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review 2017-07-09 17:58
The Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins- Susan Hamilton

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     I love this book, particularly as a really inventive piece of speculative fiction. Hamilton does a top job of drawing together the horror genre classic vampire and the science fiction genre, specifically the sub-category of visitations from other civilisations.

     This is pure fiction that makes some use of documented historical facts and their possible interpretation, in order to build a credible vampire backstory. Nothing in the book is particularly novel, but the speculative thought and the unique way Hamilton puts the story together is both clever and very exciting. I actually became quite fond of her race of space travelling vampires, and even found myself excusing their arriving on, and manipulation of, our unique planet.

     I have always struggled with the logic behind the ‘humanistic vampire’; I struggle with all fantasy and legend that seems over disconnected from observed reality. Hamilton does a very neat job of creating a possible explanation and speculative history behind that horror genre. All the classic stuff is there, from wooden stakes to vulnerability to sunlight, and all within a new logic framework. Well, obviously this is all fantasy, however, the writing is strong enough that it allowed me to effortlessly suspend belief in the world as it appears. One can’t ask more of a speculative fiction book. Hamilton has for me managed to put the vampire legend on science fiction shelves.

     There is already a second book in the series, which I’m yet to read. I surely will. The first was a real page turner for me.

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review 2009-12-29 00:00
The Living Dead - John Joseph Adams,George R.R. Martin,Clive Barker,Stephen King,Norman Partridge,Neil Gaiman,Lisa Morton,Nancy Holder,Harlan Ellison,Kater Cheek,Catherine Cheek,Hannah Wolf Bowen,David Tallerman,Will McIntosh,David Barr Kirtley,Scott Edelman,Joe Hill,Brian This is a great zombie anthology, but I think it would be best read in little chunks every few days or so. I read it all through in one big rush and was completely zombied out by the end. I was afraid that when I started my next book I would be expecting zombies to come shambling into the story at any moment. My favorite story was "This Year's Class Picture" by Dan Simmons, followed by "Calcutta: Lord of Nerves" by Poppy Z. Brite and "Bitter Grounds" by Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed the varying takes on zombies and the way the walking corpses could be transformed into sex objects, food, pets, political symbols and servants. (Though I wasn't a big fan of the stories that did make them political pawns. I guess I just don't get why the undead would care too much about politics.)

I am really looking forward to the other collections of stories John Joseph Adams has edited.
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review 2004-08-30 00:00
Out of this World
Out of this World - J.D. Robb,Maggie Shayne,Susan Krinard,Laurell K. Hamilton Like a previous anthology I registered, the stories in this one have a strong romantic overtone, with elements of the supernatural.

This anthology contains 4 short stories. Not counting LKH's entry since it's actually the first few chapters of Narcissus in Chains which was a great book in itself, of the other 3 stories, I actually liked Susan Krinard's the best. I may look into some of her other books at some point.
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