Review: “Susan” by Robin D. Laws

2 of 5 stars.

This short story, included in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran, explores the limits of humanity as so many great zombie stories do. John Forster lost his wife and two kids during The Rising. He’s felt less-than ever since, disconnected, numb, not–alive. And yet he survives in his limbo-like state of not existence, PTSD at its worst.

With the help of his enabling, college friend Tim, Forster descends into a series of vices, thrills and dangers in order to feel again. Drugs, of every sort. Prostitutes. Many forms of kink, most recently with Sephronia, a clingy elective amputee. Illicit, gladiatorial zombie fighting. Nothing can get a rise out of him, nothing will help him forget. Tim has caught wind of a deeper, yet more depraved thrill: zombie sex slaves. This is how Forster meets Susan. . .

The bit about losing his wife and kids–it’s three sentences tacked onto the end of the story. No memories attached, no exploration. Or, maybe it’s what keeps this story from being a list of depraved activities. It tries to provide a real motive, but it feels like fiction.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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