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Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance Paperback – September 28, 2010
From Publishers Weekly
Perkins (Cowboy Lover) collects 21 zombie romance stories full of humor, horror, and love. Jaime Saare's "I Heart Brains" has an SF twist: a man infected with "the z-virus" shopping in a megamart for a gently used replacement body. In Jan Kozlowski's powerful "First Love Never Dies," a police detective learns of an undead sex slave operation run by his ex's abusive father. In Regina Riley's poignant "Undying Love," a long-suffering zombie seeks his lost lover. Gina McQueen's "Apocalypse as Foreplay," Jeanine McAdam's "Inhuman Resources," and Dana Fredsti's "First Date" are zippy stories about the sexy turn-on of successful zombie hunting. Stacy Brown's "The Magician's Apprentice" offers chills as a woman willingly gives up every bit of herself to please a man. Michael Marshall Smith's "Later" makes one man's heartbreak palpable when his girlfriend has a fatal accident. Voodoo magic, zombie-creating viruses, and inexplicable zombie apocalypses all make appearances, but effective storytelling moves beyond the reanimation and into the hearts and minds of the characters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“For the purists and naysayers who believe zombies are incapable of feeling anything but an insatiable appetite for human brains, here's a collection of stories that demonstrates the enduring hunger for love after undeath. Even though a zombie's heart has stopped beating, it can still ache with desire.” ―S.G. Browne, author of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
“Hungry for Your Love gives a delicious new spin on 'undying love'! Each story is a slice of wicked zombie fun!” ―Jonathan Maberry, author of The Dragon Factory and Patient Zero
“A wonderfully twisted undertaking (pun intended), Hungry for Your Love is a many-faceted feast of love, loss, sex, heartbreak, rotting flesh, and romance from beyond the grave.” ―Christopher Golden, bestselling author and editor of The New Dead
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Lori Perkins' Introduction is a must read explanation for how this seemingly insane project ever came to be; as you no doubt expected, some daring, even some "double dog daring" was involved. Suffice it to say that Ms. Perkins encountered some skepticism: "We posted the thesis on Facebook, and hundreds of readers said they couldn't imagine romance with rotting corpses."
"Oh, ye of little faith."
The only clanking comes from her attempts to justify people's fascination with vampires and (some) people's fascination with zombies in terms of recent sociopolitical and economic events.
Stick with mortal humanity's age old quest for immortality paired with the price that must be paid for it, and you'll be on firmer ground. We'd ALL love to live forever, depending on the price we'd have to pay for it, and we'd all expect (Someone) to have to pay a heavy price for it.
Jeremy Wagner's "Romance Ain't Dead" kicks off the lunacy with an old-fashioned (pre-Romero) tale about the kind of zombies your grandmother used to make,...
if your grandmother was from Haiti. Chicago North Shore resident Bruce loses the love of his life in a tragic Lake Michigan boating accident, but neighbor Doctor Wyclef Moliare, leading brain surgeon and Haitian immigrant, offers him an alternative. The result is surprisingly touching and sweet,...
in a stomach-churningly creepy way, and the romance anthology you swore could never be written is well and truly underway.
Francesca Lia Block's "Revenants Anonymous" arguably comes the closest to using zombism as a metaphor, in this case for giving up on life because of tragedy and "living" as if you were undead. A couple of Revenants Anonymous attendees find hope and laughter and love and maybe even life together.
In Jaime Saare's "I Heart Brains" the zombie virus is in full swing, and as always, Capitalism has risen to the challenge: Bodies For Your Brains is kind of like a Best Buy for the brain dead for those victims wealthy enough to afford it, and thanks to some fortunate investment decisions by his parents, Derrick Quinn, DOA this very morning, can afford it. However, the newly widowed and impoverished seller of the successful suicide has made an unusual stipulation: "She wants to meet the buyer." Is love really better the second time around, and does this really count as the second time around?
Elizabeth Coldwell's "Everyone I Love is Dead" explores the complications of mixed-mortality couples for the zombie-curious,... or is that triples?
S. M. Cross' "Through Death To Love" chronicles what happens when a speech therapist experiences a growing attraction to her zombie patient, "There are the mindless, shambling dead, and there are the thoughtful undead, men and women of heart and soul, certainly more human than not. Robert is definitely one of the latter."
Stacey Graham's "Eye of the Beholder" is a short, funny bit about "the worst first date in history" between a couple of the pulse-challenged.
Jan Kozlowski's "First Love Never Dies" is a grim tale about a couple of cops in a crooked town trying to take down the local power and alleged zombie pimp and also trying to rescue a lost high school love.
R. G. Hart's "My Partner the Zombie" is a film noir detective story parody with a couple of likable characters as the detectives somewhat wasted in a tale that is too silly and too short.
In Regina Riley's "Undying Love" a witch receives a visit from a very unusual zombie with a very unusual request. A couple of likable characters in an engrossing story that unfortunately comes to an abrupt end, I'd like to read the rest if she ever finishes it.
Brian Keene's "Captive Hearts" is a grim little tale of how the Zombie Apocalypse allows a woman to get a wickedly appropriate revenge on a well deserving slimeball.
Gina McQueen's "Apocalypse as Foreplay" is a hilariously grim little tale about a couple blowing away the all too familiar zombified residents of her home town as they try to make it home alive to meet her parents.
Lois H. Gresh's "Julia Brainchild" is a hysterically over the top parody about a couple of chefs fighting for control of a brain cooking TV show while they struggle with their growing lust for each other. Naturally, the "living challenged" get worked into the plot eventually.
Steven Saus' "Kicking the Habit" tells the story of a group of zombies traveling the country convincing others of their kind to give up eating human brains. It is also a sweet and poignant tale of lost love regained.... Seriously.
Isabel Roman's "Zombified" is the simple tale of a couple of strangers who co-inherit "a no-doubt ramshackle former plantation on Martinique". Of course the only thing they raise on the plantation now is....
Mercy Loomis' "White Night, Black Horse" is another gripping tale of more traditional zombies, and a worm finally turning.
Jeanine McAdam's "Inhuman Resources" reveals a truth we have long suspected: some of our coworkers don't just look and act like zombies; they actually ARE zombies. "They could be paper pushers counting their days until retirement or flesh-eating monsters looking for their next meal." Sometimes it's hard to tell.
Stacy Brown's "The Magician's Apprentice" is another satisfyingly zombified tale of true love finally found, worms turning, and how a famous magic trick is actually performed.
Vanessa Vaughn's "Some New Blood" is another zombie as a metaphor story. A couple whose marriage is dead in more ways than one, find a way to revitalize it.
Kilt Kilpatrick's "Last Times at Ridgemont High" is a sometimes grim, sometimes hilarious tale of the brain deadening routine of high school interrupted by the Zombie Apocalypse and every male high school student's fantasies come true.
Dana Fredsti's "First Date" is about a truly awful first date fortunately brought to an early conclusion by the Zombie Apocalypse. Fortunately? Yes, they were just that incompatible.
Finally Michael Marshall Smith's "Later" is another sweet and touching if unbearably creepy tale of love lost and regained.
Well, that's it. The romance anthology that you just knew couldn't be written, shouldn't be written, and wouldn't be written, has been written, and it wasn't half bad!
Note: The zombie-curious might also be interested in the best zombie football novel ever: Play Dead.
The protagonists in Hungry for Your Love vary from humans surviving the zombie apocalypse to actual rotting, brain-eating zombies, and everything in between. There are, of course, a few stories that aren't my cup of tea-but that's to be expected in every anthology and I'm not going to elaborate on the stories I didn't love. The fact is, however, that choosing a favorite story is nigh unto impossible because they are all just so good, and even the stories that weren't my favorites were well-written.
The second story in the anthology, "Revenants Anonymous," by Francesca Lia Block, blew my socks off. It's the personal account of a zombie woman who finds love at an addicts meeting for the life-challenged. The romantic interest is a dark-haired singer/songwriter with a guitar-and what girl doesn't want to date that guy, even if he's undead? The love between the two zombies ends up being sweet and poignant and even a little inspiring, and Block does a great job of conjuring the "life feels so much more alive" emotion that happens at the start of a new relationship after a long dry spell. The sex scene is described with tenderness and just enough detail to be sexy without being pornographic.
"My Partner The Zombie," by R.G. Hart, is a noir-style tale about a pair of private detectives, one of whom happens to be a zombie. I enjoyed solving the mystery along with the detectives, laughed at the application of "Zombie Away" (a chemical solvent that does exactly what it sounds like it should do), and ultimately smiled at the happy ending. Happy endings are rare in the zombie fiction genre, but it seems to me that even in a zombie romance anthology the stories should have happy endings-or, at least, mostly happy.
Deetra, the protagonist in "Undying Love," by Regina Riley, is a witch-for-hire. When a man walks into her magic shop and asks her to locate someone, she is unexpectedly attracted to him. Unfortunately, he's also a zombie, but that doesn't stop Deetra from developing a huge crush. Riley has a real knack for dialogue. I was only a few pages in before I was swooning for the zombified hero right along with Deetra. I don't want to describe too much about this story and give away the details, but one scene made me cry actual tears. If you're looking for erotica, you should look elsewhere, but if you're looking for an emotionally moving, deeply romantic story, this is it, right here.
"Julia Brainchild" is a weird little story that almost defies description. The protagonist cooks brains for a television cooking show, and his thunder is stolen by the beautiful and charismatic Julia Brainchild. He becomes increasingly obsessed with seducing his sexy co-host, leading to a strange ending that is simultaneously happy and tragic. That might make it sound like this story, by Lois H. Gresh, is not good, but it is, just not in a traditional way, which is pretty brilliant. It's nice to have a surreal little gem with a twist ending nestled in with all the other stories, like the prize at the bottom of a cereal box.
And of course, I love Steve Saus's story, "Kicking the Habit." It's about as romantic as a story about zombie lovers can be. I have to admit that it is, however, even better read aloud by the author, so if you ever have a chance to hear Steve read it, you should.
Mercy Loomis's "White Night, Black Horse" is a story about traditional Voodoo zombies, which was a nice break from the Romero-style undead ones. Stacy Brown's "The Magician's Apprentice" is about the love we sometimes overlook or neglect because we are too infatuated with someone flashy to notice the genuine affection of someone more modest. And "Last Times at Ridgemont High," by Kilt Kilpatrick, is a clever parody of the high school angst film with which we're all familiar. I was impressed with Kilpatrick's ability to lead my expectations in one direction and then completely surprise me.
The book concludes with two strong stories, "First Date" by Dana Fredsti and "Later" by Michael Marshall Smith. "First Date" is a sexy adventure story with an incredibly erotic sex scene, perhaps the most erotic in the book, as if we were building to this climax all along (hurr, puns). "Later" draws the book to a close with a sweet, lyrical tale of love that refuses to be lost, even in death. This story was perfect to close the book, as it's probably the one that haunts me the most after putting it down. Smith has a real way of composing images that linger in your mind.
All-in-all, Hungry for your Love is well worth the cover price. There's a little something for everyone: adventure, sex, love, and even romance. And shockingly, there's not a formulaic tale in the whole lot. Thanks to this book, I daresay I might pick up more horror-romance, and that's saying a lot from someone who, not two months ago, was a genre snob. So well done, Lori Perkins and company!
Most recent customer reviews
I adore this book! I have read many zombie horror and zombie romance books this is one of the best!Read more