Selina Rosen was born on Groundhog’s Day in 1960. Her first story, “Closet Enlightenment” was published in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine in the Summer 1989 issue. She founded Yard Dog Press in 1995. Through Yard Dog, she published the Bubba series of anthologies as well as novels written by a variety of beginning and mid-list authors. Rosen published her first novels in 1999 through Meisha Merlin. In 2011 Rosen received the Phoenix Award for Lifetime Achievement for the work she did at Yard Dog Press and for supporting and encouraging up and coming authors.
“Food Quart” was purchased by Esther Friesner for Fangs for the Mammaries, a 2010 anthology of humorous vampire stories set in suburbia. It has not been reprinted.
Mark has been working as a nighttime security guard at a suburban mall for three years when he’s called into his boss’s office over an incident the security cameras caught. A body had been found at the mall and while reviewing the evidence, Mark’s boss, Walt, and a local police officer began wondering why Mark didn’t appear in any of the security footage.
Having lived a long time, Rosen’s vampire is unconcerned being discovered. Rather than wait for his interrogators to come to their own conclusions about his nature, Mark admits it. Rosen’s story explores the response the three have to the revelation, from complete disbelief to acceptance to Mark’s plan to quickly leave the area and set up someone else, even as he comes to realize that he had been working at the mall longer than he had stayed in one place since becoming a vampire.
Rosen’s take on vampires is also quite mundane and she looks at what might be important to an immortal being and how they would view the world and protect their own existence. Mark is a long way from the vampires of Bram Stoker or F.W. Murnau or even Stephanie Meyer, offering instead the worldview of a working class version of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain. A final encounter between Mark and Walt provides an unexpected ending for Mark as he prepares to leave for newer pastures.
Reviewed in its only publication in the anthology Fangs for the Mammaries, edited by Esther M. Friesner, Baen Books, 2010.
Steven H Silver is a fifteen-time Hugo Award nominee and was the publisher of the Hugo-nominated fanzine Argentus as well as the editor and publisher of ISFiC Press for 8 years. He has also edited books for DAW and NESFA Press. He began publishing short fiction in 2008 and his most recently published story is “Big White Men—Attack!” in Little Green Men—Attack! Steven has chaired the first Midwest Construction, Windycon three times, and the SFWA Nebula Conference 5 times as well as serving as the Event Coordinator for SFWA. He was programming chair for Chicon 2000 and Vice Chair of Chicon 7. He has been the news editor for SF Site since 2002.