I recently read and was disappointed by Brian Aldiss's Dracula Unbound. Aldiss is one of the great British science-fiction writers, and has written a lot. Unfortunately, among the classics (Greybeard, The Brightfount Diaries, Frankenstein Unbound (to which Dracula Unbound is a sequel)), there are some duds, and this is one of them.
It should have been a bit of fun, with time travel, vampires, Bram Stoker as a character, syphilis as unexpected metaphor, etc, but ended up deeply flawed and sporadically stupid (vampires as the descendents of pterodactyls?) to the point of not being enjoyable (and when you've both already travelled in time, AND have JUST unveiled your newly invented time machine, would you not suspect the fossilised 65-million-year-old human remains found by one of your employees were not some previously undiscovered lost race but, just maybe, time travellers?).
Anyway, this is not a book review site, so what I actually came here to write about was the cover:
It's OK as these things go: moody if uninspired. The real problem, though, is that they've misspelled the author's name. It's Aldiss with two Ss.
This edition is from House of Stratus, a weird little publisher I can't really get to grips with. They launched in 2001 with a vast panoply of previously out-of-print titles available as print-on-demand books: some were classics (H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, etc), some were once-popular middlebrow bestsellers fallen into obscurity (C. P. Snow, Nevil Shute, Nicholas Monsarrat), and some were period trash (Sapper, Edgar Wallace). Since then they seem to have lost the rights to most of their list, though some of the books dropped from their catalogue are still available, and every now and then their website goes missing. It's this sort of thing that makes me suspect my pipe dream of setting up as a republisher of lost classics would see me end up a gutter-dwelling penniless beggar.