Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: The Dead That Walk

Ed. Stephen Jones, 2010, Scribo Australia

The release of any anthology edited by Stephen Jones is an event to be celebrated; the man knows his quality horror fiction, and consistently delivers the very best of the best. The Dead That Walk collects twenty-four tales of the walking dead - a mix of reprints and originals - including gems by Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, David J. Schow, Robert Shearman, Christopher Fowler, Nancy Holder, and Gary McMahon, to name just a few of my favourites. The original tales are mostly top-notch, while the reprints are all recognised classics of the genre.

That said, my one issue with this anthology - and admittedly this may be an issue unique to those, like myself, who read far too much zombie fiction - was that, with so many top-notch zombie reprint anthologies released over the past couple of years, most of the reprints in The Dead That Walk were already overly-familiar to me; the result being that I ended up reading perhaps half the anthology, and felt somewhat cheated as a result.

Don't get me wrong: this is an anthology worth buying (and hey! another zombie antho that's actually available in Australia!), but perhaps it's also an indicator that publishers and editors should give zombie reprints a rest, and concentrate upon commissioning more original work (as was done with Christopher Golden's recent Zombie anthology).

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