“21st Century Dead”

By various authors

Like zombies? Like short stories? This anthology might be for you.

Some stories feature actual zombies, but others are more symbolic. Some are straight-up horror, while others strike a more elegiac or satirical tone. Still others address everyday issues such as parenting, reality TV and the media.

Overall, I found it an uneven collection, with some stories working better than others.

My favorite was Jonathan Maberry’s “Jack and Jill,” which occurs in the same universe as his zombie apocalypse novel “Dead of Night.” But I also enjoyed “How We Escaped Our Certain Fate” by Dan Chaon, “All the Comforts of Home” by John Skipp and Cody Goodfellow, and “Tender as Teeth” by Stephanie Crawford and Duane Swierczynski.”

Not a must-read for fans of the zombie genre, but it might be if you skip certain stories.

Lisa E. Brown is the Administrative Assistant at the Joplin Public Library.