Vampires: The Greatest Stories · 30 September 2007
I've never read a book about vampires before. Actually, I've never read anything about vampires before. I haven't specifically sought out vampire movies, so I haven't even seen Dracula before. Further, I never had any particular fascination with vampires or anything vampiric. This all goes to say that I am a total vampire n00b. A total vampire n00b who has read for you, dear readers, four short stories about vampires and now finds himself writing up his impressions.
As Kim mentioned, she left me a vampire book to read some of and make this post about, which will finish off her vampire theme before I move onto
frickin' laser beams fresh new material. The vampire book she left is simply entitled Vampires: The Greatest Stories and it contains 15 short stories that are vampire-related. I started off right: I read Phillip K. Dick's The Cookie Lady and was immediately interested. The story actually had nothing to do with vampires as I knew them. I suppose it featured an effect I would have called, in a video game, vampiric, but I'm not sure that rises to the level of a vampire. Anyhow, the story was quite fine. It reminded me of Roald Dahl's short story writing in Kiss Kiss, which I read earlier this year and enjoyed.
I then progressed on to reading David Drake's Something Had to be Done, which was quite short, and was shocked to find that it too didn't really have much to do directly with vampires. Strange, I imagined vampire books and stories as super-cheesy Dracula-style "I want to suck your blood" action. I'm pretty sure I've even teased Kim about this before. Remind me to apologize. :)
Then I went on to read Roger Zelazny's Dayblood and Tanith Lee's Red As Blood, back-to-back and my experience changed course. The former is pretty vampire cheesy and reads like a fanfic you might find on the Internet. The latter is, quite differently, some kind of super goth statement. Maybe I'm dense, maybe I didn't put in the requisite time to contemplate and figure it out, but I didn't get it. Well, that's my outsider's opinion for all of you seasoned vampire readers out there.
There are 11 more stories in the book, but I'm not going to read them. I really only enjoyed the first very much and, well, I'm far too infatuated with Orson Scott Card's Speaker For The Dead right now to bother finishing off the short story collection. If you love your vampires though, I'll bet this book would be like a bag of warm, buttery popcorn. Next up: math!