Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
From The Blog
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
November 11, 2014
The Well-Lit Knight Rises: How 1960s Batman Shaped Our Bat-Thoughts Forever
Ryan Britt
Showing posts tagged: zombies click to see more stuff tagged with zombies
Thu
Nov 20 2014 10:00am

We Are Family: Symbiont by Mira Grant

mira grant symbiont review

On the back of the unsightly excitement of Parasite, something like rigor sets in as the second half of what was a duology turns into the middle volume of a tolerance-testing trilogy. Symbiont isn’t a bad book by any means—it’s accessible, action-packed, and its premise remains appallingly plausible—but absent the ambiguity that made its predecessor so very unsettling, it’s lamentable for its length and lack of direction.

The first part of Parasitology chronicled the apocalyptic consequences of SymboGen’s latest and greatest innovation: the ubiquitous Intestinal Bodyguard—a magic pill meant to protect against allergy, illness and infection—was a worm which, in time, turned; a symbiotic organism supposed to support its host yet set, instead, on supplanting said. Before long, of course, this conflict of interests turned the population of San Francisco and its suburbs into zombies of a sort—sleepwalkers, as Mira Grant would have it.

The transition went differently for a few folks, though. After a catastrophic car crash, and at the cost of her every memory, Sally Mitchell’s parasite saved her life... or so she thought.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 17 2014 10:00am

The Walking Dead, S5 E6: “Consumed”

“Consumed” is another solid entry in a strong season, due in large part to being 42 minutes of two of the show’s best actors doing some quality work. The episode fills in what happened after Daryl and Carol drove off after the car with the white cross but before the former returns to the church with an unknown companion (dollars to donuts, it’s Noah). It’s also chockablock with flashbacks to Carol’s major subplots from season 4.

[“I don’t think we get to save people anymore.”]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 11:00am

The Walking Dead, S5 E5: “Self Help”

The road to D.C. is paved with good intentions. While Rick and co. were getting their boring on at Hershel’s farm and eking out a life for themselves in a prison, Abraham, Rosita, and half a dozen others were dragging Eugene from Texas to Georgia on a mission to save the world. They fought for Eugene, and died for him. He was Abraham’s saving grace, literally; they crashed into each other’s lives just as Abraham was about to eat a bullet after losing his family to walkers. He couldn’t save them, but he could protect Eugene. Glenn and Maggie seem to be mostly just going along for the ride. Who knows what Rosita’s motivations are other than what the hell else would she be doing instead, which puts her more in line with Glenn and Maggie than Abraham. And Tara is with them because she’ll go where ever Glenn and Maggie go until she feels she’s atoned for her Governor-related sins.

In “Self Help,” the setbacks and obstacles pile up until they become insurmountable. After the bus crashes a mere 15 miles from the church, the group seeks refuge in a forgotten bookstore. Abraham reinjures himself, but it’s manageable. A little midnight nookie and good night’s sleep patches them all up just enough to keep rolling along. That is, until the fire truck craps out and releases walkers from the fire station. Fate doubles down when the truck stops a few miles down the line, then plays its winning hand with what looks like hundreds of walkers festering in an abandoned cattle ranch along the main highway. Trouble is, Abraham doesn’t know when to call it quits. The rest follow him through everything until they reach their breaking point when he tries to force them through the horde of walkers. And then the world comes crashing down.

[“I have a very important mission.”]

Wed
Nov 5 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: How to Tree Your Dragon

In the old city of Chellah in Rabat, Morocco, there is a tree that has grown into the shape of a DRAGON. This has either happened naturally, or, in a more interesting universe, the spirit of a long-extinct dragon has manifested itself in this tree! One day, all the children of the city will know to come to the Dragon Tree with their troubles, and the Dragon Spirit will grant them Her wisdom in magnificent dreams of flight. [via Laughing Squid!]

Morning Roundup asks an important question: why is Gandhi such a jerk? (The Civilization version of Gandhi, not real Gandhi.) We also meditate upon Christopher Nolan’s flask of tea, and infiltrate a colony of penguins!

