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 Overheadwas 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!
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