Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Crossover Cover: The Vampire Almanac (Volume 1)
This anthology of vampire stories published by Black Coat Press consists of several reprinted tales and seven new stories. Frank J. Morlock's "Entretien with a Vampire," Rick Lai's "All Predators Great and Small," Frank J. Morlock's "The Adventure of the Beneficent Vampire," and Win Scott Eckert's "Les Lèvres Rouges" were included by Win in the first two volumes of Crossovers. I had already read Rick's "Vampire Renaissance," Michel Stéphan's "The Three Lives of Maddalena," Matthew Baugh's "Quest of the Vourdalaki," Brian Gallagher's "City of the Nosferatu," Frank Schildiner's "The Blood of Frankenstein," Christofer Nigro's "The Ultimate Prize" and "Requiem for a Regime," and David McDonald's "The Girl from Odessa" and "The Lesser of Two Evils" when they were originally published and written them up. Of the seven stories new to this collection, five have crossovers. In Matthew Dennion's "Hope for Forgiveness," the Scarlet Pimpernel attempts to provide safe passage out of France to a woman named Lenore (who, unbeknownst to him, is a vampire), but is prevented from doing so by Captain Kronos. The Scarlet Pimpernel is from Baroness Orczy’s novels. Lenore is the title character of a ballad by Gottfried August Bürger, first published in 1774. Captain Kronos is from the Hammer film Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. In Martin Gately's "The Moon Hag," a metaphysician named Professor Quercus encounters Elsa Karnstein and her daughter Carmilla aboard a ship, and ultimately becomes their servant. Elsa and Karmilla initially claim to be Madame and Malicarla Strenkin of the House of Dolingen. Carmilla is the title character of the classic vampire story by J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Carmilla’s mother Elsa and Professor Quercus also appear in Le Fanu’s story, though neither are referred to by name. The House of Dolingen is a reference to the vampire Countess Dolingen of Gratz from Bram Stoker’s story “Dracula’s Guest,” generally believed to be the deleted original first chapter of Dracula. In Matthew Dennion's "Predators and Prey," the Earthman Gullivar Jones reluctantly teams up with the vampires of Mars to rescue Princess Heru from the equally bloodthirsty Erloor. Gullivar Jones and Princess Heru are from Edwin L. Arnold’s novel Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation. This story takes place a few days after the end of Arnold’s novel. The vampires of Mars and the Erloor are from Gustave Le Rouge’s novel The Vampires of Mars, which has been translated by Brian Stableford for Black Coat Press. In Artikel Unbekannt's "Blood and Fire," a libertine falls prey to two female vampires, one of whom is named Carody. The womanizer’s foe Dr. Orlof was also bitten by the two women. The Countess Nadine Carody is from Jesús Franco’s film Vampyros Lesbos, while Dr. Orlof (also spelled Orloff) is from Franco’s film The Awful Dr. Orloff and its sequels. In Nathan Cabaniss' "Schrodinger's Blood," Edward Delmont comes to the Sâr Dubnotal seeking help. The occult detective reveals that he is being slowly drained of blood via superposition by Alinska, a vampire in the 19th century who has a grudge against his family. Alinska is from Etienne-Léon de Lamothe-Langon’s novel The Virgin Vampire. Edward Delmont is descended from Edouard Delmont, Alinska’s fiancé who spurned her for another woman. The Sâr Dubnotal appeared in a 1909-1910 French pulp series by an anonymous author. He has apparently aged little, if at all, since the early 20th century, as this story takes place in the present day.