A review of BLOOD MUSE (Donald I. Fine Books, edited by Esther Friesner and Martin H. Greenberg)



From anthologists Friesner (ALIEN PREGNANT BY ELVIS) and Greenberg (SISTERS OF THE NIGHT); an inspired collection of 32 stories tying art to vampirism, or the reverse, the arts being painting, music, film, sculpture, dance, writing, and such special exhibits as window glazing, weaving (with bloodstained flax), puppetry, architecture, collage, jewelry-making, and guerrilla mural art with spray cans.

The contributors here are largely unknown, but even so, the standouts are too many to praise. Fresh indeed is P. D. Cacek's "Yrena," about a seductive, homeless child vampire, freezing in the snow following the October Revolution. She's taken in by a former Leningrad painter to the Czar, now destitute but for his relatives, whom he feeds day by day to Yrena while he paints her haunting beauty. Don't miss Benjamin Adams' "The Frieze of Life," about tortured Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's insanity and his famous painting of The Vampire. Munch re-creates the female form obsessively throughout his life, being the unwitting slave of Melpomene, the Greek Muse of tragedy, who has chosen Munch to be her personal artist. Also admirable is Susan Shwartz's "Dramaturge," about Gonzago, the Player King, and his family of actor vampires who've arrived at Elsinore only to find everyone dead and Hamlet buried. So they dig him up, feed him vampire blood, and let him join the dead Ophelia, herself a vampire in great disrepair. Pamela D. Hodgson's "The Age of Maturity" tells of Auguste Rodin's mistresses and how he steals souls to put into his sculptures. Lisa Lepovetsky's "Pas du Mort" paints a New Orleans ballet dancer who gets her inspiration for her Vampire Dance in a cemetery, only to be so successful at it that she attracts real vampires.

Breathless tales of the blood-inspired creative process that really suck you in. Many loud wingflaps.





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