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Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women

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A tantalizing selection of stories from some of the best female authors who’ve helped define the modern vampire. Bram Stoker was hardly the first author—male or female—to fictionalize the folkloric vampire, but he defined the modern iconic vampire when Dracula appeared in 1897. Since then, many have reinterpreted the ever-versatile vampire over and over again—and female wri A tantalizing selection of stories from some of the best female authors who’ve helped define the modern vampire. Bram Stoker was hardly the first author—male or female—to fictionalize the folkloric vampire, but he defined the modern iconic vampire when Dracula appeared in 1897. Since then, many have reinterpreted the ever-versatile vampire over and over again—and female writers have played vital roles in proving that the vampire, as well as our perpetual fascination with it, is truly immortal. These authors have devised some of the most fascinating, popular, and entertaining of our many vampiric variations: suavely sensual . . . fascinating but fatal . . . sexy and smart . . . undead but prone to detection . . . tormented or terrifying . . . amusing or amoral . . . doomed or deadly . . . badass and beautiful . . . cutting-edge or classic . . . Blood Sisters collects a wide range of fantastical stories from New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Nancy Holder, Catherynne M. Valente, and Carrie Vaughn, and critically acclaimed writers Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Tanith Lee, all of whom have left their indelible and unique stamps on the vampire genre. Whether they are undeniably heroes and heroines or bloodthirsty monsters (or something in between), the undead are a lively lot. This anthology offers some of the best short fiction ever written by the “blood sisters” who know them best: stories you can really sink your teeth into. Introduction: “Welcome to My House! Enter Freely and of Your Own Free Will!” by Paula Guran “A Princess of Spain” by Carrie Vaughn “Shipwrecks Above” by Caitlín R. Kiernan “The Fall of the House of Blackwater” by Freda Warrington “In Memory of …” by Nancy Kilpatrick “Where the Vampires Live” by Storm Constantine “La Dame” by Tanith Lee “Chicago 1927” by Jewelle Gomez “Renewal” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro “Blood Freak” by Nancy Holder “The Power and the Passion” by Pat Cadigan “The Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” by Tanya Huff “Vampire King of the Goth Chicks” by Nancy A. Collins “Learning Curve” by Kelley Armstrong “The Better Half” by Melanie Tem “Selling Houses” by Laurell K. Hamilton “Greedy Choke Puppy” by Nalo Hopkinson “Tacky” by Charlaine Harris “Needles” by Elizabeth Bear “From the Teeth of Strange Children” by Lisa L. Hannett “Father Peña’s Last Dance” by Hannah Strom-Martin “Sun Falls” by Angela Slatter “Magdala Amygdala” by Lucy A. Snyder “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black “In the Future When All’s Well” by Catherynne M. Valente


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A tantalizing selection of stories from some of the best female authors who’ve helped define the modern vampire. Bram Stoker was hardly the first author—male or female—to fictionalize the folkloric vampire, but he defined the modern iconic vampire when Dracula appeared in 1897. Since then, many have reinterpreted the ever-versatile vampire over and over again—and female wri A tantalizing selection of stories from some of the best female authors who’ve helped define the modern vampire. Bram Stoker was hardly the first author—male or female—to fictionalize the folkloric vampire, but he defined the modern iconic vampire when Dracula appeared in 1897. Since then, many have reinterpreted the ever-versatile vampire over and over again—and female writers have played vital roles in proving that the vampire, as well as our perpetual fascination with it, is truly immortal. These authors have devised some of the most fascinating, popular, and entertaining of our many vampiric variations: suavely sensual . . . fascinating but fatal . . . sexy and smart . . . undead but prone to detection . . . tormented or terrifying . . . amusing or amoral . . . doomed or deadly . . . badass and beautiful . . . cutting-edge or classic . . . Blood Sisters collects a wide range of fantastical stories from New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Nancy Holder, Catherynne M. Valente, and Carrie Vaughn, and critically acclaimed writers Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Tanith Lee, all of whom have left their indelible and unique stamps on the vampire genre. Whether they are undeniably heroes and heroines or bloodthirsty monsters (or something in between), the undead are a lively lot. This anthology offers some of the best short fiction ever written by the “blood sisters” who know them best: stories you can really sink your teeth into. Introduction: “Welcome to My House! Enter Freely and of Your Own Free Will!” by Paula Guran “A Princess of Spain” by Carrie Vaughn “Shipwrecks Above” by Caitlín R. Kiernan “The Fall of the House of Blackwater” by Freda Warrington “In Memory of …” by Nancy Kilpatrick “Where the Vampires Live” by Storm Constantine “La Dame” by Tanith Lee “Chicago 1927” by Jewelle Gomez “Renewal” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro “Blood Freak” by Nancy Holder “The Power and the Passion” by Pat Cadigan “The Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” by Tanya Huff “Vampire King of the Goth Chicks” by Nancy A. Collins “Learning Curve” by Kelley Armstrong “The Better Half” by Melanie Tem “Selling Houses” by Laurell K. Hamilton “Greedy Choke Puppy” by Nalo Hopkinson “Tacky” by Charlaine Harris “Needles” by Elizabeth Bear “From the Teeth of Strange Children” by Lisa L. Hannett “Father Peña’s Last Dance” by Hannah Strom-Martin “Sun Falls” by Angela Slatter “Magdala Amygdala” by Lucy A. Snyder “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black “In the Future When All’s Well” by Catherynne M. Valente

