Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
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Showing posts tagged: zombies click to see more stuff tagged with zombies
Mon
Mar 31 2014 12:00pm

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 10:30am

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 10:00am

“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 4:30pm

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 10:00am

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.”]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 1:00pm

My God. All this time Beth and Daryl were the competent ones. They’ve got this survival thing down pat. When the group reunites, I vote for them to be in charge. Also, Daryl eating snake is the best thing to ever happen on this show. While Carl’s spending his afternoons eating pudding and running into doors, Beth takes care of business. She decides she’s sick of camping in the woods with a taciturn, snake-eating jerkwad. But it’s not safety or security she seeks.

No, what Beth really, really wants is a stiff drink. That’s right. This entire episode’s impetus is Beth wanted to get drunk. That’s about all that happens, plot-wise. Beth sets off in search of hooch while Daryl follows. Beth breaks into a golf club house while Daryl follows. Daryl takes her to a moonshine cabin, they get snookered, they scream their feelings at each other, they hug it out, then they burn the cabin down. Roll credits. It’s what happens between the sparse storyline that matters.

[“Home sweet home.”]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 9:00am

We haven’t been this excited about the third installment of a video game RPG since Funcoland got Final Fantasy III in stock! This screenshot comes from a series of animated 8-bit gifs created by Buzzfeed that illustrate the most brutal deaths in Game of Thrones, from the first to third seasons.

Your morning roundup is setting Beyonce against zombies, warning NASA about its murderous new A.I., and boasting about how it knows UNIX.

[Read more]

Mon
Feb 24 2014 11:30am

It’s clear with the back half of season 4 that Scott Gimple is trying to redress the errors caused by previous showrunners. This Michonne is practically an entirely different character than the one who first arrived. Carl isn’t an insipid, frustrating little brat, but an interesting, challenging teenager. Carol is a revelation compared to the cowed, quaking nothing she was in season 1. Daryl, Glenn, and Maggie, are growing and deepening, albeit far slower than I prefer. Characters who used to sit around whining and bickering until Rick gave them something productive to do now make their own decisions and act on them. Granted, those decisions tend to be fairly one-dimensional, but at least there’s some personal motivation beyond “Rick said so.” We’re getting episodes with an actual plot and mostly decent dialogue that build on each other and appear to leading to a cohesive arc. They aren’t stellar episodes, mind. But I’ll gladly take B-level quality with developing characters and solid storytelling over the crap the show usually cranks out.

[“Trust me. I’m smarter than you.”]

Mon
Feb 17 2014 1:00pm

As has been noted before, The Walking Dead is very good at premieres and finales. The intensity and drama take a sledgehammer to the audience’s building disillusionment with everything in between. But instead of sweeping clear the broken crap that didn’t work, the writers have a nasty tendency to glue the pieces back together and hope we don’t notice the cracks. The show is also great at standalone episodes, ones where the events function independently of the bigger storyline while affecting the characters participating in it. “After” is a prime example of both situations, and “Inmates” what happens after the high wears off.

Last week, it took a lot of work to keep my gushing praise under 1400 words. This week, I’ll be pleased if I make it over 1000 without spiraling into frustration. In some ways, “Inmates” mirror “After,” but without any of the dramatic flair or character development. It was like an anthology of short vignettes, some more interesting and impactful than others.

[“We can live here. We can live here for the rest of our lives.”]

Mon
Feb 10 2014 11:45am

TBH, watching The Walking Dead is rather an ambivalent experience for me. I love the tense drama, the philosophical debates, the clash between morality and the will to live. Heck, I even love the zombies. On the other hand, almost every character is infurating inconsistent or frustratingly unknowable. Practically every major narrative arc on TWD has failed, then been dug out of the trash and reused with diminishing returns.

[Sometimes TWD gets it wrong—but once in awhile it gets things oh, so right…]

Thu
Dec 19 2013 3:00pm

Christopher Moore The Stupidest Angel

Tuck looked at the red-and-white pile on the ground at his feet and realized for the first time what it really was: a dead Santa.

The Stupidest Angel

Ok, I’m cheating just the tiniest bit here on the annual children’s Christmas book post. The Stupidest Angel is most definitely not a children’s story (warnings for adult situations, language, zombies who want to eat brains and then go to IKEA, and rather mean things said about Santa, squirrel porn and perfectly innocent elephant seals). It also can’t exactly be called a classic yet given that it was only published back in 2004. But, it is a Christmas book, and frankly I needed something that took a slightly more cynical take on the holiday season this year even if that meant zombies, so, Christopher Moore’s The Stupidest Angel it is.

[When Santa dies RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU and also zombies show up.]

Mon
Dec 2 2013 12:15pm

This episode was the first in a long stretch that felt like it flew by. Normally—and even with the really good episodes—I can practically count the minutes ticking by. But this one was over and done before I even realized it. Not that any of it was particularly good, but at least it was an exciting way to go out. This was yet another one of those episodes TWD is notorious for, one where characters do things simply because the writers think it looks cool or because they need a particular plot point to happen, not because it’s something the characters would actually do. Like the Governor burning Woodbury so he could stand in front of it for a promo shot. Visually arresting but signifying nothing.

[“Liar.”]

Mon
Nov 25 2013 1:00pm

The Walking Dead Dead Weight Governor

And there’s the Governor we all know and loathe. This time he has a whole pond to play with, rather than just heads in fish tanks. Last week saw Brian pulling himself out of rock bottom with the love of a good woman, a can of spaghetti-o’s, and the world’s most annoying little girl. This week Brian got the old heave-ho and the Governor took his place on the throne.

