Maureen McHugh. The Naturalist. (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 5)

tsk tsk, I’ve just ordered Strahan’s Volume 6, and I’m only halfway through last year’s Volume 5.

This story first appeared online on the Subterranean Magazine, as is online still, so have a read as it’s a good story, although I wouldn’t count it as either SF or Fantasy, as it’s contemporary zombie horror. Not that I’ve anything against zombie horror, as I enjoyed both series of The Walking Dead for the most part, and have fond memories of playing Resident Evil 2 on the original Playstation, in the darkened living room m-a-n-y years ago.

Obviously as editor of the volume in hand Jonathan Strahan was happy to include the story, and of course the guest editor of the issue of Subterranean Magazine in which it originally appeared was also happy so to do. (But that guest editor was one Jonathan Strahan…..)

So, presuming you’ve either followed the link above and read the story, or for some sturrange reason have an interest in what I have to say about it, what I have to say is that it’s nicely handled by McHugh, with a protagonist who is struggling to survive in a zombie-infested reservation, having been decanted there from prison. The story takes a twist as he takes a scientific interest in the nature of the zombies, and a ghastly twist as he begins to test their behaviours through…

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