He crawls from the grave, his body a feast for worms. No warmth to the eyes, the skin cold, his heart silent and still. His soul as dark and empty as the abyss, he ignores the bullet and laughs at the blade, for it cannot harm his flesh. Forever, he will walk the earth, devouring the living. Beware, for he is the undead, a zombie.
Just the other day I was watching another gruesome zombie movie, and I was thinking, “There are more zombie movies that you can shake a femur at, but there just isn’t enough quality zombie literature.” I was wrong, dead wrong…
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks: It is said, an intelligent man knows others; a wise man knows himself and that machetes don’t need reloading. Know yourself, know your weapons, and know an escape route. Everything you need to survive the hordes of the undead.
The Undead Zombie Anthology edited by D.L. Snell & Elijah Hall: This book is quite the find, with 23 stories of zombies ranging from the hilarious to the horrific. A wide range of tales from zombies in space to a hotline run by zombies-and the great thing-all these writers love zombies, and it shows. You’ll be hungry for more.
Zombie Tales Vol. 1 by Boom Studios: the undead brought to life in graphic novel format. A wide of variety of zombie stories in dramatic color, delivering chills, thrills and a dose of humanity, not for the young, or faint of heart.
World War Z by Max Brooks: From the author of The Zombie Survival Guide comes this gem chronicling the fictional “Zombie World War”. The book charts a war against the undead from global pandemic to worldwide panic and the armed struggle to reclaim the planet. World War Z is a collection of accounts, each revealing an aspect of the larger plot and a personal tale. The viewpoint is not strictly the American, but focuses of the global nature of the struggle. Brooks manages to address such issues as environmentalism, the war on terror and international health care, and it’s entertaining. Now, if politicians could only do the same. Hmm, maybe war has begun??
The Zen of Zombie: Better Living through the Undead by Scott Kenmore: Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning and sway lifelessly across the room? Well take heart, you are not alone! The undead can teach us a lot about life. Live life the no- nonsense zombie way, be your own boss, be unstoppable, and devour the brains of those annoying people who get in your way. Not just another irritating self-help book. Isn’t it time you took charge of your life? Isn’t it time you joined the undead?
Damn Nation by Dark Horse Comics: Another zombie graphic novel with artwork by J. Alexander. Dark, grim tones show influence from such movies as 28 Days Later and the Romero films. It’s the future and the future sucks. The United States has been infested with a mysterious plague. The entire Mexican and Canadian Borders have been secured with walls and fences and barbed wire to keep the “infected” from getting out. A cure has been found in upstate New York, but with the USA out of the picture, everyone else gets to move up the food chain. Good characters and a plot driven story, as opposed to all action and gore makes, this zombie tale stand out.
Grampa’s Zombie BBQ by Kirk Scroggs: Grandpa’s annual barbecue is crashed by hundreds of rotting residents from Eternal Naps cemetery. Hey, zombies are for all ages. Written for a third grade reading level, so fire up the grill and let’s cook. Bring a dish to pass.
Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie: This is well-written technical book of non-fiction covers the same material of the more popular and fictional The Serpent and the Rainbow. What if zombies are real? Dr. Wade Davis has given us the science of fact behind the mythological tales of the Haitian zombie.
Good zombie literature isn’t dead. In fact, like the best of speculative fiction it can explore current social issues. Zombies aren’t always the biggest problems. Sure, get too close and they’ll chomp your brains. But man is man’s worst enemy. Get too confident, lose your calm, and lose your head. So keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert, and remember the headshot is the only sure shot…
Comments, questions, should zombies have the right to vote?