Not made of stone

While driving through an Iowa snowstorm shortly after the zombie outbreak of ’68, a widow and her three young daughters find a dead girl and a baby—who is, uh, kinda dead—by the roadside. They name him John, but quickly nickname him Stony, for his gray, stonelike appearance. He grows up to be something special, all right—an advocate for L.D.s—the living dead. Because, yes, there are more zombies, and they are really, really tired of running and hiding from living chauvinist “breathers” who want to wipe them out. In Raising Stony Mayhall, Daryl Gregory has created an entirely new sort of zombie book; it’s universe building of the best kind. With his compassion and sense of humor as he faces political implications galore and an impending zombie apocalypse (known as “the Big Bite”), Stony is easily the most human character we’re likely to run across in this year’s fiction.