Got a rejection today from the Horror Library Vol III for “Routine Maintenance.” I really thought I’d finally found a home for that story…it’s been difficult. On the brighter side, he did invite me to send something else in.
Jeff Parish’s That Ain’t A Mosey is a Wild West zombie adventure, and fun, if a little clunky at times and hardly the most original story in the collection. One is reminded of Joe R. Lansdale’s Jonah Hex adventures.
Found another Triangulation: End of Time review, this one over at GUD. The anthology received an overall favorable review:
I enjoyed this collection, and what pleased me particularly was the variety of takes on the theme. No two stories are alike; no two authors have approached the theme from the same direction. Well worth a read.
This one highlights three stories, two for how original and entertaining they are. The third was my own “That Ain’t a Mosey,” and the reviewer wasn’t a big fan, apparently:
It isn’t all fun and imagination, however. Jeff Parish’s That Ain’t a Mosey stands out for being a routine zombie story, set in the American West. No departures here from convention, I’m afraid, and the story walks an uneasy line between the truly global–America is Coming!–and the very personal–Final Episode (by Katherine Shaw). Is the possible end of the American West truly the End of Time? You decide!
It stings a bit, but as has been pointed out to me a couple of times, reviews are extremely subjective. And so far, the complaints are pretty much the same: It’s a typical zombie story without adding anything new to the genre. I can understand people wanting a new take on things, so that doesn’t particulary bother me. But the fact is, I like the tried and true zombie trope. If that puts me at odds with reviewers, oh, well. The zombie fans should like it. 🙂
At least the reviewers have gotten my name right!
At best some of the stories will stay with you. Though there is a number of old concepts rehashed and some stories are at best competent, overall it’s a nicely satisfying read.
“That Ain’t a Mosey” wasn’t one of his favorites. He echoed Jeremiah Sturgill’s thought that the zombie aspect pretty much stuck with the usual aspects of the genre. But at least he likes the way I write 🙂
That Ain’t a Mosey by Jeff Parish imagines a world reduced to zombies from a single Indian’s arrow. I’m sure that fans of Zombie stories will enjoy this, but personally it felt like a by the numbers affair, which neither added anything to the genre nor granted enough surprises not to finish it with an uninterested shrug. That’s not to say that the story is not well constructed, Parish writes well, but the story could have done with a punchier ending.
Not exactly glowing, but not really bad, either. So far, I haven’t had anyone absolutely pan the story, which is good.