acknud's review against another edition

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4.0

Artists interpretation of what happens when we die. Many different opinions here. Stories are quick to read and make one ponder his own mortality.

biancarosesmith's review

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5.0

As someone who has experienced a lot of loss within my own life and finds the subject of death and my own mortality absolutely frightening yet fascinating, I was very excited to read this collection of stories which explore the possibilities of what occurs after death.
The collection explores a variety of thought provoking themes within death such as reincarnation, the process of passing over, diverse religions, contemplating of ones life after death, hell etc.

I honestly enjoyed every one of these stories due to the diverse range of directions they took and I was impressed with how deeply the theme of death was explored by the various authors who all contributed to the collection in their unique way.

I did have some personal favourites from the collection though and they include:
⚰️ Sea of trees
An exploration of suicide through the journey of a man grieving for his mother.
⚰️ Circling the stones at fulcrum’s low
A tale of a witch who is pursued by a group of men who ‘shall not let a witch live.’
⚰️ I will remain
This story explores if reincarnation exists and if it does can we change from human to animal?
⚰️ The Overlander
This was set within the harsh outback of Australia where ghosts roamed. I loved the descriptions of the outback.
⚰️ Forever
I cried in this one. My absolute favourite. Not horror but incredibly beautiful. It details the journey of a deceased loved one guiding their loved one as they pass away. It gave me so much hope and and really warmed my heart.
⚰️ A feast of meat and mead
A warrior travels to the Norse land of Valhalla after death.
⚰️ Hammerhead
This is about a hammerhead shark that realises it was reincarnated from a man in its past life and has the opportunity to settle a score with a past enemy.

Very grateful to the editor of this collection, Eric J. Guignard for sending me a free copy in exchange of a fair and honest review.

evavroslin's review against another edition

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5.0

Each story in the "After Death" has something unique and different to offer, even the stories that are similarly themed or that take place within the same framework. As with the Bram Stoker Award-nominated "Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations", editor Eric J. Guignard has produced another highly readable, compelling anthology of dark fiction that is of such a high calibre that I am sure it will also be nominated for a Stoker Award. If you see it at any convention tables or booths during the fall season, buy it on the spot. There are very few horror and dark fantasy anthologies with this amount of incredible, high quality stories, and I know it’s always a gamble with anthologies because even though you may be familiar with some of the bigger names in the table of contents, you’re not to sure if it will deliver (which is understandable, of course), but I’m telling you straight up that if you buy just one horror anthology this year, make it "After Death" even though there are at least a few that rise above the rest each season, including "The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror" and pretty much anything Ellen Datlow edits. "After Death" is on par with all the most quality, worthwhile anthologies in the genre.

Some of the stand-outs and my favourite tales are:
“Acclimation Package” by Joe McKinney
“Hammerhead” by Simon Clark
“Be Quiet At The Back” by William Meikle
“I Will Remain” by David Steffen
“Boy, 7″ by Alvaro Rodriguez
“The Resurrection Policy” by Lisa Morton
“Robot Heaven” by Jamie Lackey
“Marvel at the Face of Forever” by Kelly Dunn

the_resa_p's review against another edition

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4.0

This is the second anthology I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing edited by Eric Guignard, the first being Dark Tales and Lost Civilizations. While Guignard cannot take credit for the individual stories themselves as they’ve all been written by authors’ talented in their own right, the man knows how to put together an excellent anthology. Unlike his first anthology After Death includes stories that detail the multiple possibilities of what happens to the spirit after the body is dead (or in some cases what can happen to a recently deceased body as well). The stories vary from the entertaining, to the literary, to the bizarre so while not every story might be for you, there’s at least one story for everyone.

Some of the stand outs (and my personal favorites) include:
The Resurrection Policy by Lisa Morton which explores the possibility of paying for “after death” insurance, and the somewhat disturbing results of defaulting on your payments.

Sea of Trees by Edward M. Erdelac that’ll make you think twice before ever thinking twice about suicide, and will make you grateful for your ability to make changes in your life, and the opportunities being alive offers you.

The Devil’s Backbone by Larry Hodges detailing what happens when a bad person reformed gets sent to hell…with an ice cream truck.

Not all of these stories are excellent, and there were several I had to force myself to finish, but overall this anthology provides enough interesting tales to make it worth the effort. But, while not all of these stories kept me glued to my seat, they all give you something to think about. Who hasn’t thought, even briefly, about what happens to us when we die? Have you thought about where your recently departed loved ones are and whether or not they’ll meet you on the other side? To believe that a deity will be waiting to usher you into paradise (or the alternative…)? Or are you a non believer, who wants to know what science can do to keep our consciousness alive?

Whatever the questions you’ve asked yourself about life after death, this anthology provides you with a possible answer, whether or not it’s the answer you’re hoping for. There’s one thing this anthology is not, and that is a bunch of stories about creatures who survive after death. You will not find stories detailing the lives of vampires, zombies, mummies, or ghost. If there’s one thing all these stories have in common it’s that all of these characters, at least before their death, were human and these are the stories of what await us beyond.
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