A must for any serious collector.
Pretty good, not a waste of money.
Buy only after your have read all the good stuff available.
You have been warned. Buy at your own risk.
This SUCKS! How could something
this horrid get published or filmed?
If you have any reviews that you would like to add to these,
please feel free to send them to me.
Night Bites (Tales of Blood and Lust) - Victoria A. Brownworth
SEAL Press OPB $12.95
Also subtitled as being "vampire stories by women" this
newish anthology is fairly good. I don't recognize most of the
authors here, but any book that contains a story titled, "Anita,
Polish Vampire, Holds Forth at the Jewish Cafe of the Dead"
can't be all bad. All of the stories here are good, even if none
of them leap out at you. I am, however, becoming increasingly
impatient with the Introductions in anthologies. Boring (with
the exception of when Stephen King and Clive Barker write them).
Skip 'em I say. But don't skip this book.
A Vampire in the Theatre - Nanci Folsom Casad Self-Published
Full-Sized/Spiral Bound $13.00 Order From: Nanci Casad PO Box
49, Savoy, IL 61874 (or see ad in this issue).
I am always a little hesitant whenever I receive self-published
novels. Even if the stories are good, they usually need large
amounts of editing to make them readable. Happily, this was not
the case with "A Vampire in the Theatre." Other than
the over-use of underlines and exclamation points and a few easily
missed typos, it flows along at a good pace.
"A Vampire in the Theatre" concerns the unlikely romance between a young female thespian and a vampire she found hibernating/trapped in the theatre where she works. I know what you're saying 'Oh god, not another romance novel.' Well, too bad, it is, sort of.. I enjoyed this novel very much, in fact I wanted to find out what happened so bad, I read it in a few hours. It doesn't have any sex, foul language, gore and very little violence, which is going to make this a hard one to classify. I would have to say that the closest it comes to is young adult fiction, like "The Vampire Diaries" by LJ Smith. However, don't get it into your head that this book is beneath you, agewise. It just goes to show that you don't really need sex and violence to produce an entertaining storyline.
So, please send Nanci your cash and read her book. It's worth your time and $.
Archangel - Mike Conner TOR Books
PB $6.99 (Also in HC)
While not technically a vampire novel (i.e...no immortality here),
this is a spanking good read. It's got pretty much everything
you could want... an alternate reality of America in the 1930'3,
a deadly plague, murder victims who are missing lots of blood
etc... So, as I said, whilst not technically a vamp novel, I'm
going to consider it one anyway, if only because of the way blood
is treated in it. Yes, I know I'm being vague, but I don't want
to give the story away. Buy it, read it and add it to your collection.
I give it two thumbs up, or ....
The Vampire Princess - Michael Romkey Fawcett PB $5.99
I just love Michael Romkey. He is one of the very elite authors
(Stephen King Clive Barker, Tanya Huff, Terry Pratchett, Steven
Brust etc..) who can manage to consistently deliver quality manuscripts.
OK, enough fawning :). "The Vampire Princess" is the third book ("I, Vampire", "The Vampire Princess") in an entertaining series about the un- lives of David Parker and Princess Nicoletta Vittorini di Medusa. Attending the maiden voyage of the ultraluxurious 'Atlantic Princess', David and Nicoletta find themselves amidst a floating soap opera with most of the players being more evil and nasty than the one before. However, on this cruise, they will soon find out that they are no match for the Princess. Good intrigue, solid plotting and all around good read.
The Lunatic Cafe - Laurell K. Hamilton ACE Fantasy
I want to start off this review by stating that although this
book came out in Dec., I managed to overlook it until I happened
to stumble across it in early June. Why am I noting this? Because
I'm pissed at the fact that I could've read this marvelous book
6 months earlier.
In "The Lunatic Cafe", Anita is put in the unenviable position of having to deal with a macho ex-boyfriend (sort of) who is a vampire, the jealous vampiress who's in love with him, a boyfriend who is a werewolf and his personal struggles in the wolfpack hierarchy, all the while trying to solve the case of who's killing the shapeshifters. Oh yeah, she would prefer not getting killed whilst doing it. I'd take the stress for about five seconds before my head blew off.
That Anita Blake...one hell of a chick:; "The Lunatic Cafe...one hell of a book. Run, don't walk to the nearest book store.
