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Staff Picks Category: Vampires

Dead Collections by Isaac Fellman []



Sol Katz is the head archivist of an LGBTQ historical society, an avid fan of retro sci-fi television, a Jewish trans man, and a vampire. Any sun exposure could kill him, so his work organizing queer ephemera in a windowless basement suits him well. When Elsie, the widow of a well-known television writer, comes to donate her late wife’s papers, Sol is consumed by the project–both because the writer was the showrunner of his favorite 90’s space drama, Feet of Clay, and because of his growing attraction to Elsie. But things begin going wrong in the archive: film reels disintegrate, papers wither into dust, and Sol begins to suspect that a force beyond nature is to blame. As Sol searches for answers and learns more about the writer’s troubled life and career, he also grows closer to Elsie and begins reckoning with the way his vampirism limits and defines his life.
Though it’s easy enough to say that this is a book about a trans vampire archivist, mere description of the plot doesn’t do it justice. It’s a love letter to archives, but it’s also a meticulous and tender exploration of online fan communities and queer media. The story takes on many forms from chapter to chapter, including emails, forum posts, and scripts. This is my favorite book of the year so far, and I especially recommend it to anyone who enjoys explorations of gender, introspective horror, or Star Trek fanfiction.

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