beginning, and knew the ending, but didn’t have a clue what lay between. The story was on file for years, then Nature asked for an 800-word story, and I thought of that one: use the set-up and ending, and skip the boring middle.

What is the appeal of vampire fiction? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers and film viewers love it so much?

I can see the appeal: sex, blood, death, immortality, dread, Victorian night-dresses… what’s not to like? But as it happens, it doesn’t appeal to me.

What are some of your favorite examples of vampire fiction, and what makes them your favorites?

The only vampire fiction I’ve read is Salem’s Lot. I’ve watched The Lost Boys, John Carpenter’s Vampires, Interview with the Vampire, and Coppola’s Dracula. I liked Salem’s Lot for the social realism, The Lost Boys for the humour and violence, John Carpenter’s Vampires for the undeath-squad white van with Papal insignia (and the violence), and didn’t much like the other two.