30 April 2012

Z is for Zoology (A-Z Challenge)

Z is for Zoology



Killer animals?  What a cool idea!  Not popular in the apocalyptic genre.....

OK.  Let’s stop pretending.  We know what this post is actually going to be........

Z is for ZOMBIE

And in celebration, here's a collection of my favourite zombie books from the last two years or so:




Yep, the last post of this challenge and my favourite apocalyptic scenario – Zombies!  You can’t turn anywhere in the reading world nowadays without running across a few zombies now and then.  Whether in YA or adult literature, our fascination with zombies only continues to grow.  Why?  Because they are a damn scary thought – many other apocalyptic scenarios you could just stock up on bread and dry biscuits and hide out in your home until the heat dies down, but with zombies your dearly beloved aren’t just going to die, they’re going to die and try to EAT you!

There are so many variations on zombie books it’s impossible to get them all down in writing – there’s the action-man hero who goes out to battle zombies, the family trying to ride out the apocalypse together, groups of random survivors, average Joe’s trying to get home to their families, teenagers trying to find their place in the post-Z world, military POV’s, survival handbooks.

So what makes a good zombie book for me?  As I read so many I need uniqueness to make them stand alone from all the others.  But below are my generalizations for what makes a great zombie book for me, and what I think will also appeal to other readers.

Scenario:   The dead are walking!  As news programs broadcast live action of the zombapocalypse over the airwaves, panic begins and people try to make their way home to their loved ones.  Using whatever make-shift weapons they can get their hands on, as others fall victim to the horrific hordes, several characters make their way through a chaotic city.

Characters: an average Joe, a kick arse chick with an attitude and a teenage boy band together to make it out of the city.  Unlikely allies, they learn more about each other on their quest to make it out of the city unscathed, gather up their families and try and find a safe place to ride out the rotting storm.

Location: Any big city or largish town can work.  The apocalypse itself starts locally, a mutated disease leaked from a research facility, or bought back from the deepest jungle by an ill traveler.

Stand-alone or Series: Either – it depends on your eventual outcome for your characters. Does it end when they find their families and refuge from the undead?  Do they split up and there are separate stories to tell?  Is there a focus on long-term survival?

This is just one possible scenario that I enjoy in zombie books – there are many others out there, with a bigger or smaller focus on the actual zombies, concentrating on relationship development or long-term survival, gory and clean, scary and funny, YA and adult.  The point is, there are so many possibilities, you can make your story unique and stand out from the masses.


I hope you have enjoyed my A-Z challenge and hopefully learnt some more about the apocalyptic genre, either as a reader or a writer.  If I’ve unintentionally stolen the storyline to a book you have read or a book you have written, let me know so I can read it – after all I’ve just outlined all my favourite scenarios and chances are I’ll love the book too!

5 comments:

  1. Sorry, was going to type some nice comment when I suddenly got *drool* all over the keyboard from looking at your AWESOME collection of Z-reads lol

    You had lots of goodies I've enjoyed, and several I'm curious about, too [Zombie, Ohio].

    Maybe I missed it, but if you haven't yet read Pariah by Bob Fingerman I think you'd LOVE it, one of the best I've come across :D

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  2. You have supplied me with some more great reads to ad to my pile of endless books..:)) What a great way to end the challenge with your theme with your favorite scenario.

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  3. Loved your A to Z posts! I only just realized today that I hadn't yet followed you. Whoops. :)

    Jessica
    A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds

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  4. Ha! I knew it! But seriously, what else could you have possibly done with the name of the blog? :-) I've really enjoyed reading your challenge posts. Hooray for the end! *dances*

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  5. Zombies rock! Last night I watched "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" a zombie movie from 1972 that's mostly forgotten today. Fun stuff!

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