hits counter Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Today's Greatest Writers of Dark Fiction - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Today's Greatest Writers of Dark Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

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 marro 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.


Compare

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 marro 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.

30 review for Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Today's Greatest Writers of Dark Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Aside from two or three good stories, this collection was quite boring. A pity, because often the writing was fine and the ideas original (insofar as the vampire-sucking-things-other-than-blood ever is... That "twist" has been around for decades and I don't understand why authors seem to keep thinking they're doing something "novel"), but most of them were just not good reads. Most were low on dialog, action, character development and everything else that makes fiction fun. It really felt like m Aside from two or three good stories, this collection was quite boring. A pity, because often the writing was fine and the ideas original (insofar as the vampire-sucking-things-other-than-blood ever is... That "twist" has been around for decades and I don't understand why authors seem to keep thinking they're doing something "novel"), but most of them were just not good reads. Most were low on dialog, action, character development and everything else that makes fiction fun. It really felt like most of the entries were not really "short stories" at all but rather condensations or abstracts of longer works, with longer spans of time or more complicated ideas crushed into dense, slow descriptive passages. The stand-out was Margo Lanagan's horrific "Mulberry Boys," which has no vampires but is essentially a critique of capitalism and consumerism, Elizabeth Bear's "Needles" monster road-trip.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Darkfallen

    Blood & Other Cravings is book of short stories that are sure to induce spine tingling chills...and quite possible a nightmare are two. *winks* With many many great stories about all different takes on vampirism, and I have to say that I found some of them extremely fascinating! For instance in Needles, by Elizabeth Bear, there are two different types of vampires that work together. However the female? Yes I want to read more about her! Rather than drinking the blood of humans she somehow sucks t Blood & Other Cravings is book of short stories that are sure to induce spine tingling chills...and quite possible a nightmare are two. *winks* With many many great stories about all different takes on vampirism, and I have to say that I found some of them extremely fascinating! For instance in Needles, by Elizabeth Bear, there are two different types of vampires that work together. However the female? Yes I want to read more about her! Rather than drinking the blood of humans she somehow sucks the life out of breastfeeding infants by nursing them. This story had my attention, no matter how morbid it was. This is a story that I would like to see at novella, or even novel length. A few of my other favorites were All You Can Do Is Breathe by Kaaron Warren (which takes creepy to a whole new level), Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow by Richard Bowes, & Miri by Steve Rasnic Tem. But my up most favorite is... Sweet Sorrow by Barbara Roden. Not only is this story chilling, the writing, lyrical at times, gives life to the story. I devoured every word and was beyond sad when after just 21 short pages it was over. I wanted more...I NEED more! So overall while this was a book filled with great stories I think I have learned that anthologies just aren't for me. I am mean talk about fueling your ADD with all the subject changes! Which left me feeling distracted. But for those of you that LOVE anthologies Yes I know you're out there... I say this book will not disappoint! Ellen Daltow did an excellent job putting this together.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    You know me, I'm a sucker (har har har) for vampire books. And even moreso for short story collections; I've discovered so many great authors after reading their short fiction. This should be a home run for me. Alas, that is not the case. The point of Blood and Other Cravings is to show vampires that take something different than blood, or more than only blood. Says the description on Amazon, the leeching of emotion, the draining of the soul, and other dark deeds of predation and exploitation, in You know me, I'm a sucker (har har har) for vampire books. And even moreso for short story collections; I've discovered so many great authors after reading their short fiction. This should be a home run for me. Alas, that is not the case. The point of Blood and Other Cravings is to show vampires that take something different than blood, or more than only blood. Says the description on Amazon, 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. And metaphorical whatsit and so on is fine... but not really my cup of tea. Give me a good old-fashioned throat-ripping scene and I'm more or less happy (as valued for the quality of said scene, of course.) Anyway - don't avoid this book if metaphorical vampires are your thing; I just prefer mine to be more about the blood and less about the life force.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    A rather disappointing collection with only a single superb new story (Lisa Tuttle's understated but stunning and genuinely creepy "Shelf Life") and a handful of good to very good ones ("Needles" by Elizabeth Bear, "The Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan, "Toujours" by Kathe Koja, "Keeping Corky" by Melanie Tem and "Sweet Sorrow" by Barbara Roden). Two reprints (Reggie Oliver's "Baskerville's Midgets" and Carol Emshwiller's "Mrs. Jones") are both fine tales but surely very familiar to fans of the a A rather disappointing collection with only a single superb new story (Lisa Tuttle's understated but stunning and genuinely creepy "Shelf Life") and a handful of good to very good ones ("Needles" by Elizabeth Bear, "The Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan, "Toujours" by Kathe Koja, "Keeping Corky" by Melanie Tem and "Sweet Sorrow" by Barbara Roden). Two reprints (Reggie Oliver's "Baskerville's Midgets" and Carol Emshwiller's "Mrs. Jones") are both fine tales but surely very familiar to fans of the authors. The other new stories range from mediocre to downright dreadful. Given the mixed content, I'm glad this volume was a library loan rather than a purchase.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Horror DNA

