Unexpected vampires, unexpected art.
Bela Lugosi's classic cloaked vampire shares the pages with a
flute that kills, a blood-thirsty head more dangerous severed than
attached, and many variations of the Muse who requires blood payment
for inspiration. The art ranges from poetry, sculpture, and music to
architecture, stained glass, and striptease dancing.
The plots are more predictable. Too many focus on the ugliness of
vampires and obsession with art rather than the romance of either.
Some pieces are "lighter" than most -- Jane Yolen's "Vamping the
Muse," for instance -- but overall the collection has little humor
other than a black irony. None of the stories is outright fun,
although there is a certain exuberance in the image of a vampire
Hamlet sweeping Ophelia into his arms and racing off to escape the
"Dramaturge" by Susan Shwartz is worthwhile, as is "Symphony for
the Quiet Ones" by Michael Scott Bricker. And Mark Kreighbaum's "Ars
Brevis" has a clarity of prose to which nothing else in the book
comes close. But otherwise, Blood Muse is a disappointing
Read an excerpt from Mark Kreighbaum's
Brevis at his home page.
Other Vampire Reviews
This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris