SOMETIME AFTER SUNSET (comprising "Companions on the Road" and "Sabella') was my introduction to Tanith Lee.
I had never read anything written in that darkly lushly style before. Tanith Lee used words the painters use oil pigments, just slathering them on, layering them, swirling them around. Her prose was absolutely gorgeous and I was a fan from that moment on. I've read most of her work and that's saying something because she was wildly prolific.
She wrote several vampire stories, including Dark Dance, which I somehow missed (and which sounds like it has a bit of 50 Shades of Grey in it), and several other books in her Blood Opera series. It's probably heresy to admit it but I never much cared for Anne Rice's vampires. Like everyone else, I devoured Interview with the Vampire but it didn't send me off on an Anne Rice reading binge. (And for me, the absolute best thing about the movie was Kirsten Dunst's performance as the child vampire.)
But Sabella...It was science fiction. It was horror. It was fantasy. It was beautiful. And if I had never read it, I would have missed out on 30-some years of wonderful books.Now if I could just find a copy of BLOOD OF ROSES, which you can get used on Amazon for $151 or new for a few thousand.