Zombies at Tiffany’s
Author: Sam Stone
Publisher: Telos Publishing Ltd
Page count/Size: 120pp
Release date: 30th September 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
This Steampunk zombie novella starts with the journal of a soldier in the Union Army during the American Civil War in 1862. In the midst of the battlefield is some sort of unidentifiable outbreak that creates talking zombies.
We then switch the war time civilization in New York and women are the main breadwinners whilst the men are at war. To feed her family whilst her brother Henry is away, Kat Lightfoot (a strong female role model) takes a job at Tiffany’s jewellery store. There she meets a host of interesting people, including Martin who as well as designing jewellery creates weaponry using diamond off cuts and regular guns, which will no doubt come in handy later.
Kat also meets neighbour George Pepper, a reporter sent home from the war as mentally unstable after he reports the zombie attacks on the warfront to his supervisors.
Interspersed with letters from Henry and George’s initial war report, we are shown the true horrors of the war exaggerated by the zombie activity, as the Union soldiers are compared to the zombies; tired and shambling creatures trudging through the land. It is clear that as well as delivering an adventure, Stone wants us to see the genuine horror of war.
As the New York action progresses, dead are disappearing from morgues and bodies are being found ravaged in Central Park. Of course it all comes to a head as the staff and customers at Tiffany’s are ambushed and barricade themselves in.
Each chapter starts with a relevant sketch, which adds to the old world feel of the novella. There is a great deal of wry humour in the piece and the actions of the boss, Levy, also raise a guffaw, though it would be spoilerish of me to tell you when!
There are some lovely gruesome bits in the novella, the talking zombies are an original slant on the zombie genre, and the Victorian American world is well constructed. A very entertaining romp indeed.