werewolf stories

September 28, 2011

I’ve talked about werewolf movies before, but what about werewolf stories?  I’m always getting asked, “Why aren’t werewolves as popular as vampires?” or “When are werewolves going to get their spike of popularity?”  These questions have been around for a very long time, because it turns out werewolf books and stories have been around for a long time — just under the radar, never quite as popular or well known as their vampire cousins.  It’s too bad, because there are some really great werewolf stories that deserve just as much attention.  For whatever reason, though, werewolves just don’t have as wide an appeal.  Their following is small but avid, which is why they’ll always be around, if not as popular as we would like.

So, here are some story recommendations if you’re one of the happy werewolf fans:

The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter.  This collection has the stories that the film The Company of Wolves is based on.

Darker Than You Think, Jack Williamson.  A different kind of werewolf story, with more than a little old-school adventure flair.  An explorer of exotic lands comes back to middle America with a dark secret. . .

Lila the Werewolf, Peter S. Beagle.  Another different kind of werewolf story, quite charming I think.

“Gestella,” Susan Palwick.  Don’t read this one if you’re feeling at all down.  It’s terribly depressing.

“Bisclavret,” Marie de France.  The twelfth century tale.  I talk about this one a lot on werewolf panels, because it’s a prime example of what human/animal shifter stories used to look like.  Here, the werewolf is indisputably the hero.

Any more recommendations?


10 Responses to “werewolf stories”

  1. JadeWolf Says:

    I completely concur with you’re comment about Gestella, it’s a fabulous short story but intentionally or not it was placed last in the werewolf story collection, Running With The Pack, so you finish the collection on a less than happy note.
    As for suggestions I’d just say read the collection I mentioned but off the top of my head three stories (all in that collection) that struck me as different were The Beautiful Gelreesh by Jeffrey Ford, In Sheep’s Clothing by Molly Tanzer, and The Dire Wolf by Genevieve Valentine.

  2. LadySilverRose*Wolf Says:

    I agree about “The Bloody Chamber”.

    I have to start with my current addiction:
    Gail Carriger’s steampunk “Parasol Protectorate” (‘Alexia Tarabotti’) quintet. Werewolves are main characters alongside vampires, but have a slightly greater role.

    “Wilderness” by Dennis Danvers, which was given a TV adaptation here in the UK {the plot was relocated from US / Canada to England / Scotland}.

    A good read from 11 years ago was the duo “The Passion” and “The Promise” by Donna Boyd.

    Then there’s Alice Borchardt’s historical trio “The Silver Wolf”, “Night of the Wolf” and “The Wolf King”.

    For younger readers, I still recommend “Blood and Chocolate” – the original Annette Curtis Klause novel {which was later massacred to make an awful film}.

    And I’ve just discovered Patricia Briggs’ “Mercy Thompson” novels, about a coyote shapeshifter raised among werewolves.

  3. JadeWolf Says:

    Haha. I forgot about Alice Borchard’s trio even though they are on the shelf I have of my favorite books. Definitely should have remembered them.

  4. Kelley Armstrong’s The Women of the Otherworld books Bitten and Stolen are werewolf stories. And the wolves show up in the other books.

    Patricia Briggs “Mercedes” Books are primarily about a skinwalking coyote but the local werewolves live right behind her and are featured in the books. She then spun some werewolves off in the short story collection On the Prowl and the novels Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground.

    Nancy A. Collins wrote a horror/old west native american werewolf novel called….Walking wolf.

  5. Nonny Says:

    Interesting! That’s a newer translation of Bisclavret than the one I studied many years ago in a Medieval Women’s Lit class. Must find my Marie de France reader and compare, but I’m pretty sure this one is peppier.

  6. Brian S. Says:

    I’ve read many of those listed and have them on my bookshelves. Here are a couple more series that I’ve come to like and would love to pass on so others may enjoy:

    The Werewolf Chronicles and Wolfsong by Traci Briery
    Ivy Cole and the Moon, and Luna by Gina Farago

  7. Kenyatta Says:

    I love the comments posted because they remind me of all of the werewolf books I’ver read over the last 10 or so years and pointed me in the direction of new ones!

  8. LupLun Says:

    Hmm… well, I could definitely recommend Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Raised by Wolves books, S.A. Swann’s historical/fantasy Wolfbreed novels, and David Wellington’s Frostbite. Plus my own Bonds of Fenris, as soon as I find a publisher. ^_^ Other than that, well, Read my blog. I go on and on about what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s iffy.

    And I’m embarrassed by this thread now because I’m reminded how much I still have to read. ;_;


  9. carriev Says:

    “How much I still have to read” is the eternal problem… That said, I’ll never run out of things to read!

  10. Doruk Says:

    Hmmmm… I have read waaaay too many werewolf stories. I still have a soft spot for Werewolf of Ponkert. Then there is Wolfen, which I don’t find terribly well-plotted or written, but I do think the werewolf itself is rather original. Then there is Moon Dance, with an interesting look at how bestial werewolf could act while human. And many more 😛

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