30 review for Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    If you've been reading horror for any length of time, then Paula Guran is likely someone with whom you are instantly familiar. In addition to being the senior editor for Prime Books, she's edited 30+ anthologies since 2010, including the annual Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. With a pair of New Cthulhu and Zombie anthologies having hit the shelves over the past year, she's finally making a triumphant return to the world of Vampires with Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women. While themed a If you've been reading horror for any length of time, then Paula Guran is likely someone with whom you are instantly familiar. In addition to being the senior editor for Prime Books, she's edited 30+ anthologies since 2010, including the annual Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. With a pair of New Cthulhu and Zombie anthologies having hit the shelves over the past year, she's finally making a triumphant return to the world of Vampires with Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women. While themed anthologies like this are always a mixed bag of treats, with stories or authors working differently for each reader, it's the introduction that always fascinates me. Here, Paula Guran traces the evolution of vampire fiction over the ages, taking us through the transitions from man to monster, sinister to sexual, esoteric to erotic, and back again. She gives Stoker, King, and Rice credit for redefining the myth at various stages, but also speaks highly of Newman, Yarbro, Kilpatrick, Hamilton, and more. It's fascinating stuff, especially when you look at it in terms of how and when the mythology was transformed. This is a surprisingly diverse collection of tales, stretching across three decades of vampire fiction - from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's “Renewal” (1982) through Lucy Snyder “Magdala Amygdala” (2012) - and running the gamut from terrifying to tantalizing. Yes, there are themes of feminism and female empowerment in some of the stories, but that's not the focus here. Paula Guran isn't so much interested in what vampires say about women, as what women have to say about vampires. Given that this is a collection of previously published tales, vampire aficionados will likely have already come across many (if not most) of the stories contained here. Old favorites for me that I took time to revisit included: “In Memory of…” by Nancy Kilpatrick “La Dame” by Tanith Lee “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” by Tanya Huff “Vampire King of the Goth Chicks” by Nancy A. Collins As for those stories I hadn't before encountered, the few that made the strongest impression for me were: “Shipwrecks Above” by Caitlín R. Kiernan “The Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas “Selling Houses” by Laurell K. Hamilton “Needles” by Elizabeth Bear If you're a fan of vampire fiction, then give Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women a read. Paula Guran knows here stuff and has a definite eye for what stories to include (and why). I particularly liked the way she arranged the stories here, not alphabetically or by publication date, by the time period in which they take place. If you're of a mind to read them in order, the stories here will take you from the distant past to the not-so-distant future, with multiple stops in between. Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    I just withdrew my request to win this book in a GoodReads giveaway. Individually, there are some pretty fantastic stories in this collection. The very first story, A Princess of Spain, had me so excited for the rest of the book. Being a complete Tudors freak, and a whore for anything that puts real life people in fantasy situations. Catherine of Aragon with her first husband, a vampire thrall. And she's saved by King Henry VIII, Vampire Hunter. I would read a whole series about King Henry VIII, I just withdrew my request to win this book in a GoodReads giveaway. Individually, there are some pretty fantastic stories in this collection. The very first story, A Princess of Spain, had me so excited for the rest of the book. Being a complete Tudors freak, and a whore for anything that puts real life people in fantasy situations. Catherine of Aragon with her first husband, a vampire thrall. And she's saved by King Henry VIII, Vampire Hunter. I would read a whole series about King Henry VIII, Vampire Hunter, actually. Most unfortunately, though, this momentum didn't last. In fact, if this book's momentum were a human being's metabolism, this book is a 600 pound man sitting on his couch, unable to see his feet. Sure, he can occasionally get himself off the couch and go to the fridge or the bathroom, but for the most part? He and the couch are BFFs. I can recommend stories from this book, but I would not recommend the book itself. It's long, and the only thing stopping me from giving up entirely was the knowledge that giving up on a story collection written by multiple authors is the equivalent of throwing a hissy fit and refusing to date any brunettes because three so far have been total assholes. Let's do a quick run down of the stories worth mentioning. Shipwrecks Above: This author has a serious way with words. She was once a dryad, but then fell from Artemis' favor. Weighed about the ankles, so she was drowned and whored out to the sea, cast down from al sylvan terrestrial spheres, from all pastures and forests that have not been drowned. This is the story of a vampiric mermaid. The combination of words + plot should've been great, but it didn't get my imagination singing. The Fall of the House of Blackwater: The introduction to this story mentions that her books "began to evolve in the 1980s, long before the most recent explosion of vampire fiction". Does that mean she's the inventor of the massive amount of vampiric cliches featured in this story? That being said, the story isn't terrible, it's actually rather clever. Great characters. In Memory Of: I don't know enough about Oscar Wilde to truly appreciate this story. I love that, as a whole, this is the story of how Bram Stoker came up with the idea for Dracula. See above re: real life persons put into fantasy situations. I wish I knew more about Oscar Wilde so I could really appreciate the little twists. La Dame: Simultaneously too long and too short. Fantastic idea, poorly executed. Chicago 1927: We take blood, not life. Leave something in exchange. YES YES YES YES YES GIVE ME MORE LIKE THIS. Ms. Gomez has written other stories about Gilda, and I will be reading them all. She's fantastic. Renewal: I think this is the one that took me the longest to get through. It's probably also the one I hated the most (Edit: Second most hated). A waste of my precious reading time, and the start of wanting to DNF this book. Which is why it was lovely to have Blood Freak: come right after it. I have a certain affinity for Nancy Holder, based on her work on Buffy novelizations. I think she's a good writer, fun and easy. This story is one I would love to see as a full sized novel. Vampires in the 1960s, treated as reverentially as any cult leader. The language of the hippies just made me laugh, and the appearance of Dr. Timothy Leary, who wants to be turned into a vampire. There is nothing to not love here. It makes me want desperately to have a combination of Dracula and Mad Men. Speaking of which, The Power and The Passion: This is Van Helsing meets Dexter. Rather disturbing, though blessedly, the gory details are mostly tame and left up to one's imagination. I do adore the idea of a crucifix tattoo being the only thing a person needs to save themselves from becoming a vampire. The Unicorn Tapestry: OH MY GOD WHY WOULDN'T THIS FUCKING STORY END. I seriously kept scrolling, kept flipping the pages, and it just went ON AND ON AND ON. This is by far the worst story in the book, and I wish it could have been burned after reading. This Town Ain't Big Enough: The funny thing about this story is, I just went to look up "Tanya Huff" on Goodreads in order to add the Vicki Nelson series to my to-read list. And I found out that I'd already added the first book. I knew while reading this story that I was familiar with the author. I read another short story of hers in Many Bloody Returns, set in this universe, though missing Vicki Vamp. It's Henry Fitzroy, bastard of King Henry VIII (Vampire Hunter?), as a centuries old vampire. See above re: TOTAL Tudors whore. This story only mentions Henry, we don't see him. Average story, but likeable enough. Vampire King of the Goth Chicks: Major points for a reference to Death from the Sandman series. Sonja Blue is kind of a bad ass character. A great story after a handful of bad or so-so ones. Learning Curve: Another author whose books I placed on hold after reading Many Bloody Returns I like this story well enough, Zoe Takano is an adorable vampire, and she...basically teaches a vampire slayer how to fight. It's super cute. The Better Half: I thought, until the end, that we were dealing with spousal abuse only, and not real vampirism. If that were the case, it would really work. This story reminded me heavily of someone I'm friends with. If you didn't know this story was supposed to be about vampires, you'd be REALLY confused. But other than that, it's a fantastic metaphor. I just wish it hadn't ended that way. Selling Houses: I really, genuinely want to read a Laurell K. Hamilton book now. I've always been rather so-so about reading her works despite strong recommendations, but this one might've pushed me over. Though the reappearing bloody handprints and small creepy child really gave me the heebie jeebies. Greedy Choke Puppy: Makes me want to read books on Jamaican folk lore. Absolutely fascinating. And I do love that accent. Tacky: The introduction let me know that Dahlia is only mentioned briefly in the True Blood books, which is the only reason I'm not promptly running out to finally give them a shot. I like Dahlia a great deal, and I like this world. From the Teeth of Strange Children: Third in line of most hated stories in this collection. Magdala Amygdala: This is a story about zombies, with the appearance of a vampire. And it's confusing as shit. The Coldest Girl in Cold-Town: I was ready to put the novelization of this short story on hold until I found out that it doesn't feature Matilda. It's a shame. In the Future When All's Well: A great story to end on after so much disappointment. Scout is a fantastic narrator, and this is a great metaphor for so many things in the world right now, from fear of vaccinations to the ever-present over warnings of everything from sex to talking back to your parents. Brilliant. Received via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ѦѺ™

