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The Living Dead 2
edited by John Joseph Adams
Night Shade Books, 496 pages

The Living Dead 2
John Joseph Adams
John Joseph Adams is the editor of such anthologies as Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (Night Shade Books, January 2008), Seeds of Change (Prime Books, Summer 2008), and The Living Dead (Night Shade Books, Fall 2008). He was also the assistant editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and is now the editor of Lightspeed and Fantasy Magazine. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The University of Central Florida in December 2000. He currently lives in New Jersey.

John Joseph Adams Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
SF Site Review: Federations
SF Site Review: Wastelands
SF Site Review: Wastelands

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

Never again will I read another zombie anthology. This is my last one, I promise. After such an indigestion of zombie tales (44 stories spread across almost 500 pages), I don't think I'll be ever be able to take more. Maybe the occasional tale in a non-themed anthology, but not a whole book such as this hefty volume (the sequel to the successful and critically acclaimed The Living Dead).

Having said this, I must add that the book does address the subject of zombies from any possible perspective and situation the human mind can conceive and that many excellent tales are included herein.

"Alone, Together" by Robert Kirman is a gentle love story taking place in a world infested by walking dead where death can lurk around any corner, while "Danger Word" by Steve Barnes & Tananarive Due is a great, tense piece featuring a brave grandpa trying to save his young grandson from the dangers of a zombie plague.

In the superb "We Now Pause For Station Identification," Gary A. Braunbeck handles the subject in his usual, insightful manner, offering a perceptive, quiet view of the zombie phenomenon.

Marc Paoletti contributes the classy and melancholy "Category Five" where an elderly couple -- the wife being terminally ill -- gets stuck in the middle of a hurricane while the dead start walking.

Jamie Lackey's "The Other Side" is a brief but accomplished and sensitive story in which a girl banned from human society find herself beyond the fence where zombies are kept while David Wellington's compelling "Good People" depicts the fate of a bunch of survivors besieged by zombies in a motel in the Arizona desert.

"Obedience" by Brenna Yovanoff is a tense story full of drama describing a scientific hypothesis of how the zombie sickness works and how one can save himself from the lethal bites. In the well told, gripping "Reluctance" by Cherie Priest, set at the time of Civil War, a young man in a dirigible manages to escape from a zombie town.

Some stories develop the theme in an unexpected, original fashion. In Bret Hammond's "Rural Dead," the Amish meet the Zombies with unforeseen, amazing results while in Bob Fingerman's "The Summer Place" a survivor gets oddly attracted by a zombie girl.

"Dating in Dead World" by Joe McKinney is an enjoyable, perfect mix of an action thriller and a zombie tale while "Last Stand" by Kelley Armstrong is an excellent piece of solid fiction where the story is told from the zombie point of view.

Thus, if you have the nerve and the patience to go through hundreds of pages exclusively devoted to the zombie phenomenon, you'll be rewarded by the discovery of a good amount of extremely well written, entertaining stories.

Copyright © 2011 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

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