Better off Undead
Martin H. Greenberg and Daniel M. Hoyt
Daw, Nov 2008, $
This eighteen new story anthology focuses on a variety of different “Undead” species and not just vampires as mummies, fossils, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. The collection is divided into four major categories: Afterlife, Spirit, Flesh and Undead. Each section contains at least four entries. All the contributions are well written even as they run the gamut from humorous satire to ironic frightening lampoon. This reviewer’s overall favorite section is the Afterlife as Sarah A. Hoyt, Dave Freer, Laura Resnick, and Esther M. Friesner provide revenant and irreverent glimpses of life in the beyond. As amusing is Jay Lake’s ode to diets “Two All Beef Patties” (just avoid meat for a while). Readers will enjoy the look into whether one is BETTER OFF UNDEAD or not depends on what form you take (and the paranormal the reader likes best) as the rotting flesh of zombies leaves a lot to be desired especially if you are the clean up crew. This is lighthearted gallows humor with a tongue in cheek (that is if it has not rotted away) in which none of the authors take being undead graveyard seriously as even the Mummy is a con artist.