ISBN 0 812 53874 9
St Martin's Press
New York City, late 20th Century: the current resting place of Victor
Renquist, undead master of a vampire colony.
As a thousand-year survivor in his nosferatu role, Renquist is all too painfully aware of what happens when vampires allow their natural bloodlust to rampage unchecked: despite their awesome powers they are eventually compromised, exposed for what they are, and subject to violent retribution by their erstwhile human prey. Under Victor's leadership, therefore, the colony maintains a quiet, almost bourgeois existence: a discreet kill here and there, but mostly living on prepacked blood bought nefariously from city hospitals. More than anything, Victor wants to prevent his clan from succumbing to the Feasting frenzy.
Except that just lately a few mangled and drained human corpses have begun turning up in very public places. Some of the colony are breaking the rules – Victor detects the work of the wild young clique headed by Carfax, formerly a spoilt and decadent minor rock star, now a similarly ill-disciplined vampire. Already, a couple of sceptical and determined NYPD detectives have traced one of the deceased back to the colony, and have linked up with a renegade Catholic priest who, fully cognisant of the colony's true nature, hopes to absolve himself from his own grievous sins by exterminating Renquist and all his brood.
As the hunters close in and the faction fight explodes into open warfare, Victor seeks guidance in primitive ritual, in the wisdom of his longtime companion, Cynara, and in dreams of the Old Ones, star-god creators of Victor and his kind.
A complete departure from the psychedelia and sci-fi of earlier novels, The Time Of Feasting is a powerful brew of vampirism, the Cthulhu mythos and Taxi Driver-style urban alienation. Farren's vampires are hip, cynical and deadly, and Victor Renquist is the ultimate Byronic aristocrat of the night.
|Author's comment||See Mick Farren's Collected Works|
|Availability||Fairly common online, some new copies offered here and there.|
|Excerpt (by permission)||
Carfax removed his dark
glasses, and Renquist wondered if it was a sign of compromise or just the
gloves coming off. Then he saw that Carfax's eyes were suffused with
fresh blood. The young one hadn't been just feeding, he'd been gorging
mindlessly, far beyond any physical or spiritual need. Carfax had something
to prove and his first question more than confirmed this.
"Are you going to make an issue of this, Victor?"
Renquist reached the foot of the stairs and halted a couple of paces from the three young ones and the inert human. "You don't think it's an issue already?"
"Is following our nature an issue?"
"Flaunting your nature is just plain stupid."
Carfax replaced his sunglasses. "You are making it an issue."
Renquist took a deep breath. "I think you made it an issue when you left the body of the Underwood woman in Central Park Lake."
Carfax and Julia glanced quickly at each other. They reminded Renquist of guilty children and he made his displeasure plain. "Did you really think I wouldn't connect it?"
Julia pouted slightly. "You fed from her."
"That was two years ago and I was careful."
Carfax stiffened slightly. "We've finished with being careful. We're going to be free"
"There's a difference between free and making the cover of the New York Post. How many more bodies are out there waiting to be discovered?"
"That depends on how hard the humans care to look."
Renquist was not about to tolerate any more of this bombast. Carfax had to be so gorged from overfeeding that he'd lost what little reason he'd ever possessed. In his own way, he was as drunk as the dysfunctional Lana. He turned to Julia. "Are you as overstimulated as he is?"
Julia avoided looking directly at Renquist. "What he does is his own business."
Clearly she was the more rational of the two. Renquist focused all of his attention on her. "You may think that bucking my authority is a game, but the truth is you're putting everyone in the colony at risk. When the others start to realize this, they may have less patience than I do. There's a history of colonies turning on groups that threatened their collective security. It's always very ugly and very violent."