Rigor Amortis review – Paul Goat Allen (Barnes & Noble)

So, with the upcoming re-release of Rigor Amortis just around the corner, and the convention scene already in full swing, it looks like the little book that could just keeps on going. Below you’ll find a lovely review from Paul Goat Allen, originally posted at Barnes and Noble.

Rigor Amortis banner image

The daring new anthology from EDGE – aptly entitled Rigor Amortis – is a compilation of short fiction (flash fiction) that blends together elements of zombie fiction and unadulterated erotica. Edited by Jaym Gates and Erika Holt, this anthology will amass a cult following almost instantly – I’ll guarantee it. Anyone who is into “dark erotica” should seek out and read this deeply disturbing and relentlessly sexy anthology immediately.

Is Rigor Amortis palatable for everyone? Absolutely not. Those readers turned off by explicit violence and/or sex should definitely look elsewhere for their literary kicks. But that said, hardcore – and I do mean hardcore – fans of erotic horror will find the stories featured within this bloody little gem of an anthology (which is sporadically illustrated, by the way) to be highly amusing and, some, downright unforgettable.

Whenever poems are included in anthologies, they seldom get highlighted but one of the most memorable selections in Rigor Amortis is unarguably Alex Masterson’s poem “There’s Plenty of Room in My Heart.” It’s simultaneously gruesome, playful and romantic – and just a brilliant piece. Here are the beginning lines:

“Bone and gristle

Wet my whistle

And nothing makes me hornier

Than gazing into the bloodshot depths

Of my love’s shattered cornea…”

Masterson’s poem by itself is worth the price of this anthology alone.

There were more than a few standout stories in this anthology. Annette Dupree’s “Cloudy with a Chance of Zombie Orgasm” was a shockingly original story about a sexually repressed Colorado weather girl’s carnal experiences during the zombie apocalypse, Kay T. Holt’s “Breathing Optional” puts a darkly romantic twist on a story involving a Central Park mugging, Jay Faulkner’s “Always and Forever” was a heartrending vignette involving a couple irrevocably changed by the zombie plague, and Don Pizarro’s “Sublimation” went far in redefining dangerous sex.

In Armand Rosamilia’s darkly comical “Last Cigarette,” I almost felt sorry for the protagonist, a zombie husband who wants nothing more than to have sex with his zombie wife one last time. All he has to do is walk to the store a few blocks away and get her another pack of smokes. Easier said than done when your left foot has fallen off…

The only problem with Rigor Amortis is that it wasn’t long enough. At less than 150 pages, I devoured this book in one sitting and – like a flesh-hungry zombie – wanted more!

Adventurous zombie aficionados should definitely check out this nightmarishly erotic anthology. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you….

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Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. ???

Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz? on Twitter!

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Rigor Amortis (ISBN: 978-1-894817-83-7), edited by Jaym Gates and Erika Holt and can be purchased at the following locations:

Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

… and many, many, more places!