The Golden

Overview

Deviating from traditional tales that feature lonely vampires who prowl through human society in search of victims or solace, this account of vampires flourishing in their own "inhuman society" takes place in the year 1860, when their centuries-long breeding experiments have finally produced "The Golden," a mortal whose blood is perfect and powerful. Mobilized by the news of this discovery, aristocratic vampire clans arrive at the looming Castle Banat, where they plan to partake of the sublime blood. To their ...

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The Golden

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Overview

Deviating from traditional tales that feature lonely vampires who prowl through human society in search of victims or solace, this account of vampires flourishing in their own "inhuman society" takes place in the year 1860, when their centuries-long breeding experiments have finally produced "The Golden," a mortal whose blood is perfect and powerful. Mobilized by the news of this discovery, aristocratic vampire clans arrive at the looming Castle Banat, where they plan to partake of the sublime blood. To their shock, the guests find that The Golden, a young girl, has been brutally murdered and her blood already drained. The story also follows the Inspector Michael Beheim—a recent vampire—assigned to track down the killer. Recounted in full 19th-century literary style with gothic elements and foreshadowing, the inspector navigates his way through the vampire world and the crime therein.

The Golden won the 1994 Locus Award for best horror novel.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Kudos to Golden Gryphon Press for reissuing Lucius Shepard's The Golden, a largely underappreciated 1993 vampiric masterpiece (and winner of the 1994 Locus Award for Best Horror Novel) that mixes gothic fantasy and police procedural mystery with intensely erotic and darkly disturbing romance.

In the late 19th century, newbie vampire Michel Beheim -- former chief of detectives for the Paris police -- arrives at Castle Banat with his lord, Roland Agenor, to witness a Decanting with the entire extended European vampiric Family. The rare ritual involves sampling the blood of the Golden, the mortal result of a centuries-long breeding program to produce the "rarest of essences, a vintage of unsurpassing flavor and bouquet." But when the Golden is viciously murdered before the Decanting, the godlike patriarchal head of the vampire clans chooses Beheim to direct the investigation. The meager clues, however, lead the ex-detective headlong into unfathomably deep Family intrigues, and the farther Beheim travels into the hellish castle (an immeasurable construct of "mutant geometry"), the closer he comes to understanding the sacred Mysteries of the undead -- and eternal damnation.

Aficionados of novels that delve into the vampire mythos should seriously contemplate adding this limited-run edition to their bloodsucking library. Shepard's The Golden is one of those rare literary works that redefine the boundaries of a well-trodden motif and simultaneously breathe new life into it. A dark, poetic phantasmagoria of nightmarish images, brutal violence, and unholy sensuality, it's simply not to be missed. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nebula and World Fantasy award winner Shepard ( Kalimantan, The Ends of the Earth ) here enters the current vampire novel sweepstakes, breathing new life into some shopworn conventions with flowing, seductive prose and lush imagery. Young vampire Michel Beheim comes to the Castle Banat in Eastern Europe with his mentor, Lord Roland Agenor, for the ritual Decanting, at which the extended vampire Family will share in the rare blood of the specially bred victim called the Golden. But when the Golden is brutally murdered before the event, Agenor puts Beheim, once chief of detectives for the Paris police, in charge of the investigation. Soon the young vampire is embroiled in family intrigues and facing the fearsome Patriarch of the vampires himself. Beheim's investigation becomes an odyssey of personal growth as he confronts his vampire nature with all its internal conflicts, including his uncertain feelings for his human servant, Giselle, and his growing love for a lovely vampire, Lady Alexandra Conforti, whom he cannot bring himself to trust. Shepard adds a wild, phantasmagoric element to his vampire lore through the sprawling mystery of Castle Banat, and through his focus on vampires interacting among themselves rather than roaming the world of mortals as do the caped counts and modern nightclub stalkers who crowd most nosferatu novels. (Feb.)
PARSEC
Few works of vampire fiction refresh their exhausted, clichéd subject. But THE GOLDEN imparts vibrant energy to the old corpse, more even than Brian Stableford did in THE EMPIRE OF FEAR (1988) or Suzy McKee Charnas in THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY (1979). THE GOLDEN is, however implausibly, an original vampire novel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930846388
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 203
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucius Shepard is a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award and has also received the Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards for science fiction writing. His work has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Omni, Playboy, and Spin. He is the author of Green Eyes, A Handbook of American Prayer, and Life During Wartime, and the collected stories in Two Trains Running. He lives in Vancouver, Washington.

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