Sons of Darkness: Tales of men, blood and immortality

One of the first gay vampire anthologies to be published, Sons of Darkness (which was followed by the sequel Brothers of Night), was unfortunately a disappointing read for me. Unfortunately the collection is out of print and hard to find at a fair price. However to fully appreciate the anthology, it’s worth remembering how early this book is.

If you have not yet read a gay vampire novel or story, starting with Sons of Darkness or Brothers of the Night will give you a better appreciation for these sophomoric works. However comparing the stories to most post-millennium works of fiction might leave the reader disappointed. The characters throughout these stories are more often victims to the vampires rather than fortunate additions to the night.

Like it’s sibling, Sons of Darkness features stories written in the mid-1990s and aids often factor into the story lines, which is appropriate given the connotations associated with blood and becoming “infected” by a vampire. Those themes were well served and make for good literature, though not satisfying for vampiric content.

While overall a good read, now decades out of print finding a copy of Sons of Darkness is very difficult and not worth the effort given the storylines.

That said, waiting for the Vampire by William J. Mann is probably one of the best stories in the collection. The too-short My Greatest Fear by C. Dean Anderson cuts off too quickly and the reader is left unsure of the anti-hero’s next move. The anthology includes Wet by M. Christian (also featured in the anthology Bloodlust), as well as contributions by better-known authors Poppy Z. Brite and Nancy Kilpatrick, though the stories were far more gothic and traditional horror tales. Kilpatrick’s The Game ends on a twist, though the language is poetic and vague, leaving the reader confused and needing a second read.

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