Vampires of Atlantis (A Love Story) by Brian Stableford.
Review by Sally Startup.
This novel-length story is about love, life, creativity and vampires.
The narrator, telling his tale years after the events he describes, claims to be an inexperienced novel-writer. He admits the dialogue may not have actually occurred word-for-word as he remembers it. This is just as well, because the style of some of the characters’ reported speech does sometimes appear rather literary. However, readers who are prepared to accept this and stay with the novel all the way to the end will be rewarded.
Those who have read Brian’s short story ‘Sheena’, first published in 2000, will also be able to enjoy some extra layers of meaning.
A Yorkshire lad, with a degree in sociology, falls in love with a goth girl. They meet at work in a Leeds call centre in 1999. The girl is very seriously weird. Yet he is utterly in love and will do anything at all to be with her. It quickly becomes clear that his experience of love must take him far beyond anything he has been taught to expect.
As the love affair develops an increasingly gothic tone, the narrator remains infatuated and tender-hearted. However strongly he is able to maintain his own understanding of reality, he is also open to the existence of other interpretations. It is this gentle lack of dogmatism that allows him to love so deeply. He finds himself able – and willing – to become intimate with another, even when her otherness seems extreme. Whether, in the end, this turns out to be a blessing or a curse, each reader must decide for themselves.