30 Days of Night: Three Tales
by Steve Niles, various artists (IDW, 2006)

The vampire world first defined by Steve Niles during a sunless month in Barrow, Alaska, continues in this book of new stories.

The first," Picking Up the Pieces," is directly related to Barrow, as resident John Ikos, attempting to study a dead vampire, inadvertently brings it back to life. The second, "The Journal of John Ikos," follows him to California as he attempts to undo his mistake and runs instead into a pack of vampires eager to wipe out the entire human race. (I have no idea where they expect to get dinner if they succeed.)

But it's the final saga that really held my interest. In "Dead Space," an astronaut is bitten on the night before a shuttle launch, and soon the shuttle crew, the rescue team and the team at the international space station are involved in a violent and bloody mess. In space, there's nowhere to run -- and the undead don't need spacesuits, either.

Three Tales continues the gorefest Niles started in Barrow as he creates and refines a vampire mythos that has nothing to do with the pale and elegant creatures of recent popular fiction. These guys don't sip, they rend, and even their unflagging thirst won't stop them from spilling gallons of blood in the process.

review by
Tom Knapp

3 November 2007

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