Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers
There are things that go bump in the night. There are also things that make much more horrific noises. And those are the ones that Elvis Presley and Colonel Parker hunt as part of a secret government organization. Yes, when he’s not performing on stage or in movies, Elvis battles evil. And a group of shape-changing vampires that crush people into balls and feed on them for months? Those definitely qualify.
Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers serves as a madcap prequel to Lansdale’s now-classic short story “Bubba Ho-Tep,” where an elderly Elvis saved his retirement home from a mummy in a cowboy hat. This time around, Lansdale has free range to deepen the mythology of this alternate Elvis, mixing in elements of voodoo, psychedelics, hauntings, and the King’s entourage.
The novel also allows Lansdale to shift the melancholy tone of the original from one of regret to one of isolation, as this younger Elvis has tired of his famous lifestyle. By tempering an oddball tale with such emotional depth, Lansdale keeps the characters grounded, helping him to avoid the downside of the many dime novel tropes he mines here.
Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers is a worthy follow-up to a modern cult classic.
Joe R. Lansdale