Review: “Zombies in New York…” by Sam Stone

When I picked up ‘Zombies in New York and other bloody jottings’ by Sam Stone, I was worried I was doing her a disservice. I had just put down Stephen King’s “Full Dark, No Moon” – part way through, too.

I didn’t need to worry. ‘Zombies’ (published by Telos) was more than capable of looking after itself, and even has a foreword from Graham Masterton. The book, a collection of short stories, is split into three parts. The smallest section, at the back, is some of Sam’s poetry, and I won’t comment on it because what I know about poetry could be written on one side of a red blood cell.

The first half of the book features stories about Lucrezia, a main character from Sam’s “Vampire Gene” series of books.ks. I found them immensely entertaining, and I expect they would be even more so to someone who had already read the “Vampire Gene” books. Lucrezia is a fascinating character, with a unique outlook on morality and immortality that gives her surprising depth for a short-fiction character, and that character builds through the sequence of stories Sam presents to us.

One note of caution, though, is that this is most definitely a book for adults. Lucrezia has sometimes bizarre and primal tastes, and Sam does not shy away from matters sexual in the same way she does not shy away from matters visceral. Body fluids of all descriptions are fully acceptable, and readily exchanged.

The second group of stories are not themed, and it is in this group that I found my two favourites: ‘Immortal Monster’ and ‘The ToyMaker’s House’. In his foreword, Graham Masterson says that ‘Zombies’ will make you “want to wash your hands. Twice”. For these two stories, I wanted gloves. Thick, industrial ones. I won’t go into detail, though, partly for fear of unintentional spoilers, and partly because I if I had to be that scared I don’t see why I should let you off the hook.

‘Immortal Monster’ is a classic psycho-suspense nail-biter, whilst ‘The Toymaker’s House’ is good, old-fashioned physical nastiness that really ought to be optioned for Hollywood. Both are compulsive reading, and contributed to me staying up far too late to finish the book.

If I had one tiny criticism, I found the margins of the type so close to the edge of the page that I felt I would fall off the book if I read too fast, but that was soon smoothed away by the quality of the prose.

The package is wrapped in some stunning artwork, and gave me an all-round enjoyable introduction to the work of Sam Stone. I’m told that the initial print run was exhausted by advanced sales, so ‘Zombies’ has gone to reprint before its official launch. I am impressed.

Go check out ‘Zombies’ and Sam’s other works at her web page

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: