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Texas Bill

Zombie Fiction or Something to Chew On

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I love the Resident Evil series, even though there are some amazingly stupid and illogical plot points. But I completely agree with your assessment of the Umbrella Corporation product line. They invent the coolest stuff, some of which is amazingly durable. From the Umbrella Corporation's info page on the Resident Evil wiki (yes, there is one), check out the weapons their teams use:

 

  • Sporting Int. Magnum Custom Edition: A mix between a Desert Eagle and a Colt M1911, it uses .50AE rounds.
  • Incinerator Unit: A gun that uses some parts of the Colt M4A1 Carbine and fires a long range flame.
  • Semi-Automatic Anti-Tank Rifle: A large rifle used to destroy light armored vehicles. It can punch through 3 cm. of reinforced steel.
  • Spark Shot: A gun that fires electric shocks to control experimental animals.
  • Mine Thrower: A gun with specialized darts that will detonate if something pass near them, or attach themselves to a creature.
  • Elite Python: A modified version of the Colt Python made by Umbrella.
  • Linear Launcher: A Shoulder-Mounted cannon that fires extremely powerful blast of plasma.
  • Charged Particle Rifle: A gun that charges particles with negative or positive shocks that can electrocute somebody or deactivate electric shields and damage electric artifacts due to the EMP emitted by it.
  • Umbrella Magnum: This model is actually a Raging Bull .44 Magnum, it is called the Magnum Revolver.

Edited by oregonchick
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Wow, OC, why are they wasting their time building biological weapons and destroying civilization when they could be selling these weapons and printing their own money. Put me down for the semiauto anti-tank rifle. I have some neighbors that like to drag race on my street. Kidding!

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I know! The Charged Particle Rifle could also be tremendously helpful in terms of disabling vehicles to prevent attackers from reaching/massing at/driving through your position, and could be used against other groups' buildings and whatnot to drive them away from your own BOL. (Not that you'd want to do that to the nice friendly farmers down the road, but people who invite trouble? Making life difficult for them could be a good way to get them to vamoose.)

 

Well, according to the storyline for the RE games, Umbrella's first big "win" in the global marketplace was actually in developing pharmaceuticals. They created something called Aqua Skin/First Aid Spray that instantly closes up any wounds and basically cures injuries (except poisons) for players in the game. You can see how that might lead them to look at other ways to promote healing/inhibit dying... and then suddenly: zombies.

 

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men...

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It is beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall, but once the foliage is down the landscape is rather drab. My favorite places are the river valleys, especially the Wabash River and its tributaries. I've been to so many places through the miltary and wilderness travel, from Prudhoe Bay to the Ozarks, and from the ROK to the Blue Ridge. I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca for a while, and Oahu for over three years. I'm all over the upper midwest, as you can probably imagine. I want to be close to my kids, grankid, and other family, so I need to stay in the midwest for now. Ideally I'd like to settle in northwestern Michigan, along the coast of Lake Michigan, or move to Canada and live along the Huron. The lakes create a microclimate of warmer weather and plenty of moisture, while keeping me withing six hours of Ft. Wayne. My buddy lives in Dallas, and I get down there once in awhile. I just don't understand how you deal with the heat. And severl times when I was down there in the winter we had snow and ice that turned the metro area into a disaster zone. Texas ain't for wussies! You do have some great whitetails down there, though. And my uncle lived in Houston until he died. Took me to Gavelston once and we wade-fished for speckled trout in the gulf. That is still one of the greatest memories of my life; looking over at him smiling as he reeled in a big one, some species jumping through the air all around him. 1986.....time flies. You do any hunting or fishing down there?

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I see Texas Bill's point and yours. The bottom line is that the Change is some sort of supernatural event, so I read it as fantasy. It's good fun! For survival I'll look elsewhere. Which reminds me, I think Rawles' new book is available today. I like to buy his stuff immediately so it shoots up to best seller status. The more Americans exposed to him and his survival blog the more will survive the coming collapse--I hope. I always fantasize about more Americans being prepared than not, so we can limit the death and destruction. Seems like many people can't wait for the collapse, but I just think of starving children and it breaks my heart. We need to try, try, and try again to get people to make some basic preps.

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Sorry I did not respond sooner. I was in rural Louisiana for a job all last week (got back Saturday night)and the hotel barely had cell service much less internet. I feel like I have been suspended in a sensory deprivation tank.

 

Anyway, the movie was not as good as the first or second by a large gap but hey, it is an action/horror movie that my wife suggested so I could not complain. Any grown up time is a good time these days.

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Just read the final book in the A Very Good Man series by PS Power, which is called A Very Dark Place. It's not as intense as some of the other books in the series have been, and is somewhat repetitive in what happens (Jake getting singled out/sent away, people blaming him for stuff that's not his fault, general misery that people don't love or even seem to like him, etc.). On the plus side, he's not as self-obsessed and crazed in this book as he was in others, AND you actually learn more about why things have worked out that way for him overall. You also learn where the zombies came from and why, and some of the characters grow and evolve - and others turn out to be not at all what you'd expect.

