June 5, 2010

The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer (Nightshade, July 2010: $14.95)

Following Tim Pratt, another great editor of Locus Magazine makes a giant leap into a novelist career. Amelia Beamer is a staff writer of SF&F newszine, Locus. She’s also a critic and writer, writing for small magazines and Interfiction anthology. Now she’s a novelist, too. Her debut, The Loving Dead is a novel of zombie romance, but I can’t resist an old impulse to call it a novel of Love, Sex, and Death. Well, especially love. It’s the most poignant love story our genre has ever produced. Forget the terrible review of Publishers Weekly. The ending is beautiful. The story is rather simple. In the streets of Berkley, weird looking homeless guys start to attack the pedestrians. Our heroine Kate finds a strange behavior of her girl friend and it turns out she’s a zombie now. Zombies are lascivious, and her friends easily become their prey. Kate sees zombies everywhere and trying to escape, she and her boyfriend seek refugee in Alcatraz prison. OK, there’s a very useful cell phone app to tame zombies and that kind of modernity and hilarity are everywhere in the novel. It’s sensuous, with a lot of sex scenes, and it’s humorous. Entertaining and witty. But the last scene is very moving and memorable, despite dark and disconsolate. Wow, Amelia Beamer has a very bright future now.

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