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But I digress. Having established myself as a vampire-hater, I can say that L. Neil Smith s Sweeter than Wine is one heck of a great read. I like his vampire. It s definite science fiction, not fantasy, and is of the hidden history variety, where vampires are among us, and we don t know about it. Usually, this sort of thing is really a strain on your skeptical bump, but the world Smith creates is downright believable, making you nod you head and say, sure, this could very well be happening.
All of Smith s stuff has, as it very well should, a Heinlein flavor, but this book more than most. The protagonist has the air of Heinlein s competent man, who knows how the world works, and has developed an ethical code to cope with it more of a challenge than most of us have, given his special peculiarity. He s like Lazarus Long, but with a personality. And in keeping with both the vampire tradition and the Smith tradition, there are some shootouts, interesting information about weaponry, a lost love story worthy of Japanese anime, and a villain. Whoa, this is a real villain he makes Voldemort look like Heinz Doofenshmirtz. This guy will give you the willies.
The why aren t we all vampires by now problem is solved, neatly and not at all in a contrived way, and we are treated to some education on police procedure, biology, history, and paleontology. Not bad for a short novel.
One more thing: I read it in one sitting. I haven t done that since Mother Night, about half a century ago. So it also qualifies as a top-notch page-turner. It s a vampire story, sure, but Crime and Punishment was a detective story. --Rex F. May
Sweeter Than Blood is his first vampire novel.
Neil does it again, in a book written for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). He lays out a scientific, logical basis for the vampiric condition without resorting to the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Brian Hughes
L Neil Smith was somehow able to create a credible theory of Vampirism that even had me going. In the process he disposed of magical powers, but left us with an impressively evil... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Steven Vandervelde
Good modern fantasy with more a scifi feel than an Ann Rice feel.
It treats how a practical modern person would deal with vampirism and life.
But you'd never know it's one of those books written in one month - I enjoyed Smith's move slightly off the scifi-libertarian path into the vampire genre.Published 19 months ago by DrPat
Not at all what I expect from Smith. Ended abruptly -- as if he realized he had met his publisher's requirement for word count and then quit.Published 19 months ago by dbtyler
If you're familiar with L Neil Smith's work (especially The American Zone) you'll know what to expect. Good, fast moving Liberterian fiction. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Steve Irvin