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John William Steakley, Jr. (July 26, 1951 – November 27, 2010)[1] was an American author, best known for his science fiction writing.[2] He published two major novels, Armor (1984)[3] and Vampire$ (1990); the latter was the basis for John Carpenter's Vampires movie.[4] He published four short science fiction and fantasy stories.[5]

John Steakley
Born(1951-07-26)July 26, 1951
Cleburne, Texas
DiedNovember 27, 2010(2010-11-27) (aged 59)
McKinney, Texas
GenreScience fiction, Horror

Personal lifeEdit

Steakley was born in Cleburne, Texas. Aside from brief spells in South America and Hollywood, Steakley lived most of his life in Texas. Steakley's father owned a Chevrolet dealership in Dallas from 1962 until he sold it in 1999.[6][7] Steakley attended St. Mark's School and graduated from Colorado Academy, a boarding school in Denver. He then went on to study at Westminster College in Missouri, and at Southern Methodist University, where he received his BA in English.[8]

In 1988, Steakley married photographer Lori Jones; they held their wedding reception in the showroom of a local Subaru dealership.[9] He was an avid golfer and in the mid-1990s carried a single-digit handicap.[10] He died after a five-year battle with liver disease.


Steakley's sister told the press that he went to Hollywood at the invitation of screenwriter L.M. "Kit" Carson. He sold a film treatment, and played a bit part ("Local 1") in at least one film, Don't Open the Door!, but "he stayed out there a few years and just hated it."[2] Following through on his childhood fantasy of becoming a science fiction writer, Steakley returned to Texas, and wrote.[2] He published his first professional short story, "The Bluenose Limit", in the March 1981 issue of Amazing Stories; and another, "Flyer", in the September 1982 issue.[11] He published two major novels, Armor (1984)[3] and Vampire$ (1990). According to his website, he worked on the incomplete Armor II for years.

Steakley wrote the screenplay for the 1997 film, Scary Texas Movie; he also played a nameless bit part in that film. Steakley also played a nameless bit part in the 2000 film Playing Dead.

In 1998, John Carpenter directed a screen adaptation of Vampire$ (retitled Vampires), which starred James Woods as the leader of a Catholic Church-sanctioned team of vampire hunters.

Selected worksEdit

  • Armor (December 1984, DAW Books, ISBN 978-0-88677-368-7)
  • Vampire$ (November 1990, Roc Books, ISBN 978-0-451-45033-3)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Obituary: John William Steakley Jr". The Dallas Morning News. November 28, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Simnacher, Joe (November 20, 2010). "John William Steakley Jr., 'Vampire$' author, dies at 59". The Dallas Morning News.
  3. ^ a b "Science fiction fans, professionals gather". The Advocate. Baton Rouge, LA. February 8, 1986. Retrieved November 27, 2010. John Steakley's book, "Armor," is about the first interplanetary war.
  4. ^ Johnson, Malcolm (October 30, 1998). "'Carpenter's Vampires': Great Fangs, But No Teeth". Hartford Courant. p. F5. Retrieved November 27, 2010. Carpenter and his screenwriter, Don Jacoby, set out a bloodless story line drawn from the John Steakley novel "Vampire$" about the pursuit of a master vampire
  5. ^ "John Steakley". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Sinnamacher, Joe (October 10, 2002). "John William Steakley, Owner of landmark car dealership". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Box, Terry (April 27, 1999). "Steakley Chevrolet purchased; AutoNation pays estimated $5 million". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  8. ^ Simnacher, Joe. "John William Steakley Jr., 'Vampire$' author, dies at 59." Dallas Morning News November 30, 2010
  9. ^ Schwartz, Marilyn (April 5, 1988). "April Fool's, a Showroom, and Thou". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 27, 2010.
  10. ^ Wade, Harless (February 20, 1994). "Whatever its vintage, each of these holes offers trouble by the shot". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 27, 2010. "Any time you tee it up here," said McKinney science fiction novelist John Steakley, a single-digit handicapper, "it's like playing Russian roulette
  11. ^ ISFDb listing for Steakley

External linksEdit