For All the Zombie Authors Out There

Today’s post is a plea to zombie authors everywhere.

Please consider writing about the good side of the zombie apocalypse.

Signs of the zombie apocalypse

Signs of the zombie apocalypse

I know that a world covered with hordes of shuffling, brain-eating, slobbering, mindless idiots makes us think about purchasing firearms, stockpiling food and water, and, if we are lucky, shooting our way to the top of a new world order. Thinking that the police and our armed services will totally fall apart in a battle of these proportions and that only the heavily fortified and amoral will live is a tempting thought.

In a zombie apocalypse, anyone could be the next President.

But ponder the shift that has taken place around the idea of being overrun by intelligent beings from other planets. Movies like “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” show that we aren’t totally outmatched in a battle against superior beings, so why would be outclassed by zombies? Stupid, slobbering, brain-eating zombies. It doesn’t make any sense.

There have been a few zombie novels that have attempted to show an alternate vision of the zombie virus. Brains by Robin Becker, Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion all find the humanity in zombies. They look deep into the abyss and return with a message that mankind will be okay if we just stop trying to kill that which we don’t understand.

Perhaps we spend too much time focusing on the downside of the zombie apocalypse, and not enough time imagining all the good that might come of it. There will be bravery. There will be sacrifice. And, at the end, I believe there will a kinder, gentler society.

I’m probably in the minority on this one.

Still, I challenge zombie authors out there to show us a different side of the apocalypse. Stop relying on blood and  gore and sex and if you must show us the worst in people, show us the best too.

If this idea intrigues you, and you’re not sure it will work, I invite you to watch this short (7 minutes) film that hauntingly portrays all we are capable of.  Warning, kleenex may be necessary.


Book Review Friday: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

R doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know how he became a zombie. He doesn’t know how long he’s been wandering the empty concourses of the airport. R only knows that he gets hungry and his only respite from this never-ending life is the few stolen memories he gains from eating brains.

Until he meets Julie.

Suddenly, R isn’t hungry. He can think. He can speak. He wants to learn. He wants to be alive. And he might change everything.

Warm Bodies: A Novel by Isaac Marion is a story filled with equal parts romance and action with a tiny smattering of gore.

The classification of a zombie love story and a ringing endorsement by Stephanie Meyer on the front cover might scare off the more hardcore zombie aficionados and while the main story is in fact a love story, Warm Bodies is deeper than that. It’s a story about acceptance and belonging.

The zombies and the living are eking out half a life in the name of survival  The zombies are trying to form connections through marriage and friendship but unable to speak to each other or even feel love or companionship. The living are fenced into stadiums, crammed together and facing extinction. Losing hope, they live day by day, expecting the end.

Through meeting Julie, R begins to see a way towards something like life.

Frankly, this is the most heartfelt book we at ZERO have read since Raising Stony Mayhall. Appropriate for teens and adults alike, Warm Bodies: A Novel is a book about hope and evolution.

Not so coincidentally, Warm Bodies is also coming to theaters tonight. Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, and the extremely talented John Malcovich, we can’t wait to see this imaginative novel up on the big screen.


The Power of Love and Zombies

Everyone here at the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization is thrilled at the movie, Warm Bodies, that will be released February 2013.

This is no ordinary zombie movie. These are zombies with feelings, the ability to learn and the restraint to curtail their instinct to eat anything that is human and moves. It’s as if the author spent time at our haven and wrote about our orphaned zombie children.

The Christmas season reminds us to hope, dream and keep alive our childlike wonder. In many ways, that is also what we ask of people who wish to be involved with our organization. You must be flexible enough to hope for a medical treatment for zombification. You need to be able to dream of a day we can all live together without the need for muzzles, hobbles, and sturdy wire fences. Most of all, you have to accept that zombies are people, too, even though they don’t have a pulse, are in a state of decomposition, and preferentially eat raw meat.  When you suspend your disbelief at Christmas time concerning Santa, miracles, and the goodness of humanity, turn that same all-loving, all-accepting attitude to the zombie children who live among us. Our hope is that this movie will capture the full intensity and depth of the zombie experience.

In the meantime,  if you have any novels, short stories, or short films you’d like us to review on the site, send details to

Wednesday’s Child

Zombie Walk 2010-9442

Zombie Walk 2010-9442 (Photo credit: Ping Foo)

On Wednesday we focus on a single zombie child to help people understand that they are children first and zombies second. The Great Infection did not discriminate when it chose its victims and many of the victims were innocent children. This is the story of one of them.
Sophia, a 16 year old girl, was found shuffling the back streets and alleys of rural Vermont. Because of her short stature, 5 feet even, and slight build, 85 pounds, Sophia was able to hide in dumpsters, discarded cardboard boxes, and ditches. She carried no identification and had no tattoos or scars to distinguish her from the thousands of other children who were left orphans after the Great Zombie Purge. Upon containment the local authorities were unable to identify her. No great effort was made to find her family as, at first, the town’s zero tolerance policy for zombies meant Sophia was slated for extermination. Luckily, a kind woman referred Sophia to our facility and we were able to travel to Vermont and negotiate her release.
When she arrived at our haven, Sophia was fearful, easily provoked and ravenous: all indicators to the Z Team that she had been feral for some time. Even so, our team uploaded Sophia’s picture to our website and the website of other organizations seeking to reunite feral zombies with their families. Sophie’s paternal grandfather, Chip, saw one of the pictures and instantly recognized his granddaughter.  His story was too familiar. Sophia had been infected with her parents over five years ago and though he’d traveled extensively attempting to find them, each sighting led to a dead-end. He despaired of every seeing his family again.
When he heard news of Sophia’s capture, Chip flew from his and her hometown in Oregon to the haven to be reunited. No one knows the details of the perilous cross-country walk that Sophia endured, but Chip was able to piece together that Sophia’s parents were killed during the Utah Uprising. Chip didn’t have all the details, but he knew Sophia voyaged more than two thousand miles on her journey to the East Coast. The trip wasn’t easy. Though she found some zombie sympathizers, for the majority of the time she walked alone.
Upon Sophia’s arrival at the haven, she required major cosmetic repair. The weather and rough conditions had left her skin cut and bleeding. A fight along the way had left her missing a small part of her scalp and a few toes. Our medical team sprang into action and repaired her body. Intense behavioral retraining helped Sophia adjust to her new reality and she became one of our most dependable, friendly zombie children. She no longer eats human flesh, attacks passersby, or moans constantly. Through our organization’s retraining and equipment, Sophia has transitioned from a moaning shambler to an adventurous leader who is active in our community.
Her grandfather, Chip, visits the ranch as often as possible and brags to his friends about his granddaughter Sophia, the cross-country shuffler.  He hopes that someday medicine will find a cure for the Infection, but until that time he is happy that Sophia is in a safe, secure facility living a fulfilling life.