Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead

Ed. Christopher Golden, Hachette Australia, 2010

The hungry dead have risen. They shamble down the street. They hide in backyards, car parks, shopping centres. They devour our neighbours, dogs and policemen. And they are here to stay. The real question is: what are you going to do about it? How will you survive?

It's been a bumper couple of years for zombie anthologies (and for zombie fiction in general), and publications such as Golden's Zombie (evocatively titled The New Dead overseas) just keep raising the bar for excellence. The nineteen original tales published herein are all, without exception, brilliant, and I confidently predict that this anthology and its contents will be up for slew of awards over the coming year.

As always, there were personal favourites amongst the horde, including John Connolly's 'Lazarus', in which we hear the tragic other side of the titular Biblical tale; Jonathan Maberry's 'Family Business', a tale every bit as bleak and heartbreaking as Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Mike Carey's 'Second Wind', in which the undead protagonist discovers certain unexpected advantages and some slight annoyances that come with resurrection; James A. Moore's 'Kids and Their Toys', which serves to remind us that children, to, can be monsters; David Wellington's 'Weaponized', an uncomfortably credible examination of possible military applications for zombies; and Joe Hill's 'Twittering From the Circus of the Dead', in which the inane 'Twittering' of the teenaged protagonist gives this tale a terrifying immediacy as things slowly turn...nasty.

Zombie is a wholly engrossing, frightening and original read - and is happily available in Australia through Hachette. Shamble to your local bookstore for a copy now.

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