March Into Madness: Freebies Worth Missing

In the quest to bring you the best in free zombie stories, features, and swag, we end up wading through a lot of ‘not so great’. Most of the time, these are read, discarded, and we all go on with our lives. Sometimes the bad sticks with us.

Of course, bad isn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes bad transforms into camp and ends up being so-bad-it’s-good, as is the case of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or The Room (considered by some to be the Citizen Kane of bad movies). The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest annually looks for poorly written prose to honor the memory of the poorly written introduction to a novel that starts: “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Though the staff members of the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization have chosen labels for these books according to our individual tastes, remember not all tastes are the same (which is why zombies love to eat brains and most humans don’t). We challenge our readers to try out some of these less-than-masterpieces and see what you think. Perhaps we’ve mislabeled the next cult classic.

Most Age Inappropriate Character: Victor Standish Must Die! by Roland Yeomans and Leonora Roy

 VICTOR STANDISH MUST DIE!

Victor Standish cracks jokes like an old school private eye, swears like a sailor, and makes one-liners following zombie dismemberment like Jason Statham in every movie he’s ever starred in.

 Victor Standish is also seven years old.

 

Most Unlikely Setting for a Zombie Uprising: Zombie High by Roger Laird

zombie high

 

Zombie High tells the story of a high school overrun by energy drink swilling student zombies. Thankfully, the high school also happens to be a retired military base which can be locked down into three separate zones. And the lockdown feature still functions. And the principal has the code.

While I agree that all high schools should have the capability of a modern prison to lock students into a specific area, I don’t think it’s a reality anywhere.

 

Biggest Paranormal Mash up: Bloodbath on the Titanic by Stewart King

bloodbath-on-the-titanic

 

Suppose the Titanic didn’t sink because it hit an iceberg. It really sank because it was infested with superhuman zombie-mummy-werewolf hybrids. Bloodbath on the Titanic explores the horrific events, and the story is as melodramatic as the cover’s promise: “They didn’t know it would be their last buffet – or that they were on the menu…”

 

Worst Portrayal of Women: The Last Mailman by Kevin Burke

the last mailman

 

It’s hard to top The Walking Dead in their portrayal of woman as incompetent zombie-bait, but top it The Last Mailman did!

In The Last Mailman, Mitt Romney’s dreams come true and binders full of women are sent among the menfolk so they can choose who to spend the night with. Bonus: The women are totally into this! Sure, they don’t like being traded like prize calves, but even the married women are happy to jump into bed with the next john…er, I mean survivor.  

 

Most Uncomfortable Stereotype: Victor Standish Must Die! by Roland Yeomans and Leonora Roy

Victor Standish Must Die! scored a two-fer when he introduced the character of Leroy. Like young Victor, Leroy swears and cracks jokes. But apparently it wasn’t enough to introduce the only black character in the novel by mentioning his ethnicity. He also needs to talk like Black Dynamite the entire novel, fools!

 I am cringing just writing that…

 

Most Misleading Title: Now It Begins: HoMombies by JS Desiato

now-it-begins-by-js-desiato-21693958

 

This story is not about homosexual zombies nor is it about ho’s.

 

Zombie Novel Ready for a Screenplay: C’mon and Do the Apocalypse Vol 1 by Brian Panowich

 Apocalypse Vol 1 cover

I’m not awarding this because I believe it should be turned in a movie, but C’mon and Do the Apocalypse jumped the gun a little. Half the dialogue is in quotes and the other half is in stage direction. For example:

            Dawn: Go look (Calm.)

            Me: Go look at what?

            Dawn: Go look. (Less Calm.)

 I wasn’t sure if I should be reading it or acting it out with friends. Of course asking friends to act out “28 Days of Mutilated Zombie Whores Later” will probably decrease the guest list at my next party.

So, check them out, let us know what you think, and try to guess which one of these gems will make the jump from bad fiction to cult classic.

Your friends at the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization, still feeding the zombie children so you won’t have to.

Free Stuff Sunday: The Physics of Zombies

We at the ZERO organization have a small confession to make:

We’re nerds.

Staffed by nurses and scientists, at ZERO we believe the second best thing to being curled up by a roaring fire with a good zombie novel is sitting in an enclosed, windowless laboratory reading scientific journals. Which is why we were so excited to find Necropology and proudly present it as our pick for Free Stuff Sunday.

Written by the internationally acclaimed zombie experts David and Robert Madore, The Physics of Zombies is a five part scientific report on a variety of topics, including zombie decomposition and visual acuity. With stunning insight and rigorous investigation, The Physics of Zombies should be read by everyone in the scientific community.

