It’s baaaaaa-aaa-ck! Walking Dead!

PEOPLE!

WALKING DEAD resumes Sunday February 9th. Check your local listings so you, too, can get swept up in the madness.

As many of you know, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the ZA (Zombie Apocalypse, for those of you not briefed). You can see that here. And here. And here, here, and here. Oh, geez. Here, here, and here, too. Oh, and this one is about SEX.

Damn. I’ve blogged a lot about the ZA. That’s not even all the blogs. Maybe I should get out more.

Anyway. Here’s a sneak peek from the upcoming f*ck-up-ed-ness that is sure to be the second half of season 4.

And here. Find out how long you’d live in a ZA. Take this quiz here. And you can download the “Dead Yourself” app to see how’d you look as a zombie.

All right, peeps. PREPARE!

Happy Friday!

The Dog Stars: more post-apocalyptic reading for you and yours

Hi, peeps!

So I was reading the latest issue (September 2012) of Outside Magazine (cuz it’s one of my faves) and I came across a little piece in “Dispatches” about how contributing writer Peter Heller has just published his first novel. (It’s in THIS issue)

I’m a fan of Heller’s nonfiction work, so I was intrigued, especially when I heard that The Dog Stars is a post-apocalyptic novel.


SOURCE: peterheller.net (re-sized here)

And then, lo and behold, he’s been all over NPR the past couple of days. So if you’re not sure you want to purchase this book, or if you’re interested in more about it and in Heller, check these out:

” ‘Dog Stars’ Dwells on the Upside of Apocalypse”
QUOTE:
We’re in the middle of a golden age (if that’s the right term for it) of doomsday narratives. …the world is regularly being smashed by asteroids, ravaged by viruses and overrun by zombies. Pop culture’s embrace of end times has become, if not casual, then matter-of-fact. The apocalypse is a given; get over it already.

Getting over it already is the challenge facing Hig, the narrator of The Dog Stars, Peter Heller’s crackerjack new novel set a decade or so after an epidemic wiped out 99 percent of the U.S. population. With its soulful hero, macabre villains, tender (if thin) love story and action scenes staggered at perfectly spaced intervals, the story unfolds with the vigor of the film it will undoubtedly become. But it also succeeds as a dark, poetic and funny novel in its own right.
SOURCE: Jennifer Reese, “Upside of Apocalypse,” NPR (link above)

Heller was also interviewed at Fresh Air, which aired yesterday in my time zone. There, he talks about growing up in New York with his yearning for the outdoors and exploration, his work in nonfiction and journalism, and then his novel. You can catch that RIGHT HERE, baby. Hit the link for audio and also written highlights of the chat.

I’ll be picking this up soon.

Happy reading, happy writing!

Drama at the end of the world

Hey, kids–

Have you been watching the continued second season of AMC’s Walking Dead?

That is some serious drama. It’s not just about zombies and avoiding them. It’s about negotiating and creating new social and cultural rules in a world that no longer has any. Humans are a remarkably drama-laden species and sure enough, we’re bound to bring that into the post-apocalyptic landscape. In crisis situations, I think the true essence of people starts to emerge and adjust to the new conditions. Issues that we had prior to the apocalypse might be exacerbated, which might also create problems if we try to make a go of it in a group situation.

But as I’ve noted in many of my end of the world spiels, other surviving humans are probably going to be the worst thing to deal with. No rules means your life isn’t worth the energy it takes to work up a spit, so don’t rely on appealing to anybody’s higher angels. You are a potential threat to their limited resources, a potential threat to their safety, and a potential threat to the delicate dynamic they’ve already worked out with whatever group (or not) they’re running with. So do no expect help from other survivors. Chances are, you won’t get it. And the longer a post-apocalyptic situation goes on, the more likely that survivors will continue to descend into more feral behaviors.

Want more? Keep on!

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When an apocalypse hits…

where will you be?

Hi, folks–

Here we are on zombie and/or apocalypse Saturdays. First, tomorrow is the next episode of AMC’s Walking Dead, which has been on mid-season hiatus until now. So if you’ve been following that, there you go. I’m already getting my therapy lined up…

Second, Tuesdays, the National Geographic channel is airing a program called “Doomsday Preppers.” It’s exactly what it says it is. Each hour features about 20 minute segments with a different person or people preparing for an apocalypse. The form that apocalypse takes (e.g. financial, grid collapse, natural disaster) depends on the people. So you get, say, 3 people an hour who are serious apocalypse preppers. Then the NatGeo crew provides some feedback to each prepper, and offers suggestions (if necessary) to improve their prep. Then the commentator tells you, the audience, what the actual chances are that an apocalypse like the one the people are prepping for will actually happen.

