John Steakley, 'Vampire$' author, dies at 59

John William Steakley Jr.'s childhood fantasy was to become a science-fiction writer. He fulfilled that dream, publishing two novels - one of which was the basis of a 1998 motion picture, Vampire$ directed by John Carpenter. He also wrote many short stories for science-fiction and fantasy magazines.

Mr. Steakley, 59, died on November 27 at his McKinney home after a five-year battle with liver disease. "He'd been writing since he was a little kid," said his sister, Anne Steakley Reeder of Dallas. "He loved science fiction; he had such a vivid imagination. He loved writing stories."

Mr. Steakley started his career in Los Angeles at the invitation of L.M. "Kit" Carson, who wrote the screenplay for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. "He stayed out there a few years and just hated it," his sister said. Mr. Steakley returned to Texas where he wrote Armor, a military science fiction novel published in 1984, and Vampire$, in 1990.

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From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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