Still Dying 2, an anthology put out by Rymfire Books boasts an exceptional collection of authors that include A.D. Roland, Armand Rosamilia, Brent Abell, Frank J. Edler, Jaime Johnesee, Mark Tufo, Patrick C. Greene, Sean Slagle, and Tim Baker.
While all the stories were completely intriguing and unique, there are definitely a few that stand out from the pack. In 'How Me And Bozy Became Dads' by Patrick C. Greene, inmates collecting trash on the side of the road witness a stumbling man hit by oncoming traffic. A group of “creeps” appear from the tree line. A family of four emerge from the car to find their victim isn’t dead…in the traditional sense. Two inmates and the family make it away from the scene to discover one is bit. The hardness of the felon mixes with compassion for the children.
In St Augustine, Florida, 'Gator Aid' by Frank Edler is the last operational gator farm in the state, considered a safe haven because the gators will eat anything foolish enough to step foot on their turf. With money now useless, food is used as currency to gain entry for the day. Never turn your back on the water…good lesson.
'The Trap Line' by Sean Slagle brings some appreciated oddities to the collection. You just know it’s never going to be good when you see the words “undead” and “bloated sex organs” together.
'Dying Days: Television' by Armand Rosamilia will force readers to self-evaluate their television habits. Patrick is a reclusive TV addict. If you recognize all the references made in the story, you may have a similar addiction.
The clear standout is 'The Old Man And The Apocalypse' by A.D. Roland. An orphaned teen is forced to make a tough decision. She wants to live in safety with an old man, Otis, but she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a Trojan horse sent in to recon a building for her loathsome group of bandits who have her ill brother back at camp. This story contained a depth isn't usually seen in the zombie genre. The characters were compassionate and it makes it easy to root for them.
The cover of 'Still Dying 2' could use some tweaking. Sure, if you want to get technical, it’s a zombie on the cover of a zombie book. But it could have been illustrated with something to better connect with one of the stories held within. (Just not the bloated sex organs!)