Why I Don’t Write About Vampires

Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Universal Studios 1931
Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Universal Studios 1931

I was chatting on Facebook with an old girlfriend (from about thirty years ago). She’s reading paranormal romance now, and asked me why I don’t write about Vampires? Here’s why….

Believe it or not, it’s a numbers game. Assume that at some point in the past one Vampire was created, and that the Vampire follows the general rules laid down in Bram Stoker’s book Dracula.

Sometimes a Vampire’s prey will become a vampire. Assume this happens once a century, and that vampires never die. We’ll ignore deaths by violence for now. Stoker’s book shows that they happen in exceptional circumstances, but they can’t be that common or vampires couldn’t survive.

So let’s play with numbers. I’m taking historical population from Vaughn’s chart. Assuming the first Vampire came into existence in the year 2000 BC, we end up with the total number of vampires passing the total population of humans sometime between 800 and 900 AD!

Year Vampires Humans Percentage
-2000 BC 1 27,000,000 0.00%
-1900 BC 2 28,000,000 0.00%
-1800 BC 4 29,000,000 0.00%
-1700 BC 8 30,000,000 0.00%
-1600 BC 16 32,000,000 0.00%
-1500 BC 32 34,000,000 0.00%
-1400 BC 64 36,000,000 0.00%
-1300 BC 128 39,000,000 0.00%
-1200 BC 256 42,000,000 0.00%
-1100 BC 512 46,000,000 0.00%
-1000 BC 1,024 50,000,000 0.00%
-900 BC 2,048 55,000,000 0.00%
-800 BC 4,096 60,000,000 0.01%
-700 BC 8,192 70,000,000 0.01%
-600 BC 16,384 80,000,000 0.02%
-500 BC 32,768 100,000,000 0.03%
-400 BC 65,536 120,000,000 0.05%
-300 BC 131,072 140,000,000 0.09%
-200 BC 262,144 160,000,000 0.16%
-100 BC 524,288 180,000,000 0.29%
1 AD 1,048,576 200,000,000 0.52%
100 AD 2,097,152 220,000,000 0.95%
200 AD 4,194,304 240,000,000 1.75%
300 AD 8,388,608 260,000,000 3.23%
400 AD 16,777,216 280,000,000 5.99%
500 AD 33,554,432 300,000,000 11.18%
600 AD 67,108,864 320,000,000 20.97%
700 AD 134,217,728 340,000,000 39.48%
800 AD 268,435,456 360,000,000 74.57%
900 AD 536,870,912 380,000,000 141.28%
1000 AD 1,073,741,824 400,000,000 268.44%
1100 AD 2,147,483,648 420,000,000 511.31%
1200 AD 4,294,967,296 440,000,000 976.13%
1300 AD 8,589,934,592 460,000,000 1867.38%
1400 AD 17,179,869,184 480,000,000 3579.14%
1500 AD 34,359,738,368 500,000,000 6871.95%
1600 AD 68,719,476,736 600,000,000 11453.25%
1700 AD 137,438,953,472 700,000,000 19634.14%
1800 AD 274,877,906,944 900,000,000 30541.99%
1900 AD 549,755,813,888 1,608,000,000 34188.79%
2000 AD 1,099,511,627,776 6,080,000,000 18084.07%

At 10% of the total population, I suspect vampires would become really noticeable to the humans, unless we decide humans are as dumb as rocks. It is obvious that we need some type of Vampire Birth Control…

But wait, what if the first vampire didn’t appear until a thousand years later?

Year Vampires Humans Percentage
1000 BC 1 50,000,000 0.00%
1100 BC 2 55,000,000 0.00%
1200 BC 4 60,000,000 0.00%
1300 BC 8 70,000,000 0.00%
1400 BC 16 80,000,000 0.00%
1500 BC 32 100,000,000 0.00%
1600 BC 64 120,000,000 0.00%
1700 BC 128 140,000,000 0.00%
1800 BC 256 160,000,000 0.00%
1900 BC 512 180,000,000 0.00%
1 AD 1,024 200,000,000 0.00%
100 AD 2,048 220,000,000 0.00%
200 AD 4,096 240,000,000 0.00%
300 AD 8,192 260,000,000 0.00%
400 AD 16,384 280,000,000 0.01%
500 AD 32,768 300,000,000 0.01%
600 AD 65,536 320,000,000 0.02%
700 AD 131,072 340,000,000 0.04%
800 AD 262,144 360,000,000 0.07%
900 AD 524,288 380,000,000 0.14%
1000 AD 1,048,576 400,000,000 0.26%
1100 AD 2,097,152 420,000,000 0.50%
1200 AD 4,194,304 440,000,000 0.95%
1300 AD 8,388,608 460,000,000 1.82%
1400 AD 16,777,216 480,000,000 3.50%
1500 AD 33,554,432 500,000,000 6.71%
1600 AD 67,108,864 600,000,000 11.18%
1700 AD 134,217,728 700,000,000 19.17%
1800 AD 268,435,456 900,000,000 29.83%
1900 AD 536,870,912 1,608,000,000 33.39%
2000 AD 1,073,741,824 6,080,000,000 17.66%

Well that’s not so bad. The ‘Vampire Problem’ doesn’t become acute until a time frame when humans are capable of designing high powered wooden stake firing weapons of a variety of sorts. Of course technology also allows vampires to wear armour…

What if we decide the year of the birth of Christ is the year the first vampire appears?