Kindred - John Gideon Jove $6.50 PB
If you are looking for a well told, well plotted story, you came
to the right place. If, however, you are looking for the 'classic'
vampire, you may be disappointed. The vampires are a "New
Breed of Vampire" indeed. Other than the fact that their
shadows are iridescent and tend to undulate, these vamps are pretty
unspectacular. I just couldn't have cared less whether they lived
or died, so to speak. Good book, crappy vamps...go figure.
The Time of the Vampires - Martin H. Greenburg, P.N. Elrod,
Eds. DAW Books$5.50
It's about damn time someone released a new vamp anthology that
was full of new blood. I love the classic stories, but I get tired
of finding the same ones stuck in just about every anthology I
buy. And although my favorite anthology is "Under the Fang",
this one runs a close second.
From the short, but sweet intro. by Elrod to excellent stories by Lois Tilton, Susan Booth, Elrod, Tanya Huff Margaret Carter, Nancy Kilpatrick, Roxanne Longstreet, Elain Bergstrom and my respected friend, Lawrence Schimel. Some are funny, some are intense but all can be considered high quality. "The Time of the Vampires" is a definite addition to anyone's vamp collection. A must have. BTW, be sure to read the story by Roxanne Longstreet "Faith Like Wine" if you like the combination of Jesus and vampires. Cool story.
Twilight Eyes - Terry Kennedy CD $14.95 Twilight Productions
c/o Antidote Music Marketing 1425 S. Vandeventer, St. Louis, MO
"I have no power over you in this realm. Only the tales can
perform that magic". And perform these tales do, for the
most part anyway. "Twilight Eyes", although uneven,
showcases the potential of Terry Kennedy whom I've never heard
of before. Mr. Kennedy's voice sounds remarkably like a mature
Billed as "A Vampire Fable" it tells the story of a vampire who was rejected by the woman he loved only to meet a woman, in later years, who reminded him of her in every way. He is determined to make her pay for the sins of another. To the lady's aid comes the vampire who still has humanity within. Now, I have found that "theme" albums of this sort tend to be high on cheese, low on crackers. And "Twilight Eyes" contains it's share of cheese.
The intro. and the prologue are spoken, and are well written. Track three The One Who Waits has a haunting melody and a great chorus. Track 8 Guard My Heart is a duet with either Sharla Kennedy, Linda Claycomb or both. The liner notes don't specify with one, which is a shame, because she has a beautiful voice. Tracks 5 and 11: Cold Fire & Remember the Night have B- movie soundtrack written all over them. Not because they are bad songs, they just have a B-movie feel to them. They would have been good for the club scenes in "Forever Knight" and "Kindred: The Embraced". There are three instrumentals included, though I don't know why because two of them are boring and pointless and detract from the rest of the album. Track 6, the title track, however, is the exception. With it's exceptional piano and haunting guitar, it is a beautiful piece of work.
The cheese and the crackers are fairly even in this bounty. But the crackers are of a high enough quality, that I have to recommend it.
Red Death - P.N. Elrod. ACE Fantasy
This novel is well written, as are all of Elrod's books. The tale
follows the journey and experiences of Jonathan Barrett, a young
man sent away to England as his country begins it's fight for
Freedom. While at school he falls in love with the mysterious
Nora. Little does he now that their affair will change his life.
This book reads like the first in a series, which I sincerely
hope that it is. For those of you who have read P.N. Elrod's "The
Vampire Files", the characteristics of the vampires are quite
similar. Such as the ability to become vapor and only transforming
after true death. I enjoyed this book. The historical setting
held my interest, as did Jonathan's relationships with his family.
Moonlight, Madness and Magic - Suzanne Forester. Charlotte
Hughes, Olivia Ruppecht Bantam
Although this book is found in the Romance section of your local
book store, don't overlook the contributions to vampire lore made
by Romance writers. The book contains three tales that have a
shared history. Before being burned at the stake for witchcraft,
Rachael Dobbs placed a curse on her fiancé Jonathan Nightingale.
"The third son of every third son shall walk the earth as
a creature of the night, trapped in shadows, no two creatures
I got a kick out of this book. Because I'm a romantic sap and I like to see Horror branch out into everyday areas that most people think are safe. This one has a bit of everything, Vampires, werewolves, witchcraft and even walls that drip psychic sewage.
Dracula - The Ultimate Illustrated Edition of the World Famous
Vampire Play - Hamilton Deane & John L. Balderston. Edited
and annotated by David J. Skal. The St. Martin's Press
This book is a delightful surprise. After volumes about vampire
films, finally one about the play which started it all. The book
actually contains two separate versions of "Dracula".
The first being Deane's rough draft, based on the 1924 script
that was submitted to the Lord Chamberlain's office and used by
Deane's company. The second is Deane's collaboration with Balderston
and the script is still in use today.
As the title says, this book is illustrated. Nearly every page contains a black and white photo, most are publicity stills from the various productions of "Dracula". But, far more interesting than the photos are the annotations. They range from original stage directions to reviews of the productions. Did you know that when "Dracula" first debuted, the producers had a trained nurse on the premises to minister aid to those in the audience who had fainted, overcome with horror? ( This publicity stunt was also widely used throughout the 50's and 60's with a large number of B horror flicks including "The Tingler"- Editor.) This volume contains many more fascinating tidbits, not to mention a complete script.
Circus of the Damned - Laurell K. Hamilton ACE Fantasy
This is the third and the best of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter
series. Anita is up shit creek this time when not only does Jean-Claude
(Master Vampire of the City) want her for his human servant, so
does the new vamp in town Alejandro. A war has begun over her.
As she says "I would be flattered. If my life weren't at
I very much liked this book, and I personally believe it is the best in the series, so far. And oh, how I rooted for Jean-Claude to win. Did he? I'm not telling.
Never Cross a Vampire - Stuart M. Kaminsky Mysterious Press
This gem is part of the Toby Peters Mystery series. I don't usually
like "mystery" novels, but this one takes the cake.
While not strictly a vamp novel in the vein we are used to, it
is very amusing none the less. This book manages to put Private
Eye Toby Peters in the situation of investigating the cases of
William Faulkner (accused of murder) and Bela Lugosi (who is receiving
death threats- the latest being a hat box containing a small bat
with a tiny stake impaled through it's heart). If there is a connection
between these cases Toby will find it. I found it very amusing
and may even check out the other books in the series.
Some Things Come Back - Robert Morgan Berkleyl
Sort of a sequel to "Some Things Never Die", this book
continues the exploits of Private Eye Teddy London. Yes folks,
yet another mystery pertaining to vamps. This one actually has
real vamps in them though. Every book in this series deals with
the supernatural, though not all with vampires. Martin Tabor ,
Vampire King, was defeated by Teddy London once before. Now he's
back and killing for blood is not enough this time. He must kill
on a widest scale possible to give him the power he needs. Teddy
must stop him again while resisting the ultimate temptation: immortality.
Will he win? Buy the book :)
Angel Souls and Devil Hearts - Christopher Golden Berkley
The vampire war begun in "Of Saints and Shadows" continues
in this spectacular sequel. I was not in any way, shape or form
with the way this book turned out. Basically, the vampires have
been exposed by one of their own and begin to try to live peacefully
among the mortals. But not every vampire is happy with this arrangement,
nor is every human especially Liam Mulkerrin. He is about to bring
the wrath of hell down upon all humanity. Can he be stopped before
he destroys all of the vampires and mortals?
The thing I really find amusing about the story is how Golden manages to throw in everyone from "Wild" Bill Cody to Charlemagne. I love vamp books with famous historical figures in them. Don't know why, just do. Anyway, I think this series is a winner and I hope Mr. Golden writes more.
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson Tor
PB $4.99 re-issue
Finally, after years of being out of print, someone had the common
sense to re-issue this classic vampire novel. Robert Neville is
the last living man on earth. The rest of the population has turned
into vampires due to a hideous plague. They all want to drain
Neville dry. During the day, he hunts them down, staking them
where they lie, by night he barricades himself into his house
desperately looking for a cure.
Included in this re-issue is a group of stories. For those interested, the movie "The Omega Man" starring Charlton Heston is loosely based on this book.
Thirst - Pytotyr Kurtinski Leisure PB $4.99
PLEASE disregard the incredibly horrendous cover on this interesting
book. I don't know who designed it and who gave final approval
of it, but they should be lined up against the wall and shot.
Twice. The cover AND the back cover quote have NOTHING to do with
the actual story. "Thirst - Savor the taste of death"
Puh-lease. I enjoyed this book very much. Granted, it's probably
not ever going to be considered a vampire classic, but it's not
nearly as bad as the cover would suggest.
