I'm still contemplating Michael G. Williams’ Perishables. Withrow Surrett, vampire and artist, occupied my thoughts long after I turned the last page of his story. In the book, Withrow was instrumental in stopping the second zombie apocalypse—having already survived the trenches of the first foray towards Armageddon. In the second attack, he is desperate to avoid being turned into a zombie not because he fears death, but because he is determined to fight against the erasure of his essential self. Withrow viewed his transformation from human into vampire as the "gift of ultimate and eternal self." I've never heard immortality described that way, but, like all good ideas, it seems glaringly obvious once I read it. Most books focus on the physical aspect of immortality—the preservation of a healthy, strong and youthful body. In Withrow's case, his 350 pounds perpetuated for posterity might not be perfect, but he gets to keep it without the consequences of coronary and vascular diseases often associated with morbid obesity.
John Hartness, author of the Quincy Harker books and the Black Knight Chronicles, is an excellent author. He’s an even better publisher. His small press, Falstaff Books, is batting 1000 by putting out paranormal fantasy books that make me think. Every Falstaff book I've read so far has been provocative. The latest, Perishables, by Michael G. Williams, is the first of the Withrow Chronicles and recounts the first and second zombie apocalypses from the perspective of a 350-pound vampire who enjoys both food and blood.