Guest Post: Leah Rhyne #SummerofZombie

Oh God. Pease God. I’m so hungry. I can’t. It hurts. It burns. It’s slicing me open from the inside out, with a knife so dull it has to saw, back and forth and up and down, as it pushes through the sinew of my muscle, my stomach, my intestines.

I should die.

It’s better to die, give up and let the hunger consume, than to live another moment.

Oh God. It hurts.

But no. I can’t die. Not yet.

Instead I shuffle forward. Always forward. Something inside me, so deep I cannot see it, prods me along. It won’t let me die. It needles me, poking me, a cattle prod left too long in the fire, stabbing my buttocks flesh, the backs of my thighs. I cannot stop. I cannot lay down.

So I shuffle forward. Always forward.

Each step kills me harder. The asphalt’s made of upturned nails. Screws. Pins. I swear it has to be. With each step, they dig further into my feet. I want to scream, I want to yell, but nothing comes out when I open my mouth to wail, but a snarl and a growl and a feral howl.

Oh God. I’m dying.

I must be dying.

This has to be me dying.

I want to die.

But what’s this? A breeze crosses my face, and a scent insinuates itself up my nose. It worms its way up, up, up, and it’s warm and wet and juicy. It throbs. It thrusts.

I want it.

The world around me is a blur. There are objects in front of my feet. I stumble over them, tripping and lurching like a drunkard in another world. The sky burns red. It’s on fire. I can’t look up, can’t look away. I can only shuffle, nearing the smell.

I want it.

My mouth is open. My tongue tastes the air. I taste the scent.

Hot and wet and juicy.

Alive.

I remember this thing, this small being that’s standing in front of me. Like from a dream, I remember it. Something about it – the way it’s staring at me, curious, head cocked, interested. The way it reaches its hand out.

The way it says a single word.

“Mom?”

I want it.

It’s the only thing that will take away the hunger. The thirst. The pain.

I want it so bad I’ll die for it.

I’ll kill for it.

I’ll kill it.

****

Whenever we read zombie lit, it’s told from the perspective of the survivors. Of the humans. With the exception of a few tales (Warm Bodies comes to mind, but since that toned down the brutality of the zombie-idea much like Twilight did to vampires, I prefer not to count it right now), we never have any idea of what’s going on in the zombie’s head.

Which begs the question: is there anything going on in the zombies’ heads?

My answer is: I don’t know.

I sort of don’t want to know, not really. Because can you even imagine? What if there’s a part of a person stuck inside, a part that is still cognizant, a part that still remembers being alive and un-zombied? What if that part watches in horror as his body consumes human flesh? What if – I’m struggling to even write this – but for me, what if I was a zombie, but there was a part of me that remembered, and I was standing there, facing my own child, ready to – gulp – eat her?

Seriously, I can’t imagine anything worse. It’s my nightmare.

So what do you think? If there were really zombies, would they remember? Would they know?

I’m a writer, and I often write my nightmares. Up above – that’s my nightmare. That’s my worst-case scenario.

I can’t even.

How about you? What’s yours?

Jennas War 333x500

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

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Guest Post: Joe McKinney #SummerofZombie

Walking With Zombies:

A Natural History of Dead World

 Author's Headshot

It may sound strange coming from a writer who has made a name for himself with his zombie fiction, but I’ve always found the idea of the dead rising up to eat the living a little ridiculous.

I mean, I love zombies.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love their rotten little hearts.  I have read nearly every zombie book and graphic novel out there.  I’ve watched most of the movies too.  But for as much as I have enjoyed those forays into the land of the dead, I still have a hard time getting behind most of the explanations that are given for why a dead body would suddenly rise up and want to eat me.  I understand that the cannibal dead has been a nearly universal concern for speculative writers, ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh to the Bible to Freud to Max Brooks, but I’m still not convinced the dead would find me all that appetizing.

But putting aside that major closure on the road to credulity, if you want to convince me a zombie apocalypse is possible, you still have some of the more mundane questions to answer.  Like how come they don’t continue to rot and just fall apart?  During my time as a homicide detective for the San Antonio Police Department, I saw a ton of dead bodies.  Leave them out long enough and they start to get really gross.  If the dead really did rise up and start coming after the living, all you’d have to do is survive the first month of the apocalypse, because by that point most of the zombies would have rotted to the point they simply fell apart.

