Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance. Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine...
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Showing posts tagged: zombies click to see more stuff tagged with zombies
Mon
Oct 20 2014 10:30am

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 10:30am

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 8:00am

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 8:00am

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 1:00pm

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 2:00pm

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 9:00am
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 12:00pm

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 10:30am

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 10:00am

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 4:30pm

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 10:00am

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.”]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 1:00pm

The Walking Dead, S4 E12 “Still”

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

Morning Roundup: 8-Bit Game of Thrones III is a Non-Stop Killfest

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

The Walking Dead, S4 E11 “Claimed”

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

The Walking Dead, S4 E10 “Inmates”

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

The Walking Dead, S4 E9 “After”

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

A Very Zombie Christmas: The Stupidest Angel

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

The Walking Dead, S4 E8 “Too Far Gone”

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, S4 E7 “Dead Weight”

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.”]