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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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I just finished a short story (really a prologue) entitled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot about a group of soldiers trapped in Afghanistan at the onset of a zombie apocalypse. Really compelling story with some interesting subplots (like a Taliban leader calling off his jihad because something worse has come along). There is a full length novel on the way according to the author's note.

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This thread seems to be slowly losing interest but I will try to keep adding content. For example, I just read the first two books by Charles McLaughlin in The Road to Hell series. The first one, Nothing Fancy, Just Dead, is really long and does begin to drag in the third quarter, but the ending is a bang up conclusion. Also, spoiler warning, the first book really doesn't have any zombies. This is a revenge story and is filled with violence and mayhem so you have that going for you. Book Two, Safe Harbor, is a little like the Sovereign Spirit series (but better), as the protagonist from the first book, William Newton, tries to protect his friends from a zombie outbreak in Cuba by escaping to the sea. Also, readers find out that some of the quirky stuff going on in book one was due to the spread of some different virus strains, as whoever caused the zombie apocalypse was messing with Mother Nature. Be sure to pack a lunch reading these, since the first book is 700 pages long and the second one is around 550 pages. On the good side, you definitely get your money's worth and the zombie action in book two is cool. Book One is a fast read for the size and has some passages that will make you laugh and others that make you want to cry (not that I did, being a manly man).

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Sorry I haven't posted lately! I do read this thread, I just haven't been reading any zombie fiction lately. (However, if we start a mysteries-thrillers thread, I may have something to contribute.)

 

Just FYI: If you haven't already, look into http://bookgorilla.com/. They work with publishers and Amazon to get substantially reduced/free prices on quality titles (i.e., books by bestselling authors or those who have 4- and 5-star ratings), and then send you a daily list of what's available. The best part? You can customize your list to only those genres that appeal to you, and only the number of books you want to see per day.

 

Here are the categories they offer:

Bestsellers

Mysteries & Thrillers

Romance

Historical Fiction

Literary Fiction

Religious Fiction

Science Fiction

Fantasy

Horror Fiction

Action and Adventure

Erotica

Women's Fiction

Humor

Teen

Children

Advice and How-To

Biographies and Memoir

Cooking

General Non-Fiction

Politics, History and Current Events

Business and Investing Leadership

Sports

 

Anyway, I've found some interesting reads so far - most of them for free! - but none are lining up for the threads on this forum... yet. LOL

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Thanks, OC. I have been reading a lot of non-zombie stuff lately too. I do highly recommend the Road to Hell series I wrote about above. Some of the passages are pretty emotionally raw but some stuff was pretty funny too. The protagonist is a real He-Man but surprising vulnerable and several of the female characters are very strong individuals and I know you appreciate that (I do too for that matter). BTW, did you get a chance to read Ancient Kings? Dale has a new book coming out mid April entitled Demon Trap and it is one of his short Keeley ones. I proofed it and if you like the series you will love this one. I will check out Bookgorilla right now. Thanks again.

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I just finished Ancient Kings. Holy cow - there were so many things going on in that book! The Rhetistic stuff is a little tough to follow at times, but overall it was completely engrossing... as all of Dale's books seem to be. I'm still not wholly satisfied on Tiera's behalf, but I'm glad that the plot was (mostly? completely?) uncovered and that Tor is finally becoming his own person and less the puppet of everyone, especially Lairdgren. I also love that Timon is probably about 60% of the way to taking over the world, without seeming to have a clear design to do so. He really could become the next Cordes - or Lara Gray - if everyone isn't careful, couldn't he?

 

One thing I am wondering about is whether, as Tor begins tinkering with his body, he will accidentally become capable of having children, too. That could be an interesting development if Sara or Trice wind up with Tor, Jr. (since I don't think it's possible for Ali due to the abuse, right?). I also love the idea of Tor Baker being able to just bake and do simple things to bring people joy, as those moments were always the things that seemed to make him the happier than coming up with the absolute coolest and trickiest new forms of magic or being "in the loop" on palace intrigues and war strategy.

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I came away feeling that same satisfaction, OC. I am glad the giants vs. peasants issue was finally raised here, and the way Havor reacted when Tor called him on his feelings for Tiera was interesting. I don't know if Noram is ready for Son of Tor. I think I mentioned elsewhere but Ali is rapidly becoming my favorite character, especially since she throttled back the promiscuity. That just really raised the "ick" factor for me. As for Tor's programming, I way I looked at it was some of it was mental (the real Rhetistics if you will) that Cordes managed to overcome, and the other is the physical programming that he also shares with Green. The Green Man could probably reprogram himself like Tor is doing, but he can't get past the mental programming he already has in place to do it. I laughed out loud at the deapan discussion amongst the siblings regarding growing a tail, BTW.

 

As for zombies, I read Deadcountry II & III back to back. Still some annoying elements in these books but a good vision about rebuilding the country after a disaster, whether it be zombies or whatever. Not great, but not terrible.

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Ali has really evolved. I think the the promiscuity thing - which did bother me quite a bit, too - has been an interesting journey for her, because she clearly felt for a long time that her only hope was to work very, very hard to make sure everybody loved her at least superficially. But with Tor's confidence in her, and with the fact that he managed to surround her with people who treated her well on his behalf and simply because they were basically good people, she finally started to be able to have non-sexual relationships that were meaningful. Then you add in her success at school, as a new builder, and how she has helped others, and suddenly she's able to see herself more as a whole person in her own right. Watching her stand up to the Green Man for Tor (even through her own terror) was a revelation, and something I was cheering about as I read it. I also appreciate that Ali really does just seem to love Tor and want to take care of him, since so few people in his life don't want to gain something from him.

