Short Fiction Friday: A Kiss With Teeth

A Kiss With Teeth by Max Gladstone 
Vlad has grown distant from his wife. His son has trouble at school. And he has to keep his sharp teeth hidden.

By now you all should know who Max Gladstone is and that he is currently one of my favorite authors. His Craft Sequence series is just pitch perfect. Though he has already written 4 full length books in the series there aren't yet (hint) any short stories set in this universe. Instead Max Gladstone has written two stand alone short stories, The Angelus Guns, which I reviewed a month orso back and one that came out just last week A Kiss With Teeth. For me it is by writing such a diverse set of stories that Max Gladstone does mark himself to be a very all-round author.

So without going all fanboyish on his Craft Sequence story here are my thoughts on A Kiss With Teeth.

I was always very averse to vampires until I read the story James Lovegrove which showed them in a pretty cool light. In A Kiss With Teeth, Max Gladstone shows a very interesting take on vampire fiction, not ones that glamour young innocent girls or that suck human completely dry. No, in A Kiss With Teeth we follow a vampire turned father and husband and who tries to make the best of it all. From the go you are introduced to Vlad, a vampire, who is trying to live a normal life with a steady day job and a loving wife. Over the last couple of years he has fought hard to keep his sharp teeth hidden and hadn't had the need for a drop of blood. His son, Paul, is preforming not up to standards and Vlad's wife asks him to talk to his teacher to try to find out what is happening but this might just be the start of something... as Vlad's primal urges are being tickled once he meets Paul's teacher. The frequency of the meeting to talk about Pauls progress increases and Vlad urges only build up more and more until something just has to give... But don't expect the ending that I am luring you into just yet as Max Gladstone will utterly surprise you in the end! 

As I have come to learn by Max Gladstone stories is to take nothing at face value and A Kiss With Teeth again proves me right. As I already mentioned vampires are often build with several stereotypes that Max Gladstone nicely avoids. Vlad's attempts of being a normal father and husband in the best way he can, which is not often seen. I really liked how Vlad try to connect with his son and after somethings happened how he changes and everything became less forces just like it should be. His wife, has taken the precautions though that if Vlad would ever give into his urges, holywater on the nightstand and a gun with silver bullets in a safe just to be save (no pun intended!). 

A Kiss With Teeth is far from a horror campire bloodsucking kind of story, instead it focuses on some heretofore unseen aspect associated with vampirism. It's a short read that you don't want to miss. Nice breaking of stereotypes, just what Max Gladstone does best!

Read the full story here


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