DAW anthology collections draw some criticism because they're usually just average in terms of overall talent and enjoyment. Even when 'big names' in certain genre fields have a story involved, readers tend to believe it's not their 'best' work. I'm an anthology lover--I have two whole book shelves dedicated to anthologies in fact, a fair chunk of which is DAW because a lot of these stories aren't reprinted again.

Zombiesque is a better than average anthology however. I enjoyed more of the stories then I didn't enjoy and even the ones I didn't like were intriguing in how they approached zombies. This is an anthology from the 'zombie' point of view, but no two authors zombies are the same.

Tim Waggoner's short "Do No Harm" is about a former Doctor, now zombie, who understands the way she is (unable to harm the 'Warm Ones') is hurting her dependents (other zombies who have grouped under her to former a Hive like atmosphere). She knows she can't be something she isn't, but wants to be help her Hive. The resolution was unexpected, as was her reaction to it.

Robert Sommers story "Into That Good Night" is about a recently deceased family man who has only one goal in mind: to return home. Interspersed throughout are his memories--important moments in his life that give him some resemblance of ability to think. Oddly enough it was an uplifting story about a family and how much the man loved them.

The funniest story was Seanan MacGuire's "Gimme a Z!" about a cheerleader who recently died and is resurrected. She doesn't see any reason why even though she's dead she can't, you know, wash her hair or go out to get a soda or like be a cheerleader. The story is really ridiculous and what ultimately keeps her from being one of the shambling, flesh eating dead is just short of absurd, but its immensely entertaining.

Jim C. Hines' short "In the Line of Duty" made me a little tearful. A special force of zombies are utilized by the public to do high risk situations--they're more or less impervious to death after all. We follow them on a mission in which they have to hunt down a man who is part of a cult who believes zombies are the herald of the end of times and is using children in experiments.

Overall these are intriguing stories. Even the ones who made me uneasy (like Robert Lee Byers "Zombie Camp") kept me reading because this was a different viewpoint for me. Fiction from a zombie's view isn't plentiful (though Tim Waggoner does have the Matt Richter Zombie Detective series, everyone should read it) and as this collection showed, there's more than one way to view things.

Book Blurb for Zombiesque

From a tropical resort where visitors can become temporary zombies, to a newly-made zombie determined to protect those he loves, to a cheerleader who won't let death kick her off the team, to a zombie seeking revenge for the ancestors who died on an African slave ship-- Zombiesque invites readers to take a walk on the undead side in these tales from a zombie's point of view.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2011 4.00