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Book of the Dead, Not Dead Yet, edited by Anthony Giangregorio Book Review | SFReader.com
Book of the Dead, Not Dead Yet, edited by Anthony Giangregorio Genre: Zombies Publisher: Living Dead Press Published: 2009 Review Posted: 10/13/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
Book of the Dead, Not Dead Yet, edited by Anthony Giangregorio
Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths
Have you read this book?
Book of the Dead, Not Dead Yet is another of the many Zombie Anthologies that
Living Dead Press has to offer. If you can not get enough zombie fiction, LDP
is a good place to feed your need. This particular anthology had thirteen tales
to keep you wondering what might have caused that creak you just heard outside
of your window. Although there are some exceptions, LDP tries to stay true to
the traditional slow, non-magical zombie archetype. You will not find aliens or
running zombies within the pages of this book.
These anthologies cover a wide range of talent. Some stories are inventive and
tight, others are just a few dudes smacking zombies around. This could sound
like a potential negative, but if you really dig zombie fiction, this can be a
big plus, because you can never be sure what the next story might bring and the
pure chaos of all the different stories leaves the reader guessing.
We start with The Last Mission by Mark M. Johnson. This is a long story,
almost a novella and a good why to start the anthology. Johnson steps up with
some military action and their response to the zombie plague. Some of it is
over the top, but an entertaining tale nonetheless.
Second in the line up is For You by C.H. Potter. This is a story that
people living through our current times can relate to, for it focuses around
the use of text messages during the beginning of the plagues outbreak. It is a
tender scenario in its own way as a young man tries to keep up communication
with his love. Despite his feelings, this love is most likely doomed, for he
can barely fight his way through one zombie, but somehow expects to fight his
way through a city to reach her.
Nursing Home of the Dead was written by the anthology's editor, Anthony
Giangregorio. Giangregorio writes a great deal of fiction and is well known for
trying to take new twists or think of situations others have ignored. This
story is a case in point where it is set around a retirement home in the midst
of the beginning of the zombie plague. The main character has another issue, in
case all this was not enough to deal with, he is also battling a bad heart that
threatens to take him down.
The Most Innovative Web Company 2001, by Mark Rivett is almost more
comedy than horror. This is a fun rump as we see how every office worker can
out due each other by being as stupid as possible during a zombie plague. Their
extreme stupidity was annoying in many ways, but since I myself work in an
office, I doubt that it was overstated.
Bob Kuzmeski's Hunting for a Gift takes things up a notch with a more
epic adventure into regions controlled by the dead. It is nice to see some
stories that do not always have to take place five minutes after the plague
starts, which most short stories seem to do. It is far more of a challenge to
write a decent tale that starts deep into the plague and this is what Kuzmeski
has done. But even though the characters live behind protective walls,
sometimes there is a reason to get someone that special present that takes us
back out into the areas where zombies are still king.
Fridays at Eight by William Wood is another story that attempts to take
a new angle on the zombie plague. In this odd future the Endangered Dead Act is
passed which can make it illegal to hunt zombies in certain areas. But whether
they are protected or not, these flesh eaters will still happily rip your
Flight of the Dead by J.R. Smith is in some ways the opposite of
Potter's For You discussed above. Where in Potter's story the guy could
barely walk out the door without getting killed by one lone zombie, in Flight
of the Dead the zombies are almost an afterthought. When some brothers lose
their parents to proceed to fight off every zombie they see without mishap,
rescue the whole town, and then get ready to fly them all to safety. Zombie
plague, oh well, hand me a beer.
Marc Wiggins brings us, When All is Lost. This story shined. The idea of
a homeless man fitting in with the lumbering zombies until he could get his act
together seemed a strong one. Another strong item here was the character
development. This one could be a tear jerker if you aren't careful. Guys don't
read this in front of your lady; she might think you've gone soft.
Talent Show by Jessie Marie Roberts did not do as much for me. Again the
hysteria of 'the plague just happened' and everyone being a moron is
illustrated here. Yes, most people would be stupid if such a thing took place,
but this story is like a poison filled room where everyone runs in to save the
first victim and then adds themselves to the body count.
Next we have Promises to Keep, by John Skerchock. This is a shorter
story about a man's love for his family. Even if things seem hopeless or
impossible, certain obligations to one's family must be kept. This story is
more realistic and gritty, mixing the uncertainty of the horror with the
challenge of surviving, without making everyone have to be annoyingly stupid.
Clean Up On Three by Kevin White. Now there has been a bit of a negative
cast on stories starting out at the beginning of the zombie plague, but in the
case of this story the author uses the outbreak well. This is the most classic,
give you chills, horror story in the collection. It was one of those gems you
find in collections like this that is a real pleasure to read and of course
spooky as hell.
Dan The Man, by Spencer Wendleton is another story that stretches the
traditional zombie story archetype. In this story zombie have become slapstick
actors that have been trained to be safe or have they?
Michael Simon's Vacation of the Dead, was the type of story I like
reading within the genre. It gets one demerit for of course started at the
outbreak of the plague, but it had action and at least people trying to be
smart and live through the horror of the zombie apocalypse.
This anthology has a few weaker stories, but it has some gems too. Despite its
silly title, I think Clean Up On Aisle Three was my favorite, nothing
like a dark and stormy night in Montana. If you want a healthy dose of zombie
fun with a wide variety of stories, this anthology would be a good place to
start. Living Dead Press continues to be a pioneer in exploring modern trends
in horror as well a supporting new talent.
Click here to buy Book of the Dead, Not Dead Yet, edited by Anthony Giangregorio on Amazon