Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: The World is Dead

Ed. Kim Paffenroth, 2009, Permuted Press

The end of the world has come and gone. The dead have risen, and they've won. No more rallying of the troops. No miracle cure or weapon. Just lots of dead people walking around.

What would that world be like?

In this, the latest zombie-themed anthology from Permuted Press, eighteen contributors attempt to answer just that question, taking a good hard look at work, family relationships, and society in general, post zombie-apocalypse. Regardless of the fact that some of the tales herein cover already well-travelled paths, editor Kim Paffenroth has done a fine job of putting together a publication that stands strong against the many 'big press' zombologies currently available.

Highlights of this anthology, for me, included: 'Bridge Over the Cunere' by Gustavo Bondoni, in which the fragile 'peace' between African tribesmen and the undead is threatened by the good intentions of a naive child; Gary A. Braunbeck's 'Glorietta', which approaches from a new angle the truism that there's nothing worse than being alone at Christmas; 'The Blue World' by Carole Lanham, in which a sheltered young girl comes to realise that sometimes even the most massive of deceptions may serve the greater good; Jennifer Brozek's 'A Bite to Remember', a bleak tale of revenge in a post-zombie dystopia; 'What Comes After' by Kris Dikeman, which likens zombies to dark secrets - neither staying buried forever; and perhaps the most startlingly original piece of the bunch, Christine Morgan's 'Cured Meat', which describes - from an undead POV - how an effectively-functioning zombie society might evolve in the absence of the living (and delivers a nasty twist into the bargain).

The World is Dead is an extremely unsettling, thought-provoking and satisfying read. Zomfic fans should be extremely happy with this anthology.

No comments: