cover image By Blood We Live

By Blood We Live

, . . Night Shade, $15.95 (485pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-156-0

Three volumes of vampires.

By Blood We Live Edited by John Joseph Adams . Night Shade ( ), $15.95 paper (496p) ISBN 978-1-59780-156-0

The usually superlative Adams (Federations ) delivers a merely solid collection of modern vampire tales. Although most of the stories are reprints, John Langan's novella “The Wide, Carnivorous Sky,” original to the volume, is the highlight, telling the tale of four Fallujah veterans who witness something even more horrific than war. Many of the classic reprints (including Stephen King's “One for the Road” and Jane Yolen's “Mama Gone”) are worthwhile, but the newer reprints are a mixed bag. Bruce McAllister's “Hit” is witty and touching; Lilith Saintcrow's attempted hard-boiled pastiche, “A Standup Dame,” completely flops. Vampire fans might wish for more humor and unusual twists on the theme, but there are enough standout stories—including Gabriella Lee's gorgeous “Hunger” and Michael Marshall Smith's melancholy “This Is Now”—to satisfy and entertain. (Oct.)