And what about carrion birds?  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen turkey buzzards going after road kill, but believe me, the ones down here in Texas would have every zombie stupid enough to go outdoors picked clean down to the bone in about forty-five minutes.

And you always see zombies eating the people they kill, but where does all that consumed meat go?  Let’s say a pack of zombies gets me.  They open me up like a canoe and turn my guts into a buffet.  I stand an even six feet tall and weigh in at a slightly paunchy two hundred pounds.  I’m a big guy.  Let’s say as many half a dozen zombies are eating me.  That’s what, about 33 pounds of manmeat a zombie?  Now I can do a lot of damage at a Chinese buffet, but there’s no way I’m eating 33 pounds of anything in a single sitting.  Zombies don’t get up and tell their buddies they’re full, right?  They’ll eat until there’s no more food to eat.  That’s consistent with everything we’ve been told about them, right?

So where does it all go?

Do zombies have, uh, bowel movements?

We could go on with this for a long time, but I think the point is made.  If you want to have a zombie apocalypse where your zombies are reanimated dead bodies, you have a lot of continuity questions to ask yourself.  And if you want to expand your story across a multi-book series, as I did with my Dead World books, then you’re going to face the challenge of explaining how things work to your readers.

So that’s what I did.

I realized that if I was going to answer my own plausibility concerns, I would have to do something different with zombies.  Not too different, because I still wanted to write the creatures that I love so much, but different enough that I would be happy with, and challenged by, the world in which I was working.

Brian Keene got around this in his books The Rising and City of the Dead by making his zombies hollow shells inhabited by demons, so I couldn’t go that route.

The zombie as we know it in The Walking Dead and in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Max Brooks’ World War Z and a thousand other works is basically a dead body carrying around some kind of infection that enables it to kill and eat the living, in the process infecting them so that the victim in turn becomes a zombie.  As I’ve said, I have a number of problems with that particular type of zombie.  So what alternatives did I have?  How could I write a zombie story that satisfied my continuity concerns and yet still satisfied my love of the shambling hordes that fill post-apocalyptic city streets like rivers of hands and teeth?

Well, the answer was pretty obvious… at least to me.  I had to make my zombies living people infected with a disease.  It sounds easy enough, but a quick survey of zombie fiction, TV shows, and movies will show you that very few do it that way.  Only 28 Days Later comes to mind, in fact.  There may be others, but by my count, only my series and the 28 Days Later franchise seem to take this tack.

In my Dead World books, the culprit behind the zombie apocalypse is the necrosis filovirus, which is closely related to the family of hemorrhagic fevers that includes Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo.  Here’s how it works: the necrosis filovirus spreads through exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected zombie, and the usual vector is a bite, though any exchange of bodily fluids will do the trick. The virus causes the complete depersonalization of the infected person, essentially turning them into a zombie.

It does not kill them, however. That’s key to this discussion.  The living, infected person exists as a mindless husk, intent solely on aggression. They can’t care for themselves in any meaningful way, and they have no sense of danger or the ability to avoid it. And in most cases, they are so badly injured by the contact that caused their initial infection that secondary infections are rampant. What this means in practical terms is that most of the infected die off very soon after getting infected, either from their initial injuries, injuries incurred while hunting for food, or from the food itself that they eat. Imagine a living person feeding on something that’s been dead in the middle of the road for a few days and you can see what I mean.

(By the way, for those of you looking for a little biographical information to inform my decision to write about the infected living rather than the infected dead, I’ll tell you that my grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease.  I watched the man go from a towering individual my father worshipped to a frail old man who used to scare me with his wild flights of mood and his inexplicable gaps in memory.  When I thought of characters infected by the necrosis filovirus, those poor souls slowly losing their grip on their sense of self, I thought of my grandfather.  If you detect a note of sympathy for the infected in my stories, that’s why.)

