Review: “At First Only Darkness” by Nancy A. Collins

4 of 5 stars.

In an extreme economy of words, this very short story appearing in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran manages to capture the life cycle of a zombie from the 1st person POV. It starts with the reanimation of the body before any sensory functions are back online. This is less a story, though there is one here, and more an experience. The story is minimal, which is good as zombies are pretty basic and trying to make it more narrative would have suffocated this piece.

It opens with the re-awakening of the senses. This is beautifully handled. I also appreciated seeing the zombie quickly suss out it surroundings and what drives it. Finally, the passage of time from the zombie’s perspective is also wonderfully handled.

Maybe this isn’t a story at all, but rather a kernel. That’s all it needs to be.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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