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Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms Hardcover – October 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Acclaimed horror author Charnas gathers several of her best stories as well as a new novella and two new essays in this inventive collection. The opener, "Beauty of the Opera; or, The Phantom Beast," reimagines the ending of Phantom of the Opera: what if Christine had stayed with the Phantom? Charnas' Christine is shrewd enough to bargain the Phantom down to five years of marriage, but during that time she finds her feelings for him growing complicated. In "Evil Thoughts," a woman's petty thoughts are represented by hideous mushrooms in her front yard; try as she might, she is unable to eradicate either mushrooms or thoughts. "Advocates," a collaboration with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, brings together Charnas' vampire villain, Wayland, and Yarbro's hero of the ages, Saint-Germain. Charnas addresses writing in the two essays: in one, she struggles to turn a novella into a play; in the other, she wrestles with getting her ideas across in her writing. This imaginative compilation ably showcases Charnas' creativity and talent. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"There's no greater magician than Suzy McKee Charnas."
—Peter S. Beagle, author, The Last Unicorn

Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms exhibits the author at her wide-ranging best.”
Asimov’s Science Fiction

“So, broad range of talent, nonfiction essays, engaging fiction that dates back 20 years and that was written recently along with a spot-on collaboration. What are you waiting for?”
January Magazine

Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms is a feat of storytelling showcasing an extremely talented writer undergoing a broad scope of undoubtedly personal experiences.”
Bella Online

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications; First Edition edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189239121X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,632,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Hernandez on November 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Stagestruck Vampires by Suzy McKee Charnas is an anthology of both new and vintage works. Included are such favorites as "Beauty and the Opera or the Phantom Beast," the Hugo-award-winning "Boobs" and a trio of tales about Charnas' vampire, Dr. Edward Weyland (of The Vampire Tapestry fame), who evolves toward humanity rather than away from it. A surprise for me was "Advocates," a collaboration between Charnas and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (author of the Saint-Germain Chronicles) in which their respective vampires (Weyland and the Comte de Saint Germain) meet. This was not a combination I would ever have imagined working, yet it does. Each character retains the inimitable qualities that made him so memorable in previous works. Also included in the collection are "Evil Thoughts" (which cannot be kept hidden) and "Listening to Brahms," a post-apocalyptic nightmare in which the beauty and corruption of humankind lives on after our physical annihilation--in a most unexpected way. As for the newest works, there's "Peregrines," appearing for the first time in 2004 as well as "The Stagestruck Vampire" and "They're Right, Art Is Long" published for the very first time in this collection. "Peregrines" is a novella set in a xenophobic near-future New York. This world in which undocumented immigrants are hunted down along with anyone who harbors them becomes a training ground for the holiest of holy. One is forced to ponder how near the world of the spirit may be our dusty, mundane lives. The last two works are essays. "The Stagestruck Vampire" takes the reader step-by-step through the writing and first staging of Charnas' theatrical work Vampire Dreams.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Wright on December 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am not particularly a vampire fan, although there seem to be many out there. However, I am a Suzy McKee Charnas fan, ever since I read Motherlines lo, those many years ago.

Ms. Charnas is also the winner of a Hugo Award for her "revenge fantasy" werewolf story called "Something Amazon won't let me print, but is mentioned in the review below" which just happens to appear in the Stagestruck Vampires collection.

This book is primarily a collection of dark fantasy, as well as two excellent essays. One, the eponymous "Stagestruck Vampires", is about the travails of bringing her Nebula Award winning novelet "Unicorn Tapestry" to the stage, the other, "They're Right, Art Is Long", deals with the hassles of writing (and getting published) the four book series starting with "Walk To The End Of The World".

As well as the various "monster" stories that Ms. Charnas has written over the years, the book also includes a new story called "Peregrines" a very fun romp that includes a child-shaman and an old, crusty tarot reader in a New York of a few years hence, when Homeland Security, among other things, requires permits for state-to-state travel, just a little throwaway bit, but indicative of the attention to details that are part of Suzy McKee Charnas' charm.

Read this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ayesha on February 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beauty and the Opéra (a.k.a. The Phantom Beast) is actually a short story amidst a conglomeration of other works published in a book entitled Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms. I read most of the other stories and stopped reading because, quite frankly, they're not my cup of tea. In my opinion, Beauty and the Opéra was the best of the lot. For those looking for a review of the entire anthology, you may want to stop here. This review is aimed at those "Phantom of the Opera" fans who are considering the book for this story alone.

Written in the first person, it is many years after the incidents at the Paris Opera House had taken place and Christine recounts the true story of what had happened between her and the Phantom.

During Christine's first performance of Faust, she suddenly felt a pair of powerful arms enfold her as she dropped through a trap door into the depths of the Opera House. From there, the Phantom carried her through his labyrinth, across the lake on a small boat, and into the confines of his lair.

While there, he asks her to live with him in the city above as his wife. When she becomes evasive, he not only reveals his terrible deformity but he also confesses all that he has done to bring her to this end (i.e., Buquet's murder, the falling of the chandalier to name a few). He then tells her that her lover, the Vicomte's, life depends upon her answer this night. Thus saying, he opens a curtain to a window which reveals Raoul lashed to a chair in which he was vainly struggling to free himself.

In Ms. Charnas' version, Christine, though very young, is not altogether naïve nor as pliable as the Phantom would have liked. She agrees to his terms, but with one condition.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AK on January 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
From the macabre to the lightly horrific, this anthology has something for almost anyone. The stories delve into the past and then shoot to the future. A psychiatrist whose aim is to change her clients finds herself the one changed. The last survivors of earth's desolation depend on the mercy of aliens, and a young girl finds within herself the power to avenge the wrongs done by those who torment her. One story in particular stands out as especially haunting- the opening story, Beauty and the Opera or the Phantom Beast; as you might guess, it deals with the Phantom of the Opera- leaning more towards what the internet would term Christine - Erik shippers- but be warned- it's not all roses. That story, if no other, makes this a book worth reading.
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