For my birthday, Jyg bought me a copy of the Zomibe Anthology entited The New Dead. Edited by Christopher Golden (The Boys Are Back in Town), the collection includes never-before-published tales of the undead by Max Brooks, Joe Hill, Aimee Bender and Brian Keene.
While the read took me longer than I had originally expected - this was due to my Easter Weekend Zombie Movie Marathon - the book is a must read, must own for every zombie fanatic out there. I was hoping to be able to write this post on Easter - what says zombie more than a religious holiday about a man who rose others from the dead, then rose himself from the dead and promised immortality for those who follow him? Of course this isn't the case, so you're getting this post after Easter Monday.
The book covers all aspects of any genre. There is the coming of age story of a pack of twelve-year-olds and their first zombie; the hidden truth behind the nearly picture perfect life of Walter Molson in "What Maisie Knew," a short story that provides insight of zombies who are conscious of their existence; and the awkward love story in "The Zombie Who Fell from the Sky."
Joe Hill presents us with a Twitter story in his "Twittering from the Circus of the Dead," which deals with a teenage angst ridden teenage daughter at ends with her overpowering mother on a family road trip that leads them to a suspicious circus in the middle of nowhere.
If I had to choose a favorite, however, it would be Johnathan Maberry's "Family Business," dealing with half brothers Benny and Tom Imura, who both witnessed their parents' death - well their mother's anyway - on First Night - the marking point of the zombie outbreak. Benny, continuing to blame older brother Tom for their parents' death, refuses to join the "family business" of going out into the Rot and Ruin - the wasteland outside the gates of their town - to hunt down zombies for pay. In this twisted version of the brutal near future, everyone living within the town limits must hold a job, otherwise they only get half of their rations. Unlike other zombie hunters, Tom Imura doesn't kill for the sport or because he's a twisted son of a bitch. When Benny is forced to suck up his pride and works with Tom, he learns the true nature of this brother's job, and the hero he never knew. In order to seal the deal that Benny will take the job and become a man like his older brother, the two of them venture into a gated community that is all too familiar.