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This was the best. Anthology. Ever.
Basically, Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier have been arguing for years over which creature is the best: unicorns or zombies? As a literary figure, a metaphor, a representation of humanity, as a creature overall, etc. So they recruited a bunch of authors, formed two teams (Team Unicorn and Team Zombie, respectively) and had them write one story with the featured creature. Threw 'em all together, wrapped it in a bow, and put it in bookstores. And it was glorious.
The last time I reviewed an anthology, way back when I first started this blog in September (jeez, it's only been half a year? Feels like it's been a decade.) I was upset because while all the stories were great with intriguing characters and fantastic worlds, there was no LGBT representation and women were either shoved against the sidelines or struggling against a patriarchal society.
Not here. One story features a lesbian relationship, another has a gay or bi character (both of them are zombie stories, interesting enough). Almost all the women are badass. I guess it's hard to get worked up over sexist beliefs when you're living in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, or when you're dealing with pissed-off unicorns that don't mind impaling you with their lavender-scented horns.
I'm not going to say which team claims victory. To be honest, I think it's impossible. Unicorns and zombies represent completely different things, have completely different histories, and are placed in completely different worlds.
I may be more partial to unicorns, simply because I'm an optimist and a bit of an idealist and like to think that humans are generally good.
On the other hand, I loooove me some zombie horror and post-apocalyptic stories.
However, I can say hands-down which was my favorite story out of this anthology, and it's "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn" by Diana Peterfreund. I loved her unicorns (which were carnivorous, poisonous predators who liked to eat humans; and who can blame them? We're so delicious) and the take on religion and ethics. It's the classic "a monster isn't born, it's made" argument.
I don't care who "wins", zombies or unicorns. This was just an awesome book!
Contributing authors of Zombies vs. Unicorns, with links to their websites.
Editor: Justine Larbalestier
Alaya Dawn Johnson
Editor: Holly Black
Get Zombies vs. Unicorns here.
Thanks for reading! :)