Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Time of the Vampires

THE TIME OF THE VAMPIRES (1996), edited by P. N. Elrod and Martin H. Greenberg, is one of many Greenberg-packaged vampire anthologies. This one, consisting of all original stories, highlights the theme of vampires throughout history. The tales appear in chronological order according to the time periods of their settings. The volume begins in ancient Greece with "A Vision of Darkness" by Lois Tilton. Susan Booth's "Scent of Blood" narrates the Roman emperor Trajan's encounter with the "not-dead" in 106 A.D. in Romania (then known as Dacia). Two pieces center on the Arthurian mythos, "The Gift," by Teresa Patterson, and "Oaths," by Bradley H. Sinor. Elrod's own contribution, "The Devil's Mark," depicts a seventeenth-century witch hunt. Tanya Huff places Henry Fitzroy, the star of her vampire novels, in the nineteenth century in her lighter-toned "What Manner of Man." Several of this story's secondary characters bear the names of classic fictional vampires, confusing and a bit disappointing as it becomes clear they aren't vampires at all; the author has indulged in mere allusion-dropping. Some other stories feature Henry VIII, Napoleon, and the notorious early-twentieth-century preacher Aimee Semple McPherson. Another notable entry, "The Ghost of St. Mark's," by Elaine Bergstrom, links her Austra vampire clan with the London blitz.

Each story is followed by the author's brief explanation of its historical background or what inspired him or her to choose that setting.

Disclosure: I have a story in this anthology, "Voice from the Void." Set in England in 1897, it stars Claude, one of my recurring vampire characters, as he interferes in a seance to liberate a lovely young psychic from her uncle, who uses her in his spiritualist racket. An actor who "hides in plain sight" by playing horror roles, Claude features as a major participant in CHILD OF TWILIGHT (sequel to DARK CHANGELING but able to be read on its own):

Child of Twilight

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.


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