John Steakley’s Vampire$ stakes out territory we have seen before, but nobody would dare bite this book’s remarkable style. Pitting vampires against the Catholic church might have been done before, but never with belt buckles quite this big, nor blues guitar quite so searing!
We’re heading to Texas, to clean out vampire nests one hometown at a time, and if we have to dress like dang-ol’ crusaders to do it, then that’s what we’re by gxd gonna do. Polish up your skull ring(s) and get ready for some segments we haven’t done in a WHILE, because it’s time to confront the ancient evil most prevalent in smalltown Texas: guys in leather pants.
NOTE: we did miss a couple things, so before you run out to your local bookstore to camp out in front of its doors to demand your own copy of Vampire$, you should know that this paperback does feature: a deeply misogynistic “joke” about a sex worker; the phrase “outgunned and terrified police” working in a predominantly black neighborhood; and the following passage: “What women needed. What women craved. What they had to have. Release. Abandon. Wantonness. Penetration.”
Not balancing this out, but still worth mentioning: there is an explicit moment where a character advocates no-platforming the vampire menace, which is pretty funny; there’s also one of the first documentations of trolling we’ve ever seen, involving one character yelling at another “Hey! Tell me about your dick.”. Definitely didn’t see that one coming. Anyway, it’s all a rich tapestry.