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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