Sunday, September 19, 2010

Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead

Vampires have evolved…Meet the twenty-first century vampire!
Edited by: Nancy Kilpatrick, Published by: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2010
There was a time I liked vampires. Incubus, Succubus, Spike. Then it came. You know what I’m talking about. At times, I feared that I would go stark raving mad if I had to hear about or read another story with either “sparkles” or “Sookie” in it.
I bought Evolve several months ago at a vendor’s table here in town. The cover art is what struck me to pick it up. The cover is stunning, capturing the “demon inside” part of the vampire myth. I enjoy a good anthology on occasion, as it exposes me to authors that I have never heard of, and yet write things I might enjoy. Evolve has added several authors to my “must read” list.
While the anthology is classed as “horror and dark fantasy,” it really isn’t what I’d class as horror. Don’t get me wrong; there are some horror stories. In particular, I made the mistake of reading “All You Can Eat, All The Time” by Claude Lalumiere before supper.  However, most of the stories focus on the day-to-day culture of vampires in our society. A few were quite funny.
Many sported “Canadian Endings” (not happy ever after, not even happy right now; just plain acceptance of life and circumstances), which I enjoyed seeing. No surprise since nearly all of the authors are Canadian-born. I enjoyed the touches of Canadiana, such as Kevin Cockle’s “Sleepless in Calgary.”
I didn’t enjoy all of the stories. I’m not a fan of present tense nor second person (i.e. You walk into a room), unless it’s in a choose-your-adventure novel. Still, I enjoyed plenty of the stories, with “Learning Curve” (Kelley Armstrong) and “The New Forty” (Rebecca Bradley) at the top of my list. It was great to see Tanya Huff contributing to the anthology as well.
I highly recommend picking up this collection if you are a fan of vampires and want to see a new take on the supernatural beings.

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