by Greg Cox and T. K. F. Weiskopf
Bantam, pb, 274 pages, $4.99
What else would you call a collection of future-vampire stories? This is a strong reprint collection, with a few gems. Several of the obvious stories are included, most notably C. L. Moore’s “Shambleau”–still a remarkable piece of space opera after sixty-odd years. Roger Zelazny’s whimsical “The Stainless Steel Leech” is the account of a robot vampire after all the humans have died. Ray Bradbury’s “Pillar of Fire” is more dated than some of his stories, but is still a dark, beautifully written story.
Brian Stableford’s more recent “The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady” is a sad, inevitable tale set in an alternate-world Europe ruled by vampires. S. N. Dyer’s “Born Again” is one of several stories with protagonists in the medical profession. In this tale, the discovery of a vampire-creating virus is affected by institutional funding complications. “Leechcraft,” by Susan Petrey, is a sweet tale of Russian vampires and time travel. Her story is is effective and original, though more romance than horror. Dean Ing’s “Fleas” explores the relationship between predators in a well-crafted, if not unpredictable manner.
First appeared in Horror magazine, April 1994.
Copyright © 1994 by Leigh Grossman