Rom Zom Com: A Zombie Anthology edited by Stewart Hotston



Zom Rom Com is short for Zombie Romantic Comedy. You heard that right. Stop and think about that for a second. It isn’t right is it? It gets worse as you read it. This anthology is an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Even now my brain is rebelling against the concept. This is not a bad thing. For me one of the essential parts of horror writing is the ability to twist and change reality just enough to jar and shift perceptions. This book certainly does that. At points I could hear the canned laughter in my head. That felt very weird. It was like somebody got Romero REALLY drunk and persuaded him to make something in the style of Four Weddings and a Funeral but with his trademark zombies left in and taking it a lot further than films like Shaun of the Dead did.

Every story in this anthology is different. Very different and yet somehow they are all tied together by the Zom Rom Com feel that pervades this work. My favourite part was a woman reading a bedtime story to her zombie son. The zombified version of Cinderella worked perfectly as a story within a story whilst showing how a sentient zombie might try to normalize their existence by clinging on to old habits. This kind of humanization is present in several of the stories and it works really well.

Another of the stories is about what is quite possibly the worst date ever. You can’t get much more Rom Com than that. Add in necromancy and zombies and you get an odd yet really effective story.

This book challenges you to correlate zombies with romantic comedy. Think you can handle it without your brain imploding? Give it a try. I double dare you.




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