How Cold is a Heart

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Title: How Cold is a Heart
Publisher: Datazine Publications
Author(s): Jessica Farrow
Cover Artist(s): Lynne Gutshall
Illustrator(s): no inside illos
Date(s): 1988
Medium: print
Genre: gen?
Fandom: Vampires & and coded RPF ("The Police")
Language: English
External Links:
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How Cold is a Heart is a 172-page gen coded RPF (The Police) vampire novel in three parts by Jessica Farrow. There are no interior illustrations and the dialogue is presented in the form of a screenplay.

A similar zine is The Vampire John Lennon.


Sensuous, Seductive, surprising. A window into the glittering world of rock music and the rarely glimpsed back-stage activities that keep the glitter in place... Even the well-traveled crew of the famed rock trio 'Ersatz' is unprepared fro the events that follow their Atlanta concert; the appearance of a mysterious stranger at the post concert party, who takes an unnatural interest in the lead singer, Chance. The group is then followed by a trail of blood leading across America and Europe. [1]

Reactions and Reviews

The book naturally divides itself into three different parts, told from three different viewpoints. HCITH is about a rock star, Chance, who becomes a vampire. Chance is not particularly happy about this, and the fact that he remains in the public eye doesn't make things any easier. The first part of the story is roughly from the point of view of Chance's manager and friend, Marcus Domaine, and chronicles how Chance becomes a vampire and how he and his friends cope with it. It starts out rather slowly, as you're trying to keep track of the various characters and connect with them, but then kicks into high gear. Erik, the vampire who 'converted' Chance, begins to go after the rest of the crew, something Chance is not about to allow. Traditionally, vampires do not have too many friends, and the author's treatment of this is fascinating. The second part is told from the view of one of the roadies, who turns out to be a bit more than he seems. By this time, Chance has been a vampire long enough that his friends have somewhat adjusted, but, while Chance has explored the perimeters of his abilities, he can feel the 'vampirish' elements in his personality take control, and is fighting them. Erik shows up again, and Chance learns something else about being a vampire. The third part initially seems to be about someone on the crew trying to kill Chance, but then develops a much more intriguing twist. The author has some interesting views on vampirism, though I violently disagree with a few of them, on the most part, she develops them well. Telling the story in three parts this way does give you different views of the main character, which is probably the author's intention, but it makes the book a bit uneven, particularly since some time passes between each section. The reader has to read just slightly with the new viewpoint and situation. This takes only a page or so, however, it is a distraction. HCITH maintains an excellent balance between horror and humor. On that level, it's closer to An American Werewolf in London than Dracula or An Interview with a Vampire. It's an interesting study of the condition of vampirism and its... seductive appeal. [2]
Jessica Farrow's new fanzine sets gothic horror to a rock beat. [She] takes the classical, tall, dark, and evil vampire and places him at the lead of a touring rock band. Well brought off characters and dialogue carry him through a rapidly paced story that exhilarates the reader. The zine itself is of a higher quality construction than most. Bound with a wraparound softcover, it is letter quality printed on heavy paper. Although there are no illustrations, the unphoto reduced print appeals to the eye. Lynn Gutshall, depicts the lead vampire himself, his face haunted with a mixture of animal hunger and human pain. Despite its strength, the novel may not appeal to everyone. Unlike many traditional zines, its characters are not borrowed from a friendly TV show or film, and some readers may find them less endearing as such. Also, although the text is well-proofread, a few typos still crop up, and a few words run off their pages. These are minor details, though, in all Jessica Farrow's zine should thoroughly entertain fans of today's rock bands and yesterday's dark legends. [3]


  1. from ads in multiple issues of Datazine
  2. from Datazine #53
  3. from Datazine #53