Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris Orion, HK$100 each True Blood is the latest American TV series that makes contemporary cinema look old, stupid and boring. Created by Alan Ball (American Beauty, the incomparable Six Feet Under), it is based on Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries, in which humans co-exist with gothic nasties: vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies and a caf?owner who can change into any animal he likes. Harris' publishers are now cashing in on their cash cow. Beginning with Dead Until Dark, these novels follow the labyrinthine adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress and telepath whose romantic life is somewhat hampered by her ability to read her dates' thoughts. When a vampire with the almost comically dull name of Bill Compton walks into her bar she falls in love precisely because she has no idea what he is thinking. The word 'blood' seems likely, but no matter. In the next eight novels Sookie encounters netherworld beings in this odd, allegorical soap opera of contemporary America: Harris nibbles at sex, drugs, love, violence, prejudice and politics. An anthology is due out in November but if you can't wait, these will do for now.