    Ellen Datlow is one of the leading editors in the horror game and after almost three decades collecting accolades, she's once again in fine form in Blood and Other Cravings, her latest release with Tor Books. Although the title could be misleading, the book is not really about vampires, but about the plethora of ways in which humans can desire, crave and love; how they can be needed and, ultimately, how they can sometimes serve as a nothing more than that which satisfies a hunger. The volume cont Ellen Datlow is one of the leading editors in the horror game and after almost three decades collecting accolades, she's once again in fine form in Blood and Other Cravings, her latest release with Tor Books. Although the title could be misleading, the book is not really about vampires, but about the plethora of ways in which humans can desire, crave and love; how they can be needed and, ultimately, how they can sometimes serve as a nothing more than that which satisfies a hunger. The volume contains eighteen tales and all the stories, while staying true to the cohesive element of the collection, are wide-ranging in subject matter, atmosphere and style. You can read Gabino's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was very excited to receive this collection of stories. This is the third Ellen Datlow collection I’ve read, the second that I’ve reviewed, and I think she does a great job of choosing really interesting stories that all play to a theme. Blood and Other Cravingsisn’t your typical book about vampires. These aren’t necessarily creatures that suck your blood and hate garlic, but they are creatures who steal something essential from you. They draw something — energy, will, love, vitality — from yo I was very excited to receive this collection of stories. This is the third Ellen Datlow collection I’ve read, the second that I’ve reviewed, and I think she does a great job of choosing really interesting stories that all play to a theme. Blood and Other Cravingsisn’t your typical book about vampires. These aren’t necessarily creatures that suck your blood and hate garlic, but they are creatures who steal something essential from you. They draw something — energy, will, love, vitality — from you and leave your diminished. They aren’t terribly happy stories, not surprisingly. Two of them were so cruel that I found them deeply disturbing. But all in all, this is a very good collection. It’s always tough to review a book of short stories. Where do you begin? What if you love some stories and hate others? This is pretty easy review, though: most of the stories were quite good. I didn’t love the collection as much as I did Naked City, but I think that is partly because of the subject matter. Talking about something that sucks the life out of you — even if we’re not talking about your blood — is not cheery. But the stories aren’t all doom and gloom, they just aren’t as funny as in some of the other collections. I particularly enjoyed “X for Demetrious” by Stephen Duffy. It is based on the true story of a man who was found dead in his apartment, surrounded by lines of salt, bottles of…waste, and cloves of garlic. It is a distressing look at a mind that is caving in on itself. I was also thrilled to see a story from Kathe Koja — I reviewed her novel Under the Poppy last year and loved it. “Toujours” is not a vampire story, but it is a story about losing the thing that sustains you, having it taken away from you. It fits right in, in its own way. I also really enjoyed “Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow” by Richard Bowes. I could easily understand the appeal of the mementos of “Myrna’s Place” and other, similar establishments, the feeling that you knew a little something that the world at large did not know. I have always found there is nothing quite as enticing as being in the inner circle, knowing the secret stuff that others can’t guess at — very, very alluring. And if you can profit from that, why not? There were two stories that I found very disturbing. These were stories of cruelty that haunted me for a bit, a look at being the vampire that was not at all appealing. The first was “Mrs. Jones” by Carol Emshwiller. A lonely woman makes a discovery that lets her get something she desperately wants and also gives her a mean little triumph over her equally lonely sister. But what she is willing to do to get it! It brought out all my protective instincts. The second story was “Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan. It’s a little difficult in the beginning, purposely so, to sort out exactly what is going on, but once you do…shiver. Again, you can’t help but feel a deep sympathy for the poor fellow, with his gentle protests. I found it much more distressing than the stories of more forthright violence. Overall, this is an excellent collection. There are stories that look at the theme from a variety of angles. There’s a bit of humor (“The Baskerville Midgets” by Reggie Oliver) and a couple of good scares.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Unfortunately, this collection of vampire tales was just too metaphysical for me. It was too heavy on “Other Cravings” and not the “Blood” (which I prefer) and I was left a wee bored. Maybe it was because nearly all the stories felt as if they were bigger than their word counts allowed them to present themselves? *shrugs* Either way, it’s getting a 2/5 from me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jay Caselberg

    A decent read. The standout stories for me were the Bowes, Bear and Lanagan. A couple not so strong, but the Bowes and Lanagan stories certainly make up for them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Whilst ostensibly a book of vampire stories, only a few of them are about blood-drinkers. Some are stories about other types of parasitic predator, and others were... well, just there for no immediate reason I could think of. As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. I really enjoyed Baskerville's Midgets, a tale of ghosts in a grotty British B&B frequented by theatricals. The narrative voice is engaging and, perhaps being a British reader myself, very believable. Keeping Corky Whilst ostensibly a book of vampire stories, only a few of them are about blood-drinkers. Some are stories about other types of parasitic predator, and others were... well, just there for no immediate reason I could think of. As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. I really enjoyed Baskerville's Midgets, a tale of ghosts in a grotty British B&B frequented by theatricals. The narrative voice is engaging and, perhaps being a British reader myself, very believable. Keeping Corky was a very inventive take on someone whose power is all the more dangerous for their total lack of self-awareness. Shelf-life had a lot of potential with its aura of M R James, but ultimately did not really seem to go anywhere. The story of Mrs Jones suddenly turned towards perverse sexual possibilities which, as it were, came out of nowhere in that the character who suddenly started doing unsanitary things was not built up as having the potential for what she eventually did. Miri had an interesting take on the nature of vampirism and the impact of chronic depression on others. The book ends with a Lovecraftian tale that had interesting moments amidst the sudden flurry of purple prose. Some stories were just plain pretentious, trying to be alternative and failing to do so. Overall, could have been good had there been more stories like Sweet Sorrow with its psychic vampires spreading mayhem.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Boisvert

