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Best New Vampire Tales (Vol 1) Paperback – March 11, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
"BEST NEW VAMPIRE TALES goes for the throat with chilling and innovative new takes on the undead. Highly recommended for the bloody-minded!"
-Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of THE KING OF PLAGUES and WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE
About the Author
JAMES ROY DALEY is a writer, editor, and musician. He studied film at the Toronto Film School, music at Humber College, and English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Terror Town, Into Hell, 13 Drops of Blood, Zombie Kong, and The Dead Parade. In 2009 he founded Books of the Dead Press, where he enjoyed immediate success working with many of the biggest names in horror. He edited anthologies such as Zombie Kong - Anthology, Best New Vampire Tales, Classic Vampire Tales, and the Best New Zombie Tales series.
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Now against that background, I was drawn to Best New Vampire Tales (Vol I), a 2011 anthology of stories featuring those cursed creatures of the night, vampires.
This vampire anthology brings together the assorted talents of some of the finest genre writers that we have today and the short stories contained within are perfect for anyone looking to get back into horror books but has neither the time nor patience for something more voluminous. These short stories are by and large pacy, engaging and entertaining.
My main criticism of this book is the use of the word "new" in the title. Indeed, many of the stories have been conjured up within the last one to five years but the oldest of them are from the early 90s, about twenty years ago.
However, this does not detract from the quality of the work here, which NY Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry has described as "Best New Vampire Tales goes for the throat with chilling and innovative new takes on the undead. Highly recommended for the bloody-minded!"
With Best New Vampire Tales Matt Hults starts proceedings with his North American vampire story, Through the Valley of Death.
From there, the reader is taken through a variety of twists on the vampire legend from the sublime to the ridiculous via the distinctly average, coupled with Hults' effort, here are some that are worthy of note:
John F.D. Taff introduces us to the unlikeliest vampire hunter in the form of Buddy Burnett in Cold Calls.
A Candle Lit In Sunlight by Bram Stoker Award winner David Niall Wilson offers a vampiric spin on the story of Jesus and may be a bit controversial for more conservative readers but is well worth reading.
With Morning Sickness, William Meikle brings a short, sharp, shocking vampire story to Scotland and conjures up a yarn worthy of an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Bram Stoker Award winner John Everson's When Barrettes Brought Justice to a Burning Heart shows the price a desperate man is willing to pay in order to visit fanged vengeance on those who wronged him.
David M. Fitzpatrick's Sabbatarian brings some action-horror to the proceedings.
Endless Night by Barbara Roden is a wonderful vampire tale, set in the time of polar adventurers such as Scott and Shackleton and for me was evocative of passages from Shelley's Frankenstein; and I am very much of the opinion that this story deserves a little more fleshing out to become a novel in its own right.
I found some of the entries in this anthology a little below par but this could be due to the fact that they are nestled alongside some of the stories I have mentioned above! There is no question that all of the works in Best New Vampire Tales are well-written and much to my relief, there's not a sparkly, emo vampire in sight.
This was a decent short story collection. All vampire themed stories, some much better than others. The standouts for me were as follows:
Through the Valley of Death by Matt Hults. I believe I read this story in a collection of Mr. Hult's works. Nevertheless, I was happy to read it again and I liked it just as much as I did the first time.
A Sunset So Glorious by Rycke Foreman. I liked the originality of this story of vampire and djinn.
The Verbpire by Frederick Obermeyer. At first the idea seemed pretty silly, but by the end of the story, I thought it was awesome.
Morning Sickness by William Meikle. Just plain awesome. (This was my first experince with this author, it won't be my last.
Preserver by Tim Waggoner. A unique look at what else a vampire can suck away from you.
The Sabbatarian by David M. Fitzpatrick. I thought that not only was this a good story, it was kind of funny too.
Moving Lines bt Steve Vernon. Having a gypsy read the palm of a vampire is probably not going to turn out well.
A total of 18 stories, with 7 standouts (for me), leaves me with a 3.5 rating. Because the stories that stood out REALLY stood out, I rounded it up to 4 stars.