Not All Of Them About Zombies
by Matthew Rowe, fantasy (2003)
Lulu, $13.95, ISBN 978-1-84799-707-4

Not All Of Them About Zombies is a cute collection of short stories written by Matthew Rowe. According to the preface, he is hoping that people will enjoy this collection enough to spread the word around and help generate enough buzz to help him get some street cred the next time he shops his full-length works to agents and publishers. I'm not sure how much weight editors and agents place on self-published efforts though.

Apart from a short poem Zombies which seems more like a chant written to be performed by drunk and rowdy hooligans in a soccer match to me, there aren't any zombies stumbling around looking for brains in this story. Instead, the stories usually contain elements of fantasy or horror, often presented with twists that range from ironic to humorous. Just A Fluke is a horror story, for example, while Don't Fear The Reaper is a Hitchcock-like noir tale.

I'm not going to go into great details about each story because they are short and therefore it's hard to review each one individually without giving away everything. I'm just going to review the collection as a whole, is that okay?

The author has a buoyant and enjoying writing style. His sense of humor resonates with me. Besides, anyone who recognizes how pretentious Donnie Darko is is A-OK in my book! While I don't think that there is any story here that stands out, they are well-written and entertaining. The weakest stories, in my opinion, is the opening story Selling Liberty and the story that comes next, The Happily Ever After, but I feel this way because those stories contain too many obvious "homages" to the original works that inspired these stories. In other words, these two stories are not as interesting as the other stories in this collection.

At the end of the day, I find Not All Of Them About Zombies a quick, quirky, and enjoyable read.

Rating: 85

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