21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
The Stoker-award winning editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead returns with 21st Century Dead, and an all-new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection… with ZOMBIES! The stellar stories in this volume includes a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse, the first published fiction by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family, and resurrection from the legendary Orson Scott Card. This new volume also includes stories also from other award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, such as: Simon R. Green, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, S. G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Hollywood screenwriter Stephen Susco, National Book Award nominee Dan Chaon, and more!
Christopher Golden’s vision of the zombie apocalypse is a rich, dark, tapestry of humanity’s worst fears, our world and loved ones gone, violent and strange. Each story has its own spin on the source of the affliction, but the common thread that stole the show was how the zombie plague impacted the pain and loss already in the characters’ lives.
Mark Morris’s BITERS is the perfect opening for this anthology, at once more horrific and hopeful than any zombie story I’ve ever read. The zombie crèche is a horrible image, made no less haunting by the prospect of a cure being found. Stephanie Crawford and Duane Swierczynski explore the pain of a zombie recovery in TENDER AS TEETH, as well as how our media may interact with the phenomena. I liked their human, pained exploration of infamy a lot more than S. G. Browne’s REALITY BITES, which was more of an indictment of Hollywood’s carnivorous machine than a zombie story.
From mysterious plagues to alien attacks, there are many flavors of zombie in 21st CENTURY DEAD, but the themes of loss and grief pervade them all, (other than REALITY BITES). Cancer, neglect, Tourette’s… there are many pains that make these characters’ lives difficult. Golden’s anthology has me embracing his opening hypothesis; when this myriad of ever day heartbreaks is contrasted with zombies, you can’t help but find some release.
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