Friday 18 October 2013

Congress of the Dead by Timothy W Long (a review)

What a brilliant idea....America was in shutdown at the time this short story was written, politicians bickering over the budget, people not being able to go to work in certain sectors. In a time of gloom and despondency one man set out to have some fun and put a smile back on peoples faces by doing what he does best.......sending the zombies to Congress.

What impressed me first and foremost was that although this is only a short story there is still time for the author to give a reason for the start of the zombie outbreak (so few zombie authors do that these days).

Timothy. W. Long is one of the leaders in the field of both zombie fiction and comedy zombie fiction. This falls firmly into the latter catagory and is a must read.

Now, any chance the same can be done for the UK government ;-)

Monday 14 October 2013

Six of the Best: A Hellish Half Dozen by Kevin Bufton (a review)

A couple of weeks ago I entered a competition on facebook, the prize was a copy of this book - thankfully I won. This is a really good collection!

As you would expect from the title their are six short stories in this collection, three zombie tales and three general horror.

The book opens with Mother's Milk, a truly disturbing tale of mother and child in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. I had become a little tired  the whole zombie genre before reading this story but this author has really made me change my mind. It has moments that will truly set the reader on edge, horror as it should be.

Next comes 'The Shoot' where a wrestling fan gets to interview The Masked Marauder, the first interview the MM has ever done, and learns a secret he wasn't expecting.

Next up, '53' another zombie tale, set in the same universe as Mother's Milk. The 53 in the title is the time between death and reanimation. The story is set in what is left of a hospital and shows another angle to life after the apocalypse.

Roots, story 4 is set in the Old West with a father and two sons under siege from..........tumbleweed

The Wren is in the style of a folk tale set around Christmas but certainly not with a Christmassy ending.

The final story, Hooked, is another zombie tale but this time with a nautical leaning and set in the mid 19th century.

All these stories are of a very high quality. Horror, as a genre, can seem a bit overdone at times but this collection gives me hope for the future. I will certainly be looking out for more from this author and I suggest that, if horror is your thing, you do too, but for now I am heartily recommending this collection to you.

The Starers by Nathan Robinson (a review)

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Imagine, if you will, the usual zombie/ heroes under siege story.....then turn it on it's head!!

The heroes, such as they are, are Dylan Keene,  his wife Kirsty, daughter Lucy and his brother Lennon. It starts, innocuously enough, with Dylan and Lennon heading home from a night in the local pub. What they do not notice is the guy at the bus stop who just sts and watches them......he is just the first.

By the morning there are more. Many more. They are on the lawn, they are surrounding the house. Throughout the town everybody seems to have just stopped to stare at the Keene house.

The 'family under siege' aspect of the story is one that has been done many times before but always, you know something is going to happen. The zombies, or whatever the threat is (and let's be honest, these days it's nearly always zombies), are going to attack at some point and start with the ripping and tearing and flesh eating. And that is where this story is different, the antagonists, the people outside, do..................absolutely nothing! They just stand outside the house and throughout the town, and just .................stare.

It really is quite unsettling for the family, they cannot leave, and the people outside continue to do......nothing!!

Something is coming, but no-one knows what and when the something arrives, things will surely take a turn for the worst.

This is a good turnaround for the genre, the unzombie novel and a good tale it is too. Nathan Robinson is certainly a name to watch for the future - you'll be hearing a lot more from him.