Tag Archives: Teeth – Vampire Tales

In the Future When All’s Well by Catherynne M. Valente

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: In the Future When All’s Well
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 31st August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It’s all random.

Synopsis

Vampirism has become a daily occurrence – there are those in the high risk, those who just break the rules… but eventually a whole lot of people get turned. The future is showing us a whole new reality.

Thoughts

I liked the idea of this future world in which vampires are running free. And that they’re just kind of the next, logical evolutionary step to the pyramid. The fact that it’s also written all around the perspective of a teenager just works all that much better. After all, all of the stories at the moment surrounding vampires seem to be very young adult centred.

One of the aspects I liked most about this story was the idea that those in the “high risk” category were considered different and amoral. It’s the same fear mongering that you see again and again throughout society. Which made me smile. A great reflection on society as we know it.

All in all, I really enjoyed this short story. It was a unique idea, but one that I felt kind of had merit. After all, there is definitely scientific support for the idea that we are all evolving into a new version of “humanity”, who’s to say it isn’t going to be as blood suckers?

<- BabyTransition ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Baby by Kathe Koja

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Baby
Author: Kathe Koja
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Vampires
Dates read: 18th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I was pretty scared, and pretty mad, when I got home.

Synopsis

She’s growing up and leaving the past toys of her childhood behind. But in this case, that’s a little bit more difficult and dark than expected…

Thoughts

I find dolls creepy (I hope to god I don’t have a doll obsessed kid)… and, once I realised that the vampire like creature in this was, in fact, a creepy doll.. ick.

Honestly, I didn’t really love this story. I didn’t hate it… but it wasn’t my favourite. Probably the doll thing. There is just something about them that is… nope nope nope. Especially ones with glass eyes.

I did like the take on vampires, magic and familiars in this. It was a little dark and twisty, kind of convoluted and not what I expected at all. Which is what I truly love in a short story.

<- SunbleachedIn the Future When All’s Well ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sunbleached
Author: Nathan Ballingrud
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 15th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why it’s so easy for us to seduce.

Synopsis

Josh thinks he has the perfect plan – he’s got a vampire trapped, he’s going to be immortal and he’s going to get rid of his mum’s annoying boyfriend. But, as with all teenage plans, things just don’t quite go to plan.

Thoughts

I always want to yell at the silly children in vampire stories who make a deal with, well, a vampire… I mean, come on! Haven’t you read the stories? Don’t you understand that it NEVER TURNS OUT WELL?!?!?

This story was no different. I spent the whole time metaphoriy banging my head against an imaginary wall… I mean, seriously Josh? You expected any of this to end in any other way? Silly, silly boy…

Alright, even though I was constantly finding Josh frustrating and seriously silly in this… I did also enjoy the story. It was one of those that you knew things would end bad, but you kind of wanted to see HOW they would end badly…

<- Sit the DeadBaby ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Sit the Dead by Jeffrey Ford

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sit the Dead
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 6th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Let’s go in.”

Synopsis

All he wants is for his girlfriend’s family to accept him. Even if that means sitting next to the dead with the weird uncle that barely speaks English. But, as it turns out, that is the least of his troubles. They’re just about to begin…

Thoughts

I really like the way that this uses the hint of old world traditions and practices to build the storyline. The fact that it is written from the point of view of a boy that just wants to be with his girl… well, it all works out well.

Sometimes the open endedness of short stories is kind of irritating. But, I liked the way that this one ends. It’s open… but with a hint of more action and a life to continue living in the future. And more potential for romance.

This story was great. But, it does make me leery about coffins and dead people… the imagery throughout this is just far too intense and realistic.

<- Best Friends ForeverSunbleached ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Best Friends Forever by Cecil Castellucci

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Cecil Castellucci
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 5th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: She didn’t want to, it just happened, in an alley in New York City.

Synopsis

They met by chance – the dying girl and the one who was already dead. But that’s not what cemented them together in friendship.

Thoughts

This was actually a ridiculously sweet vampire story. There is something about friendship and that depth of love that I think gets missed in stories a lot. But Castellucci managed to capture it perfectly.

I love how this story took you on the adventure of forming an everlasting friendship. Not just that moment of connection… but also that moment when you realise that that friendship you’ve formed… its something special.

I loved this story about friendship. But what I loved the most was how it ended. It was kind of sad. But seriously sweet, all at the same time.

<- The List of Definite EndingsSit the Dead ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The List of Definite Endings by Kaaron Warren

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: The List of Definite Endings
Author: Kaaron Warren
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 27th July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: With the thought of Joel a dull ache and Ken very much on her mind, Claudia walked down to the seawall, enjoying the wind on her face and the smell of the salt.

Synopsis

Claudia never really fit in when she was human… now that she’s a vampire… well, she still doesn’t quite fit in. But at least she has her list.

Thoughts

This was a nice, easy duck out of water kind of story. I’m still not totally sold on the vampire fad. But stories like this are kind of fun. I loved all the ways that Claudia didn’t fit in. Because it was probably some of the same reasons I felt that way at nineteen.

A lot of information was packed into this very short story. Not only did it give Claudia a great characterisation. Buy it also told of her relationships, friendships, turning and morals in life. A whole heap of information in very few pages. But told in such a fun way that I couldn’t help but smile.

I’ve read a few short stories by Kaaron Warren. And honestly, I’ve enjoyed every one. They’re light, easy, but with a great moral core at the very centre of the story. Even when the story features a vampire out of water.

<– Late BloomerBest Friends Forever ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Late Bloomer by Suzy McKee Charnas

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Late Bloomer
Author: Suzy McKee Charnas
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Writing verses (what was he thinking? Now he was really going to be killed in the boys’ bathroom) – with Freaky Frye!

Synopsis

Josh is from a family of artists and creators. He’s spent his whole seventeen years trying to figure out what his “talent” is. The moment he finally discovers it… well, it might just be too late.

Thoughts

I found Josh to be a bit of a whiney fool throughout this. So wrapped up in his ideas of being “great” that he didn’t stop and smell the roses. But, he kind of got his poetic justice / karmic justice in the end. That made me happy.

I did enjoy the idea of brain chemistry being unchanging when turned into a vampire. Particularly the fact that as a teenager, the brain is not fully formed. And being turned as a teenager? It means that you’ll be forever not fully formed. It’s a bit disturbing when you truly think about the consequences… but it was a very cool and dark idea. One I seriously enjoyed.

All in all, I pleasantly enjoyed this story. It may not have been a ground-shaking, earth-quaking tale that I’ll necessarily read again. But it was fun and unique. Which, honestly is all I want in a short story some days.

<- Vampire WeatherThe List of Definite Endings ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Flying by Delia Sherman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Flying
Author: Delia Sherman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: CircusVampires
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I’m making an egg for your father.

Synopsis

Lena’s parents gave up everything to help support her through cancer. But now all she wants to do is fly… what will the cost be?

Thoughts

I really loved this mix of circus performers and vampires. It was fun and exciting. And you constantly hoped for the best where Lena was concerned. Her battle for health and happiness was beautiful, and for me, this story became less about vampires and more about finding your happily ever after.

It was kind of sad that Lena’s happily ever after really, really didn’t involve her parents. After all, they are beautifully kind and supportive. Although, I suppose that we all find a happily ever after that really doesn’t involve our parents…

I always love stories by Delia Sherman. This one was no exception and I absolutely adored this tale. I love the imagery of the circus and a trapeze artist. The cats and the bats. Everything worked so beautifully and seamlessly together. Leaving me with a huge, happy grin on my face.

<- Bloody SunriseVampire Weather ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Bloody Sunrise by Neil Gaiman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Bloody Sunrise
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Poetry, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Poem
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: something else that I can blame on

Synopsis

A great poem about the pitfalls and sunrises of vampirehood.

Thoughts

At the beginning, this poem felt a little bit humorous. A little bit quirky and seriously cute. And then it started to take a darker turn. Darker and darker and darker with each line. Which, honestly, is kind of what I think a good vampire poem should be about.

Even though this story took a bit of a darker turn, I definitely had the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun playing through my head. Although this version was Vamps Just Want to Have Fun. I never said that my brain was a normal or safe place to be…

The bloody sunrise ruins the magic of the dark. And this poem just shows how much it can ruin if you really think about it…

<- Gap YearFlying ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Gap Year by Christopher Barzak

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Gap Year
Author: Christopher Barzak
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 30th March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes Retta just wanted more more.

Synopsis

There’s a vampire at the school assembly. And something about him makes Retta want to break the chains of her life and live… more. Maybe she should just join the vampires on her own Gap Year.

Thoughts

This was a wonderfully different premise for a vampire story – vampires that consume feelings instead of blood. I’ve kind of thought something similar in the past, but actually reading a story about it… well, I seriously enjoyed this.

I thought that Gap Year was a brilliant Coming of Age story. One that highlights the need to grow into your own skin and find your own future and reality – it’s also a great beginning of a Gap Year. I didn’t take one myself, but I know a lot of people who did, and I thought that this was the best beginning for one ever.

The aspect of this story that I loved the most, unique vampires, etc. aside – was the fact that Retta is able to leave behind a toxic situation. There can be that moment with childhood friends when you kind of have to break free because it’s just not quite healthy for you anymore. And Retta most certainly does this. But in the most calm and respectful manner possible.

<- All SmilesBloody Sunrise ->

Image source: HarperCollins