Night Shade Books, $15.99, 504 pages
Zombie stories never seem to get old. As fantasy, sci-fi, and horror writers always seem to have new explanations for reanimation. These tales can be found across all media (TV, movies, video games, books, comics, and more). Fans of the genre will enjoy The Living Dead 2, an anthology packed with 44 short stories. Only 19 are reprinted from other sources. Editor John Joseph Adams provides an insightful introduction and commentary before each entry. Adams’ goal is to showcase the diverse range of what zombie fiction is capable of and he is quite successful.
Opening the collection is the first piece of published prose fiction by Robert Kirkman, creator of the critically acclaimed, bestselling graphic novels (and now TV series) The Walking Dead. He focuses on a love story between two characters caught in a post-apocalyptic world. Is love and hope the key to survival? Paula R. Stiles’ unique story serves as an AIDS-in-Africa metaphor tale. Author Adam-Troy Castro chillingly hypothesizes what kind of an afterlife awaits zombies. For readers new to the genre, the book serves as a great introduction to the best of zombie fiction. Find a favorite author and check out what else they’ve written.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin