ZVR Diplomacy Zombies vs. Robots is a collection of short stories about humanity being stuck in between viscous battles between cold, unforgiving robots and rabid, cannibalistic zombies. All the stories in the collection take place in either the UK or Russia and as such, they tend to focus a bit on dealing with battles between robots and zombies in European settings (the frozen forests of Russia, British palaces, etc.).
I really dug this collection because for one, short stories are awesome. They’re one my favorite things to read because they have all the things that make long books great (in terms of great plot, relatable characters, believable dialogue, whatever) in a condensed form. Plus, nearly every short story in this collection had enough action jam packed in as well to keep me hooked, and thus I loved nearly every one.
I also appreciated how very sci-fi every story was as well. Zombies busting through blazing trenches, robots exploding and taking zombies out with shrapnel, warbots accidentally killing humans with friendly fire. This collection is through and through, over the top science fiction and I love how the various authors never tried to stray too far from that central theme.
In my opinion, vs. type media needs to put a great emphasis on the fighting at the core of the book or film or whatever, with less focus on too much side story or secondary plots, in order to avoid being too campy.
Case in point- Aliens vs. Predator: two alien species that have been fighting on Earth for thousands of years and humans get caught in the middle of it. It’s a simple, decent movie. Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: they take the fighting away from the pyramid, they throw in an Alien-Predator hybrid, there’s a b-plot love story. There was too much other stuff and not enough Aliens fighting a Predator and it made the movie bad.
Never fear, though. That’s one of the things I loved about Zombies vs. Robots. Zombies fighting robots was the focus, despite what story you were reading.
My favorite part of the collection though, hands down, was the really cool artwork that came before each story. It was really cool and served not only to give you a bit of a hint about what to expect in the pages to follow, but also to set the tone before you read. My favorite was an awesome propaganda-esque poster before the story For King and Country.
I highly encourage you to check this collection out if you consider yourself a zombie and/or science fiction fan. It’s definitely worth a read. ZVR Diplomacy Zombies vs. Robots is in stores August 6, 2013.