My story "In the Land of the Blind" (which won the Chizine contest, like, a decade ago) is reprinted in volume one of Best New Zombie Tales edited by James Roy Daley. Really, it's in there, as can be seen from the back of the book:

Yes, that's my name there, along with "Micro Award Finalist," which I guess is something special even though the Micro Awards are no more (three years is the normal longevity of an award, right?).

Anyhow, it's not your common zombie story. I like to call it a "non traditional" zombie story, because yes, the living dead are in it, but they do not eat humans. In fact, they're actually scared of humans. Here's a little bit from the opening:

Like everyone else he knew, Steven’s heart did not beat. Instead it lay dead in his chest, as docile as his brain and his lungs and his soul. So when he first heard the faint beating sound coming from outside his bedroom window, he didn’t know what to think.

He considered telling his parents. He’d been hearing the beating for almost a week now. Somewhere in the trees and bushes beyond their backyard. Its continuous thump-thumping sounded not outside of his head, but rather in.

When his friend Jimmy came over to the house one day, Steven took him out back.

“Do you hear that?”

“Hear what?”


If Jimmy couldn’t hear the beating, Steven knew his parents wouldn’t either. They’d just stare down at him with dead eyes and say, Oh Steven, don’t make things up. You know what will happen if you do.

He knew. It dealt with something only the zombies had, something called imagination. It was dangerous and evil and those who had it were hunted down and put out of their misery.

But one night the beating became too much for Steven. He snuck outside with a shovel — why the shovel, he didn’t know, except that he would need it — and followed the sound until he came to a spot beneath a willow tree. He placed his hand on the dirt where the thump-thumping was the loudest and felt the earth vibrating. He began to dig.

The anthology is available as an e-book (for $2.99 at Amazon and Smashwords) and as a trade paperback (for a slightly higher price at Amazon). I actually got my contributor's copies the other day and they're really nice. A thick book, too, over 300 pages (mostly because Ray Garton's story "Zombie Love" is about 100 pages long). Yes, the book is mostly filled with reprints, even though it's called Best New Zombie Tales. But hey, as they say, if you haven't read it yet, it's new to you.

Now, I have an extra copy here. Me thinks it's time for a new mini-contest. And here's how we're going to do it. In the comments section, write something that has to do with zombies. Your favorite zombie movie, book, video game, whatever. Or your least favorite zombie movie, book, video game, whatever. Or be creative and come up with a new mash-up. Whatever, as long as it has something to do with zombies. The deadline? Until ten people have entered. It could be a day, a week, a month, but when the tenth person has entered, I'll pick a random name and that person will get a free copy. Cool? Cool. Now I'm not great at farewells, so uh ... that'll do, pig.