TITLE: Fangs (The Vampire Archives #2)
AUTHOR: Otto Penzler (editor)
PUBLICATION: 2010 by Vintage Books
The second immortal volume in this dark and fantastic series, Fangs is a scintillating and sinister collection of vampire stories and part of the now legendary Vampire Archives. Including Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Many Many More. . .
· bloody fangs
· dark and foreboding crypts
· mysterious nighttime apparitions
· languid ladies
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT . . .
I rather liked the first volume of the mass market paperback release of The Vampire Archives that I read last year. I’ve had volumes two and three in my possessions since they were available but I’ve kept putting off reading them and I don’t know why. Yet it’s Halloween and what better time is there for vampires?
This volume is giving me my first tastes of certain popular authors such as Richard Matheson and H.P. Lovecraft. Yes, this is my first experience with Lovecraft. It seems he’s a staple of anyone whom calls themselves a fan of horror fiction, but I’ve never gotten around to reading his stuff. But what caught my eye on this particular collection were the names Clive Barker and Arthur Conan Doyle.
The beautiful thing about anthologies is the fact that if a story is bad, it won’t be the whole book. I can skip it if it’s keeping me from reading and I don’t have to force myself to read on in the hopes that it may get better before I totally abandon it. I can just go to the next tale. In this volume there are good stories and not so good stories. Richard Laymon’s “Special” was interesting with women being used as breeders for human Guardians or food for the vampires. The poem from Lord Byron proves that I need to read more Byron at some point. I was kind of bored by the Anne Rice story so I skipped it… I can always finish it at a later point, right? To be honest it’s not the only one that I skipped. I confess my shame that I got bored by the Clive Barker tale included in this collection and the sad thing is that he’s one of my favorite authors so I was looking forward to his the most.
One of the stories that I was looking forward to is “Carmilla” by Sheridan de Fanu. It’s one of those tales that I’ve been meaning to read for several years but either never found a book that had it or got around to it. However, now that I’ve finally read it I can say that it’s my favorite in this particular collection. A lesbian vampire that shape-shifts into a cat? Oh, yes, I’m all for that right there! I rather enjoyed it.
I found “The Werewolf and the Vampire” to be quite comical. It’s another good tale I enjoyed in this collection.
These vampires aren’t all the traditional blood-suckers either as there are some which can merely drain the life from their victims.
For the vampire or horror fan, this is a decent choice of short stories to look into.