If you love zombies whether they are fast or slow, infected or mind controlled, then you need to dig into John Joseph Adams' new anthology The Living Dead. With stories by (among others) Kelly Link, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, and Dan Simmons, this anthology explores every inch of the zombie landscape. Adams, who also just released the amazing collection Seeds of Change, is this season's It Anthology Editor. The best part? You can read Kelly Link's entire zombie story, "Some Zombie Contingency Plans," for free online. Here's an excerpt from her weird tale, which is as much about prison social networking websites as it is about zombies. Link's main character, an ex-con named Soap, is infatuated with zombies, and here he explains why:

Zombies weren't complicated. It wasn't like werewolves or ghosts or vampires. Vampires, for example, were the middle/upper-middle management of the supernatural world. Some people thought of vampires as rock stars, but really they were more like Martha Stewart. Vampires were prissy. They had to follow rules. They had to look good. Zombies weren't like that. You couldn't exorcise zombies. You didn't need luxury items like silver bullets or crucifixes or holy water. You just shot zombies in the head, or set fire to them, or hit them over the head really hard . . . Zombies didn't discriminate. Everyone tasted equally good as far as zombies were concerned. And anyone could be a zombie. You didn't have to be special, or good at sports, or good-looking. You didn't have to smell good, or wear the right kind of clothes, or listen to the right kind of music. You just had to be slow.

Read the rest today at lunch. Some Zombie Contingency Plans [via Living Dead]