(pb; 2012: erotica / zombie anthology. Foreword by Thomas Roche)
From the back cover:
"Why should the zombie apocalypse be the time to think about romance? Like flesh for zombies, romance is the stuff of life for the living. We shamble through life searching desperately for it, and nothing but love fills our need.
"In the pages of Hungry for Love, people find each other and love each other in a world of contagion, consumption and consumerism gone mad.
"Coming Together is about giving. . . and about sex (a powerful combination in any venue). Each book in the series benefits a different charity. Join us in doing good while being bad, and celebrate the diversity of life!"
Marsden has fashioned a solid, diverse collection of zombies-and-sex tales.
A few of the stories didn't grab me - two ran too long (Kiki Howell's "Zombie Factory" and t'Sade's "Love Never Dies") and one of the stories (Erzabet Bishop's "Dark Hunger") was too predictable.
Even these flawed pieces had something to recommend them, as rough-write works - they merely needed to be whittled down slightly, or the author could have thrown an unfamiliar mini-twist into her shambling lust mix, to help distinguish it from other seen-this-before stories.
Hungry for Love is worth owning - for its charitable aims, and its published delivery.
1.) "My Name is Brighton" - Alana Noël Voth: A date rape victim-turned-zombie seeks out one of the men (Paul) who used her - without being aware that he had done so.
More horror story than plot-lite sex work, this excellent, sympathetic and character-veracious tale is one of the best stories in this anthology.
2.) "Meat" - Bobby Diabolus: A bite-infected man goes through various stages of evolving desire, while looking for his raw, sexy ex-lover (Honey).
"Meat" is an interesting story that ably balances the emotional and carnal aspects of its lead character, without tipping into unintentional pornoriffic parody, emotive abstraction or zombie clichés.
This original, first person-POV tale vaguely echoes David Cronenberg's "Venereal Horror" films (e.g., Rabid, 1977; The Brood, 1979; Videodrome, 1983; The Fly, 1986 remake; eXistenZ, 1999).
3.) "Annie Morgan" - Armand Rosamilia: Especially good piece about a mercurial, promiscuous woman confronting something more potent than undead attackers.
4.) "Queer Zombie Disco" - Kirsty Logan: Offbeat tune-based horror sex tale.
5.) "Screen Siren" - Annabeth Leong: Hollywood-skewering, imaginative piece about a Z-grade movie director (Sam) and an undead, sentient actress.
This is one of the best entries in this collection.
"You Make a Dead Man Come" - Sommer Marsden; "Last Man on Earth" - Blacksilk; "The Tenderest Meat" - Elise Hepner; "Zombie Goddess" - Sadey Quinn; "Zombie Apocalypse: First Responder" - Kissa Starling; "Head Full of Zombie" - Alison Tyler; "Dead in the Water"- Lynn Townsend; "Little Deaths" - Cora Zane; "You Look Better Dead" - Jeffrey L. Shipley