Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Post-Apocalyptic Author's Thoughts on Pandemic Preparation

As a writer of zombie fiction, I'm no expert on communicable diseases, pandemics, or global health emergencies.  I'm just a guy wondering what I should do to prepare, what is practical, and what I can afford.  In some ways, my current situation in regard to the Covid 19 corona virus pandemic is similar to the situation faced by Jake and Karen in my novel Zombie ComplexFortunately, the ill won't be biting anyone.  Unfortunately, this is real life with real victims and the specter of disease and death facing us all.

We've been thinking that we may need to expand our small stockpile of supplies so that we have basic supplies and food on hand for a potential two to three week quarantine period.  We'll also make sure that we have sanitation supplies (cleaners and hand sanitizers).  We already shop "off-peak" and avoid large crowds.  While the government in Zombie Complex is more of a hindrance than a help, I do have a fair degree of confidence in public health authorities here in the United States.  They are a good place to start for advice on how to prepare for the human corona virus and other pandemics.

Hospital Visitor during a Swine Flu Epidemic - photo by Kencf0618 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

I recommend that everyone start with the Department of Homeland Security's Ready.gov website.  It provides basic information on emergency preparation and has advice on preparing for a pandemic.  It also has links to Health and Human Services (HHS) for more information about the pandemic.  As scenes from quarantined areas appear on the news, it is apparent that streets and store shelves get empty fast when communities are hit.  While you shouldn't panic, this is a great time to get a kit of basic supplies together and adapt hygiene and travel habits to the situation.

If nothing else, this health emergency should give everyone more time to stay home and read.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Zombie Science: What do zombies say?

Zombies traditionally are not able to speak.  Scientifically speaking several parts of the brain are required for speech:  Broca's Area, Wernicke's Area, and the angular gyrus.  In addition to speak, you need to have air movement with the lungs and the ability to move your tongue, jaws, and vocal cords.  With all of the brain and body damage they have sustained, there isn't much evidence that zombies can do these things.

"Killer Zombies of the Weld" painting by Elizabeth Barsham / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

I think one of the most horrifying aspects of zombie movies and zombie television shows is that a person loses their mental faculties and that they may have thoughts while they are a zombie with little ability to express them.  In The Walking Dead, it's heartbreaking to see a look in a zombie's eyes.  Do they know what they are doing?  Can they see the horror and pain they cause?  Do they want to be released from their condition?

In my short stories, "Dog Walk of the Apocalypse" and "Zombie Cage", I experiment with how the zombie contagion takes over a person's mind and with the traditional conventions about whether a zombie can speak.  However, if a person is infected with the Zombie disease, I don't think they can say much or have any vocal abilities for long.  If you want to find out what zombies have to say, i invite you to check one of my stories out.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Read "Howling at the Moon" from the WolfPack Authors


Like many of you, I've been saddened by the horrible wild fire images coming out of Australia for the past few months.  If you've wondered how you can help, I'd like to direct your attention to Howling at the Moon.  It's the latest charity anthology from the #WolfPack Authors writing group.  The anthology features great short stories from wonderful indie authors and all profits will benefit Australian Fire Relief.


I contributed what I think is one of my best zombie short stories to the Anthology and I'm sure you'll love it.  I'm really proud to play at least a small role in helping provide some relief for the situation in Australia.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Zombie Poetry: Footsteps




footsteps
to left and right
force us to keep running
no food, no water, and not one stop: 
zombies


Paris Zombie Walk 2010 - photo by tangi bertin from Rennes, France [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Zombie Flash Fiction: Young Love and Zombies

It was the first time, Hunter and Rain had a chance to be alone.  Hunkered down behind a hastily constructed plywood blind, they watched the road.  If they saw a hoard of zombies shuffling towards the neighborhood, they would warn everyone of an attack.  But, they saw only a lone directionless zombie here and there.

After spending so much time gardening, building defenses, and killing the dead, they were both tired.  In other assignments, they had a few chances to exchange glances, smiles, and winks.  Rain knew he wanted to connect with her and she had seen him shirtless on a cleanup detail.  She thought he felt the same way.  He had seen the way he looked at her as she planted seedlings.

At first Hunter didn't say much, but Rain got the conversation started.  In just a few minutes, they were talking easily.  Rain had never felt so connected.  After all they had seen since the end of the world, they both needed to talk.  Soon they touched.  It was electric.  There was a spark.  Soon they were holding hands.  He caressed her cheek.  They kissed.  She had never felt so alive.  Soon they were doing everything young lovers could do.  They did everything except watch for zombies.

Today, Hunter and Rain are still together.  Out there.  Somewhere.  Wandering the world with a ripped bodice and no pants.

Friday, October 11, 2019

New Short Story on Amazon - Neither Seen Nor Heard

If you are looking for a zombie fix, I've just released a new zombie apocalypse short story on Amazon:  Neither Seen Nor Heard.  This story fits right into the Zombie Complex neighborhood without any spoilers.  I'm very excited about this story because it follows the harrowing apocalyptic  journey of society's most vulnerable people:  the elderly and young children.


In the story, a great grandfather is left to mind his great grandchildren while the rest of the family goes off to forage for food and gather supplies.  Unfortunately, that was days ago.  When we join the great grandfather and his young charges, they are getting hungry and worried.  As food dwindles, they venture out to find something to eat.  But, can these very different generations work together and survive?


I really enjoyed writing this story and hope you enjoy reading it as well.  I'd really appreciate your review or rating on Amazon or Goodreads.  As always, feel free to DM on Twitter or e-mail about the story.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
 

A Post-Apocalyptic Author's Thoughts on Pandemic Preparation

As a writer of zombie fiction, I'm no expert on communicable diseases, pandemics, or global health emergencies.  I'm just a guy wond...