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Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead
edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
Edge, 283 pages

Evolve: Vampires Stories of the New Undead
Nancy Kilpatrick
Nancy Kilpatrick writes horror, dark fantasy, mysteries and erotic horror, under her own name, and under a nom de plume. Besides writing novels and short stories, and editing anthologies, she has written 4 issues of VampErotic comics. She has won the Arthur Ellis Award for best mystery story, has been a Bram Stoker finalist twice and an Aurora Award finalist 3 times. With years of teaching experience at a Toronto College behind her, Nancy now teaches several on-line courses. She lives with her black cat Bella in Montreal.

Nancy Kilpatrick Website
ISFDB Bibliography: Nancy Kilpatrick
SF Site Review: Tesseracts 13
SF Site Review: Graven Images

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

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I know what you're thinking: "please, not another anthology of vampire stories!".

We have read so much vampire fiction in the past (and editor Nancy Kilpatrick provides an exhaustive overview of the literature devoted to the subject) that by now everything seems to have been already said about that topic. However, it appears that vampires are no more what they used to be: they're changing habits, adapting to the rules of modern life. In other words, they are evolving. Hence the title of the current volume, endeavouring to present the variegate profile of the new undead.

The anthology collects twenty-four original tales from a bunch of writers who have attempted to put new blood (pun intended) into the myth of the vampire. Not an easy task and, predictably, the results are not always convincing maybe because the search for originality often spoils the basic prerequisite to offer to the reader a well told, balanced narrative rather than a cold. exercise in creativity. Some stories,however, really stand out.

"Come to Me" by Heather Clitheroe is a compelling piece where a Canadian woman relocated in Japan becomes the victim of a terrifying demon fox with vampiresque habits.

Michael Skeet ("Red Blues") depicts a vampire disguised as a jazz guitar player seducing a girl in the audience in an excellent story where subtle eroticism and blood lust merge in a very captivating way.

I don't recall having ever read a story where a vampire has a family (wife and wayward teenagers) but "Chrysalis" by Ronald Hore develops very effectively this unusual idea shaping up an insightful portrait of a young girl who realizes her not quite human powers.

Ben Vincent's "A Murder of Vampires" is an offbeat detective story where a serial killer attacks only members of a vampire community. Extremely well written and entertaining.

Another superb tale, providing great reading stuff is "All You Can Eat, All the Time" by Claude Lalumière, describing how a lonely girl meets a vampire who will change her life forever.

Perfectly in keeping with the theme of the anthology Natasha Beaulieu contributes "Evolving," a delightful piece where a young man discovers at last that he is really a vampire (just as he wanted to be), although a bit different from the standard cliché.

So, editor Kilpatrick has certainly proved her point: vampires are really evolving and I suspect we'll hear more about them very, very soon.

Copyright © 2010 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.


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