    editor Paula Guran's latest anthology is not about female vampires per se. all of the stories just happened to be written by bestselling and award-winning women authors. the stories are arranged in the period it was set. i find this approach interesting. i think it was a brilliant move by the editor. not only does the reader get to travel through time as each story is presented, but he/she might notice a kind of "evolution" of the English language - from formal to contemporary. moreover, the rea editor Paula Guran's latest anthology is not about female vampires per se. all of the stories just happened to be written by bestselling and award-winning women authors. the stories are arranged in the period it was set. i find this approach interesting. i think it was a brilliant move by the editor. not only does the reader get to travel through time as each story is presented, but he/she might notice a kind of "evolution" of the English language - from formal to contemporary. moreover, the reader encounters a variety of vampires. some are the traditional kind and some are not. it is hard to choose a favorite among the twenty-four i liked. they were all well-written, entertaining, fresh and very creative. the one i least liked was just not my cup of tea. there is no question that it was well-written though as far as grammar and punctuation are concerned. unlike the other stories, i got stuck with this one for more than a week and it was a challenge to read it all the way from the first page to the last. i gave it a chance but it still did not work. the characters were downright boring, unappealing and forgettable. the vampire in question was questionable and the story's length could have been cut in half. Paula Guran's long introduction was far more readable and interesting than that story. overall, it is still a good compilation. featuring authors like Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris plus twenty-two others, the collection Blood Sisters: Vampire Stories by Women dishes out a tale or two or more to delight and thrill the fangnatic in you. *received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Stories are uneven some really good others not so much

  5. 5 out of 5

    L.M. Justus

    I liked the editor's choice to put the stories in order chronologically, based on when the stories took place. They ranged from really intriguing tales I gobbled up, through to mediocre ones I struggled to finish, to downright awful stories I absolutely hated. I rated each story, and adding them up and taking an average, overall the anthology gets 3 stars from me. Here's my individual ratings listed by author last name in the order their story appeared in the book: Vaughn: 4 Kiernan: 0.5 Warrington: I liked the editor's choice to put the stories in order chronologically, based on when the stories took place. They ranged from really intriguing tales I gobbled up, through to mediocre ones I struggled to finish, to downright awful stories I absolutely hated. I rated each story, and adding them up and taking an average, overall the anthology gets 3 stars from me. Here's my individual ratings listed by author last name in the order their story appeared in the book: Vaughn: 4 Kiernan: 0.5 Warrington: 4.5 Kilpatrick: 3 Constantine: 3 Lee: 2.5 Gomez: 4.5 Yarbro: 4 Holder: 0.5 Cadigan: 3.5 Charnas: 2.5 Huff: 4.5 Collins: 2 Armstrong: 3.5 Tem: 2.5 Hamilton: 4 Hopkinson: 4.5 Harris: 5 Bear: 3.5 Hannett: DNF Martin: 4.5 Slatter: 5 Snyder: 3.5 Black: 4.5 Valente: 4

