Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead (2010)
By: Jeff Ritchie on March 14, 2010  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Cover Art
Cover Art
Editor: Christopher Golden
Christopher Golden presents for our edification a volume of nineteen original dark genre stories centering on the concept of zombies. While some liberties have been taken with the concept of what a zombie actually is all the stories contained in the book will be of interest to the discerning horror reader. Thankfully Golden has taken to his task with venomous intent, ensuring we are going to get our full quid's worth with this collection.

Don't expect the standard undead tale here, involving either fast moving zoms or slow shamblers, Golden has sought out the left field and the esoteric in compiling the collection. Once the spotlight was off Lazarus how did he relate to his world? John Connolly presents one view in a highly original take on the biblical story. Jonathan Maberry looks at the remnants of society and how they view their world after the Romero zombie apocalypse in the excellent Family Business. The devastating Kids and Their Toys shows another aspect of the old adage "the zombies are the least of your problems". And the collection rounds out with Twittering from the Circus of the Dead, Joe Hill showing twitter posters are about as inane as we always thought them to be. There's something in the collection for just about every reader with numerous twists and turns waiting to surprise you.

While not every writer in the collection will be instantly recognisable to an Australian readership I couldn't find a weak link with any of them. For sure I've marked down the names and web addresses of a number of writers that I'll want to check out in more depth to see what else they currently have available. It's very seldom that you can pick up a collection and not find a few weaker entries included, it's to Golden's credit that he hasn't stinted on searching out stories that will have us lapping up the prose.  I'm wondering how many submissions he got for this project and whether or not we may get a second companion volume in the future. I would push family members out of the way to get at a second collection with Golden's name on the cover.

For those after bangs for your buck, and who isn't, this anthology weighs in at a hefty 500 pages, including Contributor bios, of blood soaked goodness. So it's not a brick, ergo you can comfortably read it on public transport, but equally it's not a slim volume, that'll take a day to read and then forget as you pick up something else. I made the mistake of rushing through the first few stories, yes it's a page turner, and had to start over in order to drop my thoughts into this review.  It's pretty engrossing stuff, the 500 pages seem about the right length for mine as I wasn't looking for a long term commitment but was after something more weighty than a one night stand.

Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead is coming your way via the good folks at Hachette Australia who are Distributing locally. I've always had a soft spot for Hachette as they are quite happy to publish Down Under dark genre writers, including first time novelists. The collection will be available at all good bookstores, or via the major online stores.  At time of writing the RRP is a staggering low $22.99, excellent value for an amazingly good anthology. My advice friends and neighbours is to take a major bite out of Christopher Golden's collection, you just might be reading a future Stoker award winner, Yes it's that good.
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