Cassandra Duffy, owing to a poor choice of words in a rant about people ranting, has managed to get a bad reputation amongst readers on goodreads. People place her books on shelves with angry names like i-d-rather-be-murdered, as if they’re determined to prove that readers can behave just as badly as they believe the author does.
I don’t think any author deserves to be treated like this. In the modern world, we hear each other talking across the Internet, often losing a lot of context. We need to remember that cultural and language differences can be very subtle and misinterpretation very easy.
Anyway… Cassandra Duffy describes herself as a ‘fang-girl’, and she’s an author of lesbian fiction – and also of a sex advice column. Who better to write about female vampires?
The Last Best Tip (Grift Girls #1), published 2011, comprises a novella (The Last Best Tip) and two short stories (An Eternal Night of Overtime and Haunted House on Top). The three stories are unrelated, and all feature a vampire girl and her human lover, and plenty of graphic sex.
I’m impressed with the imaginative detail. Really impressed. Her stories are fun to read, and she has a nice sense of humour. I’m quite eager to go explore her other works (I’m currently reading the sequel, An Undead Grift for Christmas: the holiday con is on!, which continues the adventures of Lucy and Sasha from The Last Best Tip). If I’m picky, I could complain about the grammar which is occasionally idiosyncratic (I haven’t had an excuse to use that word in years), and I could question the wisdom of having a protagonist in a fugue state for a significant chunk of the tale, but these didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the writing.
(Reading the descriptions of the women in these stories makes me think about how I write about women. I’m a heterosexual male – what do I know about women? Is it absurd for me to have female and non-cis protagonists?)