Okay, really I’m not but I’ve received a rock star review, the creme de la creme in reviews that have been good so far. Now a review is really just one person’s opinion, whether informed or not but it’s so nice to get reviews. I’ve written stories for anthologies before where it seems no one noticed, either my story or the anthology/magazine. And yes, I’d rather get a bad review than no review at all. But of course I’d rather get a good review.
From the first story I ever published (I was publishing poems before that but really, no one does reviews of poems unless you’re Margaret Atwood) the media has changed. Or I should say the supporting media has changed. It was magazines, newspapers and trade journals at first and then with the proliferation of the internet there were a host of sites, blogs, web pages, where people could leave their opinions. There were more forms of marketing as well, and now with social media like Facebook, it has made the word of mouth aspect much larger. So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise how many reviews that Evolve is getting. However, other stories that have come out in the last year or two have not received the same response.
I attribute the number of reviews to two things: one, vampires are popular, even before the sparkly shiny Twilight vampires, even before The Vampire Lestat. Two: Edge’s marketing strategy. I actually don’t know all of it for the publisher but they have been setting up readings and signings across the country and obviously giving out review copies and spreading the word through digital media.
Now all of these things do not a good review make or even guarantee reviews, but Evolve has been receiving a majority of favorable reviews, and likewise my story is mentioned in most of those reviews and again mostly in good regard. So I’m stoked. I’m a pretty small pea in the speculative fiction pod so it’s good to get mentioned. The icing on the cake was the Barnes and Noble review by Paul Goat Allen (and I’m really curious how someone ends up with that middle name) who loved my piece.
Colleen Anderson’s “An Ember Among the Fallen” was simply a visionary masterpiece, envisioning a world ruled by “vampirii” and where humans were nothing more than mindless cattle kept in pens and fed specific diets to enhance the vintage of their blood. The vampire’s scripture, The Book of the Fallen, forbids “cruelty to or treating cattle as more than the meat and blood for which they were bred.” And in a wildly indulgent society where essentially anything goes, the one lone taboo is having sex with an animal, especially a hominid. The punishment for being a “meat mater” is nothing short of death. After an emotionally draining dinner party where a male vampire, Buer, realizes that he has lost his ex-girlfriend forever—a curvaceous vampirii named Camiel—he gets drunk on bloodwine and does the unthinkable: he plays with his food…
It’s rare to ever have a story called a visionary masterpiece and this might be the only time so I’ll take it. He also encourages me to write some sort of bloodsucking novel. If only it were so easy. I have one novel written and unsold. It’s not about vampires though there are a few in there. And I have a second, unrelated novel that’s been long in the works. But perhaps he has something: vampire fiction is immensely popular and I could probably sell such a book. I’ve somehow managed to write several vampire tales. “Lovers Triangle” takes place in a future time, and “Hold Back the Night” takes place in India with a member of the cult of Kali. I have another story that’s not sold that deals with a vampire but not as the main character. So perhaps I should see if I can become the next Charlaine Harris or Laurel Hamilton.
In the meantime, here are a host of new reviews on Evolve. As well, there is a short interview with my alter ego up on Alison Tyler’s blog to do with my story in Alison’s Wonderland: http://alisontyler.blogspot.com/ (Sept. 15th entry). Oh and if you live in Greater Vancouver, I’ll be reading at the Vancouver Public Library on Sept. 27 at 7:00 pm with three other Evolve authors: Rhea Rose, Sandra Wickham and Mary Choo.