Check it out and prepare to have your mind blown. http://necropology.com/

 

Free Stuff Sunday: Vampire Eden by Liz Newman

Vampire Eden by Liz Newman answers the question: What happens when a former prostitute and half-vampire falls in love with a zombie and the CIA gets involved? Oh, you never asked that question? Too bad! Liz Newman already turned it into a story.

It’s close to Valentine’s Day and since most the men will be distracted by football tonight, this Free Stuff Sunday is for the ladies. Whether you’re into time-traveling Vikings bodice-rippers or just like a good zombie love story, Vampire Eden has managed to crush every fantasy trope into an action-packed eighty pages.

Eden is an aging prostitute shopping her wares in the dilapidated casinos of Las Vegas. Stuck with a disabled, junkie boyfriend and a client list of untouchables, she’s surprised when a handsome craps dealer named Patrick takes an interest in her. Unfortunately, Patrick is a zombie possessed by a clan of vampires who subsequently turn Eden into a half-vampire and demand she find the King of the Dead or they’ll tear her apart. I’ll stop there because I don’t want to spoil it for you but you can also look forward to an active involvement by the CIA: Paranormal Division, the unlikely appearance of Cupid, and discussion of a Las Vegas zombie union. Yes, all this and more. In eighty pages.

Vampire Eden has a lot going on in a very limited about of time. I found myself torn between wanting more and believing eighty pages is just enough of this insanity. This is an off the wall gem. It’s well-written but a little ridiculous. There were lots going on but very little was fleshed out in a way that made sense. Regardless, it’s fun. Like ThanksKilling and Rubber fun. Dark, gory, and “What the hell am I reading?” fun.

Vampire Eden is a free taste for a longer novel coming out in July based on the adventures of Eden: Vampire Hooker. My name, not Ms. Newman’s. Get it on Kindle for absolutely nothing.

Free Stuff Sunday: We’re Alive

We’re Alive is a zombie apocalypse podcast in the vein of old time radio drama. If you enjoy Suspense, The Mysterious Traveler, or just are dying for a zombie show where people get their shit together, this is a podcast you absolutely must listen to.

The series starts with Michael Cross, an army reserve Sergeant. He’s called back to base by his commanding officer to reports of looting and rioting on the news. He arrives on base to find only two other members of his unit, Lieutenant Angel Tunudo and Specialist Saul Tink. The trio quickly finds out that looting and rioting are the least of their problems when a hoard of the undead descend on the base.

We’re Alive is a story of survival. After securing a safe haven, Michael, Angel, Saul, and their fellow survivors find there’s more to surviving the zombie apocalypse than just killing zombies. Dealing with supplies, dietary needs, water, and electricity are just the beginning in a long list of complications and challenges.  This realistic take of exactly what happens if the electricity burns out or how you supply ammo to an entire building of survivors makes this show stand out from the competition.

One of the best parts of We’re Alive is how the group deals with conflicts and discord. There are some strong personalities in the safe haven. Military personnel and civilians, upper class and lower class, youngsters and adults all mesh in a confined place under stressful conditions. While agreement and sometimes even compromise isn’t guaranteed, the dialogue and resolution is relatable.

We’re Alive is currently entering its fourth season. The website as well as the Itunes store has the backlog of episodes to catch up for free. If you love old radio or just want to give an epic drama based on the zombie apocalypse a try, We’re Alive is your best bet.

Free Stuff Sunday: Choice of Zombies

Yay, rebranding! We’re changing things up a little and broadening our zombie horizons to reflect our love of all things free zombie, not just short stories. So look forward to free movies, games, stories, and more on Free Stuff Sunday.

Choice of Zombies Art by Jason Wiser

For this week’s Free Stuff Sunday, we’re recommending Choice of Zombies– a choice your own adventure style zombie tale by Heather Albano and Richard Jackson. This online game/story places you smack dab at the start of the zombie apocalypse. From there, it’s your choice. Want to be a plumber? Do it. Want to flee to the prison? Go for it. Want to abandon any survivors you run across? It’s your zombie apocalypse.

This isn’t just a stats and finale story. The story itself is well written and engaging. Forging and breaking relationships plays an important part of the game. Recognizing your companions strengths and weaknesses effects your gameplay and ultimate survival. Wondering “what if” will have you replaying this story over and over.

The replay value on this game is pretty good. There’s some overlap from story to story but that’s true in any choose your own adventure novel. A huge perk over traditional CYOA novels is the stat page. In each game you can access where you’re growing stronger and where you’re weak. The stats are an interesting way to view the game. Play once for kills then again for saving lives. Gaining kill points or compassion or engineering can guide your gameplay into new areas of the story.

Choice of Zombies takes about thirty minutes depending on how fast you read and how fast you die. The replays can take less time if you’re slightly altering your previous plays or just as long if you vastly change your character’s actions. Whether you need a quick time kill or are looking for a well-developed zombie story, check out Choice of Zombies
.