It occurred to me last night that I am being overrun by zombies right now. I mean that in the good way, not the bad flesh tearing, being eaten alive kind of way. I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead, reading Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue, listening to Horde by Ann Aguirre, and next up is Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick. I mean, phew! That’s a lot of zombies. Am I tired of them? Heck no, especially since there is still so much life left in them! (Ha ha) One of the best things about zombies right now is that everyone is taking the basic gist of them, and giving it their own twist.
Walking Dead- You got your basic shamblers, slow moving dead whose main power is numbers. One on one, this is pretty much no contest, but you’ll be hard pressed to run into just one.
Zombie Youth- You got shamblers here too, a ton of them, but you also have stalkers. In this world (which I’m only about halfway through) some people have reacted to the virus that caused this by turning into fast, vicious, snarling, almost animal- like creatures. These zombies tend to move on all fours and one can easily take you down.
Horde- You got smart, fast moving zombies here. These guys are evolving, they are starting to live in family units complete with kids because these zombies are actually mutants, so they can procreate and pass those mutated genes along. So now you have smart-ish monsters bent on eating you, good luck there.
Monsters- You got fast, smart zombies. In this series no one quite knows what the hell happened. There were e-bombs, electromagnetic pulses, and nuclear reactors, some combination of all that and who knows what else killed almost everyone, left a ton of teenagers as zombies and gave a few survivors extrasensory powers. Again, these are smart zombies you would not want to run into.
See? In four zombie scenarios you have so much variety in the zombies alone, forget about everything else going on in the story. You have different zombies, with different causes for the change and different weaknesses. Sure, the last two aren’t strictly zombies because they aren’t actually dead, but to me if it moves like a zombie and wants to eat human flesh, it’s a zombie.
So why do all of these stories continue to appeal? To me it’s the humanity of it all. Something like a zombie outbreak happens and people band together. They put aside every petty difference they had before and they stand unified against a new enemy. But then there is the bad side of humanity too. In my mind if this happens, obviously the more people who work together the better, but no. People always have to disagree and fight over resources and be the same crapheads they always are. But those aren’t the stars of these stories, the stars are the good guys and I love reading their journeys through the dead wastelands.
So why aren’t you tired of zombies yet?
Looking for a new zombie read? Check out the first two chapters of by book Prime here