Despite current evidence to the contrary, our love affair with zombies goes way back. Even though, as Christopher Golden (The Myth Hunters, The Boys Are Back in Town) points out in the foreword to The New Dead (St. Martin’s Press), zombies have never been exactly hot. The erotic nature of vampires? That can be pretty sexy, says Golden. “But zombies? Not so much. Eating brains, my friends, is not sexy.”
Though zombie popularity has ebbed and flowed, Golden, who also edits the anthology, points out that the zombie zenith is probably now:
We live in odd times. Strange days, indeed. Times of torture and deceit and celebrity and constant exposure to the worst the world has to offer, thanks to a media that never tires of feeding our hunger for the horrible.
The anthology of zombie short stories Golden edits here is very good, the list of contributors reading like a dream team for this project: John Connolly, David Liss, Kelley Armstrong, Max Brooks, Aimee Bender, Joe R. Lansdale and Joe Hill, to name just a few.
While zombies are enjoying some popularity at present, The New Undead is good enough to stand out even in times of zombie famine. This is a strong collection, representing a lot of terrific writing. You may never look at the undead in the same way again.