The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Vampire Tapestry is a sequential grouping of five periods, related in linked stories, in the life of Dr. Edward Weyland, a vampire masquerading as an anthropologist and academician. Part 1, “The Ancient Mind at Work,” depicts Weyland as a sexually attractive vampire and wealthy academician involved with a sleep research center at Cayslin College, where he preys on his experimental subjects. Katje de Groot, an expatriate South African Boer and widow of a Cayslin professor, discovers that Weyland is a vampire. Mrs. de Groot ignores race and gender politics until a series of rapes take place on campus. She identifies Weyland as the rapist but understands him, saying “But I am myself a hunter!” She shoots him. Weyland is a vampire of a different sort: He can be injured by a bullet. He is a natural rather than a supernatural being.

In part 2, “The Land of Lost Content,” Weyland falls into the hands of petty criminals Roger and Mark, who work with a satanist, Reese. The vampire is a victim, placed on display. Reese examines Weyland’s mouth and determines that there are no fangs but a stinger on the underside of the tongue that “probably erects itself at the prospect of dinner, makes the puncture through which he sucks blood, then folds back out of sight again.” Powerless, Weyland is forced to feed in public for the voyeuristic delight of Reese’s followers. Finally, Mark allows Weyland to feed on him, saving Weyland from...

(The entire section is 492 words.)