    I wanted to like it. I love anthologies and I love supernatural creatures. The stories just went nowhere. I read the first four and I had to give up.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shellie (Layers of Thought)

    Original review posted on Layers of Thought. Not for just vampire lovers, this is another compelling and diverse collection of horror from some of the best in the genre, edited by Ellen Datlow. What’s great about these stories, is they are not all based upon traditional “fangy” blood suckers since the cravings and feedings in this book are not only about blood. About: Published in the Fall of 2011, this is my second horror collection edited by Ellen Datlow. Although all the stories in this collect Original review posted on Layers of Thought. Not for just vampire lovers, this is another compelling and diverse collection of horror from some of the best in the genre, edited by Ellen Datlow. What’s great about these stories, is they are not all based upon traditional “fangy” blood suckers since the cravings and feedings in this book are not only about blood. About: Published in the Fall of 2011, this is my second horror collection edited by Ellen Datlow. Although all the stories in this collection are exceptional, I have my favorites and have marked them with asterisks. In my opinion it’s one of those perfect Fall reads, especially for any reader who enjoys short stories, likes a scare before going to sleep (to induce interesting dreams), or who may be short on reading time. **All You Can Do Is Breathe ~ by Kaaron Warren: A stunning short that’s a 2012 Ditmar Award nominated story. It’s about a “very thin man” who feed on the survival instincts of the strongest survivors from close-to-death experiences. This story is one of my favorites from the collection. Needles ~ by Elizabeth Bear: Demons, vampires, and tattoo needles are the theme of this story which is set in the town of Needles, Arizona. Baskerville’s Midgets ~ by Reggie Oliver: It’s a dark competition between preforming midgets and dwarves that stretches beyond the grave, all set in a boarding house in what feels like 1930’s England. Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow ~ by Richard Bowes: Two middle aged memorabilia sellers and “recovering blood-addicts” remember and long for the days when their addictions were active. And become seduced back into their old lifestyle’s drama. X for Demetrios ~ by Steve Duffy: Based on a bizarre yet true story found in a newspaper article, this short is about a man with an extreme vampire phobia and obsession, and his relationship with the garlic he believes will protect him. Keeping Corky ~ by Melanie Tem: A “special” mom with paranormal abilities decides to take back her beloved child from his adopted parent and the system that placed him, both of which are attempting to prevent her from contact with her boy. Shelf-Life ~ by Lisa Tuttle: A childhood doll house takes on a life of its own and creates problems for a woman and her daughter in England. **Caius ~ by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malsberg: One of my favorites, it’s a short story based on a radio talk/help show featuring a modern day messiah, his would-be worshipers, and his relationship to madness. Sweet Sorrow ~ by Barbara Roden: A very dark short about an elderly couple who feed on the sorrow of grieving parents and friends of lost children. First Breath ~ by Nicole J. LeBoeuf: A bizarre, twisty and surreal story with LGBT and reincarnation elements. Toujours ~ by Kathe Koja: An obsessed butler becomes an even greater part of his talented employer’s life, not only to be close to him but to spite the artist’s new wife. Miri ~ by Steve Rasnic Tem: A photographer is pulled into an imbalanced relationship with an anorexic woman who sucks out of him a key ability that he uses in the creation of his work. **Mrs. Jones ~ by Carol Emshwiller: My favorite from this collection, this short is about two “old-maid” sisters, living together on their family farm. After years of juvenile-like conflict and competition between the two, they have an odd visitor who one of the sisters seduces. It’s darkly hilarious with a feminist twist. Bread and Water ~ by Michael Cisco: A dark short about an ill and constantly thirsty man, who is quarantined with others who have caught the same virus. Mulberry Boys ~ by Margo Lanagan: A revengeful short about surgically altered, bizarre “silk” producing and imprisoned boys, that has Margo Lanagan’s characteristic dark fairytale quality. **The Third Always Behind You ~ by John Lanagan: Another favorite from this collection, it’s about a dark love triangle that continues even after the death of one of the participants. It is wonderfully disturbing. The Siphon ~ by Laird Barron: An eternal bachelor con/salesman, after years of scummy behavior gets his just desserts by attracting a bevy of diverse and ancient demons. Highly recommended, this is a great collection at 4 stars! Blood and Other Cravings, has several significant award nominations: Nominated for the 2012 World Fantasy Award for anthologies, where the winner will be announced at the beginning of November. http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/08/2012... Was a finalist for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards for best anthology http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/s... Also it was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award: http://www.horror.org/stokerwinnom.htm

