Zombie Apocalypse!
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Zombie Apocalypse!

3.69 (1,834 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A "mosaic novel" set in the near-future, when a desperate and ever-more controlling UK government decides to restore a sense of national pride with a New Festival of Britain. However, controversial plans to build on the site of an old church in South London releases a centuries-old plague that turns its victims into flesh-hungry ghouls whose bite or scratch passes the contagion on to others. Even worse, the virus may also have a supernatural origin with the power to revive the dead.

Despite the attempts of the police, the military and those in power to understand and contain the infection commonly referred to as "The Death", it soon sweeps across London, transforming everyone who comes into contact with it. With the city - and the country - falling into chaos, even a drastic attempt at a "Final Solution" to eradicate the outbreak at its source fails to prevent it from spreading to Europe and then quickly throughout the rest of the world.

Soon there is no more news coming out of Britain . . . and it is up to those survivors in other countries to confront the flesh-eating invaders within their midst. Will humanity triumph over a world-wide zombie plague, or will the walking dead ultimately inherit the Earth?

Told through various disparate and overlapping eye-witness accounts, through texts, e-mails, blogs, letters, diaries, transcripts, official reports and other forms of communication, a picture builds up of a world plunged into chaos - where the dead attack the living, and only one of them can be the ultimate victor.

Written by some of the biggest and best-known names in horror and science fiction, these interconnected narratives create a unique vision of the End of the World brought about by a plague that may have its origins in both science and the occult.

Praise for Stephen Jones:

'Horror's last maverick.' - Christopher Fowler

'Stephen Jones . . . has a better sense of the genre than almost anyone in this country.'- Lisa Tuttle, The Times Books

'The best horror anthologist in the business is, of course, Stephen Jones.' - Roz Kavaney, Time Out

'Edited by Stephen Jones, a member of that tiny band of anthologists whose work is so reliably good that you automatically reach out and grab hold of any new volume spotted if you are wise.'- Gahan Wilson, Realms of Fantasy

'One of the genre's most enthusiastic cheerleaders.' - Publishers Weekly
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 129 x 197 x 32mm | 372g
  • Robinson
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1849013039
  • 9781849013031
  • 106,625

Review quote

Clever, gruesome, poignant and pacy. * Financial Times * Compulsive reading. * SFX Magazine * An innovative, collaborative venture. * The Bookseller * Clever, gruesome, poignant and pacy . . . creator and editor Stephen Jones marshals the talents of a score of noted genre authors, eliciting contributions that play to the strengths of each . . . it's hard to avoid this book's clutches - much like the shambling corpses that fill its pages. * Financial Times * Kudos to Stephen Jones for making it happen. * Black Static *
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About Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones lives in London, England. He is the winner of three World Fantasy Awards, four Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awards and three International Horror Guild Awards as well as being an eighteen-time recipient of the British Fantasy Award and a Hugo Award nominee. A former television producer/director and genre movie publicist and consultant, he has written, edited and co-written numerous books. He was a Guest of Honour at the 2002 World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the 2004 World Horror Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Rating details

1,834 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 31% (564)
4 28% (512)
3 26% (469)
2 11% (204)
1 5% (85)

Our customer reviews

Anthologies, even themed ones, are usually a mixed bag. This one created by Stephen Jones is no different. Zombie Apocalypse! is a definite tip of the hat to H.P. Lovecraft, who is explicitly mentioned in the credits section. The book is basically a continuation of Lovecraft?s ? and Bram Stoker in Dracula, for example ? fake-documentary, first person style (see The Whisperer in Darkness for a prime Lovecraft example). There are letters, police and doctor reports, Twitter, IM, and SMS logs, blogs and so on. They detail the eponymous zombie apocalypse that starts off in the UK and before long spreads across the world. Sounds great this far, doesn?t it? I?ll be very blunt with this next comment: a fair few of the 19 authors in this book aren?t very good writers. As always in anthologies, there are some gems in there, a lot of OK stuff, some that are a bit ?meh? and then some that are a bit rubbish. Where a lot of these stories fail is subtlety. Whereas Lovecraft and Stoker manage to tell just enough to leave room for the imagination of the reader, many writers in ZA! fail in this respect. I mean that instead of ending, say, a logged phone call with ?ummn..are you ok?? they instead end it with ?oh my god, you?re really not ok! You?re a zombie! Oh my god, and now you?re taking chunks out of my arm! There?s blood everywhere! Now I understand, this is the way the plague spreads, through bites! Arrrrgh, I?m losing gallons of blood and my intestines are on the floor, and yet I keep on talking on this phone, I don?t even know why! Please, oh god no!? Catch my drift? The same flaw can be seen in another way as well, as the writers often pretty heavy handedly insert plot elements into stories which should be very realistic in style, such as police or medical reports. This greatly detracts from the whole suspension of disbelief thing. Why would a police officer write in his report that a church has a ?strange aura? or that it ?feels Gothic? or suddenly describe his female police partner as a ?glamorous [...] tall, striking blonde?? Sorry, but that?s just plain poor writing. Sometimes less is indeed more. There?s another major problem. Basically, while the book tells a chronologically pretty coherent story, at times it doesn?t know whether it is a bird or a fish. At times its Dawn of the Dead, at times Return of the Living Dead, before becoming 28 Days Later and segueing to Army of Darkness. Sounds like a very wide spread of different styles, and it is. The book also becomes a bit repetitive at times, as it?s basically ?now I?m writing, now I?m depressed, now I?ve been bitten/scratched, now I?m turning into a zombie/committing suicide? over and over again, told through various media sources. Despite those flaws, the book is mostly a very entertaining read, and I found it difficult to put down quite a few times. A lot of the stories are very short (often thankfully so), and some of them are really rather good, so even at over 500 pages it doesn?t grow wearisome. It could just be the zombie enthusiast in me, but I?ll definitely give this another read, although I might skip a few of the B-grade stories. There?s a fair bit of humour in there as well, with some being hit and miss but others downright hilarious. Overall verdict: Make no mistake, this is no World War Z 2. The stories vary a lot in quality, and at times the book?s styles and themes are all over the place. It?s still a good way to spend a few evenings or quite a few bus rides, if you?re into zombie apocalypse and the fake-documentary style. I just wish they?d all read their Lovecraft.show more
by Mikko Merilainen
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