[Plus we learn that it’s terribly difficult to cross the street in Lagos.]

Tue
Nov 4 2014 4:20pm

Nathan Fillion is Already Assembling His Zombie Apocalypse Team

Nathan Fillion zombie apocalypse team video

In addition to fooling around with lightsabers, Nathan Fillion is something of a zombie apocalypse enthusiast in his off-hours. In fact, he thinks so much about the possibility of the undead taking over that he’s already obsessed with compiling the perfect, most complementary team.

[Read More]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 11:00am

The Walking Dead, S5 E4: “Slabtown”

The Walking Dead recap season 5 episode 4 Slabtown

Remember Beth? Blonde, young adult, sings a lot, tougher than she looks? Maggie’s only surviving family member? You know, the girl who kicked it with Daryl after the prison last season? Everyone else has forgotten all about her. Even Maggie’s basically over her, with nary an attempt at even pretending to try to track her down.

Well, turns out the group who kidnapped her wasn’t a crazy Christian cult like I assumed, but a crazy group of survivors holed up in a hospital. They live by a code of compromise, if by “compromise” you mean “endless cycle of inescapable, soul-crushing debt.” The more she gets to know the hospital, the less she wants to stay, and with the help of a confidante they make a break for it. He escapes, she gets dragged back, and then just as the episode comes to a close comes the real kicker...

[“No one’s comin’!”]

Mon
Oct 27 2014 8:30am

The Walking Dead, S5 E3: “Four Walls and a Roof”

The Walking Dead season five episode 3: Four Walls and a Roof

If you were a fan of Gareth and the cannibals, well, too bad for you. “Four Walls and a Roof” wasted no time in getting straight to the action. The ep was grim and quick, and didn’t stick the landing quite as well as it should have. But at least it wasn’t terrible or meh. Rather than dwell on the bad, let’s take the late, great Bob’s advice and look for the good.

[“It could’ve been us.”]

Fri
Oct 24 2014 10:00am

The Bloody Books of Halloween: Wurm

Wurm Matthew J CostelloGrady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???

Matthew J. Costello! He consulted on Titanic! He was a Bram Stoker Award finalist for his 1992 novel Homecoming! He writes children’s television! He writes videogames! He wrote an original prequel for Peter Jackson’s King Kong! And in 1991, between banging out the novelizations for Child’s Play 2 and Child’s Play 3 he published one of the funnest, dumbest, goopiest riffs on Alien I’ve ever read.

Imagine the xenomorph as a giant phallic symbol living in a pineapple under the sea and say it with me in a German accent… Ladies and gentlemen, Wurm.

[Read More]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 9:30am

The Walking Dead, S5 E2: “Strangers”

To the surprise of no one, The Walking Dead continues to shatter its own ratings records, with more than 17 million people tuning in for the premiere, or over 22 million counting the live + same day. But to the surprise of at least this reviewer, the show continued its great quality streak. While the premiere was its usual action and gore-packed self, the second episode was a little quieter, a little calmer, and a little more pensive.

TWD really has only two speeds: EVERYTHING HAPPENS ALL AT ONCE or not much happens at all. The key to making the show work is not letting busy episodes overflow to the point where none of it means anything since the audience doesn’t have time to digest any of it, and having interesting enough characters to prevent the slow pace from dulling into a snooze fest of cliched dialogue and nonsense. The premiere and last night’s “Strangers” successfully avoided the pitfalls their predecessors succumbed to, which has me hopeful for the future while simultaneously waiting for the other shoe to drop.

[“YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS”]

Mon
Oct 13 2014 9:30am

The Walking Dead Season 5 Premiere: “No Sanctuary”

The Walking Dead No Sanctuary

When we last left our depressive band of post-apocalyptic survivors, Rick and the gang were trapped in the cannibal capital of the South, a new crew joined up with the supposed key to solving the zombie infection, and Beth was still kidnapped by mystery villains.

