cover image Vampires: The Recent Undead

Vampires: The Recent Undead

Edited by Paula Guran. Prime (, $14.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-60701-254-2

Guran (Zombies: The Recent Dead) compiles 25 21st-century vampire stories, with an all-star author lineup. Several stories focus on vampirism as a cure for disease, as in Mary A. Turzillo's "When Gretchen Was Human," in which a mother sacrifices her humanity for the chance of curing her daughter's cancer, and Charles de Lint's "Sisters," in which a lonely vampire persuades herself that her frail human sister ought to be turned. Tanith Lee's "La Vampiresse" has a satisfyingly twisty ending. In "Dahlia Underground," Charlaine Harris's titular character, a vampire who hates humans, finds herself forced to work with them. In Kelley Armstrong's hilarious "Zen and the Art of Vampirism," vampire Zoe repels a team of takeover wannabes. The stories mostly harp on familiar themes: death, immortality, loss. Only a few standouts provide real insight into the (in)human condition. (June)