‘The Power and the Passion’ by Pat Cadigan

I suppose that if there is an undercurrent to this little list – other than an obvious I-like-genre-stuff slant – it might be authors who have maybe been unfairly overlooked by the Cool Kids of Culture. Pat Cadigan fits the bill. Pat is hardly unknown in science fiction, but I don’t think she’s ever quite received the due she deserves for formulating some of the stuff that the Gibsons and Sterlings and Stephensons have been (rightly) celebrated for. She is also a versatile writer.

‘The Power and the Passion’ is a vampire story. With a twist. Like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (♫‘Two great tastes in one candy bar…’♫), it brings together a pair of great monsters: vampires and serial killers. 

(Of course, Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein combined three great monsters way back in 1948. But I digress. And perhaps offer too many parenthetical asides.) 

Cadigan’s voice here – a first person, very disturbing, psychopathic killer with a secret up his sleeve – is rip-roaring fun. The tale is a thrill ride, yes, but she also has a serious point to make about who and what is monstrous in this world. Not always so easy to know, is it?

First published in Patterns, Ursus, 1989