By Ellen Datlow

The first chunk is barely the beginning.

Twenty of state-of-the-art favourite writers discover the intersections among the residing, useless, and undead. Their vampire stories diversity from romantic to chilling to gleeful—and contact on approximately each emotion in between.

Neil Gaiman's vampire-poet in "Bloody dawn" is brooding, remorseful, and lonely. Melissa Marr's vampires make a high-stakes online game of ownership and seduction in "Transition." And in "Why Light?" Tanith Lee's lovelorn vampires yearn so much of serious about the single factor they can't have—daylight. Drawn from people traditions worldwide, pop culture, and unique interpretations, the vampires during this assortment are enticingly diverse.

But reader pay attention: the only factor they've got in universal is their wish for blood. . . .

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He didn’t answer. as an alternative, he held out a couple of pants with tiny buttons from ankle to hip. “Why is that this taking place? ” she requested. “I don’t comprehend. ” whilst she didn’t circulate, he dropped to the floor, tugged off her sneakers. The motions, the feel of his proximity, felt generic. “You simply woke, Eliana. The confusion will fade. ” “No,” Eliana corrected. She held up her hand. “Why did she kill me? Why did she damage me? ” “Because she will. ” He pulled off her muddy denims and bloody blouse, leaving her shivering in not anything yet her lingerie. Silently, he ripped a T-shirt that was once within the trunk, dipped it within the ice water, and commenced washing the blood from her. “Can you do that? ” he requested. “Like i'm? ” Eliana grabbed the rainy blouse. The ache in her hand can be bringing tears to her eyes. loads of issues should still. She desired to break out, to escape from Nikki. And him . . . i believe. Her hand throbbed, however the starvation she felt used to be worse. “I’m much more able than you think that. ” Sebastian became a black blouse and, oddly, slipped a gloomy silk shawl into his pants pocket. His gaze was once unwavering as he did so. “Let’s now not inform Nicole that. ” “She killed me . . . and Gory, but”—Eliana shivered as she washed away Gregory’s blood and felt responsible that the sight of it made her abdominal growl—“I’m now not . . . she’s . . . you . . . ” “Just such as you. lifeless. Undead. Vampire. choose your time period. ” Sebastian took the rainy blouse again and held out a couple of pants. “Step in. ” “I see why you picked her. ” Nikki’s voice drew Eliana’s consciousness. “It’ll virtually be a disgrace while she dies. ” Eliana’s gaze mounted on Nikki. whilst I die? She checked out Sebastian. He picked me? For what? Neither vampire moved for a second; neither spoke; and Eliana wasn’t yes she desired to converse her questions aloud—or if it'll support. “We’re able to go,” she acknowledged. I’m no longer prepared for any of this. probably not. however it was once the following, and he or she felt beautiful definite that obtaining out of the graveyard used to be an excellent first step to anything. confidently whatever that comprises me now not demise. back. Sebastian swept Nicole into his palms. He’d watched Eliana examine either one of them, noticeable her weigh and degree what she may perhaps glean of the placement, and he was once excited. the hot vampire was once awake and indignant, and had no reminiscence of him. After such a lot of lifeless women, he ultimately had the fitting one. This must’ve been what Nicole felt whilst she chanced on me. It was once virtually sufficient to make him forgive her. virtually. “Let’s visit dinner, Nik. ” He couldn’t maintain the tremor out of his voice. Nicole smiled and kissed him with a similar ardour they’d shared for decades—enough in order that he debated one final tumble. yet Eliana was once hungry, and he was once expecting a brand new destiny. With Eliana trailing at the back of them, he carried Nicole in the course of the graveyard and down the road. simply as once we have been first jointly. On what he was hoping may be the final evening, he felt renewed tenderness for her. And desire. not anyone spoke as they made their method throughout the streets to the celebration. Sebastian diminished Nicole to the floor simply outdoors the home, and she or he led them inside of.

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