Authors: Jeff Gelb,Michael Garrett
Tags: #Short Stories & Novellas, #Collection.Anthology, #Fiction.Horror
PRAISE FOR THE HOT BLOOD SERIES
The Original Anthologies of All-New
Erotic Horror Fiction
"One of the best-put-together anthologies I've seen in years. . . . Rush out and buy
—but don't say we didn't warn you that you'll be up all night
. . ." —
late at night when the wind is blowing hard and the moon is full." —
"An outstanding collection ... a daring combination of sex and terror . . . mixed with deadly intent by the best writers the horror field has to offer!"
really smokes. Every piece of fiction in
this anthology is superb."
Winner of the Horror Writers Association
Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story
for Nancy Holder's "I Hear the Mermaids Singing"
"An amazing anthology of all-new stories by some of the hottest writers around . . . the kind of anthology every horror writer would kill to crack . . ."
"Not for the weak-hearted or puritanical. .. Seek out this one (or its predecessors) for some naughty
. . ." —
The Hot Blood Series
DEADLY AFTER DARK
SEEDS OF FEAR
HOT BLOOD XI: FATAL ATTRACTIONS
Published by Kensington
HOT BLOOD SERIES
J. N. WILLIAMSON
EDITED BY JEFF GELB AND MICHAEL GARRETT
PINNACLE BOOKS Kensington Publishing Corp.
PINNACLE BOOKS are
Kensington Publishing Corp. 850 Third Avenue New York, NY 10022
Preface copyright © 1995 by Jeff Gelb and Michael Garrett Introduction © 1995 by Brinke Stevens
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or events is entirely coincidental.
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First Pinnacle Books Printing: April 2005
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"Scream Queen" copyright © 1995 by Ronald Kelly
"Hideyhole" copyright © 1995 by Billie Sue Mosiman
"High Concept" copyright © 1995 by J. N. Williamson
"Just a Phone Call Away" copyright © 1995 by John F. D. Taff
"Black and White and Bed All Over" copyright © 1995 by James Crawford
"Handyman" copyright © 1995 by Jeff Gelb
"Airhead" copyright © 1995 by Michael Newton
"Five Seconds" copyright © 1995 by J. L. Comeau
"Sympathy Call" copyright © 1995 by Michael Garrett
"Overeaters Ominous" copyright © 1995 by Stephen R. George
"Grub-Girl" copyright © 1995 by Edward Lee
"Hunger" copyright © 1995 by Kathryn Ptacek
"The Watcher" copyright © 1995 by Rex Miller and Jeff Gelb
"Lullaby & Goodnight" copyright © 1995 by Wayne Allen Sallee
"I Am Joe's Penis" copyright © 1995 by Scott H. Urban
"What You See" copyright © 1995 by Paul Dale Anderson
"The Beast" copyright © 1995 by Larry Tritten
"See Marilyn Monroe's Panties!" copyright © 1995 by Bentley Little
"Devil with a Blue Dress" copyright © 1995 by P. D. Cacek
This book is dedicated to Rod Serling, Richard
Matheson, and Charles Beaumont, without
stories this anthology
might never have been born.
This, the latest in the
series, represents the fifth "date" for our blooming relationship.
We're proud that the
series has proven to be more than a mere one-night stand. We're gratified we've developed an intimate connection with you, the reader. We're happy you've made the commitment, and we hope you'll be with us till death do us part.
This time around we're pleased to present a foreword by Brinke Stevens, world-renowned "Scream Queen," who offers her uniquely informed perspective of eroticism and horror. Within these pages you'll also find first appearances in the series by several notable authors, as well as lurid tales by those who have been with us before. All in all, it's another stimulating package of goose bumps and ants-in-the-pants stories in the
So relax and travel with us, from somewhere south of the
to your own erogenous zones, through stories that would make even Masters and Johnson blush.
And finally, thanks for making this series such a success. It's been good for us, and we hope our performance has satisfied your sexual appetite as well.
A strange thing happened to me during late October of 1993. For two weeks I was staying at a Hyatt Hotel near San Francisco. Every night I was top-billed as a horror movie celebrity at The Scaregrounds, a Halloween theme park. Thus, I obligingly penned my autograph and posed for countless photos. Called a "Scream Queen," I'm a popular, well-respected actress among all those horror B-movies fans. If you like to stay up late watching scary low-budget films on TV, you've probably already seen me at least a dozen times . . . often in steamy shower scenes, or murdered by a crazy driller-killer, or suddenly transformed into a bloodthirsty demoness.
At midnight the crowds wandered home at last. I traded my spike heels for sensible flats, trudged across the empty parking lot to my rental car, and drove too fast up the freeway toward "home" ... my small hotel room. First, I ripped off my long raven wig and slithered out of my familiar black "Evila" costume, then washed the makeup off my face. Now I looked nothing like the glamorous vamp who'd been worshiped by panting fan-boys. Finally I collapsed onto my bed—deeply exhausted, and feeling an inevitable letdown after six hours of intense admiration
. But once the outer public mask came off, I was armed and
my own private fix!
A dozen or so lurid fiction paperback books filled my suitcase.
Ah, pulp fodder for my secret midnight vice!
Among them were
Hot Blood, Hotter Blood,
Really, who could resist such promising titles? Besides, I've known editor Jeff Gelb for almost twenty years—and so I'd dutifully amassed all his anthologies on my dusty library shelf. It wasn't until my Halloween junket that I found enough time in my busy schedule to actually
Each night I promised myself I'd just read ONE story and then fall asleep. But by 3:00 A.M. (and five or six stories later), I realized my relaxation plan was self-defeating. The stories were too sexy, too exciting, too scary! The erotica bordered on pornographic
(but that's not necessarily a bad thing!),
and the horror was pure and unadulterated. After two weeks of devouring those tasty
books, I lost a lot of sleep—but I gained a new obsession.
Often it seems standard B-movie fare involves nudity, terror, sex, and gore—after all, it
tried-and-true commercial formula. I've routinely worked with killers, corpses, blood, and guts . . . and loved every minute of it! So saying, my own films might be considered the cinematic equivalent of erotic horror literature. You may enjoy reading my own insights and perspectives on what I do for a living—as a modern woman who's written and starred in dozens of "erotic horror" exploitation films.
I believe that erotic horror stories, for the most part, are grown-up versions of
Grimm's Fairy Tales
(though the original stories are hardly for children, as you well know). They are little morality plays, revenge stories, tales of what happens when we lose control. Or—more to the point—when we take advantage of something that seems too good to be true. In
(a screenplay I also wrote), I eagerly rented an opulent mansion at bargain-basement rates—and soon paid the dire consequences for it, when the evil ghost of a dead occupant possessed me. And in
Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity,
my seductively generous host, Zed, later turned the tables on me. An unfortunate case of hospitality turning to homicide!
In a similar vein, the "revenge" factor in horror fiction is a holdover from
Tales From the Crypt
comics of the 1950s, wherein the wronged murdered husband returns to snuff his killer (usually an unfaithful wife, you will notice). It is a zombified "karma" sort of deal, often reflected in cinema, as well. In
I clawed my way out of a coffin in the basement while my husband was climaxing with his sleazy blond mistress in our bed. Needless to say, I was slow, brutal, and quite exacting while taking my revenge on them both!
Sex and horror
go together. Sex is a one-way door that, once entered, cannot be exited. It is also an imitation of death. The French, after all, call an orgasm "the little death." People don't like to talk about sex any more than they like to talk about death. Sex is a part of that old reptilian brain. Seemingly, the rational mind turns off. . . and Something Else appears. There is a roar of a dinosaur behind every moan between satin sheets. Sex is mythic (and let's face facts, seldom as good as we think it's going to be), just like horror. You know, the truth shattering the fantasy like glass in an automobile accident. Like the supposedly vampish Brinke admitting to a preference for flannel sleepwear rather than silky lingerie ... as a way of telling the reader that everyone has expectations about sex and eroticism, but they are predicated on images that may or may not reflect reality.
And no one ever tells the truth about sex. It's too personal. It is something that unfolds between lovers. Hence, even more potential horror . . . finding out that your true love is into really odd stuff, or is not exactly what you'd expected. How many times, in erotic horror stories and films, has this theme been a subtext? Just take a look at
in which I'm among a trio of hopelessly nerdy college girls who are ridiculed by cruel frat boys. After holding a seance one dark night, we suddenly transform into voluptuous dolls—and then gleefully slay the same would-be suitors who once rejected us. There's a chilling episode of
too, wherein I play a gorgeous woman who seduces many great artists ... and later collects their very souls. A hidden agenda can be a powerfully frightening thing, indeed.
We all have concrete examples from real life, too. For example, did you ever find a partner who liked to be bitten during sex? It may be something you're uncomfortable with, because it's too close to losing control of the rational mind. But you might eventually like it, anyway.
is the final aspect of the sex-horror connection . . . finding out things about yourself that you really didn't want to know.
Possibly, it was a bold stroke to write a bondage scene for myself in
But you'll also see me tied to a pillar on the video box cover
of Ladies of the Lotus.
