Writing Zombies! Is almost exactly like going to a horror con. Most of the pieces are conversational musings on how to or why the authors write zombie...moreWriting Zombies! Is almost exactly like going to a horror con. Most of the pieces are conversational musings on how to or why the authors write zombie stories. Some try to be instructive, others are more enthusiastic conversations from fans, and most do a fair amount of self promotion (some more fluidly than others). However one has to wonder why we needed 44 authors to say mostly the same thing over and over and how, if many of the authors are new enough to still be dragging out the same most basic writing advice (and admit they only have been in the game for a few months, or a story or two) this book counts as being by ″Masters of the Zombie Genre″. I'm not saying these people have no right to write, or converse about their love of zombie tales, just that this book isn't written by master writers, and a lot of it isn't writing advice at all.
There are some excellent essays included here (Tim Waggoner, David Moody, David Dunwoody and Keith Gouveia's all for sure.) But Writing Zombies! Desperately needs better editing on every level. The essays are too repetitive (to an eye-glazing level), there are profuse spelling and/or grammar errors included and even the formatting itself needs work.
If you're a zombie fan and could spend hours sitting around talking about why you love zombies (and which ones you love) this is a good books for you. But it's not what it's billed as, valuable writing advice from Zombie writing masters.
My essay-by-essay take is on my personal blog michelelee.net(less)
Let's Play White by Chesya Burke is an excellent collection of nameless myths, darkness and hope. Burke tugs readers through shadowy places where hope...moreLet's Play White by Chesya Burke is an excellent collection of nameless myths, darkness and hope. Burke tugs readers through shadowy places where hope still tries to linger, even if the people have given up. She also takes us to places where light is strong and vibrant, but people can't accept it. A wonderful collection, highly recommended, my favorites are the urban voodoo-themed ″Chocolate Park″ and the powerful rural fantasy novella ″The Teachings and Redemption of Ms. Fannie Lou Mason″.
The air has turned crisp and pumpkins are appearing all over. The trees are donning their fall colors and stores have been slinging fun-sized candies...moreThe air has turned crisp and pumpkins are appearing all over. The trees are donning their fall colors and stores have been slinging fun-sized candies in purple and orange for a month now. It's the perfect setting for some great Halloween-themed tales, and this book delivers. Jack O' Spec is a delightful collection of poems and prose all centering on some of the themes of Halloween. Not the typical horror fare of monsters and killers, instead it studies magic, what Halloween would be like if we were no long subjected to Earth's season and the myths behind the celebrations and masks in the first place. This isn't a collection out to scare or turn reader away with blatant gore. It's out to dazzle and does its job well. From Michael M. Jones' holiday noir ″Who Killed the Pumpkin King?″ to Daniel R. Robichaud's steampunk ″Autumn Jitters″ and Samantha Henderson's south-of-the-border ″Sugar Skulls″ Jack O' Spec has a lot to offer. It's an excellent choice for Halloween lovers, and for public collections. Contains: Pagan themes, language, adult situations(less)
Fifty-Two Stitches is a short (about 150 pages) anthology of flash fiction. Every story in this anthology is only a page or two. They come at readers...moreFifty-Two Stitches is a short (about 150 pages) anthology of flash fiction. Every story in this anthology is only a page or two. They come at readers fast and furiously, and potentially forgettable. Flash fiction is very hard to write and too often flash stories depend on see-through twists or (groan) puns. The stories here are no exception. There are some gems, and even more good writing, but much of it is strangled by dependency on cliches, character short hand where there could be interesting writing and twists (like ″Oh, I see, they're BOTH serial killers.″) The length of the stories, too, lend to the feeling of them blurring together into one halting whole. Less a collection for public libraries ($10 for 150 pages is a little steep), Fifty-Two Stitches will sate the needs of classic and ″monsters popping out of the shadows″ horror fans. I'd be able to recommend it more highly if there was a less expensive digital version available, or if there were more gems in the mix. Contains: Sex, violence, gore, language(less)