Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

Fantasy Race Series: Zombies

Starting us off today with both the series and the end of the alphabet are zombies, undead creatures who can infect the living to create more of their own. Zombies are the race to go to, these days, now that we’ve exhausted vampires for the time being. Zombies can be created through magic, through science, through disease, and here to tell us more about the undead menace (do you have your contigency plan ready for when the zombie apocalypse comes?) and how he’s twisted the cliches for his own use is Charles Muir.

Bringing the undead to life

My zombies began as most zombies do, by being dead. And as with most zombies, mine were bad at being dead. And they continued to be bad at being dead. On the plus side, that worked for my ragtag group from O.o.M.f.H. (Organization of Mercenaries for Hire), who needed things to try and kill.

My zombies evolved, devolved, and outright changed from draft one to draft ten. I tried the proper Haitian style zombie control via potions and juju, to the standard “it just happened, deal with it” style zombie, to the latest incarnation for the new age: nanite-controlled, hive-mind zombies.

Infection is via the bloodstream, primarily via a dart gun or syringe, so bites and scratches aren’t too much of a worry. Nanites self-propagate, akin to the Star Trek Borg, but don’t add any implants or unnecessary body mods. Stages start from infection, which effectively kills any living host by consuming the brain and replacing with a computer. Each zombie is then linked to all other zombies, world-wide via a wireless link and managed via a host of controllers in the HQ of E.V.I.L. (Extraordinarily Villainous Individuals League). Full infection takes 48 hours. Up to 12 hours to fully kill the body, then 24 hours to fully convert the brain, and another 12 hours to fully adapt the corpse via nanite-replaced blood.

How does one kill the already dead?

General consensus has been: remove the head and any zombie is effectively no longer a threat. Few writers ever seems to address the necessary clean up afterwards. The bodies still contain infectious materials. Cremation is a viable method of eradicating the infection, although such methods are generally hard to come by in apocalyptic scenarios.

Zombification prevention would logically involve self-defense training, firearms training, and investment in some defensive clothing that allows for movement but will prevent being eaten. If infection is through bodily fluids, generally saliva or blood, then having tear resistant clothing at the least is ideal. You don’t need to be bullet proof (although it wouldn’t hurt), but ballistics nylon-level fabric is your best bet for surviving a hoard of shambling bodies craving your grey matter.

And for those that do become infected, depending on incubation time, your options are either isolation, kamikaze, or acceptance. Isolation prevents infecting more people. Kamikaze is going out with as many infected as possible. And acceptance is biting all your friends so you’re not alone in becoming an undead abomination.

Charles Muir is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy novels infused with excessive sarcasm and author of informational works such as Word Ninja-148 pages of tips, tricks, and testimonials to get your writing written. Word Ninja is available in print and digital at:

Vampires and Other Creatures that Lurk in the Night

Hm.  Longest post title ever?  Mayhaps!

I recently won a book in a contest.  It’s a collection of short stories called The Poison Eaters by Holly Black.  Some of her novels are on my TBR list but this was my first introduction to her.

I may do a full review on that here at some point, but that’s up in the air as that’s not the intent of this blog.

Anyway, many of her stories played on twists on common urban fantasy creatures – fairies, unicorns, vampires – and it got me to thinking.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I do not like vampires.  They are one of my very least favorite plot devices.  Over the years I have read several vampire-centric novels – Dracula, Interview with a  Vampire (and The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned), all four and a half Twilights, Bloodsucking Fiends, etc. – and no matter how well written (0r not) the books, nothing has changed my opinion.

Is it something ingrained?  Genetics?  I doubt that, actually, as my mother loves vampires.  She is at the opposite end of the spectrum as me.  Heck, she watches True Blood and she hates overly dramatized sex/violence.

It’s gotten to the point where if the word “vampire” is mentioned in connection with a book I will flee.  There’s really no logic to it.  Even if you count that vampire novels are oversaturated in today’s market.  It’s not that I have read too many vampire books and am sick of them, it’s that I was never unsick.

Shut up, Firefox, I can make up words if I want to.

I’m not terribly fond of other urban fantasy staples, though I do not have the same knee-jerk “Oh God No” reaction to them.  I am willing to try novels about werewolves or fairies if they are recommended to me.  I have no strong opinions about unicorns.  I like angels, am lukewarm about demons.

Zombies are fairly close to vampires, so one could draw the conclusion that there is something about the undead that turns me off.  Perhaps it is an instinct that I have evolved over the years to help me survive the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

There should be more dinosaurs in fantasy.  Also kraken.

One could ask why I read and write urban fantasy when I don’t really like the staples.  There’s  lots of reasons.  I like the idea of there being a more fantastical world just outside the realm of normal life, one that can be stumbled on accidentally.  I like seeing people I can relate to deal with strange situations.  I like the twists, the plays on life and mythology, the what ifs.

I could just do with less vampires.

Friday Round-up

Private Company to put Robot on Moon (For some reason, this sounds like a terrible idea to me.  Sounds like a good way to leave trash everywhere and mess up scientific missions.)
Last Rollout of Space Shuttle Discovery (video)
Recycling the Space Program
Trying to Prove the Multiverse (The quantum physics at the bottom kind of hurts my head.)
All 1200 Possible Exoplanets Found by Kepler Visualized
NASA’s New Technique to Find Alien Life
Pictures of Space Shuttle Discovery’s Building

The Furniture of Steampunk
Winners of the 2010 British Fantasy Awards
Chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder’s Inside Out
The Unreal and Why We Love It Part 6: Recognition
Star Wars Characters – Who Got Better?  Worse?
New #Torchat on Twitter
What Star Wars Job are you suited for?  (I’m a Jedi! \o/)

Misc Books
10 Greatest Child Geniuses in Literature

Stop Thrashing

Odds and Ends
Who to blame for the snow?
Science Valentines
If Social Media was High School
Headless Monk Forces Move of Amusement Park Ride
IKEA Instructions for the Large Hadron Collider

Also, this is awesome: Zombie Choose Your Own Adventure, all across the interwebs.