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21st Century Dead by Christopher Golden

21st Century Dead

by Christopher Golden (Editor)

Other authors: Amber Benson (Contributor), S. G. Browne (Contributor), Ken Bruen (Contributor), Chelsea Cain (Contributor), Orson Scott Card (Contributor)16 more, Dan Chaon (Contributor), Stephanie Crawford (Contributor), Cody Goodfellow (Contributor), Simon R. Green (Contributor), Brian Keene (Contributor), Caitlin Kittredge (Contributor), Jonathan Maberry (Contributor), John McIlveen (Contributor), Mark Morris (Contributor), John Skipp (Contributor), Thomas E. Sniegoski (Contributor), Stephen Susco (Contributor), Kurt Sutter (Contributor), Duane Swierczynski (Contributor), Daniel H. Wilson (Contributor), Rio Youers (Contributor)

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Good set of short stories. My favorite overall had to be Ghost Dog but I liked a few of the stories that went off track with the traditional zombie storyline. ( )
  Traciinaz | Mar 17, 2016 |
This is a follow-up of sorts to Golden's earlier zombie anthology, The New Dead. I liked that one a lot, so I went into this one with fairly high expectations, but, unfortunately, it didn't do nearly as much for me.

There are maybe a handful of stories here I would describe as good, with the rest ranging from okay all the way down to annoying. Which maybe isn't actually all that bad a hit rate for an anthology; it's rare for every story to be a winner, or for all of them to match any given reader's tastes. Still, the previous volume was so good that it's hard not to feel disappointed. Especially as what impressed me so much about that one is how fresh and clever its authors' various takes on the zombie concept felt. Too many of the stories in this one feel as if they're trying -- maybe a little too hard -- to be fresh and clever, but falling down in the execution. There are too many chunks of exposition explaining how this or that version of the zombie scenario happened, with variations in detail and setting making them slightly different from other versions I'd seen, but usually not quite different enough to be interesting. And, you know, the first time a living, breathing human is referred to as being "the walking dead" in a zombie story because they're in a hopeless situation or something, it might seem meaningful, but after encountering it for the third time in the course of one anthology, it starts to feel like yet another cliche.

I wouldn't say this is bad, and the best stories in it are probably worth reading. But if you're looking for thought-provoking, well-written zombie-themed stories, I recommend The New Dead instead, then John Joseph Adams' excellent The Living Dead and The Living Dead 2, and then, if you still haven't had your flesh-eating fill, I'd say go ahead and check this out. ( )
  bragan | Feb 8, 2016 |
Usually, I find it difficult to give anthologies a reasonable review, as there are usually a couple of howlers in a collection. This was different though & I did quite like the variety & difference in this collection. Worth a look. ( )
  aadyer | Oct 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love to read about zombies, I do not love story collections. I probably shouldn't have picked this, as I may never finish it. I really liked the first story, Biters by Mark Morris. It was very suspensful up until the end which I found anticlimatic. The second story Why Mothers Let Their Babies Watch Television by Chelsea Cain was very short. I was really looking forward to trying this author and a two page story does not make much of an impression. Carousel by Orson Scott Card was wonderful, the zombies in it were not gross. The other story that I really liked was Antiparrellelogram by Amber Benson. It featured an origninal world and was fun to read. I think it is a great collection so far! ( )
  tammychristine | Oct 13, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
21st Century Dead, edited by Christopher Golden, is the followup to his 2010 anthology The New Dead, which has garnered generally positive reviews. I can't comment beyond that as I haven't read it. I did read this one, though, and I imagine it'll receive similar reviews. I personally found it fairly middling, but to be fair I don't know if that's truly a reflection on the quality (or lack thereof) of the stories on simply that I'm getting burned out on zombies.

There were a couple of standouts, and chief among those is "Ghost Dog & Pup: Stay" by Thomas E. Sniegoski. Zombies actually play a fairly minor role in this story and I would not have included it in a zombie anthology, but I'm glad Golden did because I doubt I would have read it otherwise. More than anything it's a story about a dog's love and devotion to his boy. I dare anyone that's ever had a dog to read this and not get just a little misty-eyed. This is a powerful story and I am going to be keeping an eye on Mr. Sniegoski going forward.

"Tender as Teeth" by Stephanie Crawford and Duane Swierczynski was the other standout story. It takes place sometime after a cure for zombie-ism is developed and tries to answer the question of how people would treat someone that was once a zombie but is a normal human again.

If you're itching for zombie tales, then 21st Century Dead will certainly scratch that itch. However, I think it's quite telling that the best stories in this anthology feature zombies only on the peripheral plot elements rather than having them front and center. Some might argue that this demonstrates the evolution of the zombie tale, but I think it just underscores the fact that zombies, like vampires before them, are on their way out. ( )
  donaldmcobb | Sep 4, 2012 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Golden, ChristopherEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benson, AmberContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Browne, S. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bruen, KenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cain, ChelseaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Orson ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaon, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crawford, StephanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, CodyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, Simon R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keene, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, CaitlinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maberry, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McIlveen, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skipp, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sniegoski, Thomas E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Susco, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sutter, KurtContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swierczynski, DuaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Daniel H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Youers, RioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
The author of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead, returns with 21st Century Dead, and an all new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection... with ZOMBIES! The stellar lineup of contributors for this new volume includes: Orson Scott Card, China Mieville, Simon R. Green, Daniel H. Wilson, Elizabeth Hand, Dan Chaon, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, S.G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, and—with his first published prose—Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter.
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Short Stories. Horror fiction. Science fiction. The Stoker-award winning editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology "The New Dead "returns with "21st Century Dead", and an all-new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection, with ZOMBIES! The stellar stories in this volume includes a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson's "Robopocalypse," the first published fiction by "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family, and resurrection from the legendary Orson Scott Card. This new volume also includes stories also from other award-winning and "New York Times" bestselling authors, such as: Simon R. Green, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, S. G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Hollywood screenwriter Stephen Susco, National Book Award nominee Dan Chaon, and more!… (more)

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