Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It was actually fun to step out of that world and into other worlds created in Kim Newman’s fertile (and genre geek heavy) imagination. Some of the stories also touched on vampire themes occasionally.
The first story is Famous Monsters and follows the fortune of a Martian (ethnicity, it was birthed in the USA) actor in Hollywood. When I say Martian I mean, of course, those of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (1898), which itself is a book concerned with alien vampires as our blood is their sustenance. In this cow’s blood is consumed.
The story Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue was probably my favourite in the volume. An unusual zombie apocalypse story that name checks wurdalaks and vrykolakas. The Chill Clutch of the Unseen sees the last monster hunter and the last monster (the invisible man) meet – with a memory of a vampiric attack touched on. Red Jacks Wild follows Jack the Ripper whose life is extended with ritualistic sacrifices to Hecate. In Übermensch Newman imagines what would have happened if Superman had crashed in Germany and fell under the sway of National Socialism – one of his enemies (in a name-check) was Graf Orlock. Completist Heaven sees a genre fanatic find a TV channel that shows the films you could imagine – obviously vampires feature in some of these.
Finally the Anno Dracula story sees a boat pull into Tokyo harbour, the passengers – all vampires fleeing Dracula – seek sanctuary and are allowed to move to Yokai Town – a place that officially doesn’t exist and houses the Yokai (in this reimagined as types of vampires).
A worthy volume though the Anno Dracula connection is more a selling point than the underpinning of the volume.