Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Book Of All Flesh


With any anthology you'll have a mix of stories you like, and stories you are less bothered about. So with The Book Of All Flesh. In this collection of 25 zombie horror stories there were 12 that I really appreciated, enjoyed or admired, which is a greater success ratio than many other anthologies I have read. That's praise. Many of the other 13 stories I enjoyed, just not quite as much.

My favourites were:

- Consumption by Steve Eller (terse and fittingly emotionally dead)
- Susan by Robin D. Laws (incredibly nasty)
- Number of the Beast by Kenneth Lightner (interesting framing)
- Trinkets by Tobias S. Buckell (an unexpected approach to zombies)
- Prometheus Unwound by Matt Forbeck (interesting framing and concept)
- Salvation by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims (very British feel and rounded story)
- The Other Side of Theory by Daniel Ksenych (coldly scientific horror)
- Inspecting the Workers by Jim C. Hines (classic zombie fiction of science backfiring)
- Last Resort by Michael Laimo (desert-sparse writing that implies a lot)
- Same Night, Different Farmhouse by Gregory G. Kurczynski (pulp nastiness)
- The Cold, Gray Fingers of My Love by Pete D. Manison (unexpected and moon-cold)
- Scenes From a Foreign Horror Video, with Zombies and Tasteful Nudity by Mark McLaughlin (imaginative and dreamlike)

In general the collection was well edited (though there is a particular glaring zombie fiction error which appeared once here: "zombie hoards". HORDES. ZOMBIE HORDES. Hordes are large groups. Hoards are secret stores.)

Overall a mix of styles, settings, tones and outcomes gave the collection real variety. If you like zombies, you'll like this.
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