  6. 4 out of 5

    Johan

    This collection is a mixed bag. You have modern vampires, old-school vampires and alien-like vampires, there is this vampire with serious issues, there is the gentleman vampire, the compassionate vampire, the vampire in need of therapy, vampirism as a viral disease, ... There are stories that barely deserve 1 star and there are others that I am tempted to give 5 stars. On average this means that I should give the book 3 stars, but I had grown tired of vampire stories after reading a couple of An This collection is a mixed bag. You have modern vampires, old-school vampires and alien-like vampires, there is this vampire with serious issues, there is the gentleman vampire, the compassionate vampire, the vampire in need of therapy, vampirism as a viral disease, ... There are stories that barely deserve 1 star and there are others that I am tempted to give 5 stars. On average this means that I should give the book 3 stars, but I had grown tired of vampire stories after reading a couple of Anne Rice's books and this book managed to rekindle my interest in vampire stories. That should be worth at least an extra star.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    The best of these were very, very good. The one about Oscar Wilde was sort of interesting, I just prefer the more modern takes, although I realize the debt they owe to the classic form. I found The Unicorn Tapestry obscurely annoying and I can't really figure out why. Stand-outs were The Power and The Passion by Pat Cadigan, Greedy Choke Puppy by Nalo Hopkinson, and the last three stories in the book (I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown again happily at every opportunity). Father Pena's last dan The best of these were very, very good. The one about Oscar Wilde was sort of interesting, I just prefer the more modern takes, although I realize the debt they owe to the classic form. I found The Unicorn Tapestry obscurely annoying and I can't really figure out why. Stand-outs were The Power and The Passion by Pat Cadigan, Greedy Choke Puppy by Nalo Hopkinson, and the last three stories in the book (I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown again happily at every opportunity). Father Pena's last dance had some images so striking that they're still vivid in my mind. Solid collection.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mel Teshco

    Some of the stories were good, others pretty average, but a bit short in content to really sink into it and get to know the characters. All in all a good read when you want a quick read and to discover some new authors.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Blood Sisters Like most anthologies, there were some really good stories, some fair and some I thought were awful. I often reread anthologies or at least my favorites of the stories. I won’t be rereading this one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Some of the stories I loved and some I really disliked. I prefer vampire stories that are a little horrific not those that are humorous. However, the good ones were very good.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fred Fisher

    I was disappointed by this book. The stories seemed hurried and not particularly well written and these are normally good authors. Oh well, perhaps I've become jaded to the Vampire genre. I was disappointed by this book. The stories seemed hurried and not particularly well written and these are normally good authors. Oh well, perhaps I've become jaded to the Vampire genre.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Bumping up to 3 stars from 2 because of the closing story by Cat Valente. Stellar, as always.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charl

    A really good collection of truly original vampire stories. I skipped a couple of them, but only because they just weren't to my taste, not because they weren't well-written. A really good collection of truly original vampire stories. I skipped a couple of them, but only because they just weren't to my taste, not because they weren't well-written.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Roblyn

    Great distraction for crazy times. Some really fun stories.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    30 April 2020: $1.99 on Kindle 30 April 2020: $1.99 on Kindle

