October 15th, 2010

SF Signal Reviews The Living Dead 2

John DeNardo of SF Signal reviews The Living Dead 2, calling it a "must-have anthology for the zombie fan." Here's what he says about my contribution, "The Skull-Faced City":

4.5 out of 5. There's a war between the living and the organized undead in "The Skull-Faced City" by David Barr Kirtley. A man named Park tries to join up with the undead army led by the ruthless Commander, but he may have ulterior motives for doing so. I must say that I enjoyed this sequel story significantly more than "The Skull-Faced Boy" (reviewed here). Kirtley's story here is a gripping one, wisely bypassing the traditional zombie scenarios for a living-vs.-dead setting that's even more unsettling. Park is a likable character and one worth rooting for despite his circumstances, even though he seems a little slow in realizing the Commander's Grand Plan.

Tangent Online Reviews Lightspeed #1

Hmm. Just noticed this from August. Bob Blough of Tangent Online not such a big fan of "Cats in Victory":

The final story deals with cats that have been turned into “men” -- much like Cordwainer Smith’s cat people -- but less subtly written and not so disarmingly fascinating. “Cats in Victory” by David Barr Kirtley tells the story of the catmen who have killed off most of the other talking species -- birdmen, dogmen, frogmen and monkeymen. It does not take much thought to realize who these “monkeymen” are. We are proven right when a human being who had been buried in his wrecked spaceship survives into this future world.

This is a tired retread of themes that could have been a fascinating exercise in creative Science Fiction. This story, however, has catmen who think and speak just like humans (except for their obvious curiosity as in ”curiosity kills the…”). The religion they have developed is overly predictable as well. David Barr Kirtley does have a very clear writing style. In the future, if he allows his imagination to really take off, he could bring us stories with wonder attached.

Oh well. I guess he who lives by the retro fun dies by the retro fun.