Last season was definitely better than previous installments, but was uneven in many troubling ways. What should have been a tight, explosive season turned into a sprawling two half-seasons of wheel-spinning and ill-conceived plots. Paring down the group and splintering them into unusual factions was mostly successful, and helped spice up some previously uninteresting characters. And the introduction of Terminus and the crazy Christian cult made for a high-energy cliffhanger that should provide enough of a jolt to keep the tension going throughout the new season.

[“You’re either the butcher or the cattle.”]

Mon
Oct 6 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: This Probably Would’ve Helped Out the Guys From 28 Days Later...

zombie evacuation maps London

Since we’re always in danger of a zombie outbreak (because certain co-workers always come in when they’re sick, Chris) you should know the best evacuation route for your state and/or country. Toronto-based art shop Design Different (via Laughing Squid) has conceived of these Zombie Safe Zone Maps, which trace the most effective route away from the undead, including distance, time, and wear to find food and water. Just imagine—28 Weeks Later didn’t even need to happen!

Morning Roundup lets you see Christopher Nolan’s take on space whichever way you want, instructs on proper supervillain attire, and wonders why David Lynch is tweeting about gum.

[Read more]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Generally You Don’t See That Kind of Behavior From a Major Beverage Company...

Sharing a Coke with Zuul seems like a very bad idea. Zuul doesn’t seem like a sharer. But no matter. One of Bill Murray’s Facebook fan pages posted this, and we think it would be an excellent accompaniment to the large quantity of roasted marshmallows. Or Twinkies.

Morning Roundup is looking at some particularly questionable book-banning explanations, a few alien hoaxes that made us want to believe, and the next step in the career of Margaery Tyrell!

[Plus science facts!]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 12:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: China Miéville, The Movie

China  Mieville

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

I’ve missed China Miéville.

But fair’s fair—the bloke had earned a bit of a break. A new novel bearing his name appeared every year from the publication of The City & The City in 2009 through the release of Railsea in 2012. After that, he scripted fifteen issues of the underrated and unfortunately ill-fated Dial H for DC Comics, and sure, there have been some short stories since: in The White Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and The Apology Chapbook, which was distributed amongst attendees of last year’s World Fantasy Convention.

I haven’t read any of them, though. They were hella hard to get hold of, and if they were rarities then, these days they’re like liquid silver: hot and costly.

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 2 2014 1:00pm

Children’s Crusade: The Garden of Darkness by Gillian Murray Kendall

The Garden of Darkness Gillian Murray Kendall

A teenage take on The Walking Dead blissfully free from that franchise’s most mercenary elements, The Garden of Darkness is an astonishingly good debut about a cheerleader and a chess club member’s struggle to survive absent adults in a landscape ravaged by the Pest pandemic.

Though they went to school together way back when, the odd couple we quickly come to care about only really meet a matter of months after Pest lays waste to the world as we know it, killing all the afflicted adults and sentencing every single survivor to death at the onset of adolescence.

[Read More]

Wed
Jun 11 2014 8:00am
Original Story

Chapter Six

“Chapter Six,” by Stephen Graham Jones, is an anthropological zombie story about Crain, a grad student, who has a theory of mankind’s evolution. As he and his former professor scavenge on bone marrow left behind by the local zombie horde, he makes his well-reasoned argument.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “Chapter Six,” by Stephen Graham Jones]

Mon
Mar 31 2014 11:00am

The Walking Dead, S4 E16 “A”

The Walking Dead

Well, weary travelers, this is the end of the line. Half of me is relieved to reach the season finale, and the other half is sorry to see it all end. But that mentality accurately sums up my whole attitude toward the show as a whole. It’s satisfying and disappointing, entertaining and insipid, provocative and asinine. I’m flummoxed to think of another show this chaotic and uneven that somehow manages to add viewers in such unprecedented quantities. I’m curious to know how much of the audience is made up of viewers like me with a staunchly ambivalent opinion who keep watching anyway and those who love it without abatement. I suspect the former to be the larger group, but clearly there are enough of the latter to keep this train moving. And I think that’s a good thing. Mostly.

