Single White Vampire Seeks Same – anthology, editors Martin Greenberg & Brittiany Koren
Ah, the search for love or companionship amongst the paranormal set. The unifying theme of the book is that each tale starts with an ad in the Personals columns. The authors of the twelve shorts (ranging from 16 to 40 pages each) include some well-known fantasy/SF names: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Peter Crowther, Esther Friesner, Tanya Huff, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Charles de Lint. And the characters cover the full fantasy range of vampires, werewolves, witches, mythological gods, succubi and even aliens.
In each case, the Personals ad takes an unexpected twist, surprising both the advertiser and the respondents. Most stories have an upbeat focus, with the hero and heroine getting something better than they’d hoped from their “blind date”. What do you do if you advertise for a one-night stand and end up with your soulmate? If an ad mentioned “moonlit strolls, fireside snuggles, warm fuzzies, and the occasional walk on the wild side”, would you realize that the advertiser was a werewolf? How would you word a personals ad if you were a lonely vampire looking for companionship, not another neck to bite? A few of the stories are dark and a bit frightening. For certain people/creatures, placing a personals ad is clearly “looking for love in all the wrong places”.
My favorites were the three werewolf stories in the collection: ‘Fireflies’ by Bradley Sinor, ‘Werotica’ by Esther M. Friesner, and ‘Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Café’ by Charles de Lint. Each had a very different view of werewolves and their culture, but all three were fun.