Sunday, April 4, 2010

zombie tales from joe hill, tad williams, mike carey & more in zombie: an anthology of the undead

You can't go past a good zombie story. Thanks to author Christopher Golden, you can now enjoy 19 great short stories about all sorts of zombies from a range of great fantasy and horror writers. Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead includes stories from Joe Hill (of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns fame), Tad Williams, John Connolly, Mike Carey, Holly Newstein and Aimee Bender, among others.
Sitting perfectly with today's zeitgeist, Hill's Twittering from the Circus of the Dead is awesome. He deftly weaves in teen angst, modern obsessions with technology, reality TV, viral marketing and zombies! It can't get much better than that... although, scarily enough, once you read it, you may wonder if it's actually happened.
Tad Williams' character, paranormal investigator Nathan Nightingale, discovers there's more to the afterlife than he ever realised; the biblical tale of Lazarus is seen from an entirely different perspective in John Connolly's hands and Mike Carey's fabulous story about someone actually choosing to become a zombie and the practical issues he needs to deal with is darkly funny.
Golden, who put the anthology together, says in his foreword that he's always understood why people are fascinated by vampires, but can't get why zombies have become so popular: “Eating brains, my friends, is not sexy.”
“When I set out to edit this anthology, I sought out a wide variety of perspectives on the modern fascination with zombies. I asked questions. Are we so inured to death that we now find it charming? Or – and this was my suspicion – do we embrace these ideas as an indirect way of processing the horror that we feel at the reality of war and torture and death?”
Whether or not you can explain the current fascination with zombies, there is no doubt that this anthology is worth a look. If you can't take sitting through a whole book on the subject, the anthology offers various options – zombies that drop from the sky, zombies that work for you, zombies who used to be people you know – and you can grab a bit of zombie genre in small bites (sorry, couldn't resist).

Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead is edited by Christopher Golden and published by Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, an Hachette UK company. It is available from good book stores and online.


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