Monday, May 18, 2009

The New Dead

So, last year, I was approached by Michael Homler, an editor at St. Martin's Press. They had an interest, he said, in publishing an anthology of zombie stories and wanted me to put one together as editor. My initial reaction was hesitant. I enjoy zombie stories as much as the next weird bastard, but I was skeptical about doing something just to capitalize on the current trend. If I were to attempt it, my interest would be in compiling a collection of stories that touched on WHY zombies are so damn popular at the moment. Vampires, of course, remain popular because of their glamour and eroticism and the promise of eternal life. But, they eat your brains.


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.

My favorite work of zombie fiction ever is the poem "The March of the Dead" by Robert Service. In a way, it set the tone for this new anthology, though it was published long, long ago. Service wrote of the glorious homecoming of victorious soldiers, celebrated by the townspeople as they parade through the streets...only to be followed by the ravaged, horrible, lumbering dead, the soldiers who did not survive the war.

This isn't to say that the stories in THE NEW DEAD are all focused on such modern concerns (hah...modern...tell that to Robert Service). But each has its own unique perspective on the zombie story, and many are certainly informed by the cultural concerns unique to our era. On the other hand, some are about love. And, of course, they're all about Hunger, in one form or another.

Aside from taking a different slant on the zombie story--or, I should say, because of it--my other goal was to assemble a very eclectic array of contributors, a zombie anthology version of Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. Fantasy writers. Mainstream literary writers. Horror writers. Mystery and thriller writers. I can only hope you'll be as pleased with the results as I am.

Without further ado...the Table of Contents for THE NEW DEAD, shipping in February, 2010 from St. Martin's/Griffin:

Table of Contents

"Lazarus" by John Connolly
"What Maisie Knew" by David Liss
"Copper" by Stephen R. Bissette
"In the Dust" by Tim Lebbon
"Life Sentence" by Kelley Armstrong
"Delice" by Holly Newstein
"Closure, LTD" by Max Brooks
"The Wind Cries Mary" by Brian Keene
"Family Business" by Jonathan Maberry
"The Zombie Who Fell From the Sky" by M.B. Homler
"My Dolly" by Derek Nikitas
"Second Wind" by Mike Carey
"Among Us" by Aimee Bender
"Ghost Trap" by Rick Hautala
"The Storm Door" by Tad Williams
"Kids and Their Toys" by James A. Moore
"Shooting Pool" by Joe R. Lansdale
"Weaponized" by David Wellington
"Twittering from the Circus of the Dead" by Joe Hill