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Sister Margaret: 03/29/09

A few days ago I had a nice email from author Rhonda Parrish asking if I would review her upcoming short story "Sister Margaret" which she described it as a story of a vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman. I was a bit wary only because vampire books (beyond Dracula) aren't my normal fare but I said yes and was in for a very pleasant surprise.

"Sister Margaret" is in deed about a vampire hunter and his hired swordsman who may very well be half-incubus. They are sent to kill a local "leech" (vampire) who is demanding protection money from the local temple girls who have been saved by Sister Margaret from a life on the streets. The story is set in Haven, one of those fantasy metropolises like Ankh-Moorpork or the Bazaar on Deva. The vampires therefore are just one of many different species living in the city and are not presented as the mysterious lust-worthy nobility with a dark side as they so often are these days. Instead, they are desperate creatures who are superstitious and from the hunter's point of view, predictable but dangerous.

"Sister Margaret" reminded me favorably of any number of fantasy short stories I've read in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story mostly reminds me of these stories in terms of tone and setting: Catamount by Marc Laidlaw and Dance of Shadows by Fred Chappell.

Rhonda Parrish is also an editor of Nightblade Fantasy and Horror Magazine and you can read her blog

Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Monday, March, 30, 2009 at 01:17:51


Thank you so much for the review :) I am glad you enjoyed my story and I am very flattered by the stories you compared it to :)

Comment #2: Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 22:21:15


You're very welcome.

Comment #3: Monday, March, 30, 2009 at 09:48:16


I've only read a few vampire stories that caught my attention, maybe this one will also... Did you see that BU out here in Boston has vampires? The kids today have watched way too much tv and while they are smart they are really dumb... Many underlying causes for this but oh well what are you going to do?

Comment #4: Monday, March 30, 2009 at 09:16:01


I don't know anything about Boston vampires or what's currently popular on TV. Sorry.

Comment #5: Monday, March, 30, 2009 at 11:48:47


Thanks for giving us her blog address! Where can we find her short story? I'd love to read it!

Comment #6: Monday, March 30, 2009 at 09:20:14


It will be available for sale on April 7th and the link will be from her blog. Go to the Buy My Schtuff and scroll past the header info.

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