Monday, October 20, 2008

The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

I know I said I was done with the review blog, and I am done with any sort of regular updates, but I've posting occasional reviews on my LiveJournal, so I figure I might as well cross-post them here.

I love zombies. They are, without a doubt, my favorite horror monster. I love zombie movies, unless they really suck. I love zombie songs. I even have a cool zombie t-shirt. So, I just had to get The Living Dead, an anthology of zombie short stories, when I heard about it. It's mostly worth it.

The anthology isn't perfect. There are a few stories whose inclusion I question (I'll get to them later). There are a few people who's absence I wonder about (why no Brian Keene?). Also, almost all of the stories are reprints, which doesn't matter so much to me, because the only one I'd previously read was the King one. If you're like me, this is a good anthology to buy.

Now, let's briefly look at the individual stories that I didn't like:

"Some Zombie Contingency Plans" by Kelly Link: WTF? There are no zombies in this one at all. It has nothing to do with zombies except that the main character is obsessed with zombie contingency plans. He's also obsessed with icebergs, so I can't help but wonder if Adams would have included it an an Iceberg anthology.

"Those Who Seek Forgiveness" by Laurell K. Hamilton: OK, this sin't actually a bad story, but it isn't all that hot either. It's part of Hamilton's Anita Blake series, which while popular, isn't one of the best series in the genre. This story doesn't really heart the collection, but it doesn't really add to it either.

"Less Than Zombie" by Douglas E. Winter: This is a parody of Less Than Zero, which I hanen't read. Also, I didn't actuall see any zombies in this one either, except maybe, in the snuff film they watch.

All of the other stories ranged from good to excellent. So there a re three stories that I at least would consider clunkers in an anthology of 34. And really, even those three aren't bad stories; I just think that two are a bit out of place in this anthology and the other is just in it to cash in one one more big name--which in unneccisary when you have Stephen King,Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, and several other writers who are well known in the genre. It is really still a pretty good book.

1 comment:

David Barr Kirtley said...

My short story “The Skull-Faced Boy” is included in this anthology. If anyone's curious, you can listen for free to the excellent audio production of the story that was done for the Pseudopod horror podcast. More info here:
http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/skull.html