December 30, 2013

Beginner's List

So, EVERYONE knows the great, basic zombie books already, right? Well, no. Not everyone. Some people haven't read the "classics." Some people don't know about the top independent authors. Some people don't know where to start.

Here's a list of zombie books for beginners and those new to the genre. It includes, of course, the huge and most-popular bestselling titles. But this zombie reading list goes a bit beyond the basics. On this list, you will also find some really good zombie novels by new, small-press, and independent authors.

If you just want to read what everyone else is reading, you can stop after the first two titles. Sure, start with the biggies if you like.
  1. The Walking Dead Compendium One and Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Tony Moore
  2. World War Z by Max Brooks
But I recommend you keep reading. You'll find a world of post Zombie-Apocalypse adventure a little further down. If you want to really begin to know the zombie genre, you'll find some zombie book titles that occupy a niche within the genre.

The books on this list, taken together, will give new readers a taste of the wide range of characters, plots, and premises within the genre. They've been chosen for just that purpose: to provide a good sampling.

Ten  Good Zombie Fiction Books for Beginners

(Alphabetized by Author's Last Name)

  1. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
  2. Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
  3. Blood Crazy by Simon Clark
  4. Feed by Mira Grant 
  5. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
  6. Dead City by Joe McKinney
  7. Autumn by David Moody
  8. Dark Recollections by Chris Philbrook 
  9. Plague of the Dead by Z. A. Recht
  10. Dead Meat by Chris and Patrick Williams 

There are many more great zombie fiction pieces out there... so don't stop here.

Take a look around the blog for even more choices. You'll be hooked before you know it.



December 29, 2013

Mark Campbell Discusses Desolation

Desolation

by Mark Campbell


Mark Campbell's Desolation was released this Fall. Campbell discusses some of the key factors that shape the book.

Desolation

My first book and a number of my short stories all deal with zombies and the horror genre. I like to really immerse my readers in the worlds I create and let them see the atrocities through the eyes of the characters involved.

You don’t have to read Degeneration in order to understand what’s going on at all but there are a few hidden gems in Desolation for the readers of my first novel. Readers will find some secrets that pertain to the origins of the virus that decimated the world.

While this book technically takes place a year after the events of my first novel, Degeneration, the story of Desolation itself stands on its own as another tale entirely.  This book has zombies, yes, but the core of the story is a very human one that transcends the typical zombie tropes in the genre.

The Price of Safety

Those who have taken refuge inside one of the numerous FEMA camps scattered throughout the country live under strict authoritarian rule in exchange for the promise of safety from the living and the dead alike.
The story takes place a year after a government-engineered bioweapon accidently got released and caused a zombie pandemic. Those who were either immune to the toxin or were lucky enough to escape infection have splintered into two different fractions; those living behind the walls and those risking a world without.

Refuge and Rumors

One setting is FEMA Camp 6, located just outside the ruins of Phoenix, AZ. The camp is crowded, starving, and dilapidated as squalor and disease run rampant. Despite the heavy police presence, the thin threads of social order are wearing thin. One event in particular may prove to push things beyond the breaking point.

Another setting is FEMA Camp 7, located just north of Bismarck, ND. The camp serves as the new nation’s Capital and also acts as the central supplier to the other camps. To some, the Capital serves as a beacon of hope and an end to the starvation.

The outskirts of Regina, Canada serve as another critical setting for ‘Desolation.'  Rumors have spread that the infected corpses were frozen up north during the harsh winter and that Canada is not only infection free but also rebuilding. However, false rumors have a way of spreading and the promise of a safe haven may be little more than just another promise broken.

Jerri's Journey

The story centers on Jerri, a survivor who lives in one of FEMA’s overcrowded camps. As supplies dwindle and the situation inside the camp becomes more desperate each day, she has to make a choice to either leave her prison sanctuary or risk staying behind.

In her world, the living pose an even greater danger than the undead lurking outside the walls.

Jerri’s journey is a complicated one both externally and internally as she has to discover a reason to keep living in a world that looks so bleak. We see the story primarily through her eyes. She’s stubborn, loyal almost to a fault, and pessimistic about her future and the future of mankind. Having lost all of her family, friends, and boyfriend during the initial pandemic she doesn't have much to live for anymore. The book chronicles her journey as she tries to define what existing and living really means to her.

December 26, 2013

Brian Pinkerton Discusses The Hunger War



How I Started the Apocalypse: Book Two

The Hunger War


Brian Pinkerton's new book came out this Fall. Jule discussed some of the particulars with him.Here are a few highlights from the discussion.




What's the premise of this zombie novel?
This is Book Two of the "How I Started The Apocalypse" series that has been published by Severed Press. It recounts the continuing adventures of Chaz Singleton, the zombie who launched an epic plague.

