Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Bloody Red Baron - Kim Newman

"She was the last woman in London to go for the chop.

Unbound, Geneviève's hair was long enough to sit on. Before her monthly coma, she combed and arranged it like an eiderdown. She always woke up three days later to find it wound into a rope. Usually, around her neck — as if her unconscious needed to remind her she should have been dead for five hundred years. From now on, her unconscious could keep its opinion to itself.

This evening, she would become 'modern'.

Her appointment at M. Eugene was for just after sunset. The salon was Cox and Box. Open round the clock: different staff, different clientele by day and by night. She didn't particularly need to shun the sun, especially in this dreary English autumn, but kept vampire hours anyway. Nearly fifty years after Dracula stepped into the moonlight, warm and undead shared the city in reasonably civilised manner. The former Prince Consort had quit the country, leaving claw-marks on everything from the pre-broken 'Transylvanian' crenellations of Tower Bridge to the ugly bat frescoes of the Sir Francis Varney Memorial. Thanks to a de facto revolution, at least two coups, one world war and late-coming electoral reform, everything had changed again. Everything kept changing, to the accelerated, syncopated rhythm of the American music she heard in cafés and dance halls in Berlin, Paris and London. In England for the first time since before the War, even Geneviève was changing."

3.5 out of 5