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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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I also enjoyed Red Dragon and I thought the Michael Mann production of Manhunter (with a young William Pederson) was a great movie. I was reading Dead Things by Matt Darst last night but just could not finish it. A little too snarky and I had a hard time imagining most of the characters surviving 18 years after the zombie outbreak, even if it was nestled in the arms of an authoritarian theocracy. One of the characters was so unlikeable that I spent most of the time I was reading hoping he would get get eaten.

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Manhunter was really well done. I'll pass on Dead Things, it sounds like. I finished the second Tilian book; it definitely picked up. That said, some of the things he has people doing in book two are just ludicrous (two men sneaking into a camp of 300 marauders to destroy their well-guarded and highly visible transportation... and escaping undetected? a woman walking alone across half of the state of Texas, in summer, getting no sleep, running out of water, and being pursued by infecteds? etc.). Still, I'm mildly interested in finding out how it all ends in the third book.

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Guys, check out Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue for free on Amazon Kindle for the moment. Not bad. Pretty horrifying description of not just zombies but the crazy people who think they are God's Will. Free stuff is sometimes good stuff too.

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I just finished both Voyage of the Dead and Flotilla of the Dead by David Forsyth and despite their flaws, I found both to be highly readable. Our protagonist Scott Allen, is a bit pompous, and his fleet of ships seems a little over the top even for a MegaMillions lottery winner. I much preferred Carl and his considered, careful approach to keeping his people alive deep in zombie occupied territory. The author has a habit of letting plotlines dangle, but these are all minor concerns. All in all, I found these two volunes to be worth the time to read and since I got one for free and the other for $2.99, I cannot complain about the price.

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I had a little time to read through some zombie titles I had stored up and I have a few recommendations here.

I picked up most of these when they were offered for free and I held on until I got to them.

 

Salt Bowl Death by Cypher Lx was a surprising Old West take on zombies and the undead. The story has as much to do with grief and redemption as it does flesh eating monsters and makes for a quick read.

 

Solstice by Donna Burgess has got to be one of the most distrurbing zombie books i have read recently. What is worse than fast zombies? Fast zombies that are capable of speach and taunt you while they try to eat you. This is more horror than I usually like and my wife noticed I was leaning forward in my chair and clenching my teeth as I got through some passages. Still, I will be waiting for a sequel to this terrifying book.

 

Six Feet From Hell: Response by Joseph Coley was a pretty good zombie book that falls somewhere in the middle of the horde. A mysterious gas emerges from the depths of deep mines around the world and the dead start getting up and acting sassy. One disquieting point is that not just the recently dead are getting up-so whole cemeteries are starting to empty. Talk about being outnumbered here by the dead, this is rediculous. First in a series.

 

The Zombie Commeth was written by some author I have never heard of before and did not bother to note before purging this garbage from my Kindle. Seriously, I got this for free and I still feel like I got ripped off for my time. I hate to trash somebody like this but the story was so bad I thought it was intended to be a joke at first. Then I read on and realized somebody thought this was a good idea for a story. Avoid it like you would that stumbling "drunk" you see tottering down the street in the middle of the day trying to bite a chunk out of passersby. You know, the one that you see right before the breaking newsflash shows up on your iphone announcing the dead have risen. Just bad.

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I read Solstice recently, too. I didn't recommend it because the "Ragers" are truly freaky and the whole thing was so bleak - people choosing suicide by cannibalism, the lack of love and warmth between survivors, etc. It just made me feel cold. I am curious to see how it could develop, but I'm not sure I'm up for another soul-crushing saga like that. LOL

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I agree, Oregonchick. That is why I had so many reservations as well. I give the author credit for guts in having several characters you think are "safe" get munched, but really a cold and bleak view of the world. I actually had to take a little break from zombies after finishing that one.

