Zombies!? Zombies!! is an anthology edited by Lowell Torres. As you might guess, it is an anthology that focuses on Zombies stories and poems. I am not sure if it was intentional or not, but this anthology moves away from more common zombie fair and explores other avenues of the genre. Many of the authors made up their own type of zombie or outbreak that differed from the standard Night of the Walking Dead archetype. There are also stories that take place during different moments in history and other inventive twists.
The editor Lowell Torres starts us off with his own take on the zombie plague, which is his world stays more in control, unless there is a natural disaster or the like that kills off many people at once. This is the case and a strange group of mismatched men find themselves becoming heroes as a tornado leaves hundred of re-animating zombies in its wake. His story is called Paynetown.
Second up is Hopkahey, which is a very inventive story that is told by a Native American Elder, who discusses how General Custer's last stand was not against the Sioux, but actually the undead.
The third story is Caeser's First Zombie War, by PJ Oubre. As you might have guessed this is another story set in a different time. The Roman Legion in this tale has more on its mind than concurring Europe. In this story, the Legion must be used to keep the plague from overrunning humanity. This was a wide sweeping tale, but it left me feeling a little removed from the action.
Erika Gimbal brings us Graverobber. Some young high school kids quickly learn that robbing the grave of an evil man might end up being the last thing they ever do. This was a pretty basic tale, but I still found it enjoyable.
Next up is my story (Michael D. Griffiths) Ham on the Bone, which you might not know is a the title of an old Gwar song. It is, of course, pure genius. Just kidding, or an I? The only thing I else I will say about it, is that it could be the most traditional zombie story of the bunch and the undead hippies could be considered dead-heads twice over.
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse in Heels, sounded like an interesting tale and is brought to us by Bryanna Wynn. However it seemed a little basic to me and I felt removed from the action and it didn't sound like she was in heels at all. Perhaps this story could have been longer. It is interesting that when you get used to 5000 word short stories that stories half that size leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Nathan becomes a Zombie by Shawn Rohrbach is certainly more humor than horror, but I liked it. When a man with anti-social personality disorder wants to strike it rich, he keeps peeling away layers of a dysfunctional onion until the plan becomes to dress as a zombie. Funny story, but I wouldn't have been upset if this guy took a bullet to the head.
The Revivers, by Adam Dennis was another story that took a new look at the genre. In this one, zombies were still alive and could be cured. The downsides were the guilt one would feel if you had eaten a person while you had turned. So Reviver support groups were created. An interesting concept.
Another good tale is When Death Came to Flannab Isle, by Colin M. Drysdale. This is based on a true moment in history, but then add zombies. Liked this one. The writer might have been a little green, but he set a good mood.
Last up was a comic strip, which was kind of fun. Jarred Russel both wrote and illustrated Colma. It was a cool comic and a fun way to end the Anthology.
Downsides for this one could include the loose word count for the stories. Some strong stories made the other shorter ones fall a little flat in comparison. It also had a bit of a slapped together feel, but that can also be a good thing.
I have read many many zombie related anthologies. Some have been good, others not as much. I think this one had more originality than most. If you would like to see new avenues of the zombie genre explored, I would recommend this book to you. Also, if you just like zombie action, I think this will certainly met the bill. Enjoy.
Click here to buy Zombies?! Zombies!!, edited by Lowell Torres on Amazon