I’ve received a few early submissions for the Zombies in the Agora project; they have been very well-written, but they lack the requisite historical detail.  One seemed very much to me like an existing fantasy tale that had some of the fantasy elements sanitized, replaced by non-specific historical references.

That’s not what I’m looking for.  That sort of tale will be returned with a polite “thanks-but-no-thanks”, regardless of the level of polish reflected in the prose.

So, what DO I want?  Can I toss out some examples?  Of course.  I want Steven Pressfield’s GATES OF FIRE . . . with zombies.  I want Steven Saylor’s ROMAN BLOOD . . . with zombies.  I want Mika Waltari’s THE EGYPTIAN . . . with zombies.  In other words: top-notch historical prose, with culture and time period evident from the first paragraph, that’s been married with a single speculative concept: the dead walk once more.  HOW you get the dead to rise is up to you, but I’m not interested in tales with D&D-style necromancy or sorcery, overt visits from the gods, or standard fantasy tropes like world-conquering necromancers.  Give me the folklore of the walking dead: Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian; from the far Orient or from our Native American ancestors.  Give me something akin to David Drake’s “The Mantichore” or “Black Iron” (set in the appropriate time-frame for this anthology).  Do that and I will love you forever.


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