The website (link above) offers a breakdown of the episodes, tips from preppers, and bios of the various preppers. Kind of interesting, if that’s your thing. I rather enjoyed it.

And third, author Julianna Baggott has released Pure, the first in her post-apocalyptic series. It’s getting rave reviews and she has an excerpt posted on her website. Seriously. Check this out. Click HERE for those opening pages.

Wow. Lyrical, tactile, narrative gold. Do yourselves a favor and pick this one up. It’s been optioned for film rights. Personally, I think the book’s vision will be ever Pure-er than any movie could make it, but I’m sure the visual impact of the movie will be pretty darn amazing. 😀

There you go. Some doomsday stuff for you to consider and enjoy, if you’re weird like me.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy watching!

Don’t stop for baby carriages

Hi, all!

Or, if you’re not in the US, don’t stop for prams. Happy New Year’s Eve y’all, and Foster the People will demonstrate precisely why, in a post-apocalyptic situation, do NOT stop driving until you’re dang sure it’s a reasonably safe place. Do not stop. Even if there’s a pram in the road. In this case, ESPECIALLY if there’s a pram in the road. (sorry–this is Vevo, so there’s an ad before the vid)


link

This is one of Spotify’s top 100 listened-to tunes of 2011 in the US. Here’s the link to see the others. Because everything is just better with music, including post-apocalyptic driving and hostage-taking. And let’s all thank Foster the People for the Road Warrior shout-out!


link

Hope your New Year’s Eve rocks! Be safe out there.

Post-apocalypse story collection

Hi, kids–yeah, I bailed on y’all this weekend. Had a bunch of stuff to catch up on, including getting “Some Kind of River” tweaked up so I can get that Kindle’d up.

Got a great tip from author Nicola Griffith (and if you haven’t read her work, WHY NOT? WHAT ROCK HAVE YOU BEEN UNDER?).

I’m thinking you need to get yourself a copy of this story collection if you’re like me, and have a weird apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic streak in you. Check out Laura Miller’s review of Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse.


source: LAMag (I’ve resized it here)

Miller says:

McHugh’s stories, however, are more interested in what the fall of civilization might actually feel like. The cataclysms in “After the Apocalypse” range from flu epidemics to dirty bombs to the exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves to water shortages to good old-fashioned economic depression.
[…]
This acute psychological realism applied to the apparatus of wish-fulfilling adventure stories makes for a heady combination. The stories in “After the Apocalypse” will catch many readers off-guard; they’re suspenseful, but they never quite go where you expect them to. The end of the world as we know it will never be the same again.

source: Salon.com, Laura Miller review

Doesn’t that just warm your little post-apocalyptic hearts this close to the holiday season? I thought so.

Happy reading!

Sex, Lies, and the Zombie Apocalypse

Hi, kids–

Haven’t blogged about zombies in a while. I was traveling last weekend and I ended up reading the first 2 of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. I put that off, like, as long as I could so I wouldn’t be all part of the trend or something, but I read ’em and posted my thoughts over on my Goodreads account. So if you’re on Goodreads, you can go check out my thoughts over there. Fave character in that series thus far is, hands down, Lisbeth Salander. A woman I definitely would not want to be friends with, but also one I wouldn’t want to be enemies with and someone I’d hire in a heartbeat to track someone down.

Anyway, let’s chat about things to do and not to do during a zombie apocalypse. First and foremost, people, I think we just really need to get this out on the table: SEX.

Want some of this? Keep reading…

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ZOMBIES walk in AMC

Hi, all!

Good gracious this week sucked giant butt in terms of the ol’ busy-ness. Sorry about that, friends.

So what’d you think about the season 2 premiere of Walking Dead? The show has different writers than last year, but I was glad to see some character consistencies. However, I do have to say that the commercials on AMC really interrupted the flow of the program and decreased its length from “90 minutes” to probably about 60. WTF? Season 1’s premiere, if I recall correctly, ran 2 hours, with minimal commercial invasion. Sigh.

Read on for deeper analysis!

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Zombie Walks, Crawls, Events for Halloween

Plus some other stuff.

Like, for example, my random questions over at Women and Words. I took some random questions from readers yesterday and posted answers over at Women and Words. Here’s the link to check it out.

Okay, ’tis the season, friends! HALLOWEEN! Some communities around the U.S. are doing zombie walks in honor of this occasion (though zombie walks do occur at other times of the year, too). And others are doing zombie apocalypse meetups. Wanna see if there’s a community near you doing one? Here you go.