 

I think your assessment of how Tor really had two things working on him simultaneously is correct. And Green has basically shown Tor that he can do magic at least as well as "The Tor", so you're probably right that it's only his own programming that holds Green back. The discussion of the usefulness of a a prehensile tail was really funny - and also an alarming look at how outside the norm that trio is. Clearly being Ancient comes with lots of weirdness!

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About a year ago, maybe a little longer, I stumbled upon one of the BEST zombie fiction writers I've ever encountered. His name is TW Brown. He has a couple different series under his belt and is amazing. I have pretty much everything he's ever written on my kindle, but he also co-owns the publishing company that he publishes his books through with his wife. They are great people as I have been in touch with them both via email multiple times.

 

His best work has got to be his Dead series. Absolutely PHENOMENAL!! He also has a series called Zomblog. If you have an Amazon account, look him up. If you like Zombie literature, you'll dig this guy!

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...

 

Rabid Zombies by Culex Pipiens was quite well-done. Yes, it has the usual ex-Special Ops guy as a hero, but there's also a cast of several civilians who have varying survival skills but band together into an effective squad. There was a bit of ragging on a liberal senator that had me rolling my eyes (it really was utterly pointless - he was such a ridiculous caricature that it was clearly just about political venting, not about having a real character or advancing the plot). The rest of the story, however, was fast-paced and gripping, with lots of action and characters you like... or possibly love, in the case of little Nicole. The author in particular does a great job of showing how adaptability and common sense can be great survival skills and showing how effective a group can be when they work together for mutual protection.

...

 

 

 

Thanks for the comments OregonChick! I really appreciate finding out that others have read and enjoyed my work. I've got another new story on my site, have another one in editing right now and a third one in progess at the moment that's coming together nicely. All basically in the PAW theme although non zombie related.

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If any of you recall my post a few weeks back regarding Charles McLaughlin's The Road to Hell series, I just found out from a reliable source that the book should be hitting Amazon in three to six weeks. If you like lots of action, well developed characters, and some plain old zombie killing on a large scale, check out the first two books. As I wrote before, the first book is a revenge tale and rocks along pretty good (I read it before I knew the second book was about zombies-does explain some odd things in the first book, though) but the zombie action in book two is nicely done and well thought out.

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Here's another left field recommendation, but I thought the first book was really good. Day Soldiers by Brandon Hale has zombies nowhere in sight, but does feature the world being overrun by vampires and werewolves in a way that makes most zombie apocalypse books look tame. The book is set ten years into the war, and the only thing standing between these monsters and humanity are the Day Soldiers, normal humans who take the burden of protecting the country and fighting creatures who are stronger, faster and more ruggedly built than any mere mortal. That sounds pretty bad, until you find out the first ten years was just a game for the werewolves and now they are getting serious.

 

Lily Baxter is our protagonist and though told in the third person, we see a lot of the terrible things from the perspective of this 18 year old girl. This is not a YA book, despite Lily's youth, and none of these vampires are tortured artistic teens or glitter in the sunlight. They are killing machines, though the young ones are kind of like zombies. The werewolves, as you will come to learn, are more of a mixed bag with a few surprises. The only thing that doesn't quite ring true is the resilience of Lily, because she really should be a basket case, but oh, well, that is why they call it fiction.

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Wally, yep. Of course, for right now 1st book is free on Amazon. I liked the first book, and thought the author is pretty good at making you laugh and cry in a couple of pages. Cry metaphorically, or course, since this guy doesn't cry when Bambi's mom getting whacked or at the end of Old Yeller. Just seasonal allergies.

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The same author who wrote My Last Testament, George Milonas, has published a new zombie book entitled Off The Grid, and it is supposed to be the second in the series. I loved that first book, especially the way it skewered the God Complex some doctors seem to have. George would know, being a doctor himself. Anyway, on sale for 99 cents on Amazon, so I will read and see.

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Decided to buy both of those books on your recommendation, because I was served well by another recommendation you made on this thread, Texas Bill: Nano Zombie by Paul Westwood.

 

It's a sideways take on the zombie apocalypse, as the zombies are unlike many others in the genre (not necessarily cannibalistic, not exactly dead, can feel pain, etc.) but still an overwhelming threat to humanity. The characters in the book are interesting and well-drawn and the plot is not predictable overall... the ending in particular was like a gut-punch. Anyhow, definitely a good read, and so I'm inspired to try others! LOL

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OC, glad you liked Nano Zombie- that one really delivered a kick to the stomach multiple times. I'm liking Off the Grid so far, but i have only gotten about a third of the way into it. Oh, and the new Keeley book came out over the weekend, Demon Trap. Short, like all in this series and packed more than a few surprises. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

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I just read a new zombie book entitled Apocalyptic Empire: The Hatchery Compound about a group of friends and family that take refuge at a state fisheries compound following the zombie apocalypse. I liked the book for what it was and there was plenty of action but I get the feeling the author has seen Apocalypse Now too many times. His protagonist, Vintago, is a little too manipulative for my tastes, and I think we will see him taken down in later books as the power goes to his head. I'm all for doing the necessary to protect your family but honestly, the author seems to be letting his IT computer geek's inner Outlaw Josey Wales out to play, if you know what I mean.

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