Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Edited by Rebecca E. May
Published by Library of the Living Dead
Fans of horror movies are a curious sort. For many of us, life is dedicated to the macabre, the bloody, and the profane, for no other reason than because it’s damned cool. And almost no monster is more beloved than the humble zombie. So what happens when a bunch of horror fans cum-aspiring writers get together for a seriously demented writing project dedicated (or maybe dead-icated) to that most misunderstood and beloved monster? You get grotesque. You get blood. You get hilarity. In short, you get some damned fine zombie stories put together in one volume, and you call it Zombology.
The brainchild of Library of the Living Dead podcast head honcho Michael “Dr. Pus” West (who really is a doctor, a dentist in fact. No kidding!), this weighty tome brings together twenty-one short stories and one novel excerpt from horror fans who, though odds are you’ve never heard of them before, you will be hearing from again. The twenty-one short stories in this collection cover a range of zombie tales that one would be hard-pressed to find again. Included are stories from the points of view of the last survivors, the first zombie, a seeing-eye-dog who’s trying to protect her owner, and even death. The stories range from the slice-of-life of growing up in an undead-infested world to bizarre games of “Capture the Flag” wherein the “flag” is actually a zombie-woman’s panties. You read that correctly.
Although all the short stories have their merit and will be enjoyed by any zombie fan, there are, of course, a few stand-outs. “Six Feet Above the Grave” by Pascal van dem Beemd is a departure from most of the others in that, instead of dealing with the Romero zombies we all know and love, it goes back to the beginning of the living dead with Voodoo. Mike Steele’s “Halloween Treats” is really a hoot and will have zombie fans remembering their own childhood Halloweens with fondness. Shane Sullivan’s “Zombie Germs” is well done, told from the point of view of an agoraphobic who has observed the entire zombie apocalypse from his window. Then there’s “April’s Ministrations” by Robert R. Best, which tells of an incestuous pedophile and the undead revenge taken upon him by one of his victims.
As an added bonus, the last section in this anthology is an excerpt from the upcoming novel Z-Day is Here. Written in the form of letters, this novel tells the story of a man who is constantly moving, running from the shambling hordes. If this excerpt is anything by which to judge, Z-Day is Here will be well worth a read.
So what do you get when you get a bunch of zombie-horror-fans together to put stories in one anthology? You get originality, imagination, and some really good stories. You get blood in buckets, gore by the bushel, and enough well-written stories to earn this collection a permanent place on your shelf.
4 1/2 out of 5
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