Do you want to know a little secret? I’m sick and tired of vampire stories. I’ve had my share during the years and now I’m fed up with those bloodsuckers. Thus, I turned the first page of Seize the Night (subtitled: New Tales of Vampiric Terror) with a heavy heart.
I was wrong.
Unexpectedly, this new anthology (edited by Christopher Golden) provides an entirely new view about vampires: no longer romantic but as the deadly characters we remember them in countless variations from so many previous books. Here we have twenty brand new stories by a bunch of distinguished contributors, probing every possible uncovered aspect of the vampiric condition.
The overall quality of the included tales is more than satisfactory but, as always, some stories do stand out and deserve to be especially mentioned.
In “Paper Cuts,” Gary A. Braunbeck offers an original take on the subject by contributing a story of “indirect” vampirism where books play a pivotal role. Always on the verge of implausibility the tale is, nevertheless, extremely enjoyable.
“Miss Fondevant” by Charlaine Harris is an excellent, gripping story of psychic vampirism featuring a creepy, evil schoolteacher bound to finally get her well-deserved punishment.
The talented Robert Shearman provides”Blood,” yet another superb, puzzling and slightly Aickmanesque piece of fiction featuring a young seductress taking her aged teacher on a trip to Paris where increasingly odd events take place.
Finally, I’d like to single out Laird Barron’s “In a Cavern, In a Canyon.” It’s an outstanding tale graced by an extraordinary narrative style depicting a subtle, ominous type of hidden vampirism.
So the secret is out: long live the vampires.
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