 

I am currently reading P.S. Power's Infected series at the moment (got the first books in several of this author's other series for $1 each- short time only deal on Amazon. Infected:Proxy was pretty cool, but you can tell the author's own feelings have bled over into this work as well, just like in A Very Good Man. I can tell at some point this guy must have taken a pretty bad beatdown from the cops given how much he hates them. Anyway, pretty engaging story even if Brian (lead here) seems a lot like Jake from his other series. The books are set in a world where superpowers come from being "Infected" with something (scientists can't figure out if it is a virus, bacteria or something else or how transmitted). Think, X-Men. Anyway, pretty cool story and a fresh take on superheroes. Plus, only cost a buck.

Edited by Texas Bill
punctutation

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Just finished the Zombie Playground book you recommended. It was definitely a good read, but I also agree with your assessment of some of its weaknesses. I feel like it needs bonus points for the particularly creepy epilogue it ends with; that's worthy of any horror movie today.

 

I bought Infected: Proxy and its sequel and will read them soon. I'm really looking forward to A Very Dark Place because I feel like I HAVE to know what happens next with Jake and company.

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Oregonchick, thanks. I have to warn you that the character of Brian in Infected:Proxie is very much on the model of Jake. I actually liked Infected: Gabriel better because Brian is a main supporting character (if that makes any sense) while we see most of the POV from that of Gabriel. Gabriel, another Infected you will remember from the first book, has a whole different "first mode" orientation which is really quite amusing. So is his attitude towards Brian, both at the beginning and where I am now, close to the end.

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Okay, everybody. Just so we are clear. Zombies do not exist. Same for werewolves, vampires and honest investment bankers. That said, we still like to read about them (except the bankers- just too hard to believe). On that happy note, I just wanted to share I read a little short story entitled Zombies Games by Kristen Middleton, Not bad for a first try and after I finished and reviewed her story I gave her a little unsolicited advice regarding firearms. She kept forgetting her protagonist was armed with a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic and referred to it as her revolver. Anyway, otherwise cute little zombie outbreak tale.

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Leftovers was pretty good and was extremely unpredictable. I dare you to guess who makes it, and who doesn't.

 

It also is one of the grossest and yet most innocuous zombie book titles ever. I mean, can you imagine what you'd find in a zombie's fridge in some Tupperware?

 

I just read Domain of the Dead by Iain McKinnon and David Moody. It was well written and you really do get involved with the characters, but it's rather bleak. It starts long into the zombie apocalypse, in a warehouse where food and hope have nearly run out... For every good thing that happens, something bad seems to be waiting on its heels. If there's a part two, I would read it, it was a hard-to-put-down read. But it was one of those books where you can't be sure who will live or die or, you know, go zombie, which is definitely unnerving!

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I need to read Domain of the Dead then. I have seen it several times but something else always caught my attention. BTW, the reference to zombie Tupperware made me blow Sprite through my nose I was laughing so hard. I never even thought of that; I just caught the reference where Brett was lamenting the fact that his little group was made up of the "leftovers" since none of them could hotwire a car or work on anything mechanical. Like the last kids picked when grade schollers were choosing up teams. As an aside, I just finished one of the grossest books i have ever read: The Variant Effect. Not exactly zombies but the story is about crazies who consume human skin and the "bagged boys" and girls who hunt them trying to save the human race. Disturbing on many levels, not the least of which we get to follow the action through the eyes of one of the most flawed and disgusting anti-heroes imaginable. I actually had to stop reading a couple of times because just too gross. Well written book but just made me queasy.

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I just finished Last Stand on Zombie Island by Christopher Eger and I have to put it up there as one of the best I have read. Some issues but overall a really cool story and a real nail biter. The book is left wide open for a sequel and I am looking forward to catching it. Check it out. I now have Domain of the Dead up next and I was going to get it and the sequel both, but I decided to wait when I saw the second book was $7.99 on Kindle. I guess I have been getting spoiled.

