In Memoriam – Anne Rice

Bestselling novelist Howard Allen Frances O’Brien Rice (b.1941), known as Anne Rice, passed away on Saturday, December 11, at the age of 80. She was most known for her thirteen-book-plus Vampire Chronicles series, beginning with Interview With the Vampire, published in 1976 by Knopf. The series is often credited with bringing vampires and gothic horror back into vogue in popular culture. Its most recent installment was Blood Communion in 2018. Rice wrote well over thirty novels in her lifetime.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in creative writing. The Witching Hour (1990) received a Locus Award for Best Horror/Dark Fantasy novel, and she received the 1994 World Horror Grandmaster Award and the 2004 Bram Stoker Award for life achievement.

During her extensive career, Rice also wrote erotica as Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure, including 1985’s Exit to Eden. Under her own name, she wrote memoir, historical fiction novels The Feast of All Saints and Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt among others, and several gothic horror novels. Multiple adaptations of her work have been produced or optioned, including movies, television miniseries, comics, and a 2006 Broadway musical, Lestat.

Rice’s love for her hometown of New Orleans and its paranormal reputation, along with her Roman Catholic upbringing, were strong influences on her work. Rice is survived by her son and sometimes co-writer, Christopher Rice. Book three of the Ramses the Damned series, which they wrote together, is due out next year.

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy had the following to say on Rice’s passing, “Anne Rice’s books were hugely influential, on me as a person and as a writer, and also on the entire genre. Her stories broke genre boundaries and explored themes few authors dared to bring into the light at that time. I’m heartbroken by this loss, for myself and for her son, Christopher.”