cover image Dead Red Heart: Australian Vampire Tales

Dead Red Heart: Australian Vampire Tales

Edited by Russell B. Farr. Ticonderoga (, $24.99 trade paper (454p) ISBN 978-0-9807813-1-1

Ticonderoga publisher Farr (Fantastic Wonder Stories) collects 32 stories of horror and dark fantasy that acknowledge the undead as ineradicable members of Australian society. The best selections twine the vampire incursion with Australian history, as in Shona Husk's "Mutiny on the Scarborough," whose vampire narrator reveals himself to have been one of the earliest convicts transported Down Under. Angela Slatter's "Sun Falls," about a luckless vamp dependent upon his smart-aleck human slave, and "The Tide," a multiauthored story that charts vampires' rise from second-class citizen to the nation's ruling elite, mix horror with humor. Unfortunately, most of the more serious stories aren't particularly innovative, but there are still many solid tales to satisfy vampire fans. (May)