“Zombies: The Recent Dead”, Edited by Paula Guran, ANTHOLOGY REVIEW Part 5

Zombies: The Recent Dead by Paula Guran“Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed” by Steve Duffy is a tale of zombies on the high seas. Three buddies, one with girlfriend in tow, take the fishing vessel Katie Mae out for an after dark cruise, seeking a secluded spot to down some beers and fire up a few joints. The party is interrupted when they find a man named Andy floating in the water far from shore. They recognize him and soon realize that, despite the fact that he is conscious and speaking to them, he has been in the water far too long to have survived. Maybe that’s why he feels so cold. Legend has it that there is something “twitchy” about this patch of ocean, and Andy is certainly not the only person to have met his maker in those icy depths.

In the pre-Night of the Living Dead days this would have been compared to the works of William M. Gaines rather than George Romero. Gaines was the publisher and often writer for the legendary E.C. horror comics of the 1950s, and the walking corpse was a staple of those books. Granted, E.C. walking dead were usually bent on revenge, and Romero zombies are motivated by a mindless hunger for human flesh, but we’re never quite clear on what the reanimated folks in this story are after. Perhaps it’s just a ride back to shore, but the ambiguity is nicely chilling, and this fifth story marks another winner.

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