 

Overall, it's a decent book but the weakest of the series. Now I'm looking forward to the next in PS Powers' other series, especially the Gwen Farris and Keely Thompson ones (although The Infected and the Young Ancients series are also pretty interesting).

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I agree with you on the Dead End series. I think the author wrote himself into a corner there a bit. I just finished the new Infected book, Reunions, and found it was full of revelations, some we saw coming and some, well, if you say you were expecting them, I would have to give you the single raised eyebrow in response. Good fun, and Brian manages to pile up quite a body count.

 

As for zombies, I just finished Dead Stop by Nathan Hilliard, which turned out to be a darned scary zombie book. Also, a bit of a variation on where the zeds come from and how they work. Finally, the author treated the readers to a group of survivors you actually care about because they are not complete idiots. All set at a lonely truck stop in South Texas in the middle of a nightlong thunderstorm of Wagnerian proportions. Good times.

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I can't find Reunions on Amazon yet - did you somehow score a preview? Even with the awkward end to the Very Good Man series, I have to say that PS Power has an amazing imagination. The worlds in each series are awfully diverse and the rules for each are unique, complex, and fascinating. And how handy would it be to have some of the magical gizmos described in the Young Ancients series? Your entire BOB could be a necklace with a handful of charms on it!

 

Dead Stop sounds creepy and interesting, so I'm downloading it now. LOL Thanks for the recommendation!

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Sorry, I got an advanced beta copy but then I went and bought it to have on my Kindle since it went on sale yesterday. I want those Tor devices, by the way, but the only way to get most is either be rich or be Tor's friend. I am out of luck on both counts.

 

I did pick up The First Four Days by RR Haywood for free from Amazon over the weekend. Set in England, so expect lots of ax and cricket bat action, with a few old shotguns. The main character is a bit of a weiner at first, but his sidekick Dave is an awesome, zombie-killing "Rain Man".

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Just finished Dead Stop based on your recommendation, Texas Bill.

 

I loved the overall simplicity of the story - in some ways, it's like a classic zombie movie in terms of plot, with people who find themselves having to team up with other random people simply because they were all in the same place when the zombie apocalypse started. It also makes sense that you might have to fight zombies with your coworkers, since you spend so much of your life at work! The source of the infection is really fascinating (and creepy) and, as you mentioned, the survivors actually did seem capable of using their heads. I have to say, I love it when characters in books actually seem to think through their circumstances and make sensible plans rather than just bouncing pell-mell from one situation to the next.

 

Back to The Young Ancients, it would definitely be worthwhile to be Tor's friend... and not just because of all of his marvelous inventions, either. That said, having a pal who could give you infinitely flexible and portable housing, limitless travel by air or water, a wardrobe limited only by your imagination, extensive and multiple personal protection, effortless body temperature regulation, and weaponry that ranges from personal defense to mass destruction would be pretty darn handy. LOL

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Dead Stop really did feel like an old school, scary zombie story and the author seemed to have a plot rather than having his characters race around like lemmings. The one exception was instructive and I admit I followed his pathetic exploits with a bit of glee. The beret was a nice touch, and the character was a sendup for some of those snarky Austin dwellers we here in Texas have to deal with from time to time.

 

Anway, I am looking forward to more Young Ancients and I am excited by the idea of a book from Timon's point of view as well as following Tor now that he is no longer constrained by his programming.

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I just finished Blue Plague: The Fall by Thomas A. Watson and I wanted to give it a shout out here since the author is clearly "one of our own". This is a combo prepper/zombie book and some of the preparations are almost Rawlesian in their thoroughness, but I like how the author stressed that almost all of their toys (trucks, ATVs, bikes) were purchased used and then repaired or reworked to make useful. Yes, the idea of two families being this intertwined is highly unlikely (two couples and their six kids combined living on a 200 acre farm in rural Louisiana) but still, good reading. There is some crude language, violence against women ("appropriately punished" but still hard for me to read), and a little disturbing torture, but overall a rewarding book. The two protagonists in this first book are the husbands, leaving the "little women" to watch the farm, but they pick up (not in the biblical sense) some pretty tough ladies on their way home. Some of the exchanges between friends and family border on the sappy, but given how folks treat each other these days I found the old fashioned values refreshing. And oh, yes, there are lots and lots of scenes of violence and mayhem (facing incredible, unlikely odds, but so what) so if that offends, better stay away.

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I liked Blue Plague The Fall, and even the "little women left at home" scenario made sense in terms of why the husbands had to leave. Also, the women weren't exactly hiding in a bunker, shaking, while the menfolk were out doing men's things. LOL They had to handle their own - and showed they could.

 

The only thing I really DIDN'T like was the whole "gimp" scenario. What is the purpose of that? There's so much in there about the responsibilities of teaching kids what to do, doing what's right, Christian values, etc., and then... that? What does that teach the kids? What does that show HIS kids? Yuck. It actually made me like the whole family less, which was a disappointment after all of the other stuff I truly enjoyed in the book.

