Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spotlight on...Zombies - A Compendium of the Living Dead 

Synopsis: Brains, Brains, BRAINS!, you just have to love those lurching, decaying animated corpses. The living dead make a great enemy and here we have wall-to-wall flesh eating monsters, ghouls and things that go bite in the night, brought to (un)life by some of the best horror and fantasy writers in the world. 

A companion volume to the incredible collection of The weird, it's a book that is vast in scope and gargantuan in size - The Worlds Biggest Zombie Anthology - including the first ever short story featuring Zombies (although the much earlier Frankenstein by Mary Shelley featured the "re-animated" dead as it's main plot). W.B. Seabrook wrote "Dead men working in Cane fields" in 1929 and claimed that it was entirely factual without "fiction or embroidery" and was based on his visit to Haiti. Make of that what you will but by any reckoning it's a little disturbing. It is also interesting to note that until George R Romeo re-invented the Zombie in 1968 (inspired of course by Richard Matheson's novel I am Legend) they didn't have a taste for human flesh - something I wasn't actually aware of. 

The Compendium contains work from some of the finest (and some of the most prolific) writers including H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Laymon, Kevin J Anderson, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Robert McCammon, August Dereleth, Theodore Sturgeon and Michael Swanwick - amongst others. 

There are some really great stories contained within, with a wide range of styles and different voices, all celebrating the lurching undead. There are some real gems inside, many of which show the Zombie in a different light. If you have even the slightest interest in Zombies or indeed Horror then this book should be in your collection, it's like a bible of the re-animated, eclectic and magical it will keep even the fastest reader entertained for weeks.

"Pigeons from Hell" 
Non-REH Contents
"Introduction" by Otto Penzler 
"Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields"
by W. B. Seabrook
"After Nightfall" by David A. Riley
"Mission to Margal" by Hugh B. Cave
"The Cairnwell Horror" by Chet Williamson
"Crawling Madness" by Arthur Leo Zagat
"Treading the Maze" by Lisa Tuttle
"Red Angels" by Karen Haber
"Later" by Michael Marshall Smith
"White Zombie" by Vivian Meik
"Was It a Dream?" by Guy de Maupassant
"Bodies and Heads" by Steve Rasnic Tem
"Death and Suffrage" by Dale Bailey
"The Graveyard Rats" by Henry Kuttner
"The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar"
by Edgar Allan Poe
"Feeding the Dead Inside" by Yvonne Navarro
"Ballet Nègre" by Charles Birkin
"Dead Right" by Geoffrey A. Landis
"The Taking of Mr. Bill" by Graham Masterton
"The Grave Gives Up" by Jack D'Arcy
"Herbert West-Reanimator" by H. P. Lovecraft
"Pickman's Model" by H. P. Lovecraft
"Maternal Instinct" by Robert Bloch
"Bringing the Family" by Kevin J. Anderson
"Mess Hall" by Richard Laymon
"Schalken the Painter" by Sheridan Le Fanu
"While Zombies Walked" by Thorp McClusky
"April Flowers, November Harvest" by Mary A. Turzillo
"The Old Man and the Dead" by Mort Castle
"Jumbee" by Henry S. Whitehead
"Marbh Bheo" by Peter Tremayne
"The Hollow Man" by Thomas Burke
"They Bite" by Anthony Boucher
"Come One, Come All" by Gahan Wilson
"It Helps If You Sing" by Ramsey Campbell
"The Ghouls" by R. Chetwynd-Hayes
"The Corpse-Master" by Seabury Quinn
"The Upper Berth" by F. Marion Crawford
"Vengeance of the Living Dead" by Ralston Shields
"The Song the Zombie Sang"
by Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg
"Men without Blood" by John H. Knox
"The Broken Fang" by Uel Key
"It" by Theodore Sturgeon
"League of the Grateful Dead" by Day Keene
"Love Child" by Garry Kilworth
"Corpses on Parade" by Edith and Ejler Jacobson
"Where There's a Will"
by Richard and Christian Matheson
"The Dead" by Michael Swanwick
"Song of the Slaves" by Manly Wade Wellman
"The Outsider" by H. P. Lovecraft
"Eat Me" by Robert McCammon
"Deadman's Road" by Joe R. Lansdale
"Live People Don't Understand" by Scott Edelman
"The House in the Magnolias"
by August Derleth and Mark Schorer
"Home Delivery" by Stephen King
"Dance of the Damned" by Arthur J. Burks
"Z Is for Zombie" by Theodore Roscoe

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