The name of the vampire in this one is William Van Diemen. He is trying to fight off the attacks from certain mob figures who insist that he should sell them his castle (which is located overlooking the Bronx). He doesn't want to, and so an all out war ensues with him trying to figure out who exactly is behind it all. Pretty interesting, some good plot twists. He's actually quite a dashing, well-mannered vampire, until you fuck with him, that is.
The Stake - Richard Laymon Zebra Fiction PB $4.99
Horror writer Larry Dunbar, while out poking around in a ghost
town, finds a female corpse in a casket with a stake through it's
heart. It's now up to him to find out who is was, where she came
from, how long she's been there, why this was done to her, and
most importantly is she a vampire. nifty little thriller that
will keep you guessing until the very end. Highly recommended.
Prince of the City - Keith Herber White Wolf
As a sequel to "Dark Prince" and a Vampire: the Masquerade
novel, Keith Herber has proven he has but-loads of writing talent.
I liked this one even more than the first. Set up almost like
a diary, it chronicles the rise of Virginia aristocrat Vannevar
to rulership as Prince of San Francisco over a 150 year period.
The history of SF is interesting enough on it's own, but imagining
that it's accomplishments and disasters were brought about by
manipulations of kindred makes it even more so. You don't have
to be very familiar with the game to understand the novel. There
are references to the Camarilla that might momentarily confuse
you, but keep reading and you'll pick it up. I enjoyed this novel
immensely and can't wait to read the next installment. And Vannevar
almost makes me want to be Ventrue. Almost. I guess I can't help
being a Brujah at heart.
Dark Angels - Pam Keesey Cleis Press
TP $10.95 Clothbound $24.95 October 1995
Like "Daughters of Darkness: Lesbian Vampire Stories"
this is also a collection of lesbian vampire stories. When I received
the galley from Cleis Press, I was excited when I saw what book
it was. Pam Keesey is a very good editor and always picks the
cream of the crop when it comes to vamp. stories. I was not disappointed
when I read it either. All of the stories included are wonderful.
There's not a bad one in the bunch. The only problem I have with
Cleis press is that they insist on using the label "lesbian"
which I find archaic when used in relation to vampires. Vampires
generally are not, in fiction at least, sexually gender specific.
Crudely put, most vampire will suck and fuck anything that moves
regardless of sex. I don't think they think of themselves in terms
of straight, gay or lesbian. Anyway, other than that, this is
a fantastic anthology. I suggest you go right out and buy this
for your collection. And add "Daughters of Darkness"
to it as well if you don't already own it.
Vanitas - S.P. Somtow
Transylvania Press, Inc.
HC/Boxed/signed by author and cover artist/limited to 500 copies
Mr. Somtow is at his weirdness again with the third installment
in his "Vampire Junction" series. First let me say that
this is a gorgeous edition of Vanitas befitting the book itself.
I'm sure Somtow is proud of it and so should my friend Robert
Eighteen-Bisang (who owns Transylvania Press). The cover art is
haunting as is the story itself. In this sequal to "Valentine"
we find that Timmy Valentine has turned back from vampiric immortality
to being a "normal" 12 year old rock star.. He has just
released his newest album Vanitas but feels that something is
missing. He goes on a world tour to find out just what that is.
Haunted by memories of his vampiric past and uncertain future,
he searches the past and meets up with all sorts of interesting
historic peoples. As I've said in the past, either you love Somtow's
style of writing or you hate it. There is no middle ground. I
always enjoy it, enjoy it and admire it enough that I named this
zine after his first novel. Yes, I know $65.00 is a lot to shell
out for a book, but trust me on this one: When you buy books from
Transylvania Press, you're not just getting a simple book, you're
getting an investment. Robert truly cares about what he does and
most importantly, he enjoys it. He wants you to receive the highest
quality product he can produce. Get your local bookstore to stock
TP books, take one look at them and you'll never doubt me again.
Ancestral Hungers - Scott Baker TOR Books
I've saved the oddest book for last. You want deadly snakes, vampires,
goddesses and an eternity suffering alive in hell...well then
step right up kine and kindred. This is the book for you. It's
so damned odd, I can't and won't attempt to describe it. That's
not to say it sucked or anything. It didn't. It was very well
written, very interesting. The only other writer I could compare
Baker with is SP Somtow as far as weirdness goes. It borderlines
on fantasy. Anyway, I would recommend it although I wish it had
been slightly less complicated.
Seance For a Vampire - Fred Saberhagen
TOR Books June 1994 HC $21.95
Saberhagen has done it again with the long awaited "Seance
For A Vampire". "Seance" is the 8th book in the
immensely popular "Dracula Series" and again very effectively
pairs Dracula with Sherlock Holmes (his cousin) and Dr. Watson.
In the summer of 1903 Holmes vanishes during a seance while on an investigation. Holmes has no choice but to perform the dreaded ritual that will summon Dracula to the rescue.
If you're a fan of mysteries (Sherlock Holmes style), if you're a vampire/Dracula freak or if you would just like an entertaining, well written story then run right down to the bookstore and smack down some cashola for this baby. Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT WAIT FOR THE PAPERBACK. Buy it now or else you'll be missing out on a damn good read!
Bloodletter - Warren Newton Beath; TOR Books
August 1994 HC $21.95
"Bloodletter" is the first vampire novel from Mr. Beath
and hopefully not the last. The story takes place in Hollywood
with Steven Albright, Best-selling author of a series of vampire
books, acting crazy, suicidal and possibly committing serial killings.
See, a serial killer is on the loose and all the signs point to
Albright as the number one suspect. Is it Albright? Is it vampire
in the same vein (no pun intended) as the character in his books?
Or is Albright a vampire himself, one who's been around since
the 1920's? Ha. I'm not telling you.
All I know is that I was up till 4.00 a.m. reading this damn thing and I have to be at work at 10.00. That should tell you how good I think it is. Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it.
Personal Darkness- Tanith Lee; Dell
July 1994 PB $4.99
This long awaited sequel to "Dark Dance" reunites us
with the troubled members of the Scarabae including the young
and even more troubled Ruth. If you remember, the last time we
saw her was fleeing the family house as it burned down. In "Personal
Darkness" she gets into even more trouble. We also get to
meet some more members of the Scarabae not in the first book.
Tanith Lee tells a good story but is a disturbing story teller. Her prose is disjointed and bizarre and makes for hard reading at times. She is as far opposite from Stephen King's down-home style of writing as you can get and still be on the same planet. I really had to force myself to NOT put the book down and keep slogging through, because I really did want to find out what happened at the end. And for that reason, dear friends, I will say she tells a good story. Because, to see what happened, I really was willing to put up with writing that didn't "flow" (Which was one of the reasons I HATED Kelley Wilde's "Mastery" next to an incoherent plot.).
If you've read "Dark Dance read "Personal Darkness" just to find out what happened. If you haven't already read it, don't bother with either of them. Unless you're a masochist.
Of Saints and Shadows - Christopher Golden; JOVE June 1994
Good Vs Evil, The Church Vs The Vampires. Seen it, read it, been
there, but not like this. I was fairly impressed that such a run
down topic could be done in a new light. That is was impresses
me about the vampire genre. This book is about the ongoing war
between the Shadows- creatures of the night: the vampires. Who
for the most part are just trying to do there own thing and trying
to not draw attention to themselves Then there are the Saints-
highly virtuous people, dedicated to holy pursuits. Of course
they are sworn to completely eliminating the vampire race. Get
a real job, I say.
I really liked this book and the only criticism I have is that Mr. Golden makes the Saints look so idiotic and ridiculous that you can't help but side with the Shadows.
Love Bite - Sherry Gottlieb; Warner
June 1994 PB $5.99
A female vampire who places personal ads to try to find an eternal
mate. "What would you do to live happily ever after? Mythical
creature seeks mate who can believe." And if the dates don't
work out, well at least she doesn't have to worry about them constantly
calling and annoying her. Then there is Detective Jace Levy who
thinks he's going insane due to the conclusion he's coming to
about who or what is doing the killings.
I thought this book was pretty good, not 5 star good, but good enough.
Weird Tales From Shakespeare - Katherine Kerr & Martin
H. Greenberg, Eds.; DAW Books
For the tale "Swear Not by the Moon"- Lawrence Schimel.
Incredibly good, short tale that sheds a new light on Romeo and
Juliet. Romeo is the vampire harking at Juliet's window. I loved,
loved, loved this story.
I've read some of the other stories in this book and they're all good. Check it out.