CONFEDERACY OF THE DEAD by Richard Gilliam

CONFEDERACY OF THE DEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Anthology comprising 25 original entries illustrating the Civil War from a generally supernatural vantage. Most, but not all, are written from a southern perspective, upon which political correctness occasionally exerts a somewhat stifling effect. The standouts: Ed Gorman's sad, brutally effective piece about a Christ-like figure who threatens to alter the course of the war; Anne McCaffrey's splendid yarn of a liberal southern family and African magic; a wrenching tale of a wounded soldier's homecoming, from Nancy A. Collins; African sorcery and an abused white boy (S.P. Somtow); voodoo and revenge, with a twist ending (Brad Strickland); battlefield surgery (Gregory Nicoll); deserters and the walking dead (Robert Sampson); child victims (Lee Hoffman); and an immortality serum (Algis Budrys). Elsewhere, though the details vary, the ideas tend to trudge around in predictable circles: voodoo, animated corpses, revenge, ghouls, cannibals, and Indians, plus the usual handful of indefinable pieces. A major weakness is the editors' failure to notice that the horrors of war are rarely heightened by mere splatterpunk embellishments. Still, the Civil War theme has built-in popularity, and the best stories here are very good indeed.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1993
ISBN: 0-451-45249-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993




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