[“What the hell are you gonna do now, sport?”]

Mon
Mar 24 2014 9:30am

The Walking Dead, S4 E15 “Us”

Most of the back half of season 4 has been given over to character development. It’s a much needed conceit, although not everyone the writers are workshopping is worth the time or energy. “Us” is yet another foray down this path, and once again I find myself ambivalent about whether or not it succeeded in its mission. Part of that comes from the necessary yet uninspired place setting and piece moving. The entire episode was centered around moving the disparate groups (save Tyrese, Carol, Judith, and Beth) closer to Terminus. The episode was functional and only mildly infuriating. In other words, it was on par with the average episode. At least they’re consistent.

[“You told the truth. He lied. You understand the rules. He doesn’t.”]

Mon
Mar 17 2014 9:00am

The Walking Dead, S4 E14 “The Grove”

“The Grove” aims to tie up loose ends from the first half of season 4 and flesh out the remaining undeveloped characters. When we last left Tyrese, Mika, Lizzie, Li’l Asskicker, and Carol, they’d joined up and set off in search of Terminus. Upon discovery of an abandoned house in the woods not far from the train tracks, they decide to set a while and rest. There are three graves in the backyard, presumably of the children of the family who once lived there, but the whole world is a grave now, so they aren’t about to let that taint a good thing. The pantry is full, the stove still works, there’s a pecan orchard in the yard and fresh water out back, and the property is surrounded by wildflowers. Everything’s so lovely Tyrese and Carol decide to stick around. Terminus isn’t going anywhere, and they can always leave. But for now the safety and solitude could work. If nothing else, Mika could use some more lessons in toughening up and Lizzie could benefit from some stability and security.

I suspect this is going to be one of those polarizing reviews, so buckle up kiddos, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

[“She can’t be around other people.”]

Mon
Mar 10 2014 3:30pm

Bring Me A Dream: Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun

Black Moon Kenneth Calhoun review

Black Moon is a book which wants to confuse you, and in that sense, it’s a soaring success.

The thought behind its apocalypse is appallingly plausible: a plague of infectious insomnia has wounded the world, laying almost the lot of us low in the process. Without sleep, the larger part of the population is losing it. Unable “to distinguish fact from fiction,” to tell dreams apart from reality, the inflicted become zombies, of a sort. Thankfully they’re absent that habitual hankering for brains, but “the murderous rage they feel when seeing others sleep” has already led to indescribable violence on a scale that beggars belief.

It falls to the few who remain relatively rational to figure out what in God’s name is going on...

[Read More]

Mon
Mar 10 2014 9:00am

The Walking Dead, S4 E13 “Alone”

The Walking Dead Alone Beth

Just about every episode of The Walking Dead can be viewed as a study in parallel universes. In “Alone,” Bob, Maggie, and Sasha go on walkabout then split up due to go their own way, while Daryl and Beth decide to set down roots in the funeral home and eat pickled pigs feet together. Bob makes a failed romantic gesture toward Sasha, and who knows what’s going on between Daryl and Beth—Is it a deepening platonic bond? Are they becoming a close-knit family? Or do they just wanna bone?—while Glenn and Maggie are wrapped up in what they believe to be the greatest love story ever told. Daryl teaches Beth how to track walkers and hunt with a crossbow in a way that doesn’t involve drunkenly manhandling her, while Maggie hunts Glenn and Bob and Sasha track Maggie. Maggie, Bob, and Sasha break up and reunite by choice, while Daryl and Beth are forced apart by terrible, mysterious circumstances. The trio reunite with hope overflowing, while Daryl is conscripted into joining up with Jeff Kober and the Creeper Gang, and Beth is presumably being trafficked by an ex-preacher driving a Cadillac.

[“It’s a serious piggyback.”]