Identify collection of sci fi & fantasy short stories
July 21, 2008 5:16 AM   Subscribe

Desperate to locate collection of short stories, with a variety of themes, including fantasy, sci fi, and straight ahead spy/espionage, all by the same author. I read this in the early 80's, but seem to remember the book being older - possibly 1960's? One of the stories was about an alien (also I think capable of shape shifting?) immortal vampire, being chased through the galaxies and who eventually crash-lands on an uninhabited planet. Because he can't die, and being a vampire he is doomed to a horrible fate, as the planet has no night period.
posted by ricardo to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It isn't Harlan Ellison by any chance is it? I'm pretty sure I read that story too in the early 80s, which would be the time when I was reading a lot of Ellison.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:00 AM on July 21, 2008

For some reason I am flashing on A.E. Van Vogt or Theodore Sturgeon, but I can't be more specific than that.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:24 AM on July 21, 2008

Curses. I distinctly remember this story, but I can't recall the author. I am somewhat inclined to suspect Larry Niven or Damon Knight (I thought it might be Knight's story "Eripmav", but I think that one is a different vampire-story-with-a-twist-ending.)

I don't think it was Harlan Ellison--I recall it as being too lighthearted for that. I will continue to rack my brains and see what I can come up with.
posted by fermion at 10:07 AM on July 21, 2008

Oh, and here is an Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections if you want to poke through it yourself.
posted by fermion at 10:13 AM on July 21, 2008

Another story from this collection features a man forced into exile, who speaks (in first person) of his disgust and dismay at what he believes to be his betrayal. The twist as best I can remember is that the chap in question is Satan, and the being who he claims to have treated him so unfairly is God. I am starting to wonder if my recollection is wrong - perhaps it was a collection of short stories selected by the anthologist?
posted by ricardo at 11:14 AM on July 21, 2008

I believe you may have seen these stories in the Isaac Asimov-edited 100 Great Fantasy Short Stories, which came out in 1984.

The story about Satan is Eric Frank Russell's Displaced Person. The details are a little different, but your vampire story is, I think, Malzberg and Pronzini's Opening a Vein.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:07 PM on July 22, 2008

Wow thank you all so much for the feedback. what I can say so far is that Eric Frank Russell's Displaced Person is not the story I am looking for (though I did enjoy reading it, thank you Chrysostom). My memory has been nudged a little more, and I think we (the reader) are led to believe the disgruntled exiled person is a wounded astronaut, only to realise it is in fact Lucifer who has somehow been left/abandoned and physically severely injured. How I don't fully remember but I think the idea of the "Fallen Angel" was worked on by the author, literally, and the devil somehow falls from Grace after a power struggle with God, and spends the next few Millennia recovering and hatching his revenge plot. God, its so strange how all this is coming back to me, only now. Thanks again to you all, but please don't give up on racking your brains!

Were there actually 100 stories in the Asimov anthology? If so, thats not the book, as the book I remember did not have so many stories.
posted by ricardo at 7:05 AM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Isaac Asimov also edited 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, which I believe has your "vampire lands on a planet with no sun" story - "The Long Night" by Ray Russell.
posted by Lucinda at 7:16 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bingo! Thank you so much Lucinda! A bit of googling has revealed that the Vampire Story was also known as "The exploits of Argo" in some editions, which I am now 100% certain is the one. I have now discovered the book I have been racking my brains about for all these years is by Ray Russell - called "Sardonicus And Other Stories". The other story, about Satan as an exile, is called "I am Returning."

Thanks and gratitude to you all for taking the time to help me.
posted by ricardo at 4:12 AM on July 27, 2008

« Older Scrooge McDuck on a Budget   |   Anyone got a room for rent in Fullerton, CA? How... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.