Strigoi • 2012 • SF novelette by Lavie Tidhar

★★★

Are you sick of vampire stories? Then this one isn’t probably the right thing for you, as the eponymous strigoi or Shambleau are data vampires – they empty their victims of their past, living of the intimate memories of their victims. Why they need vampire fangs and draw blood as well, I don’t know. The story is about young runaway Carmel, who was turned into a vampire the classic way. Now she has come to Central Station, looking for Boris Chong, a medical with a Martian parasite which blocks her from feeding.

Carmel is a believable character with her naivety, her fear of being discovered contrasting the power that she has become, her intense relationship with an artist.

The story is mostly about world-building and quite weak on the plot side – similarly to most of his other Central Station stories. But the embedded details – Barsoom-like four-armed Martians, MMORPGs transferring to real life, robotniks begging for spare parts, or poems written in asteroid pidgin, just to name a few – make the story immersive and vivid.

Meta: ISFDB. First published September 2012 in Interzone #242. Set in the Central Station Series. I’ve read it in Central Station.

 

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