How does the zombie apocalypse originate in your book?
A military experiment to revive the dead to create a new breed of super soldiers. A small number of smart zombies are trying to cope with a growing population of dumb zombies

Who are the zombies and what do they do?
Brian Pinkerton
The lead character is a compassionate, sympathetic smart zombie who struggles with his flesh-eating addiction like an alcoholic struggling with booze.
Chaz is the reluctant zombie and Peter is his embarrassed human son. The growing zombie population has chosen Chaz to be their leader.

The city streets become a battleground for The Hunger War.

December 20, 2013

Zombies Can't Swim


A Short Story Collection: Zombies Can't Swim

A flash fiction story from this blog is now included in a complete zombie fiction collection. Zombies Can't Swim is a new story collection by Colin M. Drysdale.

Drysdale is the author of For Those in Peril on the Sea and the originator of the Maths With Zombies website.

His 55-word story  "Leaving" first appeared on this blog in March of 2013.  It was always one of my favorites.





Zombie Flash Fiction: "Leaving"


LEAVING

I move from the barricaded windows back towards our bed and kiss her as she sleeps.
I’ve loved her for as long as I can remember but now I’m abandoning her when she needs me most.
I look down again at the now-festering bite mark on my arm. How could I have been so careless?

Zombies Can't Swim

Now that flash fiction piece has become a part of a new collection of short stories called  Zombies Can't Swim. As the book-blurb explains:
Zombies Can’t Swim is a collection of stories written by Colin M. Drysdale whose debut novel, For Those In Peril On The Sea, was released in 2013 to much acclaim. 
In this anthology, he explores a variety of zombie and post-apocalyptic related themes in tales ranging from ones short enough to fit in a Twitter posting, through flash fiction to full length short stories. 
Not all the stories in Zombies Can't Swim take place in the water. Drysdale says
"They take their inspiration from subjects as disparate as the real life mystery of Flannan Isle through dilemmas you may face in a zombie apocalypse to why you shouldn’t try waiting up for Santa Claus."

Maths With Zombies

As a sideline, Colin M. Drysdale also maintains a website called Maths With Zombies. The site uses zombie -based scenarios to create story problems with a more interesting background than those often found in textbooks. It's possible that site will grow into a book. In the meantime, readers can view the story problems as they are added to the Maths With Zombies blog.

Colin M. Drysdale

Drysdale is a marine biologist whose zombie fiction links the traditional zombie stories with the sea. Zombie fiction isn't his only line of work.
"Colin M. Drysdale is a marine biologist and author. Under his real name, he has published numerous academic papers and articles, as well as writing a number of technical books. However, when writing fiction, he has chosen to write under the pseudonym Colin M. Drysdale to distinguish between these two very different areas of his written work."
Drysdale has also contributed an article for this blog about the advantages of living on the water in a zombie apocalypse "When Zombies Rule the Land, Take to the Water."


December 17, 2013

Barnes and Noble on Zombie Fiction

Zombie Fiction 

on the Barnes and Noble Book Blog

The Barnes and Noble Book Blog has a few dedicated readers who frequently write about zombie fiction.  In 2012-2013, Barnes and Noble published several book lists and zombie fiction articles.

Like to see them all in one place? Look below.


The Top 20 Zombie Novels of the last Decade

By Paul Goat Allen

"This list includes science fiction, horror, urban fantasy, apocalyptic fiction, romance, tongue-in-cheek parody, literary fiction, bizarro fiction, and alternate history titles. Zombies are everywhere, my friends, and if the phenomenal popularity of The Walking Dead is any indication, I think they’re here to stay for quite some time.
If you want the crème de la crème of zombie fiction, here’s your list!"
--Paul Goat Allen

6 Books You'll Need to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse 

By Josh Sorokach

"Most people believe they’d be able to survive the zombie apocalypse, but I know better. I’d be one of the first to go. I’m not a fan of dirt, compasses confuse me, and I’m not someone you should count on in a crisis. I once had a small kitchen fire and my first instinct was to “throw more fire on it.” When the going gets tough, and the tough attempt to eat you, you’re going to need a few books to help you survive."
--Josh Sorokach

The Essential Zombie Fiction Reading List

By Paul Goat Allen, June 2013

Women are well-represented in this list. Contains titles by Mira Grant, Sophie Littlefield, Rhiannon Frater, Jessica Meigs, Eloise J. Knapp, Dana Fredsti, and Kristyn Crow.

Other articles by Paul Goat Allen



3 Zombie Novels for the Undead Enthusiast 

By Kat Rosenfield

"...in honor of everyone’s blazing new enthusiasm for the great American zombie, we’ve picked three new (or new-ish) novels from the genre to add to your shelf."
-- Kat Rosenfield




December 12, 2013

Is Zombie Fiction Meaningful Literature?

