Remember when vampires were cool? Back in the 80's, when I first began getting serious about horror, the vampire subgenre was awesome. Knockout books like Geoge R. R. Martin's Fevre Dream were coming out, and the New Horror (AKA: Splatterpunk) yielded great titles like Vampire Junction, The Light at the End, Live Girls, Sunglasses After Dark, and, yes, Interview with the Vampire.

But it was the enormous influence of Anne Rice that drove a stake into vampire fiction. I didn't much like the sequels to Interview with the Vampire, and in their wake came a bunch of imitators. Romantic vampires, goth vampires, gay vampires, vampire hit men, for God's sake. Despite how well-written some of these were, it reached the point of ridiculousness. Sort of like a certain walking, flesh-eating dead subgenre has gotten today.

Few would argue that is can not get a lot worse than the whole Twilight phenomenon. Emo vampires titillating teenage girls and their would-be hip mothers. At this point there is nowhere to go but up.

So, yeah, why not? It's a good time for real, ferocious, scary vampires to re-emerge on the horror scene.

Robert McCammon has dealt with bloodsuckers before. Early on he wrote a huge, gloriously over the top vampire novel called They Thirst. In 1991 McCammon served as co-editor of the Horror Writers Association vampire apocalypse anthology, Under the Fang, and he also contributed a wistfully sad story in it called Miracle Mile. And now he has given us I Travel By Night.

I Travel By Night is an upcoming novella from McCammon's publisher, Subterranean Press. It's a historical novel that takes place not long after the Civil War. Trevor Lawson is a vampire who hates his own kind and has vowed to not only eradicate his fellow bloodsuckers, but also find the one who made him a monster and have his revenge.

There's nothing new about this premise, but I don't believe that McCammon was attempting to create something groundbreaking with I Travel By Night. This is a rip-roaring, old fashioned pulpish romp.

As always McCammon's eye for detail is unerring and he establishes his characters quickly and effectively. The story gets off to a quick start and readers will race through this short work in no time, and be thirsty for more.

With the Matthew Corbett series, Robert McCammon is writing an epic series of novels that tell the story of detection and crime in early America. With The Five he gave us a potent story about today's music scene, and it is also a love song about how music molds and shapes our lives. I Travel By Night is what I call a yarn. It's a fun, old fashioned, lightening paced story that would not have been out of place in the early years of Weird Tales.

It's awesome that Robert McCammon is back and that Subterranean is putting his work out in beautiful, affordable editions. It's also pretty cool that he is bringing vampires back and making them fun again. I hope that he takes his readers on more adventures with Trevor Lawson.

Written by Mark Sieber

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