cover image Nights of the Living Dead

Nights of the Living Dead

Edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A. Romero. St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-11224-8

In this somewhat overwhelming collection of zombie fiction, 20 authors return to the world first seen in Romero’s 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, to explore the original zombie apocalypse in all its gory glory. Romero himself and the film’s cocreator, John A. Russo, both contribute, as do authors directly inspired by them and those who have further solidified and expanded the genre, such as Jonathan Maberry, Mira Grant, Chuck Wendig, Carrie Ryan, and Neal and Brenda Shusterman. The stories show zombies invading myriad settings—even outer space—and decades, from the 1960s to the present. With so many tales revolving around a specific theme, there’s a great deal of repetition in terms of mood and outcome, and the underlying theme of terror and despair can feel suffocating. As in the film, horrible things happen to good people and bad alike, and there’s plenty of visceral carnage (including a truly horrifying scene with a zombie baby in David J. Schow’s contribution). The anthology is the perfect homage to the zombie movie that started it all, but it lacks a fulfilling degree of variety. Agent: Sara Crowe, Pippin Properties. (July)