  12. 4 out of 5

    M Griffin

    There are all kinds of reasons I might read a short fiction anthology. Maybe it's the only place to find new work by some of my favorite writers. Some anthologies serve to introduce readers to unfamiliar writers, either total unknowns, or familiar names I've somehow not yet gotten around to reading. Many readers are motivated by an anthology's theme -- "Oh, I love zombies, and here's another zombie anthology so of course I'll buy it" -- but I usually don't. I didn't buy this because it had to do There are all kinds of reasons I might read a short fiction anthology. Maybe it's the only place to find new work by some of my favorite writers. Some anthologies serve to introduce readers to unfamiliar writers, either total unknowns, or familiar names I've somehow not yet gotten around to reading. Many readers are motivated by an anthology's theme -- "Oh, I love zombies, and here's another zombie anthology so of course I'll buy it" -- but I usually don't. I didn't buy this because it had to do with vampirism. In fact, I imagine any reader who purchased this hoping for a bunch of straightforward vampire stories would be disappointed. There's not so much "blood" here as there are "other cravings." I've given some consideration to the overall shape of multi-author anthologies, a subject which interests me to the extent it's similar to the way I've put together various-artists CD collections in the past. Generally it seems editors load the best stories end up at the beginning and the end, and this is no exception. Among the middle stories, the only one I found noteworthy was Melanie Tem's very odd "Keeping Corky," about an enigmatic female character, notable for her mental abnormalities including both strengths and deficiencies, misses the child she was forced to give up for adoption. Of the early stories, Kaaron Warren's lead-off "All You Can Do is Breathe" is wonderfully creepy and understated. Elizabeth Bear's "Needles" is not so much a story as a well-drawn and entertaining "day in the (undead) life," vividly written but maybe in need of fleshing-out. And Reggie Oliver's amusing yet dark story of a theatrical hotel overrun by very small tenants convinced me to check out more of this writer's work. The best of this collection comes later. "First Breath" by a new-ish writer, Nicole J. LeBoeuf, is an interesting exploration of a sort of transference of life through breath. And I always love Kathe Koja and Carol Emshwiller, whose contributions here (Emshwiller's is one of only two reprints) are good. The final four stories alone justify the price of the anthology. Michael Cisco's "Bread and Water" tells of a captive vampire trying to cope with his appetites, as well as an incapacity to consume what he desires. The creature's gradual transformation, told in Cisco's uniquely intense prose, evokes in the reader an effect like delirium. More than anything else in the book, "Bread and Water" inspired me to seek out more by this writer. That's not to say it was the best story overall, but the best by an author I've previously overlooked. Margo Lanagan's "The Mulberry Boys" is told like a fable or second-world fantasy more than a horror story, but what's actually happening here has quite a nasty edge. Through some bizarre process of surgery and altered diet, humans or human-like creatures are transformed into passive silk factories. I love the way this story is told. Very effective. "The Third Always Beside You" by John Langan reminds me a little of Peter Straub's recent novel A Dark Matter in its exploration of a male character trying to piece together disturbing past events. Here a brother and sister discuss their long-held perception that their father might have been unfaithful to their mother, and whether any truth might lie behind this. The fantastic elements along the way are of the subtle "thought I heard a sound, and looked, but nobody was there" variety, yet the story conveys a mysterious and even dreadful sense of secrecy. I own two of Langan's books which I haven't read yet, but this story convinced me to nudge these upward in my "must read soon" list. The last contribution is by Laird Barron, recently the most consistently excellent writer of horror and dark fantasy novellas and novelettes. "The Siphon" includes elements which may seem familiar to readers of Barron's earlier stories, but this comes across not as repetition, but a fleshing-out of a fictional world which increasingly cross-connects between one story and another. None of the characters, so far as I can determine, appear in prior Barron tales, yet the template of bored, wealthy decadents tantalized by forbidden or occult knowledge is reminiscent of such stories as "Strappado" and "The Forest." Such is Barron's skill that even when he's not trying something entirely new for him (as I believe he did in "The Men From Porlock" and "Blackwood's Baby" which appear in other recent anthologies), the work nonetheless functions at such a high level as to stand clearly apart. By the end of a relatively mixed collection, it's tempting to think mostly of the more satisfying later stories, but the quality dropped off enough in places that I'd give the collection four rather than five stars. At the same time, I'd recommend the book as worthy of purchase for the better stories at the beginning and especially the end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nafiza

    Short stories and anthologies of short stories are much maligned because most of the times, readers do not believe that a short story can wholly encompass and totally tell the tale it seeks to. And maybe some stories don't but in the case of the tales in Blood and Other Cravings, each story, no matter what its length, stands on its own and does not just tell the tale it seeks to but tells it in such a way that it will linger in your consciousness long after you have turned the page. Ellen Datlow, Short stories and anthologies of short stories are much maligned because most of the times, readers do not believe that a short story can wholly encompass and totally tell the tale it seeks to. And maybe some stories don't but in the case of the tales in Blood and Other Cravings, each story, no matter what its length, stands on its own and does not just tell the tale it seeks to but tells it in such a way that it will linger in your consciousness long after you have turned the page. Ellen Datlow, the editor of this collection, has won numerous awards for her editing and once I read the stories, I understood why. Each story in the collection is crisp, evocative and terrifying. I'll briefly review some of my favourite ones: All You Can Do Is Breathe - Kaaron Warren This story reads like a dream. A dream composed by darkness, fear even in the light of day. It slips into your mind and seizes it until at the end, you are feeling just as cold as the protagonist of the story and you have no idea what is going to happen next. The vampire is very real and yet it would seem that you made him up. Warren's portrayal of the blood thirsty beings is utterly terrifying. And as beautiful in the way it probes the human psyche and the human need for survival and for heroes. Needles - Elizabeth Bear This would be what I call a story in transit. The fact that the tone of the story is a little prosaic, the fact that perspective is a bit skewed considering it is through inhuman lens that we view the world - all of these things conspire to make the unstated fear more pronounced than it would have been otherwise. The casual violence, the murder, the setting and the darkness. Yeah. This tale is to be savoured and read more than once. Sweet Sorrow - Barbara Roden This is a story by a local writer (yay for Can Lit) and oh my goodness, it is terrifying. Seriously terrifying. It takes a lot to scare me when I'm reading and this did it. It rips into the facade of familiarity, problematizes the placidity that people have when faced with things that they ostensibly "know." After reading this story, you will be giving your neighbors second looks and wondering if you really do believe what you see. And the fact that story is told from the perspective of a little boy - your emotions are immediately involved and you are invested in the story, no matter how bloody it gets. Mulberry Boys - Margo Lanagan This just may be one of the strangest coming of age story that I have read. I pondered a long while after I had read it. I wasn't sure what exactly it was telling me and why I had the feelings about it that I did. I mean, there was a kid and there was violence. I'm sure I was supposed to be feeling no small amount of horror but. This is a beautifully imagined and crafted tale that will make you think. Let you wonder about the things we turn blind eyes to simply because it profits us to do so. So yeah, there are other stories in the anthology that I liked (actually I liked them all) but these are the ones that most resonated with me. Vampire stories in literature form (high lit for the literary snob) are not common. Blood and Other Cravings takes mythical beings who are currently starring in young girls' dreams and strips them of their humanity and by doing so, presents them to the reader at their most terrifying. I recommend it to anyone who likes being terrified. Don't let the fact that these are short stories turn you away. They tell the story in all its entirety and they tell it well. You may never look at vampires the same way again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    Blood and Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow is an extraordinary tour de force of dark fantasy featuring fifteen original stories and two reprints based on the vampire trope. But don’t expect to see Count Dracula in this gathering of darkness, nor any of the usual suspects or stereotypes found in most vampire tales. Ms. Datlow’s vampires, human or inhuman, are those whom we might encounter in our day to day activities (or, as the case might prove, night to night) because they feed on what dri Blood and Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow is an extraordinary tour de force of dark fantasy featuring fifteen original stories and two reprints based on the vampire trope. But don’t expect to see Count Dracula in this gathering of darkness, nor any of the usual suspects or stereotypes found in most vampire tales. Ms. Datlow’s vampires, human or inhuman, are those whom we might encounter in our day to day activities (or, as the case might prove, night to night) because they feed on what drives the victim’s heart, mind, and soul. Readers of the supernatural can take heart, however, as the supernatural element is extant throughout this emotionally eviscerating anthology guaranteed to disturb. All seventeen tales are excellent examples of fine writing and story-telling at their best, but three stories stand out for this reader: “The Third Always Beside You” by John Langan, which tells a spot-on tale of family secrets kept and a horrible discovery made; “All You Can Do Is Breathe” by Kaaron Warren, which tells of an otherworldly encounter and the inexorable dissipation of what drives us and makes us human; and “Mrs. Jones” by Carol Emshwiller, a particularly nasty usurper tale that first appeared in OMNI magazine in 1993. The rest of the stories according to TOC are: “Needles” by Elizabeth Bear, which tells a slightly more conventional vamp tale but with a vicious twist; “Baskerville’s Midgets” by Reggie Oliver (a reprint from Madder Mysteries, Ex Occidente, 2009) which offers some much needed whimsical relief, even though the conclusion proves blood curdling; “Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow” by Richard Bowes, a story about addiction in which it is difficult for the reader to decide just who the real parasite might be; “X for Demetrious” by Steve Duffy, a tale that brought to mind the 1940s film The Mask of Dimitrios starring Zachary Scott and Peter Lorre, if only because of the name in the title, and the writing style in which the story is told, describing the poison of prejudice and obsession taking center stage in a man’s life (if you have not seen The Mask of Dimitrios I highly recommend it); “Keeping Corky” by Melanie Tem, a tale of motherly love that will make your skin crawl; “Shelf Life” by Lisa Tuttle, which describes the parasitic nature of dreams unrealized;“Caius” by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg, which blurs the boundaries between delusion and science; “Sweet Sorrow” by Barbara Roden, a tightly crafted piece that tells of loss and grief and those who feed on tragedy; “First Breath” by newcomer Nicole J. Leboeuf, which tells a nuanced usurper tale that leads the reader to ponder creation – a writer to watch; “Toujours” by the talented Kathe Koja, a chilling tale that borrows from Pygmalion and Galatea; “Miri” by Steve Rasnic Tem, a creepy piece about a family man and his past relationship with an anorexic woman who disappears from his life – or does she; “Bread and Water” by Michael Cisco, which informs us of the agonies of withdrawal and transformation; “Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan, a disturbing tale about greed and dehumanization; and last but not least, “The Siphon” by Laird Barron, a writer whose penchant for making readers squirm will not disappoint in this nuanced tale about corporate greed and the supernatural converging to feed in a most unusual manner. Highly recommended reading!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gef

