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Shadows Bite.

Shadows Bite is a novel by stephen dedman, the sequel to The Art of Arrow Cutting. it's not a bad book: a slick dark urban fantasy that will take you a couple of afternoons to read, much like the first one. it focuses more upon the japanese stuntman character, rather than the magician, but that's okay, because i liked him more, so i was happy.

the point of bringing up this novel, however, is the way that vampires are presented.
they're handled in a nasty, unglamorous way, which lifts the book above many of the other vampire related novels that you can find out there. (and which i have not really spent much time reading. my favourite vampire novel is nancy collins's Sunglasses After Dark, which is really quite good, and is probably responsible for the whole punk vampire sub genre that sprung up, and which was mostly unreadable.) but, back to dedman's novel: i suppose i always knew that there was a vampire mythos out there, but i was hardly ever interested enough to go and read it, but after the influences it gave to dedman's novel, i have to wonder why it is that more of the vampire mythos is not used?

the answer is probably because it's not glamorous, or attractive. who would want to be a vampire, if it meant that you psychically sucked the life out of your family members and those who've taken your blood from a transfusion? it's much easier to think that, in some erotic coupling, you find the dark breath of the afterlife, where you can sit around and write really bad poetry while drinking blood from crystal goblets. (not that such a fantasy appeals to me, mind you. i'm not sure what i'd do if i was a vampire, but trying to live a goths life doesn't really feel like using your vampirism to the best that you can, does it now?)

maybe i'm being unfair to the vampire genre. it could be. i'm willing to be wrong. but it might just be dedman who snaps along with interesting vampire fiction for me. his novella 'never seen by waking eyes', which is about a vampire alice, is probably the thing of his that i like the most.

my only real complaint, is that i would have liked seeing more of the vampire mythos. i suppose that if i want that, however, it's up to me to go and find it, though i'm not sure if that will happen.

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(Anonymous)
May. 27th, 2003 05:50 pm (UTC)
Vampire Mythos
Stephen and I were both on a vampire discussion panel at the NatCon last year, which went pretty well. I basically rabbited on about the research that went into this article here, which might be of interest:

Tabula Rasa: Vampire Mythos (http://www.tabula-rasa.info/Horror/VampireMythos.html)

(I've been quite into the glamorous vampire image at various points, but not so much now.)

David C
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