Bewildering Stories

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Zombies to the Rescue...

Poisoned Graves by Eric S. Brown, John Grover and Gail Davis
Reviewed by Jerry Wright

Book Cover Eric likes us. He was one of the first real authors to send something to Bewildering Stories. I had not really planned on publishing "horror" because it isn't my cup of rotting blood, but the quality of the story was enough to force me to print it. That story was "Malarath", in Issue 1. Truly bewildering. "Malarath" has been reprinted and even published in various e-books. "Five Thieves", a superhero/horror pastiche was available for a while in Issue 6, but now is only available in Poisoned Graves a new book from Eric and Company available from Double Dragon.

Eric has a love affair with Zombies... No, wait, that didn't come out right... I mean, uhm. What do I mean? Seriously, Eric enjoys reading and writing about zombies, as well as watching good movies about zombies, if that isn't an oxymoron. I thought that Poisoned Graves was a bit light at 120 pages, but for $4 to $6 (depending on where you buy it) it is a shining example of horrificness. The quality of editing and proofing on this one is much better than in Space Stations and Graveyards his previous outing, and the stories, though uneven, are worth reading.

Gail's "The Essential" is well written and features a nasty little rapist. Is he undead? I'll leave that to you. John's Cop Story, "Exposing the Underbelly" was good for a little frisson. "The Denaba Incident" is sort of Alienish, but with some decent characterization.

For some odd reason, there are thirteen tales in this compendium, as well as a nice intro from a fellow webzine editor, Pete Allen of The Swamp and story commentaries and biographies.

Eric and Gail have both appeared in Bewildering Stories. John has not, except as part of Eric's two writer's conferences.

Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wright

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