Dinner at Deviant's Palace

In a post-apocalyptic California, Gregorio Rivas is famous musician, proficient at playing a stringed instrument called a pelican. In this fascinating society where liquor has become currency, a religious cult, known as the Jaybirds, has emerged around one Norton Jaybush. Rivas had been a Jaybird in his youth, but with good luck and sharp wits he was able to extricate himself before becoming too far-gone. Afterwards he made a fairly good living as a redemptionist, paid by parents to retrieve and un-brainwash their children. He had given that up to concentrate on his music until now. Now the father of his first love, Urania, has come to hire him to save her from the Jaybirds. Rivas agrees to try.

Along the way he runs into a bizarre creature known as a hemogoblin. I quote from page 70: "...they were most commonly encountered in the southern hills, and started out as almost invisible cellophanelike bags that drifted through the air until they could attach themselves to an open wound; they expanded and took on human shape and reddish color as they ingested more and more of the blood of their host, until finally the host expired and the vitalized hemogoblin was able to walk around and hunt rather than just fly randomly, like a dandelion seed, on the wind." (And I thought I had been so careful about letting no breathers watch me feed and live to tell the tale!) Rivas encounters other colorful characters as well, and has astounding adventures which eventually lead him to the dinner at Deviant's Palace from which the title comes. Deviant's Palace is nearly indescribable, but the sign out front reads "DEVIANT'S PALACE, Steaks, Unconventional Seafood, Progressive Cocktails. Meditation Chapel! Petting Zoo! Souvenir Shop! GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Explicit Scenes & Offensive Sounds." I think you get a feel for the place.

This is a wonderfully creative story. Mr. Powers paints a detailed portrait of everyday life and extraordinary events in a very plausible post-nuclear-disaster world. His characters, though undeniably quirky, are still consistent and believable. While the vampiric hemogoblin character plays only a supporting role in the story, I would still highly recommend this book to creatures on the list. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading it again some day.

I would give it an enthusiastic four and a half fangs out of five. :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-L

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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