BLOOD AND OTHER CRAVINGS
This book is tailor-made for our post-Twilight world. Bloodsucking vampires are played out in popular culture, and it’s no coincidence that the most frightening ghoulies in Datlow’s latest collection opt to drain their victims’ life essences (souls, emotions, etc.) instead of blood. The least effective entries are either too straightforward in their execution or are so out of left field that you might be left scratching your head as to how they ended up in a collection with the word “vampire” on the back cover.
Part of the fun of this book is seeing how each author rises to the challenge of redefining vampirism; some succeed wildly, some fall flat. Standout stories include Kaaron Warren’s creepy “All You Can Do Is Breathe,” about a worker who’s trapped underground and visited by an apparition, and Steve Duffy’s positively demented “X for Demetrious,” based on the true story of an elderly man who was found to have choked to death on a bulb of garlic. Other highlights include Melanie Tem’s “Keeping Corky,” Lisa Tuttle’s “Shelf-Life” and Carol Emshwiller’s deceptively-titled “Mrs. Jones.” (TOR, Sep., 320 pp., $25.99)