Zombies In New York Sam Stone
Something is sapping the energy of the usually robust dancers of the Moulin Rouge … Zombies roam the streets of New York City … Clowns die in mysteriously humorous ways … Jack the Rippers crimes are investigated by a vampire …
Welcome to the horrific and poetic world of Sam Stone, where Angels are stalking the undead and a vampire becomes obsessed with a centuries-old werewolf. Terror and lust go hand in hand in the disturbing world of the Toymaker, and the haunting Siren’s call draws the hapless further into a waking nightmare.
Thirteen stories of horror and passion, and six mythological and erotic poems from the pen of the new Queen of Vampire fiction.
This collection is split into three sections. The first seven short tales fall under the banner heading of Lucrezia’s Stories. Lucrezia is the main character from another novel called Futile Flame, which is part of the Vampire Gene series. The second section, called Other Bloody Jottings contains six one off short stories. The collection is rounded off with six poems
Of the thirteen stories that make up the main body of the anthology my personal favourites are listed below.
Fools Gold – I have to admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for stories set in Victorian London. Add to that the mystery that surrounds the legends of Jack the Ripper as well as a vampire-cum-detective and you have successfully caught my attention.
Lead Poisoning – Another story that has a definite nod to the detective genre. In this instance however the action takes place in modern day Los Angeles but also has one foot firmly in the past.
Zombies in New York – I don’t want to say too much about this, as it would spoil the surprise, but imagine if 28 Days Later had vampires in it. Zombie purists may disagree a bit with the title though.
Clown Addict – In a collection of macabre and quirky stories I think Clown Addict wins the prize for being the oddest. A civil servant who works in the security services develops an attraction to clowns. Rather than fearing them, Coulrophobia fact fans, he lusts after them. This is definitely one of the stronger stories in the collection. It was nice to see a horror mainstay, the scary clown, de-constructed and stood on its head.
Chillers and Breathers – Two cops hunt down a killer, one is a ghost while the other is alive. I like the premise of this story – an alternate Earth where ghosts and the living co-exist. I could quite happily read an entire novel that further explores this mythology.
Each story in the collection ends with some additional thoughts from the author. I’m undecided how I feel about these inclusions. In a couple of instances the additional notes do prove to be insightful but on other occasions I think that certain stories may have been better served by leaving them to speak for themselves.
Zombies of New York and Other Bloody Jottings certainly acts as a perfect introduction to Sam Stone’s work. If you enjoy the likes of Laurell K Hamilton’ Anita Blake series then I think it may be worth your while checking this out. The short stories that take up the first half of the book do offer a tantilising glimpse into the Vampire Gene universe.
Overall I found this collection to be a bit of a mixed bag. The stories I highlighted above captured my imagination and were a great deal of fun to read but some of the others left me a little cold. In fairness I don’t think I am necessarily the target audience for this collection. The inner cover mentions, “Chick slash has never been so entertaining”. I think based on the fact that I had to go and look up what Chick slash meant this would suggest that I’m not the novel’s intended target.
I also have to be honest and admit that I didn’t read any of the poetry. My experience with poetry is limited and I fear I could potentially do the author’s work a disservice by attempting to write/review an art form I am largely ignorant of.
Stone is undoubtedly passionate about her work and I think I would recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys his or her horror with a lustful or obsessive edge and is willing to give something new a try.
Zombies in New York and Other Bloody Jottings is published by Telos and is available now.