Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Dead Walk

So here we have a collection of zombie stories, a veritable zombie-o-rama if you will!

The Walking Man- Our collection kicks off with a story from Guy Burtenshaw. He tells us about a man surviving in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. During his routine trip to a nearby liquor store, he encounters the wrong type of survivor, but manages to escape and be rescued by a group living in a mall. There he learns that some of the undead have been continuing what they did when they were still alive. What follows is very unexpected.

Spiders in from the Garden- Jason R. Davis tells us about George. He's a simple man who's lived a simple life and is enjoying his retirement. Until his gardening is interrupted by the undead. His wife finds him at the back door trying to get in. She lets him in and seals his fate. The cause of the undead? Well there's just no newspaper big enough.....

Afterlife Death- Jeremy Thompson gives a cautionary tale of science going a little too far. Sign your body over to science and you run the chance of coming back in a way you never expected. Don't let it get you down though. If you can survive long enough, people don't want to touch you, but I hear the buffet is amazing.

Plague Ferry- Matthew Pedersen presents zombies in space! One of the last sane people left in the ship realizes what the plague victims are doing to the other people on the ship. The captain won't listen and when the sane person's ray of sunshine goes away, so does his sanity. And that's what you get for not listening to reason.

They Walk the Night- Kevin A. Harris introduces us to Seymour, an anthropologist, visiting Haiti to learn about creatures called zombie. Seymour talks to locals, reads some local books on the subject and encounters a zombie. Then the dreams start. Seymour even thinks he encounters a zombie. Then one night it all becomes clear before it goes dark. A man, a plan, a zombie, Haiti!

Thirty Seconds- Eugene Gramelis talks about what it would be like to bring someone back from the dead, if only for a little bit. That's what Bob and Malcom have done. The effects only last for about 30 seconds, but sometimes that's just enough time to learn of betrayal. It was never a life for a life, it was just revenge. Time for you to go home to your wife. She "needs" you.

Requiem for the Living- Timothy A. Wiseman kicks things off with a man devouring his wife. Now before you just go ick, there are a few things to consider. The man had been traveling and came home to his family. He knew he didn't feel right, but he kept going along with the daily grind until it was clear something was wrong and he was admitted to the hospital. He makes a recovery, but just not in the way that was expected.

A Flash of Light- Stuart Conover's Justin has just woken up in a hospital after being sick. Justin thinks this is a fine thing but soon starts to realize that everything might not be ok. His roommate keeps groaning, but no one has really come to check on them. After a slightly comedic thump to the floor, Justin checks on his roommate. Before everything comes to a head, Justin realizes he may not be fully in control of himself. Bright light bang!

Zombi 6: Salvation- James Park pens an open letter from a survivor to the rest of what remains of humanity.The undead are winning and so now is as good a time as any to reflect on some observations about the undead and their habits, the world at large's situation and some of the more mundane things about survival. Salvation will come from Charlene.

Survivalism- Amy Braun's survivor is a running for their lives while strapped into a straitjacket. It's not what you think. They're just really intense. When it really comes down to it, no matter how much you prepare and get ready, there's always some variable you can't prepare for and you might as well go out swinging.

Six- Daniel DeLong's story finds two survivors in a basement while the undead are trying to get in. It takes a little time, but they focus and find they may have a chance at salvation. We leave them as their attempt is under way, but you can't help but feel a little hope for them.

The Season- Brendan Wilhelm talks about a community where the dead come back to life once a year to roam their town. Sometimes they're let in, sometimes they're blocked. Sometimes they're the love of your life and you're truly good and ready to spend eternity with them.

The Le Ka Massacre- Joseph Rubas talks about an incident during the Vietnam War. The unit was supposed to go check out a disturbance in a village, but they weren't expecting what they found. They didn't expect the outcome that followed. It was their own. It was their own!

Zen and the Art of Bicycle Delivery- Michael Seese presents a fun twist on zombies. Our delivery person talks about the before and after and what led them to their present lot in life. Hurry with that delivery, but hold the anchovies!

Virulent- Eric Morgner ends this anthology with a cliffhanger entry about a group of survivors trying to escape and find a brighter future. What a cruel way to end things.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Zombie Tea Party

Zombie Tea Party sounds like it should be a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with zombies (oooo, would the caterpillar be smoking brains?), but instead we're treated to a collection of zombie stories by Armand Rosamilia!

Zelebrity Money- The things you'll do for money, even when zombies are about, will inevitably lead you to screw over family when they don't see things in the same way you do.

Zombies, Dogs and Old Bones- We join the start of the zombie apocalypse already in progress. Safety should be of the utmost concern, but it can also lead to some strange strange places. Welcome home!

First Settlement- A theory on what lead to the demise of the Lost Colony in Virginia. That's right- Toddlers.

Manhattan Is A @#$%^&* Island- Survival works when you have a shred of hope to hang onto. Like finding your brothers......just not like that. Never like that. Bang.

Southern Barbeque- Delusions of family gatherings while zombies are "attending" church.

Trail of the Undead- Hillbillies! Hiking! Lack of neighborly concern! Hillbilly zombies!

Swim Out Past The Breakers- Further proof there are all sorts of idiots when stuff starts going down. Zombie surfers. Cowabrainga dude!

Blind In Texas- When you find yourself injured and a liability, folks are going to get what they can out of you and no amount of praying or bargaining is going to fix that.

Caution, Smoke Ahead- The strength of a mother's love will make her do anything for a child. Unless mother's intuition gets jammed by zombies.

This Is The End- We won! We won! Come join us! Come survive! Headshot. It's the principle of the thing you know.

Sanctuary- If you're going to face the end of the world with someone, make sure that you can really stand that person and anyone they bring with them.

The tea party winds up with a note from the author explaining how he got into the world of zombies, as well as an extended peek into the life of everyone's favorite Zombie Killer- Darlene Bobich.

Until next time, toodles!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dying Days: Darlene Bobich Parts IV-VI

The Dying Days universe has quite an expanse to it, so I'm going to focus on the story line that follows Darlene Bobich.

After much contemplation, I decided to do Dying Days 3 through 5 in one go because there is so much that happens.

Picking up after Dying Days 2, we meet a zombie who has started to move into the next stage. That's right, they're not dying off, they're evolving. They're starting to realize there's more to life (puns!) than shambling around going "braaaains"

Going back to Darlene's group, they're dealing with the aftermath of what happened in St. Augustine. There's only so much that can be done in order to make themselves safe from the impending zombie hoard, but they also have to deal with some of the survivors not dealing or dealing in the extreme. With Darlene and John doing the romantic tension tango.

Back to the evolving zombie, he finds people. He decides to hell with people.

Cutting back to Darlene, she and another survivor take on the zombie house and win. Evolving zombie continues to win in his mission of to hell with people.

The group continues to survive, the evolving zombie branches out from murder into arson and the tango comes to an end.

Evolved zombie finds his way to Darlene's camp and manages to commit more murder and arson....until Darlene introduces herself.....

Soon we meet another evolved zombie, but he's slightly craftier. He is the Lich King.

 Zombie men with machine guns (bonus points if you get it!)

Time has moved on, Darlene is pregnant, the undead are still evolving, they want Darlene's baby and the Lich King is creating civilization (running on the Feed Me Seymour platform).

The arson incident from the last story has Darlene and company wandering around and eventually trapped by zombies in an apartment. Rescue comes at the hand of someone Darlene thought she escaped, but they have enough sense to back off and leave Darlene to her devices.

Back in Lich Land, the basics of government is being laid out (breeders have to stick with breeders, everyone else can go ahead and hump the couch) and naturally there are ass hats about. But the rules are simple- don't touch what isn't yours, go forth and prosper, have faith and kill Darlene Bobich.

Speaking of Darlene, she's trying to stay one step ahead of everything. In the midst of everything, she gives birth to the baby the Lich Lord has deemed as the anti-christ, but he wants it just the same. However, everyone wants the baby, but shortly after birth someone from the old camp takes the baby to keep it safe.

In the aftermath of giving birth, getting revenge and losing her child, a giant insult is handed to Darlene when she's carted off to see the Lich Lord.

But the Lich Lord is busy, off wandering around and gathering the lost. Some to be made into food, the others to possibly live in his new society. Want in? Great! Don't want in? Zombie nom!

The Lich Lord is trying to find the solution, but doesn't quite know the problem. John is doing what he can to get to Darlene. Darlene is doing what she can to get her freedom. Everyone inside the new colony are doing what they can to survive. Murder, mayhem, apple pie! Be careful when opening doors though. Always be careful when you open the door.

What does it all come down to? Society is working in it's own way. Evolving zombies are making things interesting for everyone, but human nature is rearing it's ugly head in so many many ways.

Poor Darlene. On the road again. No touchy. For the love of all that is holy, no touchy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Revenge of the Pumpkins

Lacey Lane provides us with a little nugget of horror about a wholesome activity gone horribly wrong.

It's Halloween and the Smith family is enjoying their usual tradition of carving jack o lanterns. Everyone happily makes their pumpkins, lights them and sets them out on the porch for everyone to enjoy.

And then the whimsical nature of a child's imagination comes to life. Within the hour, murder and arson.

A fun scary read perfect for sharing at your next scary story gathering!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Scared Silly

Scared Silly is a collection of short stories from Frank J. Elder that live up to the name- they're scary, but they're also very silly. Horror comedy is truly a lovely thing.

Old Scrote- Zombies can be a very scary thing, but up the horror a bit by having a zombified clown running around. Meet Old Scrote (or Dildo Baggins, depending on who you ask), your walking dick munching nightmare.

Splat- When you're on a deserted road zipping along, you're liable to hit something (get it? no? then google onomatopoeia). The horror in this case does not involve summoning an insurance agent, but you almost wish it did.

GROSSeries- Imagine the zombie apocalypse starting. Now, substitute the zombies with foodstuffs. It might not sound scary, but have you seen some of the stuff that's come into existence lately that's called food?

Death Gets A Life- Imagine for a second that Death took up residence in Florida and managed to finagle a day off. That's right- How Death Got His Groove Back or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Watch Out for Cruise Ships.

Wolfberries- No, not Captain Crunch's take on Fruit Brute (bonus points if you get the reference!). More like organic fruit gone wild. Awooo!

This collection of short stories was some great fun to read. The only real question I was left with at the end of the collection was "Did the artist who made the cover see Killer Klowns from Outer Space?"