All of this was in my head while I wrote Dead City, the first book in my Dead World series, but Dead City takes place during the first few hours of the zombie apocalypse, and so I didn’t have an opportunity to show the progression of the necrosis filovirus until I got into books set years after the initial outbreak.

That chance came in Apocalypse of the Dead, which takes place about two years after the events in Dead City.  In Apocalypse of the Dead, two characters get trapped on a rooftop. While looking over the side of the roof, they realize the zombies below are using strategy to flush out prey.

But what those characters don’t realize, at least right away, is that the zombies are changing the longer they live. To be sure, the change is a gradual one. But it is happening.

The zombies Eddie Hudson (the main character in Dead City) and Eleanor Norton (the main character of Flesh Eaters) face are all Stage 1 zombies. These zombies are freshly infected and almost completely depersonalized. They are incapable of reason, and have no capacity to anticipate the actions of others. In some cases, they are so far gone they can’t even recognize other zombies. Most of the time, these zombies are the traditional slow movers of the Romero movies. There are a few, however, who are capable of moving with great speed. Eddie Hudson calls these fast movers. The fast movers are infected persons who were in excellent physical condition at the time they were turned and were infected by injuries so minor that their ability to move around was not impaired. Luckily, they are few and far between.

But how does the disease progress?  All diseases, after all, have an observable progression.  In other words, they move from one stage to the next.  This progression is rarely kind, and a full recovery is, unfortunately, far from an assured ending… especially when we’re dealing with infections as bad as the Ebola family of viruses.

Mortality rates are high, in other words.

But what I needed for my books was a victim that wandered around after infection.  In other words, I needed a mobile vector, a victim that resembled all the traditional zombie tropes, while still holding on to the realm of possibility.

That’s where the necrosis filovirus comes in.

Get bit, or scratched, or otherwise contaminated by the bodily fluids of an infected victim on the necrosis filovirus, and you yourself become a victim.

In other words, you’re toast.

You get up and start infecting others, even if you don’t want to.

What that means in plain language is that you’ve just become a zombie.  Even though you are still breathing, you have lost all sense of self.  You don’t think, you don’t react, you don’t love.  You are utterly stripped of everything that once made you human.

This complete depersonalization, by the way, is consistent with victims of all viral hemorrhagic fevers.  Seriously, some pretty scary bugs cause these hemorrhagic fevers.  In fact, researchers who study them have to wear spacesuits to handle them.

But let’s get back to disease progression for a minute.

Assuming a zombie survives his or her first eight months or so of undead life, they begin to change into Stage 2 zombies. These are the zombies that Ben Richardson and Michael Barnes (two of the main characters from my Dead World novel, Apocalypse of the Dead) face in the flooded ruins of Houston. They are capable of using simple strategies, such as cooperative hunting, to corner prey. In most cases, Stage 2 zombies are still slow moving.

It is extremely rare for a zombie to advance beyond Stage 2, but a few live long enough to manage it. Stage 3 zombies have regained a great deal of their fine motor skills and are even capable of approximating language through grunts and primitive gestures. Dr. Mark Kellogg (again, a major character from Apocalypse of the Dead) experiments with a few Stage 3 zombies. They are rather like trying to keep chimpanzees as pets, he realizes. Left alone for too long, they can, and will, break locks, feign injuries or sleep, and in some cases, respond to their names and other verbal cues. They are, however, still aggressive to a fault, and unable to contain their impulses.

Which brings us to Ben Richardson, one of the major characters from Mutated, the fourth book in the Dead World series.

Ben survives the carnage at the end of Apocalypse of the Dead, and even survives the slow death that awaits the other survivors of that novel.  Mutated picks up with Ben years later, as he wanders alone through a world largely emptied of people.  There are few zombies left, and even fewer people.

But there are a few, and in one zombie in particular the necrosis filovirus has gone its full cycle.  He is the Red Man, the villain of Mutated.

