Vampires and zombies continue to be incredibly popular, and after editing a collection of zombie stories in Living Dead, John Joseph Adams now turns to the tale of the vampire in By Blood We Live. Featuring stories from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman to Kelley Armstrong to Jane Yolen; after reading this book you’ll either be sick of the blood-sucking fiends or be stocking up on garlic and crosses.
The collection kicks off with Neil Gaiman’s twisted tale of Snow White moving on to the only short story Anne Rice has published, “The Master of Rampling Gate.” The book features thirty-six vampire stories including writers like Robert J. Sawyer, Garth Nix, and Eric Van Lustbader: writer’s you wouldn’t expect to be in this collection. It runs the gamut from the terrifying to the romantic to the steamy to the outlandish to the science fiction type. One of the most disturbing stories is from Harry Turtledove, “Under St. Peter’s,” as a newly elected pope must perform a sacred ritual under the gaze of an unknown order, where they travel deep beneath the Vatican and find a man waiting there, a man who has been there for a very long time, a man we all know very well . . . and he’s hungry for blood.
While overall readers may realize that there are only so many ways to tell a vampire story and that some featured in this collection may seem similar and somewhat mundane, By Blood We Live gives readers a chance to get their fill on these denizens of the night, as well as discovering a number of new authors they may never have planned to read.
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Originally written on December 21st, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.