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I remember that series fondly. I only remember there being 3 books in the series, but when I checked Amazon apparently there were several more books in the Omega Sub series. Sort of reminded me of the Last Ship but not as annoying.

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Oregonchick, I read Domain of the Dead and that was a grim piece of work, but good writing in all. I am debating picking up the sequel since it is still $7.99.

 

 

I want to give a shout out to Going Viral by Chris Braid, a short novella I picked up for free on Amazon. Only 130 pages but it really packed a punch and is the first episode in what I can only presume will be an ongoing series. Braid has written one of the few British-authored stories I have read where the writer knows which end the bullet thingie comes out the boom stick. Seriously, story is about the remnants of a British Army platoon retreating to a more secure location in Wales after being overrun by the infected (think 28 Days Later). These are not really zombies but are much faster and more tenacious. Great action and some funny banter if you can decipher the British-English slang.

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Just finished Zombie Apocalypse 2012 by Ian McClellan. This short little novella (free on Amazon) had me laughing out loud in some places, but was genuinely sad in other passages as a laid off factory worker tries to survive and protect others when the dead rise. McClellan has some pretty snarky things to say about politics, right wing talk radio and the blame game, and he doesn't spare anybody's party with his acid wit. The narrator's comments about his dearly departed wife - God rest her soul - are some of the funniest and meanest things I have seen written in a long time. Check it out if you don't mind having some of your sacred cows barbequed.

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Mr. Knight, welcome to the forum! Big fan here. I try to spread the word about your writing whenever I get the chance. My Amazon id is zoomreader, by the way. Any more word on when we will see anything on the Big Screen? Want to give us any hint as to your next project? We can keep it our little secret here.

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Thanks for the welcome, Bill!

 

I can't really talk about what's happening with the property as far as films go, because it's under review by some pretty heavy hitters right now. Believe me, I'm bustin' to talk about it, but I really can't. One of the guys involved is a director who's worked with Cruise, Travolta, Washington... and his older brother has a film out right now. The title is kind of... Greek. ;)

 

The film work has been occupying a remarkable amount of my time lately, but the next book I hope to release is a science fiction adventure called Tribes. There will be a military component to this tale, but it's not going to focus on the martial aspects all that much.

 

And after that, I very well might get sucked back into another Gathering Dead story, either set in Singapore or in the U.S. If it's the latter, it will likely feature the further exploits of Sergeant Jorge Roche and the reconstituted 2/75. But don't hold me to it--McDaniels and even, maybe, Gartrell might come back into the fray. Tough to tell just now, since I don't even have a plot!

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Mr. Knight, sounds like you are getting the attention your writing deserves. Let me know if you ever need a beta reader. I will keep my eye out for Tribes, and no offense, but I would love to read something with Sergeant Major Gartrell having a happy ending for once. That poor so-and-so can't catch a break.

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I'd also volunteer to be a beta reader! I'm a stickler for formatting and punctuation, too. LOL

 

So glad you found our board, Mr. Knight. I agree with Texas Bill: I want something good to happen for Gartrell. You made him so real and so compelling that I actually had tears in my eyes when I read about his family. Character development sometimes winds up on the sidelines with such action-packed plot lines, but you really did your craft credit with the lives you created in The Gathering Dead and The Rising Horde. Thank you for what you've already written. I can't wait to read whatever you come up with next!

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I just finished Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar, who is now my favorite zombie author of Indian extraction. This book is seriously engaging and features zombies who will take a headshot, shake it off and keep on chewing. Scary. SPOILER: I was a little disappointed that the SEAL character David, Mr. Band of Brothers himself, didn't do more at the beginning to help his fellow service members get away, but he makes up for it later. Anyway, this guy also wrote a really good thriller (like Tom Clancy except with realistic characters) entitled Line of Control about the likely next war between India and Pakistan. This is written with a lot of "insider" knowledge most Western writers lack about the origins and causes of the ongoing conflict.

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