Best New Zombie Tales, vol. 1 edited by James Roy Daley

Read: 24 November, 2012

Introductions are supposed to either hook the reader or provide additional insight into the work(s) to follow. This one, however, was just an absurd, juvenile fantasy in which Daley defends his choice to put out yet another zombie book to H.P. Lovecraft, while Lovecraft holds his hand in a blender. It adds nothing to the book save for a really poor first impression.

As for the collection itself, the goal is, as Daley puts it, “To put together the best zombie tales ever written. Don’t care what year the story was written. Don’t care who wrote it. Don’t care if the story follows Romero’s un-written rules of what a zombie is supposed to do. Don’t care if it’s offensive, or filled with naughty language. All I care about is High Quality Fiction. Simple.”

To his credit, what Daley lacks as a writer of introductions, he’s made up for in story selection. A few fell flat (such as “Fishing”), but most were quite interesting. For the most part, the writing quality was decent (except for issues like in “Muddy Waters” where a boy rides a moose “like a demented cowboy” on one page, and then “like some demented junior range rider” on the next).

There were also quite a few issues with the editing/proof reading of the stories. Words would be omitted (“I didn’t kill my all [sic] of these people,” writes Gary McMahon, and “He knew him. I could that [sic] by the look on his face…,” writes John L. French). I found the editing sloppy enough to distract me, but only a little, and someone less anal may not even notice.

I did like that Daley didn’t just pick Romero zombies, so there’s quite a variety of imaginings of the animated dead.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this anthology, and it certainly served its purpose as entertainment. But it’s nothing particularly special. Good for a lazy afternoon, anyway.

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    2 thoughts on “Best New Zombie Tales, vol. 1 edited by James Roy Daley

    1. I would be quite interested to see what you think of Issac Marion’s Warm Bodies. It was the first time I have read a zombie novel, at least from what I can recall.
      It is a lovr story but I enjoyed thr first person perspective of the zombie R and seeing how he sees himself. And how zombies come to be in interesting in this to, though I cant say whether it has been done before or not.
      Also they have turned it into a movie tgat is coming out next year… whether that is good or not we will have to wait and see

      • Sorry for taking so long to reply! You posted this right as I was heading into conference mode, and then… well… conference mode ;)

        That sounds interesting. I’ve ordered it from the library, so I’ll let you know what I think soon!

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