Friday, September 09, 2011

The Zombist: Undead Western Tales ed. by William R. Tucker

The Zombist: Undead Western Tales is, as the title suggests, a short story collection full of zombie westerns. On the plus side, it does have a reasonably diverse collection of zombie types: old fashioned voodoo , Romero-style, modern fast, and quite a few supernatural.  The supernaturals seem to dominate as a large portion of the stories involve Indian curses.

I would rate the quality of the stories as mostly good. I wouldn't call any of them super great stories that should have been nominated for a Stoker Award , but they are generally we written and entertaining. A few of the longer stories tended to drag a bit, especially near the end of the book. The only story that I absolutely hated was John P. Wilson's "A Wonderful Man," because about halfway through the story,  the protagonist goes from being a wonderful man to being a murdering psychopath for no apparent reason. This is very poor character development.

There are two other downsides to this book. The first, as seems to be increasingly common in small press trade paperbacks, is that the books seems to have had a distinct lack of copy editing. The second is that, as could probably be expected in an anthology with such a narrow focus, the stories start to seem a little repetitive after a while.

Even so, this book is still good, zombie fun for those of us who like the genre.


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