Quick Review: Teeth - Vampire Tales, ed. by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

I've been reading a lot of short stories lately, on and off the web, but I must admit I often get lost in which collections and/or anthologies to buy at the bookstore. But I NEVER hesitate to buy an anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I am always impressed, amazed and entertain by their selection. I am particularly fond of their mythic series (which I will post about soon), but was very excited to see they had edited a collection of YA short stories based on vampires. Part of my excitement was due to the fact that I like vampire stories, but have been completely disappointed with the state of vampire fiction in the YA world these past few years (we all know what I'm talking about). So I thought, "Finally!" when I saw the book at the bookstore and grabbed it right away.

Now if you are like me and like vampire mythology (the old and the modern), than this book is for you. The stories in this book range from sweet, romantic, eerie and spooky to dark, brutal and violent. It covers a range of myth and folklore and probably invents a few as well. What I appreciated is that each author approached the subject in different directions, but that you were never really left with a sense of safety. The inherent danger that is vampires, whether they are friends, enemies, parents, children, hunters or preys is always there, hovering over each plot, each character, sometimes more omnipresent, but never really absent. And that's what I liked best. I must say that most of my favourite stories were the more violent, deadly ones, simply because I prefer my vampires that way. More deadly creatures, than romantic interest, or broody reformed undead. But even the stories that were quieter and more contemplative (or sometimes that involved only vampires, therefore removing the immediate death threat a human would feel in their presence), were still somehow interesting for their way they approach the subject. And still this anthology managed to stay in tone with the YA world of vampires. It even included two poems (one by Neil Gaiman, one by Emma Bull), and that seriously made me happy. Poetry, in my opinion, should show up more in the YA adult world of literature (and seriously, if vampires and all their dark mythos aren't showing up in all those angsty teen poems written in the margins of a math book, than teenagers and young adults have change A LOT since I was one - and it really wasn't that long ago)

So. Some favourites included: "Vampire Weather" by Garth Nix, "Late Bloomer", by Suzy McKee Charnas, "Sit the Dead", by Jeffrey Ford, "Sunbleached" by Nathan Ballingrud, "In the Future When All's Well", by Catherynne M. Valente, and "The Perfect Dinner Party" by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black. I also really really liked the very informative introduction on vampire folklore written by both editors.

I really recommend this anthology if you are looking for something a bit different. Surely, in all those nineteen well-crafted stories, there is one for you.

1 comment:

  1. Cool! I had actually been interested in reading this collection, especially since some great authors are in there. However, the YA steampunk romance collection called "Corsets and Clockwork" came out first, so I've got my hands on the baby and I'm loving it :D

    When I get more money though, I'm totally getting this book :)