The zombie genre is much like an actual horde of the undead: it WILL find you, and you WILL be overwhelmed. Whether it’s the books, movies or TV shows (hell, even Maron on IFC spoofed The Talking Dead in its season premiere), you can’t escape the infection. But, as any zombiephile could tell you, “Ain’t NOBODY got time for THIS!”
So, for the time being, I will continue posting reviews about the latest undead short stories and flash fiction, such as my feature, Five Reasons To Love Zombie Authors.
Here are another five that you can squeeze into your busy days and nights:
1) Isle of the Undead by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach – As I read this story, I pictured everything happening in black and white…like one of those old-school horror movies that are too cheesy to be scary. In this case, a yacht comes across an ancient ship manned by the undead, and the crew is taken to a spooky island. I don’t know what is worse: the dialogue or the one-dimensional cliché characters. The plot, however, isn’t that bad, and the zombies aren’t the only monsters…but they are not Romero undead by any means. I also don’t know how old this story is, but horror has definitely evolved since this was originally published.
2) Zombie Apocalypse: The Student by Rob Gunn – The premise: a group of college students playing a live action zombie RPG find themselves trapped in the middle of a real undead outbreak, but discover it’s no longer a game…much too late. The Student is a chilling flashback story that will leave you wary of zombie RPGs!
3) Dreams of the Damned by Lisa McCourt Hollar – A few side notes first…I think this is the beginning of a new series – at least, I hope so because there are a lot of loose ends leading to even more questions. I also think the author should consider re-releasing this story as a full-length novel. There are a LOT of characters, action scenes and plot twists within these 44 pages. The author could simply flesh it out more (no pun intended) and easily fill another hundred pages just by extending the existing scenes. As for the story, it is excellent. There is a great mix of characters. There are several elements of other genres woven into the horror of this apocalyptic struggle for survival…and BEST OF ALL, readers will be shocked by this new breed of zombie! Definitely in the Top Ten Of Zombie Stories for 2014!
4) Gut Check At The Choke-and-Puke (see also Better To Be Lucky) by David Rogers – I read Better to be Lucky by David Rogers about a year ago, but I never forgot how much I enjoy his writing style. He makes it incredibly easy to get thoroughly engrossed in the characters’ predicament (mainly those “a-ha!” moments when someone realizes they are trapped in a zombie outbreak), only to leave me cursing when the story ends because I wanted it to go on longer. I liked the truck-stop setting, but I wish (again) there had been more zombie action. Nevertheless, I plan on reading more from Rogers.
5) Family Reunion by James T Wood is about a family that decides to go through with a reunion party despite warnings on TV and radio, only to have the party crashed by a ravenous zombie…and then the family is torn apart, literally and figuratively. Dialogue, action and drama – not a bad short story, but nothing spectacular to make it stand out. However, I thought the author’s bio was hilarious. Too bad he didn’t use that humor in his story.
Keep checking back at The Zombiephiles for more short story recommendations!