    When I was a kid, I would faint at the sight of blood, or at least get woozy. Odd that I would grow to become a fan of horror fiction, yes, but the written word is far easier on my frailties than gashing my leg open on broken glass (that was not a fun day). This anthology of short fiction isn't a prurient bloodbath though, and it would silly to expect such from Ellen Datlow. This collection focuses rather on the other word in the title: cravings. Blood and Other Cravings isn't strictly a vampire When I was a kid, I would faint at the sight of blood, or at least get woozy. Odd that I would grow to become a fan of horror fiction, yes, but the written word is far easier on my frailties than gashing my leg open on broken glass (that was not a fun day). This anthology of short fiction isn't a prurient bloodbath though, and it would silly to expect such from Ellen Datlow. This collection focuses rather on the other word in the title: cravings. Blood and Other Cravings isn't strictly a vampire anthology, though there are some stories that fit the bill. Instead this is a look at obsessions, addictions, parasitic relationships, and deviant appetites. And the table of contents for this book is impressive in the number of acclaimed authors Ellen Datlow has brought together. From Kaaron Warren, who kicks off the anthology, all the way to the final story by Laird Barron, there's a great grouping of longstanding authors to those just breaking into the writing world on a big stage. As mentioned, things are kicked off by Kaaron Warren's "All You Can Do Is Breath," about a coal miner trapped for days in the wake of a cave-in and sees a creature crawling between the rocks to prey on a fellow miner behind a wall of coal. Then, after he's rescued and tries to carry on with his life, he sees the creature again. The story had a great, lingering vibe running up its backbone and effectively showed that this anthology was not strictly about vampires. Right after that one came a story that turned out to be one of my favorites from the book, Elizabeth Bear's "Needles." This one was a hard-bitten, bleak vampire story that explored a very deep, very primordial craving for a vampire with a fairly macabre maternal instinct. This is one to bookmark should you decide to get this anthology. Reggie Oliver's "Baskerville's Midgets" was a fun, frightful tale about a stage performer's encounters in a old boarding house's weird tenants and sorrowful owner. One of the sadder stories comes in the form of Melanie Tem's "Keeping Corky," which starts off inside the unsettling mindset of a woman who has lost her son. Another of my favorites was called "First Breath" by Nicole J. LeBoeuf, which is the first time I've ever enjoyed a story involving someone named LeBoeuf (anyone who has had the misfortune of sitting through a Shia LeBoeuf film knows what I'm talking about). "First Breath" had a bit more ghostly appeal to it than most other stories, and had a great balance between scary and sad. The ending really brought it all home, too. Incidentally, this story was Nicole's first professional sale as an author, so I'll be interested to see if I stumble across her work in the near future, as this was a very good showing. All in all, there is nothing the least bit critical I can say about this anthology. Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir was my favorite anthology of 2011, but Blood and Other Cravings was published last year as well, and had I read it last year I'm inclined to think I may have ranked it just a hair's breadth higher on my faves list. No matter, as it stands as my favorite anthology of 2012 so far, and further cements my adoration for Ellen's keen eye for short fiction.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    An anthology of vampires and other dark creatures that go bump in the night, BLOOD AND OTHER CRAVINGS attempts to explore the unexplained. While the concept is interesting, the selected stories is a mish-mash of clever, creepy, predictable, and just plain weird. The majority of them were so-so for me, mostly because they were confusing and unexplainable--the style not unlike the stories you heard around a late-night campfire as a kid. If you like dark fantasy for the sake of the mysterious and c An anthology of vampires and other dark creatures that go bump in the night, BLOOD AND OTHER CRAVINGS attempts to explore the unexplained. While the concept is interesting, the selected stories is a mish-mash of clever, creepy, predictable, and just plain weird. The majority of them were so-so for me, mostly because they were confusing and unexplainable--the style not unlike the stories you heard around a late-night campfire as a kid. If you like dark fantasy for the sake of the mysterious and creepy atmosphere, you'll probably like BLOOD AND OTHER CRAVINGS for the ambiance alone. But for me, I guess I like my stories a little more tidy and explainable, less vagueness. Maybe I'm too demanding (yes I was the spoil-sport who rolled my eyes at the campfire stories). A few of the stories did stand out, however: "Needles" by Elizabeth Bear - A vampire and a lamashtu walk into a tattoo parlor...that kind of makes it sound like the start of a really lame joke, but in reality they are two immortals who help each other to fulfill their nefarious needs. Great dialogue and fluid movement, with an engaging story and the display of folklore in action that turns deliciously twisty. If you pick up this book and read one story while standing in the bookstore, this one is worth your time. "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan - George is chosen from the village boys to help Phillips (the man from the towns) who gathers the silk for trading. When George learns the true horrors of Phillips' work, he takes matters into his own hands. All at the same time horrific, sad, and satisfying, Lanagan mixes up sociological with an everyday concept. "Sweet Sorrow" by Barbara Roden - Brian's friend from school, Melissa, disappears one day never to be seen again, leaving an unfilled hole in his heart. Until one day Brian begins to see a pattern in the disappearances of other little girls. Straightforward and predictable, but still effectively written. "Toujours" by Kathe Koja - From the PoV of a man who watches his protégé make a terrible mistake but is powerless to stop it. A little garbled at first, Koja makes up for it with the manipulating evilness of the antagonist. Other notables: If you like mental illness stories then check out the interesting "Keeping Corkey" by Melanie Tem and "X for Demetrious" by Steve Duffy. If you like vague creepiness then read "All You Can Do Is Breathe" by Kaaron Warren, "Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow" by Richard Bowes, "Shelf-Life" by Lisa Tuttle, and "Miri" by Steve Rasnic Tem. Recommended Age: 16+ for general creepiness but watch out for the sex scenes (noted below) Language: Maybe ten instances in the whole book Violence: Some, including deaths, but nothing particularly gory other than references to blood Sex: Referenced in some of them; "Mrs. Jones" wins the award for the weirdest sex I've ever read with "The Third Always Beside You" being the second weirdest ***Read this and other reviews on Elitist Book Reviews.***

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    (3.5 stars) (originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog) I don't 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' (3.5 stars) (originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog) I don't 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 story The 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 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. Review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    I was pretty excited to get this book, because I am a fan of Ellen Datlow, and I generally love her anthologies. With any anthology, I don't expect to love all the stories, but with a good editor, I expect to find at least a few exceptional pieces. I like several of the authors included here a lot, too. However, I felt that nearly all of the stories here were good-but-not-great. That also means that there wasn't anything here that I thought was a waste of time, or annoying. It's a solid book. Th I was pretty excited to get this book, because I am a fan of Ellen Datlow, and I generally love her anthologies. With any anthology, I don't expect to love all the stories, but with a good editor, I expect to find at least a few exceptional pieces. I like several of the authors included here a lot, too. However, I felt that nearly all of the stories here were good-but-not-great. That also means that there wasn't anything here that I thought was a waste of time, or annoying. It's a solid book. The stories are nearly all in a contemporary setting, and nearly all deal with unconventional aspects of vampirism. (If you're looking for the fanged, caped figure in a crumbling Romanian castle, you won't find him here.) Coincidentally, however, my favorite story in the book, 'Mulberry Boys,' is really science fiction, and only by a stretch a 'vampire' story. (It is creepy, though!) Overall, I'd say this is a worthwhile, but not an essential, read. contents: "All You Can Do is Breathe" by Kaaron Warren "Needles" by Elizabeth Bear "Baskerville's Midgets" by Reggie Oliver "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 Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini "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 "Bread and Water" by Michael Cisco "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan "The Third Always Beside You" by John Langan "The Siphon" by Laird Barron

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Tired of the HEA? Sick of things that just easily work out for the characters? Will one more story where everything is just fixed in the end wanting to make you scream? Well, if you are feeling this way and you are looking for a dark read that sometimes makes you think, "wait... what?" well, look no further. Here is your book! Am I kidding? Heh. No. As some of you know... I enjoy my HEA. I crave it. However, not one of these stories has an HEA. Not really even and HEA of sorts. In fact the best y Tired of the HEA? Sick of things that just easily work out for the characters? Will one more story where everything is just fixed in the end wanting to make you scream? Well, if you are feeling this way and you are looking for a dark read that sometimes makes you think, "wait... what?" well, look no further. Here is your book! Am I kidding? Heh. No. As some of you know... I enjoy my HEA. I crave it. However, not one of these stories has an HEA. Not really even and HEA of sorts. In fact the best you get is people resolved to what they know is going to happen to them. However, I did not end up hating the stories. They were creative and different that what I usually read. Darn it! ;) I enjoyed several of them. I really liked the way they explored the characters. Yes, all you Addams family descendants will sigh with pleasure as all these macabre stories freak you out, make you look under the bed and have horrid endings. So, therefore I give this book 3 1/2 Uncle Fester lightbulbs! There were (as their are will all anthologies) some that really stand out and those that don't quite reach the full dark. However, in all, I admit. I enjoyed it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Martin Rose

    Interesting collection of stories, made more interesting by the wide swath of vampiric definitions. "All You Can Do Is Breathe" unsettles with the darkness buried deep in the mines and brought up with a survivor. Descriptions of the recurring vampiric figure is hair-raising; "Baskerville Midgets" was both repulsive and unsettling and delightfully so, the voice it was written in smooth and edible; "X For Demetrious" had a very nice psychological spin, "Keeping Corky" was a stand out for its fasci Interesting collection of stories, made more interesting by the wide swath of vampiric definitions. "All You Can Do Is Breathe" unsettles with the darkness buried deep in the mines and brought up with a survivor. Descriptions of the recurring vampiric figure is hair-raising; "Baskerville Midgets" was both repulsive and unsettling and delightfully so, the voice it was written in smooth and edible; "X For Demetrious" had a very nice psychological spin, "Keeping Corky" was a stand out for its fascinating point-of-view; "Mulberry Boys" in particular was riveting, and I think to revisit it in the future as it sticks with you long after you've digested it; "The Third Always Beside You" plesantly engrossing with a twist on the classic love triangle, in effect reinventing and defying expectation; "The Siphon" closed out with a noir snarl. Quite a few of these stories were enjoyably creepy. I've been reading Datlow's collections since I was a wee thing and this one doesn't disappoint.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Mostly it was so-so with many pessimistic and downright ambiguous endings (not my favorites). Some did have interesting twists though. Also a few did strike me as intriguing concepts that could be further developed in novel form. Warning: Here come some spoilers. Leboeuf's "First Breath" would be interesting to see how the ghost-like being develops to her new identity as "Jen". It would be fun to see how she develops in this new tangible form. And how she can maybe still converse with the soul o Mostly it was so-so with many pessimistic and downright ambiguous endings (not my favorites). Some did have interesting twists though. Also a few did strike me as intriguing concepts that could be further developed in novel form. Warning: Here come some spoilers. Leboeuf's "First Breath" would be interesting to see how the ghost-like being develops to her new identity as "Jen". It would be fun to see how she develops in this new tangible form. And how she can maybe still converse with the soul of the girl who she has possessed. Lanagan's "Mulberry Boys" could also be an interesting dystopian novel. I'd like to see how the main character helps his people become self-reliant, and stop trading their children for the city spoils.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Desole

    It's so refreshing to read so many new. original takes on the vampire legend. SOme of these didn't work as well for me but that's hardly surprising for a collection of short stories (especially since they're all by different writers). I was actually shocked that there were only two I didn't care for. These aren't your typical glamorous and erotic vampire tales we've gotten so inundated with. Nor are most of these particularly gory. Some are even elusive as "vampire" stories. I found "X for Demet It's so refreshing to read so many new. original takes on the vampire legend. SOme of these didn't work as well for me but that's hardly surprising for a collection of short stories (especially since they're all by different writers). I was actually shocked that there were only two I didn't care for. These aren't your typical glamorous and erotic vampire tales we've gotten so inundated with. Nor are most of these particularly gory. Some are even elusive as "vampire" stories. I found "X for Demetrious" particularly compelling. It is based on a true newspaper account of an elderly Polish immigrant found dead in England in 1972 surrounded by strange objects/circumstances. No spoilers here

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bauer

    "Blood and Other Cravings" is yet another excellent anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. The theme of the collection is loosely "vampires" but aside from just a couple of conventional bloodsucker stories, there is a remarkable gamut of different takes on the theme. Some of my personal favorites included; "Needles" by Elizabeth Bear "Miri" by Steve Rasnic Tem "First Breath" by Nicole J. LeBoeuf (go VP alums!) While there were a few I simply did not care for, one can always expect excellence when Ms. Datl "Blood and Other Cravings" is yet another excellent anthology edited by Ellen Datlow. The theme of the collection is loosely "vampires" but aside from just a couple of conventional bloodsucker stories, there is a remarkable gamut of different takes on the theme. Some of my personal favorites included; "Needles" by Elizabeth Bear "Miri" by Steve Rasnic Tem "First Breath" by Nicole J. LeBoeuf (go VP alums!) While there were a few I simply did not care for, one can always expect excellence when Ms. Datlow is at at the helm.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Johnson

    This anthology of vampire stories is a great introduction to a wide base of authors, but be forewarned: these are not sexy, sigh-inducing vamps of paranormal romance. These are more often the "oh crap" vampires of horror, and some of them feed on things other than blood. I'll have a more extensive review coming up at http://suzanne-johnson.blogspot.com. d This anthology of vampire stories is a great introduction to a wide base of authors, but be forewarned: these are not sexy, sigh-inducing vamps of paranormal romance. These are more often the "oh crap" vampires of horror, and some of them feed on things other than blood. I'll have a more extensive review coming up at http://suzanne-johnson.blogspot.com. d

  25. 5 out of 5

    David Marshall

    This plays the game of putting together a themed anthology particularly well. Although it's supposed to be essentially about vampires, it beautifully rings the changes and displays a surprisingly wide variation of different entities that might feed upon others. Kudos to Ellen Datlow. http://opionator.wordpress.com/2012/0... This plays the game of putting together a themed anthology particularly well. Although it's supposed to be essentially about vampires, it beautifully rings the changes and displays a surprisingly wide variation of different entities that might feed upon others. Kudos to Ellen Datlow. http://opionator.wordpress.com/2012/0...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    As usual with anthologies, I liked some stories in this better than others, but it was an interesting take on the different ways one can look at vampirism of many sorts. NOT traditional vampire stories, in case anyone was thinking they would be.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kayla (Heroic Pages)

    This book was boring.... Most of the stories had some sort of build up and then just ended... Leaving me to wonder what the heck just happened. And I sorta wanted some real vamps.... Not the metaphorical life draining or simple ghost stories...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan "Mulberry Boys" by Margo Lanagan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey

    Always sounded interesting when pitched at Tor before it was published

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Korandovitch

    Enjoyed the different types of stories.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.