After Hours

Six zombie tales worth checking out

Edmond Woychowsky recommends zombie stories that he thinks are worth your time. What zombie literature do you recommend to Geekend readers?

In the last several years there has been a hoard of stories about zombies — possibly because zombies are the everyman of the walking dead and, unlike vampires, there's no dress code. But whatever the reason, here are zombie stories that I think are worth your time; you might even think of it as research for the pending zombie apocalypse.

  • Written as a series of interviews with survivors, Max Brooks's World War Z is absolutely incredible. I quickly found myself getting lost in this book and forgetting that it's fiction, due to the logical way in which the story is presented. From the zombies' origins, to the initial confusion and battles, this is a story that anyone with even a minor interest in zombies will likely enjoy. Also, according to IMDB, a movie adaptation is in production and scheduled to be release in July 2012.
  • Odds are, unless you've been hiding out in a Y2K bunker since December of 1999, you've heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, it's re-telling of Jane Austen's classic 1813 tale, with zombies. If you're a fan of Austen's work, you might want to avoid this book (although fans of Austen's work probably won't be reading anything that I write). As with World War Z, a movie adaptation is in the works for 2011.
  • I recently stumbled upon a book by Robin Becker called Brains: A Zombie Memoir. By about the 10th page, I was hooked by this unusual zombie tale, which is told from a zombie's point of view. It seems that Professor Jack Barnes, a newly minted zombie, has for some inexplicable reason retained some of his higher functions. This is not only the best zombie novel that I have ever read, it's also funny in a Young Frankenstein kind of way. For the first time ever, I found myself rooting for the zombies.
  • If graphic novels are more your style, I suggest The Walking Dead, which a friend who owns a comic book shop recommended. I quickly read it through twice — it reads like a George Romero flick. Come Halloween night, I intend to watch the new A&E series to see how it compares with this graphic novel by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.
  • For people like me who have a nightmare commute, there is an audio drama by Mur Lafferty called The Takeover. Not only is this tale of a corporate takeover by zombies incredibly funny, but the voice talent is like a who's-who of contemporary science fiction and fantasy. Add to this a Jonathan Coulton intro/song, and it's become a permanent fixture on my MP3 player. Warning: You'll never look at work meetings the same way again.
  • One zombie novel that I haven't picked up yet but I would be remiss if I didn't mention is Night of the Living Trekkies from Quirk Books, which also brought us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, a zombie outbreak at a Star Trek convention! The trailer for the book is awesome (when did books get trailers?), so I'll be shopping for this soon.

Do you read zombie literature? If so, what zombie stories do you recommend to your Geekend peers? Add to this list by posting in the discussion.

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