The Hunger and Ecstasy of Vampires

by Brian Stableford
Release date: 1996
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, horror

It is January 1895. An Eastern European Count arrives in London, fleeing from La Sûreté and vile rumors involving vampirism and the spoliation of young women. While dining with his old acquaintance Oscar Wilde, the count is invited to hear a strange tale told by an anthropologist who has found a means of traveling through time. Uneasy at first because this time traveler appears to be acquainted with Bram Stoker - who once entertained the rumor-monger responsible for his flight across Europe - the Count eventually agrees to accompany Wilde. The Count, however, is far from the only unusual member of Wilde's entourage: the other witnesses to the tale include a young man in the process of publishing his own account of a time-traveler's adventures, a respected scientist who is also a pillar of the Psychical Research Society, and a grey- eyed man who likes to think of himself as a "consulting detective". But it is the Count who hears news that revives his desolate spirit, and the Count whose life is most profoundly changed by the experience. He is, after all, the man best equipped to savor the hunger and ecstasy of vampires.
(updated 2010-09-07)

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