I was already reading a book when I picked up Best New Zombie Tales, Volume 1, but it was my lunch hour and I didn't have my other book with me. I said, what the heck, I'll read the first story of this anthology and catch the rest later. First off, the entry story is more of a novella, but that is okay because it's by Ray Garton and anything by him is well worth reading. As a matter of fact, it was so good that I put the other book down and continued with the Ray Garton story when I got home. That led to the next story and the next one...
For the last several years the zombie stories have poured forth making it almost impossible to come up with a new twist. Well, Best New Zombie Tales Volume I reached into the depths of zombiedom and brought forth not one original twist, but several. Most of these aren't the end of the world apocalyptic Romero stories. Now, there is nothing wrong with a good Romero zombie tale, and I have a sweet tooth for apocalyptic stories, but only a few fell into this specific slot. That isn't to say that the others weren't fine stories, they were. It made the stories more original and often surprising.
For instance, Ray Garton spins a tale of young love gone horribly wrong in a 'Pet Semetary' sort of way and it turned out to be one of the best zombie stories I've ever read. Matt Hults brings to life an undead and bizarre restaurant where zombies relentlessly force a couple of entrepreneurs to serve them anything their non-beating hearts can desire. Kealan Patrick Burke tells of a man who died but doesn't know it, a common problem at the time that the government assists with. In Jeff Strand's Immunity a darkly humorous story is told of a man's larger than life ego. Another story full of flavor and dark humor is Jonathan Maberry's Pegleg and Paddy Save the World. If you want a story to make you cringe and squirm check out the brutal tale SKN-3 by Steven E. Wedel.
And that isn't all the stories, just some of the highlights. So, if you are a fan of zombie fiction, or a fan of horror, or even a person who likes dark humor then this collection of stories is well worth checking out.