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Review: Blood and Other Cravings ed. by Ellen Datlow

>>Sunday, September 18, 2011

Title: Blood and Other Cravings
Editor: Ellen Datlow
Format: ARC
Pages: 320
Genre: Anthology, Paranormal
Publication Date: September 13th, 2011
Publisher: Tor
Rating: B

From Goodreads: When we think of vampires, instantly the image arises: fangs sunk deep into the throat of the victim. But bloodsucking is merely one form of vampirism. For this brilliantly original anthology, Ellen Datlow has commissioned stories from many of the most powerfully dark voices in contemporary horror, who conjure tales of vampirism that will chill readers to the marrow.

In addition to the traditional fanged vampires, Datlow presents stories about the leeching of emotion, the draining of the soul, and other dark deeds of predation and exploitation, infestation, and evisceration…tales of life essence, literal or metaphorical, stolen.

Seventeen stories, by such award-winning authors as Elizabeth Bear, Richard Bowes, Kathe Koja, Margo Lanagan, Carol Emshwiller, and Lisa Tuttle will petrify readers. With dark tales by Laird Barron, Barry Malzberg and Bill Pronzini, Kaaron Warren, and other powerful voices, this anthology will redefine the terror of vampires and vampirism.

Why did I read this book? I wanted to start reading more anthologies and I thought where better then the start with something edited by Ellen Datlow? The premise of this book really intrigued me. I wanted to see different takes on vapirism.

Source: ARC received at BEA

My Review
I don't think I ever reviewed an anthology before and so I struggled with how I would review this one. I decided not to review each story individually since I think this book works better as a whole and so I'll review it as such.

I really enjoyed most of these stories. Of course there were a few that I didn't care for but I found new authors that I never heard of before. What this anthology offers is a great array of tales of vapirism that don't always focus on blood as the essence of choice. In fact, I think most of the stories that did not involve traditional blood seeking vampires to be the most interesting. In particular, I enjoyed the story Keeping Corky by Melanie Tem, a story about a mentally disabled mom who had to give up her child to adoption and how she struggles to connect with him while those around her are influenced by her determination. I also really liked the storyThe Third Always Beside You by John Langan, about a family affected by a father's infedility, and how this lasts long after the other women passes away.

Here is the entire line up:
All You Can Do is Breathe by Kaaron Warren
Needles by Elizabeth Bear
Baskerville’s Midgets by Reggie Oliver (reprint)
Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow by Richard Bowes
X For Demetrious by Steve Duffy
Keeping Corky by Melanie Tem
Shelf-Life by Lisa Tuttle
Caius by Bill Pronzini & Barry N. Malzberg
Sweet Sorrow by Barbara Roden
First Breath by Nicole J. LeBoeuf
Toujours by Kathe Koja
Miri by Steve Rasnic Tem
Mrs. Jones by Carol Emshwiller (reprint)
Bread and Water by Michael Cisco
Mulberry Boys by Margo Lanagan
The Third Always Beside You by John Langan
The Siphon by Laird Barron

Rating: B
After rating each story individually, the average rating was a B. I enjoyed most of the stories but there were a few great and and a few not so great, but the majority ran down the middle. I tended to enjoy the more creepy stories, but there were also more urban fantasy type stories, others more horror and some just plain weird. It's a good anthology and I would recommend it if the theme interests you. 


  1. Anthologies are a great place to sample new authors or writing styles. And a great way to get a quick story in when you don't have much reading time.

  2. You are right. I totally agree with you, Trish.

  3. @Trish: Definitely! There were a few authors I never knew before but I enjoyed their stories enough to try to hunt down their other work!

  4. I got this one last week. I especially love anthologies for the intro to new authors. Glad there are some good ones in it!



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