I was chained to a dungeon wall in black lingerie. A year later, in
I was bound topless to a cross. The director, Fred Olen Ray, cocked an eyebrow and queried, "What is it with you, Stevens? Do you
for these parts?" No, it must be a mere coincidence ... yet I can only think I've come to enjoy it a little too much, perhaps. We naively think we know ourselves, and we do not. The comfort of our identity is twisted by something that's beyond our control. The Beast is always there—it is a wild heat that stays in the veins. And supposedly, we take off our chains along with our clothing. In my business, I apparently look for others to put them on me.
Until about 1980, sex was definitely guilt-free. It was the era of Erica Jong's infamous "zipless fuck." Sex without fear, and often without much emotional commitment. Then AIDS reared its retroviral head. Once described as "the little death," sex could now be death for real. Sex became even more mythic, even more linked with the symbolism of death. All we had to fear before was rejection, or the occasional scary partner (the Date from Hell is another fecund horror theme, right?). Now we had real death confronting the threat of ego-death.
So the concept of a femme fatale—a beautiful, sexually aggressive woman—becomes very important to men. And because it is (quite frankly) uncommon, it makes the mind revolve around such cautionary-tale archetypes as lamias, vampires, succubi, and so on. Writer Hazel-Dawn Dumpert said: "Murderers, vampires, ghosts can be frightening, yes. A crazy dame? Now
scary." She also suggested that family values define woman as a nurturing force. A woman is an element of the earth itself—they don't call it Mother Nature for nothing. She's the link to physical and emotional survival. If a kink throws the womanly works off kilter, if they're perverted in any way, the results can be catastrophic. We all
know what horrors are
unleashed when bizarre circumstances transform beneficent babes into creatures of evil.
In fiction, a feminine monster is generally not brought into the world in the usual way. Instead, her origin lies in some pagan effrontery—or in the release of an ancient malevolence, now free to violate the nubile bodies of innocent coeds. Consider that disastrous seance wherein I evoked a succubus in
And that ugly, vicious imp I accidentally freed from a bowling trophy in
my own bloodthirsty immortality was the result of a vile pact with a demon.
In movies and literature, it's always a good idea to ask: Why is this gorgeous woman coming on so strong like that? If it's too good to be true, there must be a catch. In real life, I believe this is a major psychological difference between men and women: ego reinforcement. That isn't to say the majority of men will turn down sex when it's offered to them, even by strange women. But don't think men aren't suspicious of the situation. Even for the most testosterone-driven men, sex is scary. You are going off into the metaphorical dark with someone you don't know well, and getting as close to her as is physically possible.
Sex and death ... as in Ramsey Campbell's cleverly titled book,
That is why sex is always more than simply sex. It ties in with all kinds of issues. It is a
Remember what Woody Allen said about sex and death? "Two things that only happen once in a lifetime." We joke about it, but sex is scary. These concerns about sex and death, about the Beast within, are all throughout our popular culture: in songs, books, and films. In this decade of white-trash glamour, we even get it delivered to us daily by
inside our own living rooms.
Men's erotica is more broadly humorous, while women's erotica tends to be more philosophical and high-minded. Truism: different strokes for different folks. And it isn't just men, of course. Women have their own kinks in their psychological garden hoses, too. It reminds me a bit of the Victorian female attitude about sex, and why Count Dracula was so appealing both then and now. Victorian women weren't supposed to like sex, or to be wanton. It was control, then as now, that was important. Stephen King described the underlying theme thusly: The vampire was saying to these chaste Victorian ladies, "I will fuck you with my mouth, and you will love it."
He is right, too. For both sexes, the concept of losing control in romance is somehow very attractive. I
couldn't help myself becomes
a catch phrase . . . I
It is the most human of states: to want to feel good, to feel better, or to not feel at all. We learn secrecy, new definitions of the truth. And a certain sense of assault develops in whatever mirror we choose to look into . . . because we take off many thousands of years of civilization when we dive beneath the sheets.
I doubt women can appreciate how scary sex is for men. Perhaps this is why erotic horror pretty much revolves around a male readership. Since much of horror has gone the rather messy splatterpunk direction, that may be a limiting factor for some women's appreciation of the genre. But I think there are a lot of females who, like myself, enjoy erotic horror immensely. What about Camille Paglia, the bogeyman of feminism, admitting to a great love of bodice ripper novels, complete with the bare-chested man bending the gasping maiden near double over a stone bench! And THIS from a committed foe of the paternalistic, woman-bashing status quo?
Guiltlessly, I'll admit my obsession for these wonderful erotic horror stories. So it's my great pleasure to welcome you to another spectacular volume of
Right now it is time to dim the lights, pull
the covers up to your chin, and delve into these little gems of exotic terror
(and if you're in bed with a significant
other, be sure to check for fangs first!).