Before the Red Man (so named because of the rosacea that has turned him a burgundy red from head to foot) no one envisioned a stage 4 zombie. The idea of someone completely, or even mostly, regaining their sense of self after being infected seemed too implausible to be considered a threat. But that is exactly what the Red Man is, a Stage 4 zombie. The Red Man has regained nearly all of his memories and his sense of self, but the necrosis filovirus has left him hopelessly insane. It has also given him the ability to communicate through normal speech with his human army, and through grunts, smells and moaning with the zombie hordes he commands. He is the next step in evolution in this world made up of two different species of humanity.

It’ll be interesting to see what terrors lie out beyond the Red Man.

*   *   *   *   *

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Justin Coke #SummerofZombie

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Guns, guns, guns.  That’s what we all wanted when the dead started biting.  A Colt .45 sold for its weight in gold back then, bullets too. But we quickly learned that guns create more problems than they solve. Ammo is scare, shots are loud, and gunplay often let’s trouble know exactly where to find you.

The experienced survivor learned to appreciate the simpler things in life, like pickaxes and crossbows.  Those weapons are silent and effective, it’s true, but history still has a few things to teach the iPad generation about how to survive in the Wild that they can’t learn at Wal-Mart.

The Halberd: The Gold Standard of Stabbing

This weapon was the bread and butter of the famous Swiss mercenaries of the 14th and 15th centuries.  A peasant sliced Charles the Bold in half and ended a war with a halberd. The halberd was used by the Swiss mercenaries who could name their own price from the Kings and Emperors of Europe. The halberd is the weapon that they invented when they had to deal with guns and heavy cavalry at the same time. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.  The Swiss mercenaries were so scary the Pope still keeps some around in case God screws up. It is a true piece of martial art, elegantly lethal and brutally simple.

The halberd is a fantastic zombie weapon because it provides versatility and range.  You can chop with the axe head, you can stab with the spear head, and its little blade can be used as a hook to control range or pull a biter off a buddy.  Whether you need to control a corridor, pacify a fence, or just kill everything in sight, the halberd is the tool for the job.  It’s also a stellar can opener. Its six foot length provides excellent utility from a defensive position on a roof or in a tree, and keeps you out of chomping range when you’re out in the open.

You aren’t going to find a whole lot of halberds floating around (and if you do it’s probably a display piece, not a weapon), but as you can see from the picture above, it’s pretty much just a hunk of steel plate with stabby bits.  Steel plate can be found in buildings, water heaters, heavy-duty vehicles, and of course there’s probably a pile of it in any abandoned hardware store. Any handyman worth his salt can craft a halberd blade with a torch and a grinding stone.  The final product might look like it was made in Mordor, but it will be a reliable and versatile weapon against the zombie horde.

Aztec Armor and You: Stay Cool and Stay Alive

When you think armor, you probably think of guys in steel plate banging away on each other, or soldiers in kevlar.

Steel plate can’t be found outside of a museum and unsoiled kevlar is really hard to find these days.  But the Aztecs had an armor technology that can give a survivor a quick and easy way to get bite-proof.

The Aztecs would sandwich layered cotton between an outer layer of cloth or leather.  The resulting armor protects almost as well as steel. It’s also a hell of a lot easier to make.  Anyone with a sewing kit can turn out a cotton armor suit using the materials they can find in any abandoned home or Hobby Lobby.  Once again the results probably won’t get you on the cover of GQ, but then again GQ doesn’t exist anymore.  The modern survivor is scared of teeth, not guns, so a tough layer of dense cotton will keep you safe against even the strongest zombie gnashers. You can create that cotton armor by taking a bed sheet, cutting the sheet into squares, and then sewing the squares together to create surprisingly tough armor pads. Sew those pads together, and viola: you look like a mattress.  But you’ll appreciate your new look when a zombie clamps down on your wrist and you barely feel a pinch.

The clever survivor can add to the Aztec’s idea by sewing a folded square of chicken wire into the pads. The galvanized steel wire is ultra-light but will ensure that all a zombie gets when he strikes is a broken tooth.

These two blasts from the past require some work and creativity, but they’ll keep on keeping you alive long after your AR-15 is out of bullets.

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Julianne Snow #SummerofZombie

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: Or At Least What Not to Do…

Julianne Snow

Okay, you’ve made it. You’re still alive, at least for the moment. As you try to make your way through the newly undead landscape, what are the actions you should avoid? What activities are likely going to expedite your demise? There are six major things I believe won’t help you at all. Just six and if you can avoid them, you may just have a chance of surviving.

