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Friday, 3 April 2015

FFB - Young Blood

Not another vampire book! may well be the first reaction to this novel. But you’d be wrong.  To be expected from such an accomplished fabulist, Brian Stableford, Young Blood (1992) is quite unlike any other vampire novel up to this date of publication.

It concerns Anne Claret, a thin almost-anorexic philosophy student who craves change and sexual fulfilment; so she summons Maldureve the vampire from the shadowy borderlands; and because of her summoning, this night-creature is given substance. Maldureve is able to feed from Anne and in turn she must satisfy her hunger.

Anne’s American boyfriend Gil is the ideal choice, but things go wrong when the effects of Anne’s feeding from his blood are misconstrued by Gil…

The narrative is gripping, and believable, and Stableford manages to blend in psychology, philosophy, DNA theories, horror and madness. Throughout there is a potent symbolism, of light and dark, with intrusions of grey, everything is not quite what it seems. The strange mix of sci-fi and horror works well: Anne’s final realisation after a king of rite of passage is the stuff of nightmares.


Stableford has published over seventy novels. He is fondly remembered by sci-fi fans for his Hooded Swan series (1972-1978); besides this, he has written ten more different series, one being the David Lydyard trilogy about werewolves (1990-1994). Another vampire opus of his I’ve enjoyed is Empire of Fear (1988).

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