Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: What Will Come After

Scott Edelman, 2010, PS Publishing

One of my greatest occasional pleasures as both a reader and a reviewer is in picking up a new collection by an author responsible for several stories I've previously enjoyed, and then realising that I've actually read (and greatly enjoyed) almost all of the tales therein without previously having attributed them to the author in question.

So it has been with What Will Come After: the Complete Zombie Stories of Scott Edelman. This wonderful hardback collection contains eight reprints (and one original) dating back as far as 1997, with each and every one a bona fide classic of the genre (this further evidenced in the publishing acknowledgements at the back of the book). Edelman's work takes full advantage of the extensive range of tropes and themes offered by zombie fiction, delving into classic literature mash-ups ('Live People Don't Understand' and 'Tell Me Like You Done Before') to dark examinations of the human condition ('The Man He Had Been Before' and 'The Human Race'), existential angst ('What Will Come After'), black humour ('Goobers'), and onward into realms previously unexplored, including a dose of Shakespearean-style theatre ('A Plague on Both Your Houses') and an exploration of the Big Question: what happens in a zombie-infested world once all the humans have been either consumed or converted? ('The Last Supper').

Edelman writes beautifully literary zombie fiction with broad appeal; simultaneously insightful, engrossing, and darkly entertaining. What Will Come After is available for purchase directly from the publisher's website, and any afficiando of zombie fiction will be richer for immediately adding a copy to their personal collection.

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