As we creep toward the end of zombie week, it’s time to get serious and consider and issue of supreme importance when it comes to surviving the undead: weaponry. We put the question to our well-armed squadron of zombie experts in the following way:
Fire, boomstick, bat or blade? What’s your weapon/zombie-killing implement of choice? (And please: feel free to be creative—after all, your survival may depend on it…)
Below the fold lie answers from people who have clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this; in the interest of zombie preparedness, you might want to check out their advice, and contribute some of your own. Remember: when it comes to the zombiepocalypse, we’re all in this together...
Catherine MacLeod: Lightsaber.
Christopher Golden: I’d have to say my army of robot ninjas. I don’t like to get my hands dirty.
Carrie Ryan: There’s nothing worse than a flaming zombie so I’m going with a bat. (Blades can get stuck in flesh too easily, don’t ask why I know that...) Though I’ve always said the best weapon against zombies is someone who runs slower than you do.
Sarah Langan: I’d wrap the head of a rebar in thick, slow-burning cotton material and set it on fire. That way, it would be deadly, but also make a cool twining sound when I cracked zombie skulls.
R.J. Sevin: If we’re talking all-out fantasy weapons: infinite explosive throwing stars, like in the old SEGA game Shinobi. Or a lightsaber. One really wouldn’t even need Jedi powers—you’d just run and swing!
But seriously. When the dark day comes—and it will, we all know it will—I’ll want a good hunting rifle and a baseball bat. None of this samurai sword nonsense. Let the OTHER guy get his blade caught in the skull of an encroaching ghoul.
Amelia Beamer: My plan is to die pretty much immediately. I know my skill set. The only thing that might save me is having friends with guns. But that will probably end badly, too.
Matt London: The best tool for fighting zombies is, of course, another zombie. Easily disassembled, the zombie can provide bludgeoning weapons for at least four people. Decapitated heads make fine projectiles. Legs are bigger and heavier than baseball bats, and a sharpened femur could easily puncture the skulls of any would-be attackers. Arms come standard with hinge joints, which allow the limbs to be folded for easy storage. If rigor mortis has set in, you could even put a chainsaw in the hand of an amputated zombie arm, giving you that extra reach, and an edge over the flesh-hungry horde.
So break off a piece of the nearest zombie, and fight! To arms! (Literally.)
Walter Greatshell: In my book, Xombies: Apocalypticon, some characters fight attacking Xombies by stabbing them with big steel morgue syringes full of white phosphorus, which turns the creatures into burning puddles of sludge. Fun!
Paula R. Stiles: Fire, absolutely. Pretty, devastating and dependable.
Jamie Lackey: I think I’d want to make sure to have both ranged and melee options available. I’m thinking a rifle for as long as the ammo holds out, then I’d go for a baseball bat. I’ve actually hit things with a baseball bat before. Plus, a bat can’t lose its edge, is less likely to get stuck in the zombie’s skull, and never runs out of ammo.
S.G. Browne: Louisville Slugger, the one I’ve had since I was six years old. Twenty-seven inches long and fits nicely in my backpack. Easy to swing without being cumbersome or dangerous if you pick it up the wrong way. And it doesn’t need reloading. If you’re going to rely on Hollywood mythos to guide you in choosing a gun, my guess is you’re going to be in for a shock when you shoot a zombie in the head and find out he’s like the Energizer bunny.
Sean Bieri: I bet the Large Hadron Collider would take out a lot of ‘em if you could time it just right. And lure them to...France...
Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant): It depends entirely on the nature of the zombies I’m dealing with, but at the end of the day, I’m going to have to go with “tank.” I will be the post-modern Tank Girl of California, crushing my enemies from the comfort of my rolling mobile fortress. Failing that, I’ll go with a shotgun and a good head start.
Dave Palumbo: A rifle with a heavy wooden stock is the most practical in my opinion. Hopefully you’d never even need to get within biting distance, but if things got close (as they inevitably do) you also have a handy bludgeon for cracking skulls. Conversely, fire is about the worst thing you could do. Now you not only have zombies chasing you, but everything they touch (including you) is on fire. Congratulations.
Julia Sevin: When that day comes, I like to think the circumstances would quickly build me into the kind of seasoned warrior whose evergreen weapons are raw muscles and reflexes, instincts, resourcefulness, and pure balls. I’m saying I would like to jump on some zombie skulls and make stakes out of table legs and bombs out of shaving cream cans. I want to be Rambo-MacGyver.
However, I probably don’t have the physique or cleverness for it and would be better off with two reliable automatic handguns with silencers and a Bag of Holding with an unlimited supply of ammo, since that’s less of a fantasy scenario than me becoming athletic.
Bob Fingerman: Well, in Pariah a character uses an elephant foot umbrella stand, but I don’t think I could pull that off. I think I’d be better off with a gun (and lots of ammo) or a plain old fire axe. No chainsaws, either. I’m sure I’d do myself more damage than my undead attackers.
David Moody: Without a doubt, I’d pick a sword every time. Okay, so you’ve got to get uncomfortably close to the undead to kill them, but that’s the only downside. Swords are fast, clean and quiet and never need reloading. And the longer you leave that dead flesh to fester before you go in fighting, the easier it is to slice through!
Steven Gould: Duct Tape. Lots of it. This supposes slow zombies. I propose to make them slower.
Bridget McGovern has no delusions about her ability to fight zombies, but will take a bazooka and a bottle of bourbon, for what it’s worth.