December 2011 - Last Stand in a Dead Land – Eric S. Brown
Best Stand in Dead Land!
(Click Book to purchase from Amazon.com)
Most authors are known for something, be it a genre, a style or a typical format. Well, Eric S. Brown is famous for three things. First the zombie story - he's known as King of the Zombies. Second, for pretty much re-inventing the novella in volumes such as Seasons of Rot. And, thirdly, for his Bigfoot War series. One could also add in `action-packed' & his short stories into this.
So, what to expect from a copy of his latest offering. As a reader LSDL is a flawless, Adrenalin-fuelled non-stop action killathon of a survival book. It really does have it all packed into one neat & very readable package.
We're talking small band of survivors, zombie apocalypse, tragic deaths, a major arsenal of weapons & then toss in a sick madman in a morgue & a legion of pi*& off bigfoots...
Mr Brown is a prolific story writer in the Stephen King tradition. The tale is always king in Brown's books & if you like this you will enjoy his other stuff. The dialogue is crisp & there is never a dull or dragging moment.
You get what you pay for with Eric. It's fast, furious & with a very creative story to boot. Plus, if I know Mr Brown, there is bound to be a follow up.
Novellas, or 'long short stories if you prefer, were out of fashion for a long time but here's a volume of stand-alone zombie novellas - each of which offers a different take on the tale of humans against the dead which will help re-dress this balance.
One thing these tales are not is the same story re-told again & again. The element they do share is that in most cases, the living are just about hanging on.....this is nightmarish fare....
Season of Rot & The Wave are mini-classics & it each the `zombies' are not just your typical shambling idiots.
In all of these novellas, Brown plays with the idea of the zombie. You'll find thinking zombies, demonic creatures leading zombies, the dead building breeding camps for the living - in fact, there is a whole range of innovative stuff & he always manages to find something that will give you nightmares. It might be that last desperate stand; it might be the Rats at the centre of his twisted almost sci-fi tale of the same title. In Dead West, he mixes it up again by changing the time period.
I suspect everyone will have their favourite, I think depending on which of his scenarios you are most interested in. Popular opinion is that Season of Rot is a modern classic & it's hard to disagree but I will. My personal favourite was The Queen - which is not as I first thought some tale of an undead queen but rather it's a ship, possibly the last ship of surviving humans, plying the waves, constantly raiding the land, in their battle against an intelligent undead opponent. This novella should be made into a movie or tv series - imagine The Walking Dead on a ship....
All in all, with Eric Brown you will always get first-class action, tight writing & fast-paced dialogue. These novellas are all very original, each offering something new. Many have since been expanded into longer stories & novels so depending on which you like best, you can follow up on it.
Eric S Brown is becoming a major influence in modern zombie writing & these novellas are a giant step in this process.
May 2010 – Unabridged, Unabashed & Undead – Eric S. Brown
Best Zombie Anthology For a Long Time
What can I say? I love this selection of short stories - they are very easy to read & written by a master at his craft who does not over do things in the verbiage department. You won't find long flowery descriptions here - the stories are sharp & focused. Some are short - almost like flash fiction.
I really enjoyed the stories themselves, the author is a great storyteller, reminds me of Stephen King....
If you after a highly readable anthology with plenty of variety - this is the one for you. Some of the tales are regular zombie survival stories, others such as one set in a factory (I won't spoil it) unlike anything I read before in the genre.
The actual book is also very nicely put together & the font very easy to read...
If you are a fan of the living dead genre, get it & support an author who deserves much more recognition.