We were absolutely ecstatic when St. Martin’s Press offered our team a review copy of the new zombie anthology Nights of the Living Dead. Edited by award-winning author Jonathan Maberry, this collection features nineteen short stories by some of today’s most important writers; all inspired by George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead.
While working our way through these amazing tales of the undead, we received the sad news that Romero had passed away. And it quickly dawned on us that this may be the last time that our friend, the “Godfather of the Dead” himself, would contribute to the very genre that he had created. Reading his final story of death and the undead became a surreal experience.
But this anthology isn’t a eulogy; it is a celebration of the man and his work! Romero’s vast influence is felt in every chapter, and revered by every author. The immense talent on display in Nights of the Living Dead is a testament to the enduring legacy that George A. Romero left to the world. And it serves as a wonderful tribute to the genre that he created in 1968.
[I]t all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse… Nights of the Living Dead returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the dead himself, George A. Romero, to present a collection of all-new tales set during the forty-eight hours of that legendary outbreak.
Among the contributors are original Night of the Living Dead screenwriter John A. Russo; and our friend Craig Engler, writer and co-creator of the popular Syfy television series Z Nation. Other stand-outs include “Orbital Decay” by David Wellington, and “Pages from a Notebook Found Inside a House in the Woods” by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Brain Keene.
Obviously Romero’s contribution, simply titled “John Doe”, is a must read. But the surprisingly candid introduction; describing his ethnic heritage and the “misinterpretation” of casting Duane Jones, may prove to be historic. It is the final statement by Romero on the genre he created; a sincere, first-hand account regarding the accidental birth of the modern zombie.
Jonathan Maberry may have unknowingly curated the last, and most important work of zombie fiction for our generation. This anthology manages to bring the genre full-circle; simultaneously celebrating the world that George A. Romero created so many years ago, while also propelling it forward courtesy of today’s most talented writers and authors.
To learn more about Nights of the Living Dead, or to read the complete introduction by George A. Romero, please visit the official website online, courtesy of Macmillan Publishers and St. Martin’s Press. The anthology itself is also available right now via Amazon.