Robert Weinberg Presents
Vampires Overhead Audiobook
by Alan Hyder
Read by Milton Bagby
The June 1983 issue of the Twilight Zone magazine contained a short but fascinating article by noted horror writer, editor, fan, and collector, Karl Edward Wagner, on the 13 Best Horror Novels ever published. But because Karl had such winding, obscure tastes he was not able to fit all of his choices into one list. Instead he produced three—one effort consisting of supernatural horror, one for science fiction horror, and one for non-supernatural horror (mainstream fiction). His choices ranged from the familiar to the forgotten. Last month we brought you The Maker Of Shadows by Jack Mann from his supernatural listing.
As a follow-up to that novel and a special Halloween treat, this month we present another title from the Wagner list, this time from the Science Fiction category. One of the famous Creeps series published in England, it is a unique horror story that describes a vampire invasion from outer space. The monsters are definitely “Vampires Overhead!”
The author of this forgotten classic of horror fiction was Alan Hyder. As best as can be determined, Vampires Overhead was Hyder’s only work of horror fiction. His name was not listed in the massive Bleiler Index to Supernatural Fiction or Mike Ashley’s comprehensive guides to horror writers of the past century. Even more telling, Hyder did not have any fiction in the Creeps Short Story Library published by Philip Allan, of which Vampires Overhead was part of the series. We were left to conclude that Hyder was a one-idea wonder who sold his one spectacular story to the Creeps series and then left the publishing world forever.
The concept for Vampires Overhead is a unique one and definitely something out of science fiction, not fantasy or the supernatural. The Earth is overrun by a cloud of monsters from outer space. These monsters, numbering in the hundreds of millions, are some sort of cosmic vampire bat and they arrive on Earth hungry for blood. No explanation is given for the origin of the bats or how they survive in outer space. They just are. Vampires Overhead is a cosmic disaster novel, very much similar to Garrett Serviss’s The Second Deluge, published nearly thirty years earlier. But where Serviss has the Earth engulfed by a gigantic cosmic water cloud and most everyone drowned, Hyder imagines a swarm of near indestructible bats attacking humanity. It is an unforgettable novel of interstellar menace! Read by Milton Bagby.
Chapter 1: The Coming Of Bingen
Chapter 2: The Tunnel Beneath The Brewery
Chapter 3: The First Of The Vampires
Chapter 4: The River Through The Dead City
Chapter 5: The Finding of the Screamer
Chapter 6: The Flight Across The Marshes
Chapter 7: The Valley Of Security
Chapter 8: The Killing Of The Stranger
Chapter 9: The Opal Ring
Chapter 10: The Death of Bingen
Chapter 11: The Future!
Robert Weinberg, Series Editor, in fifth grade read The Devil and Daniel Webster, by Stephen Vincent Benet, and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he wanted to become a writer. It’s a dream he’s followed since. During the past 57 years, Bob has written and sold nearly 150 short stories, 19 novels, 18 non-fiction books and more than two dozen comic book scripts. He’s edited more than 200 anthologies and short story collections. Bob’s work has been published in 20 countries and 15 languages.
He’s won 2 Bram Stoker Awards, for writing and editing, given by the Horror Writers Association; 2 World Fantasy Awards; and 2 Society of Technical Writers Awards for his non-fiction science books. He served 2 terms as Vice President of the Horror Writers Association. He’s the only person in the history of the organization to win the group’s Silver Hammer Award for service to the association 2 times. Bob also was on the Board of Trustees for the World Fantasy Convention for 24 years. In 2005, Bob was Guest-of-Honor at Robert E. Howard Days held in Cross, Plains, Texas. Later that same year, was Guest-of-Honor at the World Fantasy Convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1983, Bob was given a Lamont Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Directors of PULPcon, the convention for pulp magazine enthusiasts. The Horror Writers Association awarded Bob a Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. In 2012, he was present a special award by the World Science Fiction Convention for his contributions to the Science Fiction field. Bob is probably the only horror writer who has ever served as Grand Marshall of a Rodeo parade. Despite all his success, Bob Weinberg is not yet ready to retire. He’s still looking to write the perfect story. He’s intent on composing a story that resonates with his readers the way The Devil and Daniel Webster did with him. It’s a goal he may never achieve, but he intends to keep trying.
Milton Bagby is a veteran radio announcer and voiceover specialist who first turned to audiobooks in 2010. Since then, Milton has worked on over two dozen audiobook projects as a narrator or producer. Drawing upon years of stage acting and the occasional bit part in films, Milton uses his experience to create characters that stand out in the ear of the listener.
“I am very much aware that a perfect stranger is going to invest eight or ten hours listening to me tell a story. I do my best to give the listener an experience in which the characters in that story come alive and sound real.”
When not behind a microphone, Milton is a writer. In addition to the well-received Rick Burkhart crime novels, Milton writes a line of 1950s style pulp stories, and is the author of dozens of magazine articles and two non-fiction books. Milton and his wife live in Nashville.