A review of Sandra Kasturi’s The Slowing of the World in Evolve Two: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead (Edge, 2011)
By Derek Newman-Stille
Vampires, living forever and experiencing the world through the longue duree, should be the personification of patience. Predators are known for their ability to wait for long periods of time for their prey, and, when that predator lasts for millennia, their perspective on the world would be one that appreciates small changes over a long period of time.
Sandra Kasturi’s vampires in The Slowing of the World are glacial figures: cold, slow, and deadly. She explores what it would be like to live through so much history: slowly losing the need to stick to the simple categories humanity applies to ideas of life. Her vampires slowly lose their sense of humanity, the impatience that comes with living short lives.
From this long term perspective, vampires are able to view the Earth outside of the human impatience that drives us to destroy the planet for our own convenience. They watch the overpopulation of the world, the pollution and destruction that come from the desire to have everything NOW. But vampires think in terms of millennia, able to see the impact of actions over a long period. They recognise that they need to cool down the hot passion that drives humanity toward its own self-destructiveness. They recognise that sometimes for our own good, we need to gain a new perspective and the only way to slow and cool us down is a worldwide ice age – the personification of slow, cold, isolated pondering.
The perfect story for a long winter evening, Kasturi’s narrative drives ice chips into the blood and leaves us in the state of pondering the world around us that often comes from the isolation and cold of the winter.
To read this story, check out Evolve Two: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead available from Edge: http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/evolvetwo/evolve2-catalog.html . The Ebook version of this book is only $2.99, and the collection contains a whole section on Post Apocalyptic stories. You can explore Sandra Kasturi’s website at http://sandrakasturi.com/ to find out about her projects.