In just over a month Parallel Universe Publications has brought out three books in paperback and kindle.
Originally published by Futura Books in 1989, our new version includes an Afterword/Introduction by the author and a brand-new cover by talented Scottish artist Paul Mudie, who will be familiar to many for the iconic covers he created for the Black Books of Horror. There is also the added bonus of interior chapter headings by award-winning artist Jim Pitts.
Childe Rolande has been optioned by Forlan Films for a proposed TV series and is currently in pre-production development.
Of the eleven writers included this time, five hail from the United States, four from the United Kingdom, one from The Netherlands and one from Argentina.
All the interior art and the front and back covers are by Jim Pitts.
All four stories in this collection cover a wide range of tropes within the zombie genre.
Dead Ronnie and I is a tale of high adventure by plane and sea, with an abortive escape by our protagonist to the as yet untainted Isles of Scotland. This was originally published in Sanitarium Magazine No 44 in 2016.
His Pale Blue Eyes is probably the most traditional take of zombie stories today, featuring a young girl’s determined search for her parents during a zombie apocalypse. It’s a story, though, about conditioning and how what someone is taught can radically affect their behaviour. Is the horror in this the shambling undead or the girl herself? See what you think. This first appeared in Bite-Sized Horror edited by Johnny Mains for Obverse Books in 2011.
By contrast Right For You Now, originally published in Weirdbook Zombie Annual No 3 in 2021, harks back to the original concept of the zombie in Voodoo-haunted Haiti, though this tale is set in present-day Britain. It’s a combination of a crime story, revenge, and a man’s obsessive fascination with age-old practices.
Our final tale, Romero’s Children, is more in the way of a science fiction story. The zombies here are certainly the most different. For a start off they are not dead but have been granted near immortality by a drug that swept the world with its promise to stop aging. Alas for those caught up in the frenzied demand to use it, though, its side effects were such that they would have been better off dead. This story appeared in 2010 in The Seventh Black Book of Horror edited by the late Charles Black and was subsequently picked up by American editor Paula Guran for her 2012 anthology Extreme Zombies.