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Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror (2015)

by Christopher Golden (Editor)

Other authors: Kelley Armstrong (Contributor), Laird Barron (Contributor), Lynda Barry (Contributor), Gary A. Braunbeck (Contributor), Dana Cameron (Contributor)16 more, Dan Chaon (Contributor), Charlaine Harris (Contributor), Brian Keene (Contributor), Sherrilyn Kenyon (Contributor), Michael Koryta (Contributor), John Langan (Contributor), Tim Lebbon (Contributor), John Ajvide Lindqvist (Contributor), Seanan McGuire (Contributor), Joe McKinney (Contributor), Leigh Perry (Contributor), Robert Shearman (Contributor), Scott Smith (Contributor), Lucy A. Snyder (Contributor), David Wellington (Contributor), Rio Youers (Contributor)

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Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again.
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New short stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon


Simply brilliant. I devoured these stories one by one, like a sugar addict in a candy store finding each to be more delicious than the one that came before. I hated for it to end. From the first story to the final word any horror lover will be unable to put this book down. Vampire lovers rejoice there is originality and terror overflowing in these pages. ( )
  IreneCole | Jul 27, 2022 |
Seize the Night: New Tales of Vampiric Terror is a compilation of stories about vampires. The vampires in these stories are nothing like the sparkly puppy dogs most vampires are portrayed as nowadays. No, they are actually the cruel and terrifying creatures they are meant to be.
There are a few stories that I didn't necessarily care for but overall I really enjoyed this book.

The stories that stood out to me were:
We Are All the Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong
Up in Old Vermont by Scott Smith
Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris
Paper Cuts by Gary A Braunbeck
On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin by Michael Koryta
Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire

Anybody who loves horror needs to read this!

*I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  maebri | Mar 10, 2020 |
This was an amazing book. I started reading it. I loved the first story. And the next. And the next. Most of the stories were excellent. The few that weren't excellent were still pretty good. This has to be one of the best anthologies I have ever read.

My favorite stories:
Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris - a really interesting take on the vampire legend
Paper Cuts by Gary A Braunbeck - this has got to be the most unique vampire story I have ever read.
On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin by Michael Koryta - such great imagery in the story. I can just picture being in the basin and looking up on the hill and seeing a figure looking down at me.

I received a free ARC from NetGalley. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
Received via NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an completely unbiased review.
Also posted on Silk & Serif

Every once in a while I feel it’s a great idea to read an anthology on your favourite genres because it opens you up to not only new authors, but also new ways of looking at a particular story type. Christopher Golden’s Seize The Night definitely delivers a great mix of horror with focus on the vampire legends. We read about insect inspired vampires, classic vampire types and even vampire books utilized by Nazi’s for power. I really enjoyed taking a break from the usual romanticized version of vampires and returning to the base, fear inducing instincts of the mythological creature Vampire.

The twenty one authors of this anthology wrote 544 excellent pages of fear, death and blood that will satisfy every type of horror lover (not just vampire enthusiasts)! I do have to admit that there were a few stories I didn’t understand because they ended prematurely..

UP IN OLD VERMONT by Scott Smith. Ally, a down on her luck waitress, is invited to move in with an elderly couple struggling with the wife’s Alzheimers. The vampires come from unexpected places and pull on Native American legend of the skag to write a chilling account of vampirism in modern America.

THE NEIGHBORS by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I didn’t understand this one. The short story is about some kids spying on the new neighbours. Over the course of this adventure they discover their neighbour’s secret that they very well could kill to keep. I just didn’t think it fit with the anthology at all, but you be the judge.

PAPER CUTS by Gary A. Braunbeck. Probably my favourite from this anthology because it’s so different and features an exciting version of vampirism. The inclusion of Nazi Germany, a young Jew’s struggles in a concentration camp and an ancient entity living in the least expected places makes for a very unique and unexpected read. I’m going to be reading more Braunbeck.

IN A CAVERN, IN A CANYON by Laird Barron. A creepy and frightening take on vampire lore that takes all the classics and adds just enough insect to the tale to give me nightmares for days. A woman struggles years later to understand whether her father walked out on her family or was taken by a sinister creature of the night.

MOTHER by Joe McKinney. Although this one didn’t resonate with me, the execution of Joe, a man on the search for evidence of the existence of the chupacabra, stumbles into a very dangerous and exciting revelation about a small town’s missing children. Hint: It’s not a chupacabra.

BLOOD by Robert Shearman. I didn’t get this tale either; it ended abruptly or was too subtle for my palate. Two lovers travel to Paris, but not all is as it seems between the couple, or the strange experiences they encounter.

SEPARATOR by Rio Youers. Rio’s tale is brutal and unapologetically gruesome. A man travels to the Philippines and comes face to face with the mananangga, a member of the Aswang family. A nice cultural addition to a largely American anthology.

