I remember reading a novella in an old sci-fi anthology about vampires in space from what they call "the golden age of sci-fi".

It was NOT Blindsight by Watts (loved that one), or the choose your own adventure book, or Colin Wilson's novel The Space Vampires (loved the movie adaptation). Last month I found a copy of the old anthology I thought it was in, Boucher's A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, but it wasn't in that.

It had a sort of A.E. van Vogt feel to it, but it wasn't Space Beagle. One of the main vampires was female, reminded me a bit of Olivia Presteign. Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


A story with a definite van Vogt-ian feel (after all, it was written by van Vogt) is Asylum, first published in Astounding in May 1942, and later anthologised in Away and Beyond, a collection of van Vogt's short stories.

It indeed deals with space vampires coming to Earth, to conquer it and harvest our blood. The vampires are a husband and wife pair: the wife, Merla, may be the female character you recall. From a review on goodreads:

Jeel and Merla, a bickering husband-and-wife team of a race called the Dreegh, arrive on Earth, famished unto death. They thus begin to do what they do best: suck the blood out of humans and, by kissing them on the mouth, drain all the electrical energy out of their bodies. These homicides, the first on Earth in 27 years (!), capture the attention of newspaper reporter Bill Leigh, who eventually becomes a pawn not just of the Dreegh invaders, but also of the Dreegh's enemy, the so-called Galactic observer who secretly resides on our fair planet. The story culminates in the depths of space, on a meteor base near the Jovian moon Europa, where Jeel and Merla are endeavoring to kill the Earth scientist Prof. Ungarn, while someTHING has taken over Leigh's brain and influences his actions from within. As you can see, this is a pretty far-out tale, a fast-moving and consistently mind-blowing one, with a great abundance of pleasing futuristic detail.

Asylum was also incorporated into one of van Vogt's "fix-up" novels, Supermind, but as a novel it doesn't fit with the question.


There's also The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson (1976). A rather dire blurb from GoodReads:

When Captain Carlsen entered the vast derelict spaceship, he was stunned by its awesome splendor--and shaken by the discovery of its immobilized humanoid passengers.

Later, after three of those strange aliens had been transported to Earth, his foreboding was more than justified. The creatures were energy vampires whose seductive embraces were total, whose lust for vitality was boundless. As they took over the willing bodies of their victims and sexual murders spread terror throughout the land, Carlsen worked toward their destruction--even though he was erotically drawn to the most beautiful vampire of all!

  • 2
    Famously the source/inspiration for the equally notable movie Lifeforce.
    – DavidW
    Dec 13, 2022 at 18:53
  • 5
    Did you read the question? "It was NOT [. . .], or Colin Wilson's novel The Space Vampires.
    – user14111
    Dec 13, 2022 at 20:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.