“Skin Trade provides a welcome antidote to the glut of generic zombie fodder.”
The Great Undead Uprising of 1870 devastated the western frontier and destroyed the Indian Nations. Though the Army was able to contain the menace before it could devour the entire country, the United States lost claim to her western territories as the survivors fled to the relative safety of the east coast.
Samantha Martin is among the few folks travelling west, seeking asylum within the infected territories. Running from a past that threatens to consume her, young Sam dons the mantle of a male and hides in an all boys’ workhouse that borders these Badlands. From there she is thrust into the service of the skin trade–the terrible deed of trapping and skinning zombies for profit. The work is gruelling and perilous, but along the way she finds out what it takes to be a man, why she misses being a woman, and most of all what it means to be human.
Can Sam keep her masquerade up long enough to flee the Badlands, or will the outlaws that rule the western frontier find out she’s female before she can escape?
Why We’re Excited About This Book: There’s so many copycat zombie stories nowadays it’s hard not to suffer from deja-vu when perusing the shelves. How many tired rehashes of The Walking Dead or Romero’s movies does the horror genre need?
Fortunately Skin Trade by Tonia Brown provides a welcome antidote to the glut of generic zombie fodder – Skin Trade’s zombie uprising took place the wild west of the 1870s and has been contained by the US army. The story focuses on Samantha Martin, a young woman pretending to be a man to escape her past. She becomes involved in the titular ‘skin trade’–hunting zombies for their pelts.
Leaving behind the humour of some of her early work, Brown has used the zombie general to write her own unique and original look at identity, cowboy history, politics and horror. If only more genre writers did the same…
“Sixteen stories about what happens to us after we die and how the worlds of the living and the dead interact.”
There’s something that awaits you. It’s up there on the road ahead, lurking in the darkness at the intersection between the Here and the Hereafter.
It’s at the crossroads of this existence and the next, where the forces of the Living and the Dead converge in a terrifying place known as Death’s Realm. And it’s here where forces from either side of the veil wage an everlasting battle in the struggle for control.
In your hands are sixteen stories of those wars.
Acceptance of what is coming is the only way to win.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: If you were forced at gunpoint to summarise the theme of horror fiction in one word, you’d probably say ‘death’. Now Chicago based Grey Matter Press present Death’s Realm, a new anthology focussing on that very word. Death’s Realm contains sixteen stories about what happens to us after we die and how the worlds of the living and the dead interact.
There’s a broad range of authors who have contributed to the anthology, which will hopefully mean a lot of different takes on the subject matter. There’s stories both from award-winning stalwarts of the genre like Stephen Graham Jones and JG Faherty, up-and-coming authors such as Karen Runge, Simon Dewar and Aaron Polson, as well as talent from outside the genre with playwright Matthew Pegg.
All in all, this promises to be an interesting and original look at the fate that awaits us all, however hard we try and deny it.