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Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Today's Greatest Writers of Dark Fiction Hardcover – September 13, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328281
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,197,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Watch your hackles when you read this book; Ms. Datlow and her horrormongers are out to raise them.” —Dallas Morning News on The Dark

Inferno again proves Ellen Datlow worthy of her reputation as an acute judge of talent and an editor that attracts the best in horror and dark fantasy.” —Tim Lieder, Whispers of Wickedness

“Any anthology of stories edited by Ellen Datlow is a volume to savor.” —Cemetery Dance on The Dark

About the Author

ELLEN DATLOW is a winner of nine World Fantasy Awards, two Bram Stoker Awards, two International Horror Guild Awards, five Hugo Awards, and four Locus Awards. She has been the fiction editor of Omni and and has edited many successful anthologies, including The Dark, The Coyote Road, Inferno, and The Year’s Best Horror. Datlow has also coedited Haunted Legends, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series, The Faery Reel, A Wolf at the Door, and Swan Sister, among many others. She lives in Manhattan.

More About the Author

I've been an editor for over thirty years, first in book publishing, but mostly editing short stories for OMNI Magazine and webzine, EVENT HORIZON, a webzine, and SCIFICTION, the fiction area of SCIFI.COM. I currently acquire and edit short fiction for and I edit original and reprint anthologies. Born and bred New Yorker, although I travel a lot.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Recommended for horror fans.
Book Worm
The story had a great, lingering vibe running up its backbone and effectively showed that this anthology was not strictly about vampires.
Wag The Fox
At the same time, I'd recommend the book as worthy of purchase for the better stories at the beginning and especially the end.
M. Griffin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wag The Fox on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When I was a kid, I would faint at the sight of blood, or at least get woozy. Odd that I would grow to become a fan of horror fiction, yes, but the written word is far easier on my frailties than gashing my leg open on broken glass (that was not a fun day). This anthology of short fiction isn't a prurient bloodbath though, and it would silly to expect such from Ellen Datlow. This collection focuses rather on the other word in the title: cravings.

Blood and Other Cravings isn't strictly a vampire anthology, though there are some stories that fit the bill. Instead this is a look at obsessions, addictions, parasitic relationships, and deviant appetites. And the table of contents for this book is impressive in the number of acclaimed authors Ellen Datlow has brought together. From Kaaron Warren, who kicks off the anthology, all the way to the final story by Laird Barron, there's a great grouping of longstanding authors to those just breaking into the writing world on a big stage.

As mentioned, things are kicked off by Kaaron Warren's "All You Can Do Is Breath," about a coal miner trapped for days in the wake of a cave-in and sees a creature crawling between the rocks to prey on a fellow miner behind a wall of coal. Then, after he's rescued and tries to carry on with his life, he sees the creature again. The story had a great, lingering vibe running up its backbone and effectively showed that this anthology was not strictly about vampires.

Right after that one came a story that turned out to be one of my favorites from the book, Elizabeth Bear's "Needles." This one was a hard-bitten, bleak vampire story that explored a very deep, very primordial craving for a vampire with a fairly macabre maternal instinct.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Griffin on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are all kinds of reasons I might read a short fiction anthology. Maybe it's the only place to find new work by some of my favorite writers. Some anthologies serve to introduce readers to unfamiliar writers, either total unknowns, or familiar names I've somehow not yet gotten around to reading. Many readers are motivated by an anthology's theme -- "Oh, I love zombies, and here's another zombie anthology so of course I'll buy it" -- but I usually don't. I didn't buy this because it had to do with vampirism. In fact, I imagine any reader who purchased this hoping for a bunch of straightforward vampire stories would be disappointed. There's not so much "blood" here as there are "other cravings."

I've given some consideration to the overall shape of multi-author anthologies, a subject which interests me to the extent it's similar to the way I've put together various-artists CD collections in the past. Generally it seems editors load the best stories end up at the beginning and the end, and this is no exception. Among the middle stories, the only one I found noteworthy was Melanie Tem's very odd "Keeping Corky," about an enigmatic female character, notable for her mental abnormalities including both strengths and deficiencies, misses the child she was forced to give up for adoption.

Of the early stories, Kaaron Warren's lead-off "All You Can Do is Breathe" is wonderfully creepy and understated. Elizabeth Bear's "Needles" is not so much a story as a well-drawn and entertaining "day in the (undead) life," vividly written but maybe in need of fleshing-out. And Reggie Oliver's amusing yet dark story of a theatrical hotel overrun by very small tenants convinced me to check out more of this writer's work.

The best of this collection comes later.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Moody TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More than twenty years ago, Ellen Datlow edited Blood is Not Enough, a mix of reprints and originals in which stories that offered novel twists on the blood-drinking vampire were combined with stories about vampires with even stranger needs. A few years later A Whisper of Blood struck a similar balance. And now there's Blood and Other Cravings, seventeen more tales of vampirism in all its forms. All three anthologies demonstrate that the vampire, far from being the used-up device its mass-market incarnations might imply, remains a frightening and a versatile creature. In fact, the stories in this latest volume are so diverse, and the theme of vampirism such a general one, that it feels more like a non-theme anthology of the first order. Ranging from psychological horror to ghost stories to dark fantasy to Lovecraftian cosmicism, Blood and Other Cravings has a first-rate story for readers of every taste.

The drinking of blood for sustenance features in only four stories, about a quarter of the total, and fittingly enough, none of the four has much in common with any of the others. Elizabeth Bear's "Needles" takes a familiar trope, the world-weary vampire, mixing in enough history and mythology to create something more suggestive and darkly melancholy than many a vampire novel. In "Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow," Richard Bowes uses the knowledge of New York City's history demonstrated throughout his work for a decades-spanning story about flea markets, the seductive appeal of danger, and the cost of success. "Bread and Water" by Michael Cisco makes the suffering of an institutionalized vampire, craving blood but unable to stomach it, uncomfortably vivid by dint of Cisco's intense, almost hallucinatory language.
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