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That gimp stuff really creeped me out too. I understood why Bruce did not want to kill him in front of his wife and kids, but hey, take him around behind a hill and put him down quietly if you have to do it. I especially the threats of sexual assault were uncalled for, given what some of the other characters had endured. Maybe the author will get the idea and tone it down in later books.

 

I just spent a few days in Vegas at a conference, which means I spent a lot of time in the evenings reading in my room since I don't drink, gamble, or chase loose women (I am really too old to do that much running and my wife frowns mightly on me even joking about it). So....I read a lot and wanted to recommend Dead Tropics by Sue Edge. Another good zombie story from down under--I find I like the Australian zombie writers better than most of the Brits, with a few exceptions. The story is set in Cairns, and follows the exploits of a ticked off "Mama Bear" named Lori looking out for her "cubs" as best she can when the dead start munching on the living. Nothing ground-breaking here but the story is full-throttle action with little let up, and some massively gnarly mob scenes that even I found disturbing.

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I liked Dead Tropics and am interested to see what the next book will be (assuming there is one - it seems to end without a firm resolution). Definitely a few nail-biter scenes, like when they get caught in a traffic jam with zombies behind and a mob of people heading their way from ahead, also fleeing zombies, and decide to try hiding under the vehicles to escape detection. It was rather brutal in describing some of the people who are lost to the zombie hordes, wasn't it? Parents trying to protect their children, but not being able to save the kids or themselves, a whole children's ward wiped out, people sacrificing themselves so that others can escape. You do really have to admire Lori, even when you wonder at some of the risks she takes trying to rescue neighbors and so on. Overall, a very good read.

 

I just read The Scourge by AG Henley. It's another Young Adult novel, and is just... odd. A lot of it is kind of adventure/romance, but the premise is that the world has been overrun by zombies, who are called the scourge, and the protagonist, a blind girl named Fenn, is somehow protected from or immune to them. The scourge migrates in and out of areas rather randomly, and in those times when her people (the Groundlings) are trapped in caves and the other people (the Lofties) are trapped in trees, she alone can wander through the crowd of zombies to gather the water the two feuding communities need to survive with a Loftie guide giving her directions and encouragement from above.

 

There were many things that didn't make sense to me about the set-up (this is multiple generations after the scourge first appeared, and yet they haven't found a way to hook up a simple pipe and a pump??! two whole communities are utterly dependent on whether one girl can haul water for them, day after day?!?) and then eventually even the idea of the zombies was seriously undermined by the explanation of how they came to be. So from a zombie novel perspective, it wound up being a tremendous disappointment. And for a YA novel, it was just rather "meh."

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OC, that scene under the cars gave me nightmares. Also, the extreme measures Lori went through to save her youngest daughter was just unreal. Since I have have a daughter who is not much older, reading that passage nearly made me throw up. Hard to find books these days that carry that much of an emotional charge. Thanks for the heads up about The Scourge, since I almost bought it.

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Oh yeah, the idea of being under the cars and just HOPING the zombies don't notice was super-scary. shudder And what she does for her daughter is as horrifying as it is impressive. Even knowing she was saving her life, I don't know how Lori could look at her daughter and not just feel like she had done something truly wrong. Definitely a compelling storyline!

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I can't wait for the sequel to Dead Tropics to come out. I did read a new, good zombie book last night I wanted to pass on to folks. Snareville by David Youngquist is pretty dark, too, but has some compelling characters and deals with how small town folks come together to face the zombie apocalypse. I had a few quibbles here and there with the story (author switches from first person to third person which is a pet peeve of mine) but overall I thought it was worth a read. The sequel is also out as well and I have it on my Kindle but I have not read it yet.

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Not a book, just an image, but I thought that this crew would appreciate it. This answers the question, "What would happen to the Scooby gang after the zombie apocalypse?"

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1541[/ATTACH]

 

I always thought that Velma could be a real bad@ss!

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What's worse is I can totally picture how Velma and Scooby wind up the last two survivors:

 

  • Daphne is the first to fall to the zombies, because she's physically weakest and does tend to be the one who gets captured by villains.
  • Fred tries to save her and is bitten, which forces Velma to kill him (she's pragmatic and would not accept the risk of waiting for him to turn).
  • At first, Shaggy and Scooby do all right because they are scared of EVERYTHING, which keeps them on guard.
  • Within a few days, particularly if zombies haven't been perpetually chasing them in and out of doors in a long hallway, Scooby and Shaggy would both have split focus: first on food, the second on zombies. Unfortunately, while Scooby's nose would warn him of danger before it got too close, Shaggy's wouldn't.

 

Looking closer at this picture, it seems possible that they have also encountered vampires. I still think they'd die in the same order, it's just that Shaggy would probably be an involuntary blood donor while Fred and Daphne were Zombie Snax.

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