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Pretty damn fantastic... Most short story anthologies are pretty uneven in terms of what's included, but this one is overall incredibly strong. My guess as to why: an experienced editor, and also, she's pulling entirely from stories that have been published other places already...so can really collect the cream of the crop. The standouts for me are The Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas and In the Future When All's Well by Catherynne M. Valente - both completely blew me away with the emotion Pretty damn fantastic... Most short story anthologies are pretty uneven in terms of what's included, but this one is overall incredibly strong. My guess as to why: an experienced editor, and also, she's pulling entirely from stories that have been published other places already...so can really collect the cream of the crop. The standouts for me are The Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas and In the Future When All's Well by Catherynne M. Valente - both completely blew me away with the emotional depth and originality, respectively. Also, The Better Half by Melanie Tem and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (yup, it started as a short story, and it's real good). This collection is a fascinating look at how vampire writing - by women - has changed and varied over time. If you're a fan of vampire fiction, I would not miss picking this up. Individual story reviews: The Fall of the House of Blackwater by Freda Warrington - 3 stars. I like the tables being turned. It does make you want to pick up her series. In Memory Of... by Nancy Kilpatrick - 5 stars?? Nice weave of history & fiction, unique take on vampirism (psychic), actual surprise at the end. Where the Vampires Live by Storm Constantine - 4 stars. Very cool, atmospheric. Original take with two young, wild girls. La Dame by Tanith Lee - 3.5 stars. Atmospheric and spooky: vampires on the sea. Chicago 1927 by Jewelle Gomez - 3 stars. Creative premise & characters (black lesbian vamp), but quotidian story. Renewal by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro - 3.5 stars. Excellent intro to Saint Germain and his form of vampirism, with an added layer of how the vampiric stand outside of human events like WWII. Blood Freak by Nancy Holder - 3.5 stars. I paused for days in the middle of this one and shouldn't have...it's Dracula meets Leary in the 60s! Super fun, and nicely open ending. The Power & the Passion by Pat Cadigan - 3.5 stars. A monster for monsters, with an incredible tattoo. The Unicorn Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas - 5 enthusiastic stars. Wow. Fucking incredible. The vampire and the shrink analyze each other and it's deep, and so powerful. This Town Ain't Big Enough by Tanya Huff - 3 stars. Cool heroine (of historical vamp fiction note) with nice balance between human and newly vampire self. Vampire King of the Goth Chicks by Nancy A. Collins - 4 stars. Another classic vamp heroine, Sonja Blue. Sassy, explicit and not entirely white hat - no wonder her stories got popular. This feels like the intro to a novel. Learning Curve by Kelley Armstrong - 2 stars. I just don't like Kelley Armstrong that much. Cute concept but overly cute execution. The Better Half by Melanie Tem - 4.5 stars. Whoa!! Keeps you guessing almost the whole time... Is it about vampirism? Feminism? Both? So good! Selling Houses by Laurell K. Hamilton - 3 stars. Surprisingly restrained for an LKH venture, with macabre bits, but the narrative pacing was a bit off. Greedy Choke Puppy by Nalo Hopkinson - 3 stars. Something non-white, non-European, how nice. Granny is badass. Tacky by Charlaine Harris - 3.5 stars. Haha. Funny and cute, what you'd expect from the author of Sookie Stackhouse. Easier to appreciate the originality of the world in written form. Needles by Elizabeth Bear - 3 stars. Interesting alternate vampire history, plus some relationship stuff, plus wide desert emptiness. Nice. From the Teeth of Strange Children by Lisa L Hannett - 4 stars. Wah!! Gross and really horrifying than make up for some weaknesses in story structure. Father Peña's Last Dance by Hannah Strom-Martin - 3 stars. Some of this incredibly powerful, especially the description of the tango and odd couple matchup of Peña and Cole. The ending a bit predictable though. Sun Falls by Angela Slatter - 2.5 stars. Fun little reversal with who lives & dies in the magical pool but with little at stake. Yay Australia setting though. Magdala Amygdala by Lucy A Snyder - 3 stars. Heyyyy who invited the zombie story to the vampire party? Gruesome via science & near-futurism nonetheless. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - 4 stars, but I love Holly Black and the book this turned into. All the elements of the longer piece are there, but it works at this length too. Even more so, maybe. In the Future When All's Well by Catherynne M Valente - 4.5 stars. The intro said this is the most original story about vampires in the past ten years and I believe it. Vampirism is mundane and yet still melancholy: cool.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J

