Friday, August 2, 2013

Appalachian Undead - Edited by Eugene Johnson & Jason Sizemore - Backwoods fun with zombies

4 of 5 Stars    Review Copy

The Appalachian mountains run from Georgia to Maine, covering a lot of ground from a geography standpoint.  In much the same way, editors Eugene Johnson and Jason Sizemore, have covered a good deal of ground with their twenty selections for this zombie anthology.

There are granny moonshiners, zombie gators, zombie gunfighters and many more.  I like how different writers come at the zombie story from different directions and have different names for the undead. There's The Spread, The Cold Ones, Shufflers and even friendly zombies (watch out for the friendly zombies - they're sneaky).

There's a good mix of familiar names in the horror genre and several stories from names that are new to me.  

Here’s the table of contents in no particular order

When Granny Comes Marchin’ Home Again” by Elizabeth Massie
“Calling Death” by Jonathan Maberry
“Hide and Seek” by Tim Waggoner
“Twilight of the Zombie Game Preserve…” by S. Clayton Rhodes
“Being in Shadow” by Maurice Broaddus
“Sitting up with the Dead- Bev Vincent
“The Girl and the Guardian” by Simon McCaffery
“Repent, Jessie Shimmer! -Lucy Snyder
“Almost Heaven -Michael Paul Gonzalez
“On Stagger” by G. Cameron Fuller
“We Take Care of Our Own” by John Everson
“Sleeper” by Tim Lebbon
“Reckless” by Eliot Parker
“Company’s Coming” by Ronald Kelly
“Black Friday” by Karin Fuller
“Spoiled” by Paul Moore
“Miranda Jo’s Girl” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Times Is Tough in Musky Holler” by John Skipp & Dori Miller
“Long Days to Come” by K. Allen Wood
“Brother Hollis Gives His Final Sermon from a Rickety Make-Shift Pulpit in the Remains of a Smokehouse that now Serves as His Church” by Gary A. Braunbeck

The first short, When Granny Comes Marchin’ Home Again” by Elizabeth Massie, was so well received she went and turned it into the novel, Desper Hollow, which is also available from Apex Publications.

Speaking of Elizabeth Massie, her husband, Courtney Skinner, is the artist responsible for the cover on this book.  Nice work, Courtney.

Not every one of these stories is great, but there is certainly enough here to make Appalachian Undead an enjoyable read for zombie fans, even if you're city folk like me.

Originally published in 2012, Appalachian Undead, was taken off the market due to some kind of dispute at that time.  Truthfully, none of that matters anymore, because now it's back and is available from Apex Publications in a variety of print and e-book formats.

If you still haven't made up your mind, the fine folks at Apex Publications have published a chapbook sampler of 4 stories that didn't get into the book called, Mountain Dead.  If, for no other reason, get it for "Let Me Come In,"  a zombified retelling of "The Three Little Pigs." 

For now Mountain Dead is available for FREE.  Just go to and click on the Smashwords link to download in your preferred e-book format.


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