Lory, Robert Edward

Lory, Robert Edward (1936–)

(pop culture)

Robert Edward Lory, a science fiction and fantasy writer, was born in Troy, New York, the son of Dorothy Doughty and Edward Austin Lory. He attended Harper College (now the State University of New York, Binghamton), from which he received a bachelor’s degree in 1961.

Lory’s first stories were published in the early 1960s in such magazines as Fantasy and Science Fiction and If. His first book, Eyes of Bolsk, appeared in 1969. Then in 1973 and 1974 he completed a popular series of nine books based on the Dracula legend. The first, Dracula Returns, had Dr. Damien Harmon and his assistant Cam (Cameron Sanchez) traveling to Romania, where they were guided to Dracula’s crypt by one of his cohorts, a woman named Ktara. Dracula was resting there. “His thick hair was combed neatly back, not a single strand out of place. His sharp angular cheek and bone structure, combined with the thick brows that nearly met at the bridge of his Roman nose, gave the face a dignified nobility. He appeared to be in his late forties or early fifties. And his clothing—formal, impeccable black-tie attire—was perfectly pressed.” The major flaw in his appearance was a stake that had been driven through his heart.

Harmon had previously implanted a small device near his own heart that controlled a second small device with a sliver of wood that he inserted next to Dracula’s heart. The device allowed him to move the sliver of wood in and out of Dracula’s heart. The stake was removed and Dracula awoke. He turned to Harmon ready to attack, only to clutch his chest and drop to the floor. Harmon’s device gave him control, and he planned to use Dracula in his war against evil. Dracula was transported back to New York and upon awakening was presented with a bottle of synthetic blood for his immediate nourishment.

Harmon informed Dracula that he must subsist on the synthetic blood or nothing. The first target of Dracula unleashed was a crime syndicate. In the eight subsequent volumes Dracula traveled the world and encountered various natural and supernatural enemies, from practitioners of voodoo and witchcraft to the mummy and a legion of killer vampire bats. Lory retained the image of Dracula as projected earlier in this century by Bela Lugosi, but Lory’s Dracula was compelled to become a force for good. Lory’s fast-moving action stories thus form a transition to the “good guy” vampires of Fred Saberhagen and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro that appeared a few years later. Lory has admitted to little purpose in his writing beyond that ascribed to Arthur Conan Doyle—to “tell a whopping good tale.”

The popular Dracula series has been translated into several foreign languages. After the completion of the Dracula series, Lory began a fantasy series based upon the signs of the horoscope. His last books were published in the mid-1970s.

Sources:

Ashley, Mike. Who’s Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction. London: Elm Tree Books, 1977. 240 pp.
Lory, Robert. Dracula Returns. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1973. 124 pp.
———. Dracula’s Brothers. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1973. 186 pp.
———. Dracula’s Gold. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1973. 182 pp.
———. The Hand of Dracula. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1973. 224 pp.
———. Dracula’s Lost World. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1974. 181 pp.
———. The Drums of Dracula. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1974. 189 pp.
———. The Witching of Dracula. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1974. 177 pp.
———. Challenge to Dracula. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1975. 180 pp.
———. Dracula’s Disciple. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1975. 179 pp.

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