Here’s the official 2011 Halloween Zombie Apocalypse event site.

And here they are on Facebook.

The zombie apocalypse stuff is pretty involved, but it looks like a heck of a good time. Basically, you’re planning an entire zombie end-of-the-world in your community. A worldwide zombie-ish outbreak. The top 8 apocalypse teams will then go on to compete in an international competition (that is, who’s the best at making a realistic zombie apocalypse).

And you might get a kick out of the sponsor’s link, “Adrian’s Undead Diary.” Some good readin’ stuff there.

Here’s the schedule for the proposed zombie outbreak:
Day 1: Zombie Outbreak (October 29th)
Day 2: Survival of the Fittest (October 30th)
Day 3: Fight to the End (Halloween)
LINK for that info

If that’s far too complicated, then you can check to see if there’s a zombie walk going on in your city/town. That’s basically what it says. People dressed like zombies lurching down the street on a set route. Sometimes the walk benefits a charity. I heard of a walk scheduled this year in one community that would like participants to bring a can of food to the start of the walk. That food will then go to local food banks.

Here’s a good place to find some info about communities with scheduled zombie crawls/walks as Halloween approaches. It’s called Crawl of the Dead.

All right, friends. If I find more info, I’ll post it here. And do keep your eyes on the planning for the worldwide zombie apocalypse. That could be pretty freaky and freaky cool.

Happy Saturday!

Horror and apocalyptic Saturday! WOOO!

Hi, folks–

Skip on over to Women and Words if you haven’t already to catch my interview with horror/surreal writer Gina Ranalli. I call her a surrealist, too, because she seamlessly blends the macabre with comedy in a lot of her work, and the effect is a really cool juxtaposition of contrasting moods and emotions. Definitely give her a looksee. Here’s the link to that interview.

I had a dream last night that the world as we know it is going to end in September, 2015. WTF? I’m supposed to go to Milwaukee, according to my dream, because this is where I’ll be reasonably safe. I’m not sure what sort of apocalypse this entails, but there it is. Oh, and I’m supposed to introduce myself to the chief of police in Milwaukee so the force knows I’ll be coming.


source: Cafepress

Um…yeah. Milwaukee’s a great place, don’t get me wrong. Been there, too. Nice city. But as I’ve told people many times, in any kind of scary sort of apocalypse, it’s probably not a good idea to be near heavily populated areas, especially if it’s a zombie sort of meltdown because, as we all know by now, the more people, the more zombies. In other sorts of meltdowns, heavily populated areas will most likely become heavily lawless areas. I mean, think about it. People are going to be freaking out and trying to survive as best they can. And when that happens, in 2-3 days, all bets are off. So stay away from those urban areas. Even nice ones like Milwaukee.

In smaller communities (say, small towns) where most people know each other and it’s not a zombie kind of meltdown, you’ll probably have a better shot at staying put. Especially if you’re known in the community. That’s not always a guarantee — survival makes people go nutso — but you’ll probably have a better shot at weathering more storms in a smaller community like that than a larger. However, what people in smaller communities need to worry about is the so-called “outsiders” showing up. That is, people escaping larger cities and wandering around and ending up in smaller communities. Not all of them have bad intentions. But desperation makes for bad situations. This is pretty basic human behavior, kids. You cannot count on anything except yourself, pretty much, in a meltdown, and sadly, you cannot just trust that others aren’t going to do some crazy stuff in the midst of scary times. Bummer, I know.

Now, depending on how long the meltdown goes on, survivors will probably eventually empty the cities (leaving a few behind). At that juncture, you might be able to go into what once were heavily populated areas (if it’s not a zombie apocalypse) and scrounge for supplies or even set up housing for a while. But be aware that people, like animals, get a little territorial and that could prove a problem for you, the “outsider.” So always, always be cautious in your travels during a meltdown.


source: post-apocalyptic pictures

Something else to think about in a meltdown is that a situation like that invariably exacerbates existing ideological mindsets, layering them over levels of desperation and freak-out. So that guy who lives in the hills in his bunker railing about the government coming to get him? That’s only going to get worse in a meltdown, no matter what causes the meltdown. And, depending on the type of apocalypse (excluding zombie), you might see small groups of survivors forming new sorts of hierarchies in order to develop some semblance of control and order in a really out-of-control situation. I do not recommend dealing with groups like that. Remember, all rules are gone and all bets are off and groups like that will be making their own rules, regardless of how ethical they are. Think Lord of the Flies. But if that’s your thing — if you’re willing to do that for a sense of safety in numbers — good luck.

I’ll talk later about things you can learn now that’ll help you in a situation that — yikes — might be a major meltdown.