WHAT KEPT YOU SO LONG? by John Ajvide Lindqvist. A trucker catches an interesting STD and learns that sometimes you have no control over your fate. This one isn’t very scary, but it is interesting and rather thought provoking with a clever twist.
In the end, Golden delivered what he promised at the very beginning of the anthology that "once upon a time vampires were figures of terror...And they can be again."

I honestly had nightmares reading this anthology, which is a first for me, and found the writing samples to be strong and powerful tales that twisted an already frightening lore. I definitely recommended reading Seize The Night as a Halloween novel.

This book will appeal to readers who enjoy horror, frightening tales, anthologies and short stories, gruesome and violent vampires. I would wholeheartedly recommend reading Seize The Night if you are a horror fan or a supporter of real, gritty vampire novels without the romanticism and moral questions.

Complete list of Contributors

Scott Smith (Up in Old Vermont)
Seanan McGuire (Something Lost, Something Gained)
Michael Koryta (On the Dark Side of Sunlight)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Neighbors)
Gary A. Braunbeck (Paper Cuts)
Charlain Harris (Miss Fondevant)
Laird Barron (In a Cavern, In a Canyon)
Dana Cameron (Whiskey and Light)
Kelley Armstrong (We Are All Monsters)
Tim Lebbon (May the End Be Good)
Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry (Mrs. Popkin)
Leigh Perry (Direct Report)
John Langan (Shadow and Thirst)
Joe McKinney (Mother)
Robert Shearman (Blood)
Lucy A. Snyder (The Yellow Death)
Brian Keene (The Last Supper)
Rio Youers (Separator)
John Ajvide Lindqvist (What Kept You So Long)
David Wellington (Blue Hell) ( )
  trigstarom | Jul 9, 2016 |
***** Up in Old Vermont by Scott Smith
A very strong opener to the anthology. At an aimless point in her life, a waitress takes up her regular customer's repeated offer to work for him as caretaker to his Alzheimers'-afflicted wife. Soon, she finds herself ensconced in a remote house, in a small town, and of course she's neglected to inform anyone of her whereabouts. How could anything go wrong?
The story has a bit of a slow buildup - but I thought it was worth it.

**** Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire
Who knew that collecting fireflies could be so dangerous? I have to admit that I'm a bit tired of the 'abusive family situation' trope in fiction, and the short format of this story doesn't lend itself to allowing the characters to rise above the boilerplate. However, the writing and the satisfying ending still bring the story up to 4 stars.

*** On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin by Michael Koryta
A well-written, entertaining and scary diptych. I loved the setting: the wilderness of Wyoming's national forests.
In the first half, we meet an obnoxious, incompetent hunter and his Native American guide.
Thirty years later, what happened to that hunter affects a young couple in search of spooky photography opportunities.
Almost 4 stars, I just wished there'd been a deeper connection made between the two sections, rather than just "this happened - and then this happened."


*** The Neighbors by Sherrilyn Kenyon
A young boy suspects that something about the new neighbors is suspicious - but his mother pooh-poohs his fears.
I have to admit, I saw the 'twist' coming, in this one.

*** Paper Cuts by Gary A. Braunbeck
The eternal saga of a persecuted race of immortals is intercut with the story of a clumsy young woman who decides to shop at a quaint secondhand bookstore one evening. Not bad, but I feel that a necessary opportunity is missed in this story: The ending makes so much more sense if the bookshop's proprietor is lying, and rather than trying to save humanity from the books, he's actually become the vampire books' 'kapo,' and was taught to be so by Uri. (Uri would have learned this when he was 'kapo' to the Nazis.) If this was the case, the books killing the robber, while leaving the bleeding proprietor and his possibly-new-assistant unharmed, would be much more powerful from a narrative standpoint than the use of anti-evil charms. It would tie the different parts of the story together for a much more satisfying ending.

***** Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris
Everyone always behaves in Miss Fondevant's sixth grade classroom. Everyone. Always. And when a classmate dies, Susan is convinced that the medical explanation that's given at assembly is not the truth.
I loved this one. The two possible explanations for the events portrayed are weighted equally, and the psychology is perfect. It's also darker than I expected, from Harris.

*** In a Cavern, In a Canyon by Laird Barron
While out searching for an errant dog, a family pet, with her father and uncle, a teenage girl has a weird encounter. Also, her father disappears. The one event overshadows the other - but both of them affect her entire rest of her life.
A classic "monsters are gonna get you" story.

***** Whiskey and Light by Dana Cameron
In a backwards, cursed town, the villagers live in fear of the demon that is believed to live beneath an ancient mound. They depend on a regular ritual, performed by a visiting priest, to keep their homes - and their lives - safe. When one year, the priest does not arrive, to everyone's consternation, one young woman decides to take this chance to finally get herself and her little sister out of Dodge. However... not all goes according to plan.
Shades of 'the Wicker Man' here, but it's an original, strong, satisfying tale.