Don’t Underestimate Your Foe: Zombies are going to come at you in any which way they can. If you think they are going to act exactly like what you see in the movies, you’re going to have a problem. They’re not going to behave in a scripted way, moving ever closer in a prolonged sequence. They are not going to wait until the precise moment for the money shot. Instead they are going to pursue you relentlessly and they will catch up if you’re not careful. You’re going to need to take your mind out of the movies and live in the moment. No rules and definitely no apologies.

Don’t Drink The Water: Are you freaking kidding me? It could be contaminated! You have no way of knowing what is safe to drink and what isn’t. However, you’re going to need water. There is no question about that. Try to collect as much rainwater as you can, and if you can stock up on bottled water, you may just be in luck. But in the end, you need to drink so if you do as much as you can to purify your water before drinking it, you may get lucky. What does that mean? Boil the heck out of it prior to drinking anything you may believe to be questionable and if you find a rotting Zombie upstream as the water passes over your parched lips, start praying.

Don’t Trust Anyone That Stares At You And Licks Their Lips: One word – cannibalism. Need I say more?

Don’t Stay Put, Especially If You Live In A Big City: Higher population density will translate into larger hordes of the Undead. That’s a fact. If you can escape the city you live in before it becomes transformed into a seething mass of putrefying flesh, you will be far better off.

Don’t Stop To Have Sex: Okay, there are some who may not agree with this one, but I maintain that taking that moment to have a little fun may just be the death of you. You have to keep your eyes on the prize at all times and in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse, the prize is survival. Sure, there may come a time where you’re in a place where you can take the time to explore another body, and not from a clinical perspective while looking for bites. However, one also needs to think of the ramifications of the lack of hygiene. My advice is don’t do it – it’s better to be on your toes than to have a fleeting moment or two of stress relief.

Don’t Play With The Undead: If you come across a situation where you cannot avoid them, kill them. Don’t toy with them. Don’t play with them. The only thing worse than a Zombie is a pissed off one. Besides, one less Zombie in a world seemingly overrun with them, so much the better.

Keeping these six things in mind may not help you to stay alive but it couldn’t hurt. Ideally, the best protection from all things Undead is a clear head and a steady hand. And if it ever comes down to it, Godspeed.

***

Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and Glimpses of the Undead. She is the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous and the Co-Founder and Publicist at Sirens Call Publications. Writing in the realms of speculative fiction, Julianne has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. With pieces of short fiction in various publications, Julianne always has a few surprises up her sleeves. Be sure to check out The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead which was released in October 2013.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr

Facebook: Julianne Snow

FB Fan Page: Julianne Snow, Author, Days with the Undead, & Zombieholics Anonymous

Amazon Author Page: Julianne Snow

Goodreads: Julianne Snow

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cdnzmbirytr/

Google+: Julianne Snow

Blogs: Days with the Undead, The FlipSide of Julianne & Zombieholics Anonymous

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Claire C. Riley #SummerofZombie

Why zompoc?

It’s not just the zombies that I like so much, but the apocalyptic world that they choose to roam freely in. Not the death and destruction that they reap, but the life that they are filled with. Or at least, was once filled with.

Why zombies? Because the possibilities are endless, that’s why.

Because zombies open up new worlds to us. If the dead can walk, then what else is out there? What other horrors can exist? Anything. Absolutely anything!

I write about zombies, the perfect and most beautifully disgusting way that they rot. The way that they chase you mindlessly and endlessly through barren worlds and destroyed cities. I find them deeply fascinating, the very idea that the dead could get up and walk about. And hey, even zombies deserve a little love.

Most people that don’t read zompoc believe that all zombie stories are the same. Mindless monsters chasing after humans to eat their brains. They’re gory and bloody and violent stories and nothing more than that. But that’s ridiculous in my opinion. That’s like saying all dystopian books are the same, when in reality there are literally thousands of upon thousands of different scenarios for dystopian worlds. Or all horror books are the same and there’s only one type of monster and he lives under your bed, eats your socks and is called Pricilla (FYI. He’s actually called Dave and he bites your toes off when you sleep!)

Anyone who reads zompoc will tell you that most of the really good books aren’t even about the zombies, they’re merely the backdrop for the plot. Because zompoc is all about the people—both alive and dead of course. It’s about settings and character development, carving and weaving a tale where people are put under the most stressful situations you could ever imagine being in and then seeing what happens when you stir that pot of hell up for them.

It’s about choices, decisions, morality and who you really are deep down.

Zompoc isn’t just about zombies anymore than science fiction is just about aliens.

Sure there’s gore and blood, (can’t have zombies without a rotting corpse) but for the most part, it’s about questioning yourself and your own judgement. That’s what’s so enjoyable. It’s like reading one of those books you had as a kid where you got to choose the outcome at the end of each chapter. Turn to page 203 if you want Barry to run after the zombie and try to kill it, or turn to page 89 if you want Barry to hide like the little pansy girl that he is. (FYI. Barry died a painful and brutal death for being a little bitch and not double tapping)

Anyone that reads zompoc, reads it and makes their own choices as they go along, whether consciously or subconsciously. They’re addictive, they’re competitive—who would live the longest? (FYI. Me) They’re interesting, they can be funny, they’re gory, they have real emotions—whether writing about the hard hitting ex-army dude who’s fighting to get back to his wife and kid, or the single white female that’s been through hell and isn’t going to take anymore shit from life. Each character makes different choices, and it’s interesting as hell to see what those choices will be. Because that’s what real life is about (minus the actual zombies of course) Your choices, your morality, and your decisions.

We read zompoc to get away from real life, and yet really, we’re closer to real life when reading them than you would think.

Claire C. Riley

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: PM Barnes #SummerofZombie

PM Barnes

 

When will they die…again?

It’s the question that sparks debates and mini-wars all over the zombie loving community. The question of what will ultimately bring a stop to a zombie outbreak. Will it be the frigid temps of winter that will freeze their rotting flesh solid and prevent them from shuffling after us?  Will the scorching high temps of summer speed up the progression of the already rotting corpses? What about if they don’t eat any people for a while?

We can’t help but debate the possibilities in an attempt to give ourselves a small sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe something other than a bullet to the skull will get rid of the problem that is the undead.

But what if there is no answer but brute force?  What if once the outbreak begins, it never actually ends? How long can we humans hope to survive against an enemy that never gets hungry and never grows tired and that can track us into places where we will barely be able to survive ourselves?

It is an unpleasant thought.  The idea that we could be up against something that nature will not solve for us.

With no known predators and almost no limitations, zombies could replace us at the top of the food chain.  What in the hell could be more frightening than that?

But, before we get our drawers all bunched up, let’s keep a few things in mind.

The key here is, in order to truly be able to predict the length of a zombie’s life cycle, we’d have to have more information about what caused the outbreak to begin with.  Is it a virus where the person is still alive but has lost it completely? If so, we’d have a better chance of the zombies having weaknesses that were not that dissimilar from our own.

However, when you talk of zombies that are the dead reincarnated, all bets are off.  This is when the argument has the potential to take all sorts of turns because of course, to some degree, we’ve gone out of the range of reasonable possibilities and into the fantasy realm where anything can happen.

But that’s the point isn’t it?  We lovers of the genre, like to go off into the what if’s and the how to’s of a world that operates on a different set of parameters than our own. That’s what makes zombie movies and stories so damn interesting.

We are a community of debaters and “musers”. We take themes and ideas set forth by movies and works of fiction and we run with them. When the season is over or the credits have rolled, we’re not done hanging out in the landscape that has been opened up to us.

The imagination is an incredible thing and we watchers and readers are participating in the stories that are being created for us, more than we know.  Through our questions, we are writing parts that did not previously exist.  That is the magic of fiction and fantasy. So debate away…for now.

Whether zombies can or cannot be killed through natural causes, we won’t have the time to debate it later if everything goes south.  We’ll all be too busy running around, firing shots and making sure that we don’t join their ranks.

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*   *   *   *   *

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!