    Introduction: “Welcome to My House! Enter Freely and of Your Own Free Will!” by Paula Guran 1 star. Totally unnecessary for this book. This isn't why I picked it up. “A Princess of Spain” by Carrie Vaughn 1 star. Not a fan of historical fiction generally, and this added absolutely nothing interesting to the real story. “Shipwrecks Above” by Caitlín R. Kiernan 4 stars. Good quality writing, interesting mythology, though not much plot. “The Fall of the House of Blackwater” by Freda Warrington 4 stars. De Introduction: “Welcome to My House! Enter Freely and of Your Own Free Will!” by Paula Guran 1 star. Totally unnecessary for this book. This isn't why I picked it up. “A Princess of Spain” by Carrie Vaughn 1 star. Not a fan of historical fiction generally, and this added absolutely nothing interesting to the real story. “Shipwrecks Above” by Caitlín R. Kiernan 4 stars. Good quality writing, interesting mythology, though not much plot. “The Fall of the House of Blackwater” by Freda Warrington 4 stars. Decent story with good plot. “In Memory of …” by Nancy Kilpatrick 1 star. There is quite enough demonizing gay people in actual history. This is the second story I've read where the author decided to turn a gay man into an actual demon. Having that man be Oscar Wilde here adds nothing. This is a prime example of why I don't like historical fiction. Also, not even a vampire story. “Where the Vampires Live” by Storm Constantine 3 stars. It's a story. More fairies than vampires. “La Dame” by Tanith Lee “Chicago 1927” by Jewelle Gomez “Renewal” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro “Blood Freak” by Nancy Holder “The Power and the Passion” by Pat Cadigan “The Unicorn Tapestry” by Suzy McKee Charnas “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” by Tanya Huff “Vampire King of the Goth Chicks” by Nancy A. Collins “Learning Curve” by Kelley Armstrong “The Better Half” by Melanie Tem “Selling Houses” by Laurell K. Hamilton “Greedy Choke Puppy” by Nalo Hopkinson “Tacky” by Charlaine Harris “Needles” by Elizabeth Bear “From the Teeth of Strange Children” by Lisa L. Hannett “Father Peña’s Last Dance” by Hannah Strom-Martin “Sun Falls” by Angela Slatter “Magdala Amygdala” by Lucy A. Snyder “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black “In the Future When All’s Well” by Catherynne M. Valente

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kira

    GoodReads First Read Giveaway Initial impression... I like that the stories so far are a mixed bag. The first story was traditional vampire (think Twilight) while the next story was more a Siren like creature. This book being 474 pages long that definitely will help keep you entertained and not reading the same story over and over. Though above I say I like that its a mixed bag, I also don't like it. This book is "Vampire Stories by Women" I don't consider a were-cat like creature that slashes a yo GoodReads First Read Giveaway Initial impression... I like that the stories so far are a mixed bag. The first story was traditional vampire (think Twilight) while the next story was more a Siren like creature. This book being 474 pages long that definitely will help keep you entertained and not reading the same story over and over. Though above I say I like that its a mixed bag, I also don't like it. This book is "Vampire Stories by Women" I don't consider a were-cat like creature that slashes a young girl to then lap up her blood as a "vampire". The book could have been a series of collections of short stories by women for vampires, were animals, sirens etc.... it would be a little less overwhelming. *update* So finished the book... my initial impression holds true. The stories continue to vary from the traditional vampire to other creatures of the night. The last couple stories even make being a vampire more of contagious disease. Some stories were good, others cheesy and others just boring.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    So I saw this book on humble bundle and being a vampire fan I had to get it, I guess this was a great way to get introduced to new vampire writers, some names I do recognize, like Tayna Huff and Charlaine Harris, but still. However this book is kind of a mixed bag, some stories are kind forgettable but you do get some gems in there, like the Australian vampires, ocean siren type vampires and even scifi vampires. My favorite ones where The Girl from Coldtown and the Short story where Getting Turne So I saw this book on humble bundle and being a vampire fan I had to get it, I guess this was a great way to get introduced to new vampire writers, some names I do recognize, like Tayna Huff and Charlaine Harris, but still. However this book is kind of a mixed bag, some stories are kind forgettable but you do get some gems in there, like the Australian vampires, ocean siren type vampires and even scifi vampires. My favorite ones where The Girl from Coldtown and the Short story where Getting Turned into a vampire was treated as an everyday fact, maybe it´s because I have a thing for story were vampires exist openly among humans, so I might be biased here. There was one story that I wasn´t found though, was the Vampire Slayer story, and maybe coldtown too, it might be a little spoiler here, but I think having a vampire getting angry at vampire wannabes and how it acutally sucks to be one it´s becoming a bit of cliche, maybe it´s the twilight burnout, but I´m kind of tired of i hate being a vampire trope. There´s gotta be more insteresting ways of writin g a vampire.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mender