**** We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong
I thought this story was quite a lot better than the several other things I've read by Armstrong (no romantic werewolves here, yay!)
Instead, this is an 'outbreak' tale. A new plague has emerged. Those stricken arise at night and attack and drink the blood of those around them. In the morning, they remember nothing of what they've done. The story follows one college student from a rough background, as her classmates are quarantined, and then as society collapses around her. Fans of 'The Walking Dead' will approve.

**** May the End Be Good by Tim Lebbon
Wandering through a war-ravaged medieval landscape, a priest must deal with encountering not only the horrors of the mutilated bodies of battle's casualties - but with evidence that the survivors have been reduced to cannibalism. He himself is struggling and near desperation. And in this bleak and wintry wasteland, there may be worse things even than humans.

**** Mrs. Popkin by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry
Well, now that was all kinds of messed up, wrapped in some nice, normal wrapping paper. Todd is a nerdy boy who lives with his eccentric single mother. When the Popkin family moves into the empty house next door, it looks like Todd might, albeit hesitantly, make some new friends. However, the authors are going to take us somewhere different...

*** Direct Report by Leigh Perry (Toni L.P. Kelner)
Quite unexpected: a story that starts out with a woman kidnapped and imprisoned in a room, drugged and repeatedly raped... and ends up being rather lighthearted and funny. How does the author pull this off? Well, you'll have to read it...

*** Shadow and Thirst by John Langan
While a grown son is visiting his father, they notice a strange "tower" (it's not a tower, it's a bloody square cube, says nitpicky-me) on the dad's property. We know something's wrong when the family dog won't approach the mysterious structure. But of course, dad pays no attention to his dog's sensitivities, and the situation is bound to quickly avalanche into bloody disaster.
I liked the setup, but the pacing is derailed by a far-too-long "explanatory monologue" at a very unlikely juncture.

*** Mother by Joe McKinney
Two cryptozoologists with a long-standing professional rivalry are both 'on the trail' of rumors surrounding a supposed chupacabra who's recently killed a string of children. Soon, old resentments will come to a head, as what is uncovered turns out to be more dangerous than either man expects.

*** Blood by Robert Shearman
'Lolita' is given a new twist. A teacher is on an ill-advised and very illicit trip to Paris with a young student. But the line between victim and victimizer may not be as clear as it first appears.

*** The Yellow Death by Lucy A. Snyder
Why is it that there are always bikers, after the apocalypse? One woman has found what the thought was a relative measure of safety amongst a biker gang, after the vampire plague. But when her beautiful sister turns up looking for her, a balance will be upset.

*** Last Supper by Brian Keene
After an apocalyptic plague which has emptied the Earth of the living, even a vampire has it rough.

*** Separator by Rio Youers
American businessman, employed by an unethical developer in the Philippines, gets what's coming to him.

***** What Kept You So Long? by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Lindqvist's name comes with high expectations - and this story lived up to them. The life of a Scandinavian trucker is lonely and sometimes sordid, but it's brought to vivid, all-too-human life here. After reading, you'll feel like you really knew someone who had this job. But maybe not the specific man here, whose infection has led him to do things he'd never have imagined just a few years ago - and whose bleak loneliness has only increased, until he seeks understanding from a hitchhiker he picks up one night. At once classic and strikingly original, this is a tour-de-force of the vampire genre.

*** Blue Hell by David Wellington
Long ago, in ancient Mexico, sacrificial victims were flung into sinkholes in order to propitiate the gods. Here we meet a Mayan priestess, a willing sacrifice. But her ritual goes wrong, and she will discover that her people have been sadly misinformed in their belief that the rain god Chaac is the deity appreciating their offerings.

Many thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this quality anthology. As always, my opinions are solely my own. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golden, ChristopherEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armstrong, KelleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barron, LairdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barry, LyndaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Braunbeck, Gary A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cameron, DanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaon, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, CharlaineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keene, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kenyon, SherrilynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koryta, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langan, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lebbon, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindqvist, John AjvideContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGuire, SeananContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKinney, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perry, LeighContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shearman, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snyder, Lucy A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wellington, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Youers, RioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again.

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Book description
Contains:
  • Reclaiming the Shadows: An Introduction / Christopher Golden
  • Up in Old Vermont / Scott Smith
  • Something Lost, Something Gained / Seanan McGuire
  • On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin / Michael Koryta
  • The Neighbors / Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Paper Cuts / Gary A. Braunbeck
  • Miss Fondevant / Charlaine Harris
  • In a Cavern, in a Canyon / Laird Barron
  • Whiskey and Light / Dana Cameron
  • We Are All Monsters Here / Kelley Armstrong
  • May the End Be Good / Tim Lebbon
  • Mrs. Popkin / Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry
  • Direct Report / Leigh Perry
  • Shadow and Thirst / John Langan
  • Mother / Joe McKinney
  • Blood / Robert Shearman
  • The Yellow Death / Lucy A. Snyder
  • The Last Supper / Brian Keene
  • Separator / Rio Youers
  • What Kept You So Long? / John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Blue Hell / David Wellington
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