This is a collection of 20 stories by local authors with the common thread of taking place in New Hampshire. As an anthology, it runs the gamut in tone from silly to strange to dark, and in length from a few pages to short novellas. One of the more interesting aspects is how the authors approached the title, as (despite the cover) not all the stories are about zombies. Some are about ghosts and other hauntings, at least one is about vampires, and several are about malevolent forces that are left unknown or are more difficult to describe.
The ways New Hampshire is used are just as varied. In some the state is merely a setting, while in others the land is practically one of the characters. As a relatively new resident it was almost a game to see how many of the place names were familiar to me, and I was a little saddened when authors occasionally made them up.
There’s a lot of talent in the book and it’s obvious that Broussard only selected the best of the submissions, as quality of the stories in the collection is very high. Of course some were more interesting to me than others, but that’s just personal taste. Unlike some anthologies I’ve read there wasn’t a single story that felt amateur or phoned-in.
Live Free or Undead is the first book in the “NH Pulp Fiction” series. There are three more: Live Free or Die Die Die! (a crime anthology), Live Free or Sci-Fi (a science fiction anthology), and Love Free or Die (a romance anthology). A fifth book with a Western theme, Live Free or Ride!, is in the works. They’re a wonderfully unique way to explore the Granite State and I’m looking forward to working my way through them!