Year Vampires Humans Percentage
1 AD 1 200,000,000 0.00%
100 AD 2 220,000,000 0.00%
200 AD 4 240,000,000 0.00%
300 AD 8 260,000,000 0.00%
400 AD 16 280,000,000 0.00%
500 AD 32 300,000,000 0.00%
600 AD 64 320,000,000 0.00%
700 AD 128 340,000,000 0.00%
800 AD 256 360,000,000 0.00%
900 AD 512 380,000,000 0.00%
1000 AD 1,024 400,000,000 0.00%
1100 AD 2,048 420,000,000 0.00%
1200 AD 4,096 440,000,000 0.00%
1300 AD 8,192 460,000,000 0.00%
1400 AD 16,384 480,000,000 0.00%
1500 AD 32,768 500,000,000 0.01%
1600 AD 65,536 600,000,000 0.01%
1700 AD 131,072 700,000,000 0.02%
1800 AD 262,144 900,000,000 0.03%
1900 AD 524,288 1,608,000,000 0.03%
2000 AD 1,048,576 6,080,000,000 0.02%

Just think. You’ve got a million immortals wandering around a world which has developed full time surveillance, cradle to grave records, drivers licenses, birth certificates…

Yes, I know all about Identity Theft. Tell me that you seriously don’t think that this level of identity theft wouldn’t be noticed?

Then there’s the people like my wife, who love Genealogy. They notice little things like disappearing families, people appearing out of nowhere, and other oddities.

I just can’t make vampires, as an apex predator, make sense.

Now as an endangered species, being preyed on by something really nasty? Yes. There I can see them making sense.

Of course other people disagree with me, and keep writing vampire novels (yes, I know the writer).

Regards

Wayne Borean

Tuesday March 19, 2013

 

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8 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Write About Vampires

  1. Of course… even the baboons often get together and stone the leopard. I think the villages of humans would periodically destroy any vampires that appeared… we have a hundred ways to stop a vampire actually getting into the house if you look at Eastern European literature… quite a few of them are actual vampire traps that keep them outside until the sun comes up… no fuss, no muss.

    Given that the vampire is the psycho-sexual monster associated with the onset of menses and the Victorians were hideously freaked by anything female… I don’t want to play with that sexual theme, thanks. Of course the modern vampire is more like the traditional ‘romance novel hero’ who is the bad-boy who can be saved by a good woman. Hmmm… wealthy older man, with a horrid reputation, is forced to present himself to the good girl/woman as a gentleman… and it turns out that he can be saved or is really a good guy underneath. Harlequin still makes money on those. Add in sexy powers and the blood thing and you have a winner.

    1. Hey, we know people who write that stuff!

      You’re to blame for this you know. After one of our writing discussions I started thinking about vampires, as compared to the werewolf we’d been talking about, and this is where my head went.

      The writer has to assume some sort of attrition on vampire numbers, whether through starvation because all those Eastern European villages know how to keep the vampires out, because the vampire traps are just too efficient, or maybe because the humans consider them a gourmet delicacy!

      Sure, there are options. I just don’t have one that I like so much that I’m going to use it. Yet.

      Wayne

    1. I’d have no hesitation to ‘adding to the deluge’ if I could it in a way that would satisfy me. Most of them don’t make sense. What I write has to, to me at least!

      Wayne

  2. OMG. This post is hilarious! I’ve never seen Vampires “life expectancy” charted before. Of course, most people who write about vampires now make up their own set of rules. The vampires I grew up with, so to speak, are totally different from the ones that are popular now. But I agree with Nicole. They’ve become a bit overdone lately.

    1. What can I say Deb, I’m weird. Mind you, you should see the monsters I write. One of them is 1.5 Million years old. Another, well, we don’t know what she is, what her name is, or what the other main character’s name is. We don’t even know what either of them, or what any of the other characters look like!

      As I said, I’m weird 🙂

      Wayne

    1. Glad you liked it. It did end up inspiring me to write a Vampire story – one from my own weird and twisted viewpoint of course 🙂

      Um, if you are having a tough time in your critique group, I’d get out. Seriously. The only way I’d stick around a critique group is if there was an editor there with cash, and I was sure I could get my hands on some of it. Or all of it.

      Remember, writing is a business. Someone should be paying you to do it (says the blogger with NO ADS on his personal site). Of course the site does act as advertising 🙂

      Wayne

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