We like to think so. In fact, we'd like you to think so, too.  We're pretty sure you  already do. 

Can you tell us WHY zombie fiction is meaningful literature?

Yes? 

Then, you can win a free autographed copy of Chris Philbrook's novel Dark Recollections

Zombie Fiction Is Meaningful Literature. Defend.

Where to go:  
Chris Philbrook's Facebook Page
What to do:  
Write a post that explains WHY zombie fiction is meaningful literature
When to do it:  
Anytime between now and December 16th. Contest ends at 11:59 pm on December 16th.
  
What you can win: 
Your own personal copy of Dark Recollections, signed by Chris Philbrook.*






Posts will be judged on quality and originality. Bonus points will be awarded if any part of the post can be tied in to the Adrian's Undead Diary universe. 





Chris Philbrook is the creator and author of Adrian's Undead Diary.  


Chris has several years of experience working in game development and editing as well as writing fiction for several major game design companies.  











*This contest must have a minimum of ten entries in order for the prize to be awarded.


December 4, 2013

Harlequin (Zombie) Romances

Over at Harlequin.com, there's a tiny debate about zombie fiction going on.

Harlequin romances with zombies? Sounds kind of odd, right? Well, it is a little odd. But it is also, apparently, a fairly popular reading theme for Harlequin fans.  Popular enough to inspire a short article, anyway.


Check it out at "Take a Bite out of Zombie Fiction" over on their site. The article is accompanied by  links to Harlequin's zombie-romances.


This pro-and-con is really a pair of short commentaries. Two loyal Harlequin readers each sound off with their thoughts.
 
Arista G. suggests that  "There is Still Life in Zombies" and argues that zombies:

"...are a metaphor for many issues we combat in society. For this very reason zombies will remain an iconic figure in popular culture for years to come."




Amy W. counters with  "Zombies Should Stay Dead," and claims:

"There are only so many ways a well-known concept can be tweaked without losing its essence. You can make zombies run fast or be infected by spores, but they are still zombies with all the traits and limitations associated with them."


Want to know which Harlequin Romances  involve zombies? Scroll down the page, and eight different titles are offered along with the article, many of them published within the past 12 months.

Yes, this is a real book cover
Not exactly horror, but an interesting  take on zombie fiction nonetheless.  What are these Harlequin (Zombie) Romance titles? Find a few representative titles below.

Through the Zombie Glass 
by
Gena Showalter

Undeadly 
by
Michelle Vail

Aftertime 
by
Sophie Littlefield

Zombie Moon 
by
Lori Devoti
(Devoti is also the author of the free zombie fiction novel Zombie Midnight)

Skeleton Crew
by
Cameron Haley


December 3, 2013

The Zombie Book of the Month Club


The Zombie Book of the Month Club  Facebook group keeps a clear focus and precise guidelines. As a result, the group seems to be thriving. Current membership is 1,192 individuals. Shaun Phelps is the founder. The group is moderated by Anne Stevenson and Tracey Fitzgerald Rose.
 


Hall of Fame

The club focuses on one zombie novel per month. Members read and respond, and the zombie author often stops by for a chat.  Excessive self-promotion is discouraged, which helps keep the focus where it belongs- on the Zombie Book of the Month.

The group has a Hall of Fame for its monthly featured books. Click on each book cover to see the month and year and find a link to the author chat.  The Hall of Fame includes 21 zombie authors

Informal Chats

Although it is sometimes difficult to follow a transcribed chat session, it is well worth the effort.  These are unedited records of real-time, casual chats. Some content may be flippant, off-topic, or inappropriate.  If you're interested in little-known details about new and established zombie authors, take some time to comb through these previous author chats. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
 

Featured Book and Author Links

The 21 authors featured so far include both well-known and independent writers. Most have participated in author chats linked below. Please note that users must be logged in to Facebook to read author chat files. Follow the title link to discover more about each individual book.

Sylvan Kills 
November, 2013

Ian Woodhead
October, 2013

Daniel J. Williams
September, 2013

Timothy W. Long
August, 2013

Sean Liebling
July, 2013

Derek J. Goodman
June, 2013

Rhiannon Frater
April, 2013

Paul Mannering
April, 2013

Wayne Simmons
March, 2013

Jonathan Maberry
(No Author Chat)
February, 2013

D. A. Roberts
January, 2013

Kirk Allmond & Laura Bretz
December, 2012

Joe McKinney
November, 2012

Tonia Brown
October, 2012

Emily Goodwin
September, 2012

Joseph Talluto
August, 2012

Shawn Chesser
(No Author Chat)
July, 2012

Tony Burgess
(No Author Chat)
June, 2012

Stephen King
(No Author Chat)
May, 2012

Ian DG Sandusky
(No Author Chat) 
April, 2012

Mark Tufo
(No Author Chat)
March, 2012