cover image Blood is Not Enough: 17 Stories of Vampirism

Blood is Not Enough: 17 Stories of Vampirism

Ellen Datlow. William Morrow & Company, $19.95 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08526-1

Datlow, the fiction editor of Omni , has put together an excellent collection whose premise is that some vampires have a taste for sustenance a bit less substantial than bloodone might call it the ``life force.'' The two poems and 15 stories, all but seven of which are original to his collection, concern these subtler, less stylized, dangerous creatures. Dan Simmons's novella, ``Carrion Comfort,'' depicts vampires as youthful but ancient decadents playing life-and-death games with mere mortals for amusement. Fritz Leiber's ``The Girl with the Hungry Eyes'' tells of a beautiful woman whose nighttime pick-ups are found dead the next day, and of the down-and-out photographer who falls under her spell. The standout of the book, however, is Scott Baker's ``Varicose Worms,'' an amazingly inventive tale of a psychiatrist who leads an underground life and is also a shamanimmensely powerful, manipulative, corrupt. When he is challenged by unseen adversaries the story takes bizarre and thrilling turns. There are also excellent stories by Sharon Farber, Gahan Wilson, Pat Cadigan and Tanith Lee. (Jan.)