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I Vampire Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955
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"[I, Vampire] is still one of the most astonishing works of science fiction ever written.... a stunning piece of iconoclasm as Scott takes human society to task for its casual cruelties, meaningless obsessions, and ironic hatred of love. Most notably, Sterling's vampirism and lesbian identity work in tandem to make this an early and invaluable work of queer feminist SF; its historic nature alone is worth the price of admission. Introduction by Theodore Sturgeon."
"A lot of of fun ... its real appeal is in Scott's stabs at the foibles and shortcomings of our society. Jody Scott sees things with a clear eye. You must read carefully, for she can point a caustic finger with a single throwaway line. And when she really winds up, everything is fair game: big business, the military, politics, religion and more. In addition to sharpness and criticism, there are wackiness, clever dialogue, action and lots of love. I enjoyed this one immensely and recommend it highly." --The Seattle Times
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On a more serious note, the author is making a commentary on the shallowness of human society and how we waste our time pursuing things that don't mean anything. She hits home several times and it is amusing to recognize one's self and/or one's fellow human beings in Scott's descriptions.
Sterling O’Blivion is a bright, phenomenally well-read and irreverent 700 year old vampire. Now living in Chicago, she’s a bored instructor of a dance studio. But soon she’s on a madcap adventure spree, falling in love with a "rejuvenated" Virginia Woolf, dealing with Mr Spock (the Baby and Child Care one), and negotiating with multiple aliens up to no good.
Rave reviewed when first published by The Women’s Press in 1986 and since out of print, good, super cheap second hand copies – starting at a penny/cent on Amazon! – are easily available.
Praised and loved by such SF mavericks as Theodore Sturgeon, Samuel Delaney and Barry N. Malzberg, why not satisfy your ungodly fictional cravings with something madcap, radically different and deliciously feminist?
[A version of this review was originally published on For Books' Sake website, as part of their book gift guide for Xmas 2014: http://forbookssake.net/2014/12/10/christmas-feminist-gift-guide/.]
First, this is not a vampire novel per se. Jody Scott uses this device plus some others (sci-fi, comic books, fantasy, feminist lit) to make a point about humanity and the way we live our lives. It's very powerful and makes some strong, strong pronouncements about how we waste our lives and allow ourselves to be brainwashed and led away from the things that are truly important. The introduction by Theodore Sturgeon mentions that love is everywhere, and that's definitely a central theme. But it's also fun - amusing and witty and so well-written. It was deeply engaging and enthralling. So here's the premise: Sterling is a 700-year-old vampire who has lived many lives and is a bit tired of them all, but she nevertheless mourns the loss and grandeur of her previous lives. Her current one is as a hard-sell ballroom dance manager (if it had been written today instead of 1984, I suppose Scott might have chosen a gym instead of ballroom dance). An alien named Virginia Woolf (get it?) crash-lands into her life and infuses it with romance and adventure and the lust for life. But Sterling is having trouble letting go of the pain of her existence.
This book is a sequel of sorts to "Passing for Human," which I didn't enjoy as much. "I, Vampire" can stand on its own.