    Excessively angry. I'm not sure whose decision it was to put all the authors you've actually heard of at the end of the book, but by then I had completely lost interest. Several of the first stories are embarrassingly bad. One of them literally quotes the research the author did for it during the story. There is so much of that, no story, just pathetic info dumping done artlessly and it is eye-rollingly awful. The stories in this book were not engaging. The theme was feeling tedious well before th Excessively angry. I'm not sure whose decision it was to put all the authors you've actually heard of at the end of the book, but by then I had completely lost interest. Several of the first stories are embarrassingly bad. One of them literally quotes the research the author did for it during the story. There is so much of that, no story, just pathetic info dumping done artlessly and it is eye-rollingly awful. The stories in this book were not engaging. The theme was feeling tedious well before the middle. And I had already read some of the stories included by authors I did know elsewhere, to add insult to injury. Bad bad bad. Even the introduction is long winded. Save yourself the tedium.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tricia (McAllister) Houseman

    Some of these stories were really out of there. You might find that you were wished you skipped the story … or it was never written. But there are some that make you wish it was it was this longer. Some of the authors need to work a bit more on their on their writing, as you can already tell. But when you have Carrie Vaughn, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong … it pretty makes for the anything else. But new writers are extremely interesting, because even when they are learning or beginning … they Some of these stories were really out of there. You might find that you were wished you skipped the story … or it was never written. But there are some that make you wish it was it was this longer. Some of the authors need to work a bit more on their on their writing, as you can already tell. But when you have Carrie Vaughn, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong … it pretty makes for the anything else. But new writers are extremely interesting, because even when they are learning or beginning … they show such creativities.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    This is my spooky book for Halloween. This is an excellent compilation of the best of the best women writers of vampire stories. They are all short stories, so if you don't care for one, move on to the next--there's plenty to choose from. I particularly liked the 11 page into. by Paula Guran, which provided a concise history of women who have written and are currently writing creative stories about vampires. This is my spooky book for Halloween. This is an excellent compilation of the best of the best women writers of vampire stories. They are all short stories, so if you don't care for one, move on to the next--there's plenty to choose from. I particularly liked the 11 page into. by Paula Guran, which provided a concise history of women who have written and are currently writing creative stories about vampires.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Short stories from many of your favorite authors. Set in many time frames from ancient to modern you will find several you'll love. Ghosts, fairies and werewolves make appearances also. An excellent collection of stories that is easy and fun to read. All these women are great writers and their talent is obvious in this book. I loved it and highly recommend it to all vampire lovers. Short stories from many of your favorite authors. Set in many time frames from ancient to modern you will find several you'll love. Ghosts, fairies and werewolves make appearances also. An excellent collection of stories that is easy and fun to read. All these women are great writers and their talent is obvious in this book. I loved it and highly recommend it to all vampire lovers.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology. I got into vampires through Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire". Since then, I've read many other books and stories about them. This collection offers a lot of different styles of writing and also introduced me to some new authors. I would highly recommend it. I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology. I got into vampires through Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire". Since then, I've read many other books and stories about them. This collection offers a lot of different styles of writing and also introduced me to some new authors. I would highly recommend it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Skilton

    A mixed bag, as so many anthologies are. Some stories I loved, others, not so much. This doesn't mean that they are bad. It means they didn't hit my tastes and that I probably won't look for more work by that author. What I do love is the opportunity to sample such a broad range of authors and to pick out ones I want to read more. It's a well curated selection in my view. A mixed bag, as so many anthologies are. Some stories I loved, others, not so much. This doesn't mean that they are bad. It means they didn't hit my tastes and that I probably won't look for more work by that author. What I do love is the opportunity to sample such a broad range of authors and to pick out ones I want to read more. It's a well curated selection in my view.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Most collections have a few duds...not so, in this instance! very happy to encounter some new stories and authors along with those I'd previously enjoyed. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read the digital ARC in return for an honest review. Most collections have a few duds...not so, in this instance! very happy to encounter some new stories and authors along with those I'd previously enjoyed. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read the digital ARC in return for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    ** E-Arc provided by Edelweiss **

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl G

    Sometimes I can get really into short stories, but for some reason I struggled to fall in love with this one. That said, there were a few tales I really enjoyed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    The usual mixed bag of a collection. I liked the chronological-by-story-setting organization, and the history of women writers and vampire stories at the beginning of the collection.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Natty

    An excellent collection of stories by some truly talented women authors.

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