Martinez makes the big mistake of believing Brian’s con that he really is a changed man, a con Brian himself seems to have bought into. When Martinez expresses doubt at being able to keep the camp safe—a not unrealistic fear, given the circumstances; it’s less being pessimistic about their odds and more being pragmatic about the harsh realities of the Endverse—Brian snaps and kills him in cold blood by bashing him in the head with a golf club and feeding him to a pit full of zombies, all while crying “I don’t want it!” Clearly homeboy’s a wee bit conflicted.

[“Everybody loves a hero.”]

Fri
Nov 22 2013 11:00am

Birth of the Living Dead

From movies to comics and video games to hit TV shows, zombies have been swarming all over popular culture for the last couple of decades in a fury of brain eating, moaning and unstoppable, civilisation-ending shuffling. But with the zombie apocalypse such a standard, pervasive trope in modern genre entertainment it’s easy to forget where it all began—in the early days of horror cinema the zombie was a very different figure; a slightly laughable and much more ghostly one, based largely on misinterpreted Haitian mythology, and depicted in b-movie flicks such as White Zombie (1932) and Revolt of the Zombies (1936).

It took the 28 year old, and then very unknown, TV ad director George A Romero to re-define the zombie into the classic creature we know now, with the ultra low budget classic Night of the Living Dead (1968). Now, nearly half a century later, a new documentary film Birth of the Living Dead takes a look back at not just the unique filmmaking experience that Romero and his crew of guerrilla filmmakers undertook, but also at the movie’s just as revolutionary social commentary and lasting cultural impact.

[Read more...]

Mon
Nov 18 2013 12:00pm

Raise your hands if you were dying to know what the Governor has been up to all these months. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Well, you’re in not-luck with “Live Bait.” Normally, I’d be all for watching David Morrissey brood for an extended period of time, especially in a Jane Austen novel, but not when it comes to his ridiculous villain in The Walking Dead. His reappearance at the end of “Internment” nearly retroactively ruined the episode, and I was not looking forward to his continued existence in last night’s episode. Even now I can’t say my fears were eased, but neither were they stoked.

So. Woodbury. Last season, the Governor went on a vengeance-fueled killing rampage after Rick’s rescue mission. At some point he returned to the scene of the crime and burned the town down. Or, at least one building. Not sure why he’d even bother, catharsis maybe? Whatever. Point is it looked cool having him stand, head cocked and face all a’glower, in front of a burning building.

[“I’m never gonna let anything happen to you.”]

Thu
Nov 14 2013 6:00pm

The Walking Dead, zombie numbers

Sometimes the number game just doesn't add up. A conversation over at 4chan led BuzzFeed to hand over some helpful illustrations about the Walking Dead universe... and why that little “zombie problem” of theirs should really be over by now.

[Check it.]

Wed
Nov 13 2013 10:00am
Original Story

Critically acclaimed and Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominated author Benjamin Rosenbaum makes his first appearance on Tor.com with an epistolary story—of a sort. Rosenbaum is a software developer by trade, which gives him precisely the right background to think through the implications of how fantastical tropes might alter a familiar technology that many of us use every day. Not to mention the fact that he and his family play a ton of Pandemic, and that all of his friends had already written zombie stories, and he was feeling a bit left out. Whatever the genesis, the result is a delightful and cheeky look into an all-too-plausible future.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

[Read “Feature Development for Social Networking” by Benjamin Rosenbaum]

Mon
Nov 11 2013 12:30pm

Well, fellow zombie lovers, we made it all the way to episode 5 before The Walking Dead took its first dip in quality this season. That’s high praise, given the show’s track record. Not that last night’s episode was bad, per se. Just not to the same high standard set by previous Scott Gimple-helmed episodes. It was still a solid episode, overall, even if it was severely hampered by some major plot holes and poorly thought out story logistics.

[“You’re a tough son of a bitch.”]

Mon
Nov 11 2013 9:00am

Swedish artist Andreas Englund is currently on work of a series of beautifully detailed oil paintings, called “Aging Superhero” about an older gentleman whose most heroic days may be behind him. The series captures the aches and added effort of staying heroic in the face of age in paintings that are comic and poignant. We can only hope that when we’re this anonymous hero’s age, we’ll still be willing to pull the tights on and go thwart some evil.

So…did everyone see Thor: The Dark World? Today’s Morning Roundup has some suggestions for more Thor adventures, and an essay about the film’s use of the London Underground. Plus a helpful zombie chart, and some news about Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

[Plus a newly rediscovered 2001 documentary!]

Mon
Nov 4 2013 10:00am

The Walking Dead season 4 episode 4 Indifference

It only took 3 showrunners and 4 seasons, but The Walking Dead has finally come into its own. We’ve had a run of 4 straight good-to-very good episodes in a row—an unprecedented feat. My big fear at the end of last season was that, what with the introduction of the ex-Woodburyites, the prison would become Hershel’s farm 2.0. Gimple and his writers have (mostly) figured out how to balance the quiet talky scenes with the action-y horror spurts in such a way that they don’t feel dragged out or jarring. Gimple has obviously learned from the mistakes of the past and has done everything he can to redress the problems. He’s proven the show can handle the gross-out zombie violence and the slower but equally as important moments of character development. And with the recent, not so surprising news that AMC has renewed the show and Gimple for a 5th season, it looks like we’re in for a good, long haul.

The 4th episode of the season split its time between the two traveling groups, giving the audience a much needed break from the depressing prison and fretting over the plague and giving the plot a breath of fresh air, literally. Rick and Carol got some alone time as they went to scour the suburbs for painkillers and cough drops, while Daryl, Michonne, Stookey, and Tyreese wandered back around to the vet hospital then headed the long way home. Fun times were had by all.

[“It was a nice watch.”]