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Posted January 25, 2012
The Blue Word
This book was not bad at all. The stories are from a different perspective. One of my fav stories out of the book was probably The Blue Word. It was sad!
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Posted October 29, 2009
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Atomjack Magazine official review (part one)
The complete original review was published here: http://blog.atomjackmagazine.com/?p=138Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A couple years ago, Kim Paffenroth edited an anthology of historic zombie fiction called History is Dead, and it was overall a pretty outstanding book. If you haven't read it, I recommend you pick it up now. So when Permuted Press announced Paffenroth's next anthology, I ordered it right away.
Unfortunately, I can't say that you should go pick it up right now. Unless you're a hardcore zombie fan like occasional Atomjack reviewer, Tim Milton, then, by all means, what are you waiting for!
The theme of this anthology is a little less clear cut than History is Dead. From the back, it would seem that the anthology is about the world after the zombies have won "Just lots of dead people walking around. If the living dead won, what would the world be like?" But only a few stories seem to actually let the zombies win. In actuality, the overall idea is that the zombie apocalypse, one way or another, is finished, and zombies are still walking around. Civilization as we know it has changed. A better name might have been Your Civilization is Dead.
The book is split into four separate sections: Work, Family, Love and Life. The Work section revolves around zombies and how they affect industry. Three of the four stories have zombies of varying mental capacity, all able (or compelled by technology) to do menial work. The fourth is about a traveling snake-oil salesmen in the post-zombie wasteland. I felt that three of these stories didn't really match what I had read on the back of the book. The zombies didn't win-mankind, for the most part, subjugated them and put them to work mowing lawns and digging ditches.
The first story, "Dead Men Can't Complain" by Peter Clines was the most entertaining of the bunch, and only "Gather Round, Gather Round" by Dave MacPherson delivered on the promise (and premise) of life after the zombies win.
"The Office Party" by Walter Jarvis and "Working Man's Burden" by David C. Pinnt both revolve around zombies being compelled by technology to do simple jobs around the office and in a chicken processing plant, respectively. Neither, I felt, had any significant impact or explored anything new in the zombie genre with their heavy-handed social commentary (yes, office drones are zombies, and we're all losing our minimum wage jobs to Mexic-I mean, zombies).
The next section, Family, was stranger and stronger overall, with thinking (or at least, not completely brain-dead) zombies having roles in all four stories. Atomjack alum Gustavo Bondoni's "Brige Over the Cunene" delivered exactly the kind of story I had expected from the back cover. Civilization has reformed, with humans and zombies keeping a precarious peace between them, and a mother has to venture into dangerous territory to find her son.
"Glorietta" by Gary A. Braunbeck was a bit weaker of a story; it revolved around a family of zombies that returned home every Christmas, and the diseased member they refused to eat.
"The Blue Word" by Carole Lanham was an amazing story, though. This is almost a coming of age tale as a young woman, an orphan in a Catholic orphanage, learns the truth of the world outside the walls she's known her entire life, where she soon must venture. Amusing, sad, confusing and illuminating, this story was the first of the anthology where I had to put the book down afterward and just let my mind absorb what had been read.
Posted April 14, 2011
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