In addition to writing, I also edit the science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine Tales of the Talisman. Because of my interest in vampire fiction, it’s probably no surprise that we feature the occasional vampire story in the magazine. I thought I would take a moment to highlight a few such stories from recent issues and tell you why they appealed to me as an editor. Clicking on the covers will take you to the Tales of the Talisman site where you can learn more about the issue.
The current issue of Tales of the Talisman features “In the Cellar” by Fuson. Imagine getting a call in the middle of the night from your best friend saying he has someone trapped in the cellar. In the story, the protagonist goes over to investigate, only to find this is true and the cellar isn’t latched. The only reason the person can’t get in the house is because he has been uninvited! I felt this story hit the ground running with a good mystery and even added some humorous notes. However, as the story progresses, the stakes gradually increase.
Volume 7, issue 2 of Tales of the Talisman features “The Incus” by Jim Lee. In that story, a vampire like demon is rampaging through medieval Vietnam and must be stopped by a wizard. Not only did I find this a unique take on vampires, but an exciting and unique milieu for a fantasy story.
Also in the issue is “Winter’s End” by C.J. Killmer about a tourist who discovers a dark secret in a Florida resort town where people stay in throughout the day and only emerge at night. I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of second person storytelling. However, this was one of the few stories I’ve read that pulled me in and made me consider that I might be the “you” addressed by the narrator.
Judith Herman’s “Grumpy Old Vampires” appears in volume 6, issue 4. In the story, a pair of vampire roommates must sell their house. However, one of them chooses not to go through the regular vampiric channels. I felt this story not only a great study of the two vampires and the real estate agent, but was a wonderful study in dark humor.
I’ll wrap up with Lawrence Dagstine’s “The Paraplegic” which is in volume 6, issue 2. In the story, a man is found in an open grave, unable to move. All he remembers is being attacked. As time goes on, the attackers appear and his worst fears are realized. I found this a very haunting, tragic and effective tale.
It’s been a delight to edit Tales of the Talisman for the past eight years and its predecessor, Hadrosaur Tales, for ten years before that. If you write vampire fiction, please feel free to submit a story in the upcoming reading period. We open on January 1. You can find our guidelines at http://www.talesofthetalisman.com/gl.html
If you’re a fan of vampire fiction, gothic fiction, or just good horror, I hope you’ll drop by and take a look at Tales of the Talisman as well. Even in the issues that feature primarily fantasy or science fiction, you’ll find a dark story or two to mix it up. You can find the magazine at: http://www.talesofthetalisman.com