Thursday, November 03, 2005

BITE and digest

I've always loved short horror stories: Stephen King's NIGHTSHIFT and the HOT BLOODED series are two of my favorite types of collections. Having just read a gathering of vampire stories called BITE, I'm intrigued by the difference between this collection and my traditional selections of more hardcore horror. BITE features work by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, and Vickie Taylor. All of it, naturally, concentrates on vamps and "dark seduction." Where someone like Poppy Z. Brite (I'm reading WORMWOOD, a bunch of her horror stories, right now.) milks every drop of terror out of a situation, drenching the reader in imagery and stark fear, BITE focuses more on the complications of vampirism and romance and sometimes even the humorous side of being a vampire.

I like my vampires dark and intense, and BITE is interesting in that it showcases some very original premises that are well worth appreciating. Yet, ultimately, this book seems to be more about extending these authors' series work and not creating self-contained short stories. For instance, Hamtilton gives us a glimpse of her awesome Anita Blake character and her nemesis/lover Jean-Claude; and Harris continues her Sookie Stackhouse character. And I actually haven't read the other authors before, so I'm not sure if their stories were based on established characters or not.

At any rate, if you like to catch up with old favorites, you'll like this. If you enjoy vampire romance, you'll eat this up. If you want some clever twists on vampire life, this is your chance to grab some of it.

Happy reading....

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