Love, Murder & Mayhem – A Few Words About Invasive Maneuvers

By Hildy Silverman

Why did I choose a story for the upcoming Love, Murder & Mayhem anthology with characters more often associated with horror/urban fantasy for a science fiction story?

In part because I’ve wanted to revisit Frederic Dravyn, the beleaguered vampire lord of a bloodline in suburban New Jersey, ever since I wrote the first story featuring him for a previous anthology. The original story took a humorous look at a serious subject — how suburbs divided along racial, religious, economic, or similar lines can take the first steps toward integration despite those differences. If you’re familiar at all with very diverse towns like Piscataway (yes, that’s the real name of a real place), you’ll get the idea.

This time, I saw the chance to introduce aliens to a town full of vampires, werewolves, witches, and humans as a way of taking this exploration to the next level. When the species inhabiting Piscataway are faced with hostile outsiders, they’re motivated to unite their town beyond fundamental tolerance. They’ve been co-existing up until now by keeping to their own enclaves – separate, but equal – but many still maintain prejudices against one another. But that’s no longer good enough if they want their community as a whole to survive, thanks to the aliens.

Now they have to truly connect with their neighbors and band together against a common threat. The aliens themselves represent three races that only differ from one another in the most superficial, cosmetic way, yet simply cannot, will not, surmount their mutual hatred in order to survive. This shows our Piscatawayans just how bad things can get if they continue to allow simmering bigotry and self-segregation to outweigh all other considerations.

I couldn’t resist exploring a familiar trope – the worldly immortal who somehow falls for a regular and vastly younger human. I’ve always been amused by the idea that a vampire who existed for centuries could find any sort of commonality with a human. As Dravyn wonders, what would a vampire/human couple even find to talk about? How could they ever be anything close to equals in a relationship? It was fun to follow a line of internal story logic that I think (I hope) makes his attraction for human neighbor, Diana, at least somewhat believable.

This story was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoy reading it, too!

Love, Murder & Mayhem is now available for sale both in print and ebook formats.

Hildy Silverman is the publisher of Space and Time, a 50-year-old magazine featuring fantasy, horror, and science fiction ( She is also the author of several works of short fiction, including  “The Darren” (2009, Witch Way to the Mall?, Friesner, ed), “Sappy Meals” (2010, Fangs for the Mammaries, Friesner, ed), “The Bionic Mermaid Returns” (2014, With Great Power…, French, ed.), “The Great Chasm” (co-authored w/David Silverman, 2016, Altered States of the Union, Hauman, ed.), and “A Scandal in the Bloodline” (2017, Baker Street Irregulars, Ventrella & Maberry, eds.). In 2013, she was a finalist for the WSFA Small Press Award for her story, “The Six Million Dollar Mermaid” (Mermaids 13, French, ed). In the “real” world, she is a Marketing and PR Specialist at Sivantos, Inc.

Twitter: @SpaceandTimeMag

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