Guest Post: Rebecca Besser #SummerofZombie

Decay

By Rebecca Besser

Rebecca Besser Author Pic

If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered how zombies survive for such long periods of time without rotting away, being eaten by bugs, etc. I mean, logically, shouldn’t they only last an X amount of months after they’ve been turned into walking puss bags? I thought so, until I read an article about plant life decay being retarded around Chernobyl due to radiation killing “…bugs, microbes, fungi, and slime molds who nourish themselves by consuming the remains of dead organisms.”

There are elements required for decomposition in nature. And, when they are taken away, things work differently than they naturally would otherwise. The article addresses the changes made from radiation on the decomposition of fallen trees and leaves, noting that the trees and leaves that have fallen in the more radiation saturated areas are building up and not decaying like they should.

Radiation is acting as a preservative because it has taken out certain things that are found in nature, leading to unnatural longevity for dead organic matter.

Let’s apply that fact about how radioactivity works to zombies.

If something happened that had the right about of radiation at the same time as, or even causing, the z-poc, humans would have an even harder time surviving (because of possible radiation poisoning) and zombies would survive longer because of the absence of things that would inevitably cause most of their decay from nature.

Even if there wasn’t a nuclear war, we’ve seen how nuclear power plant meltdowns can cause serious damage. As another example, take the Fukushima accident. There was a lot of radioactivity in the area that will be there for a long, long time. And they had a lot of radioactive waste water just sitting around and leaking into the surrounding area and ocean.

What if a zombie had fallen into some of the radioactive water they had in the holding tanks? What if the zombie itself was the bearer of the radioactivity and it wasn’t the surrounding area? How far could that zombie travel from the contamination site before elements of nature could do anything in way of decay? Could the radiation act as a bug repellant? Would it stop certain types of microbes or molds from breaking down dead tissue?

This leaves a lot open for speculation, especially since once any type of apocalyptic situation occurs there will most likely be no one manning the nuclear power plants. How much radiation will the Earth and its inhabitants have to deal with when they all have meltdowns? Will it be enough radiation to lengthen the existence of zombies in the event that they are around?

These questions all give way to the kind of speculation authors love, because there are so many “what ifs” involved. But, one thing is for sure: If you have zombies in any kind of radioactive environment, they could last a long time before they even begin to decay!

Find out more about Rebecca Besser: www.rebeccabesser.comhttp://rebeccabesser.wordpress.com@BeccaBesser

Anything But Zombies Cover

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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: Claire C. Riley #SummeofZombie

Why we’re all zombies.

zombie sign

Without wanting to sound like a sixties hippy who believes in flower power and peace and love to mankind. Let me just come out and say this, I’m going to be blunt, of course I am, aren’t I always.

We’re all zombies. Think about it, a zombie, by definition is this;

  1. zombie

[ ˈzämbē ]

Noun: zombie · plural noun: zombies

  1. a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, especially in certain African and Caribbean religions.

synonyms: living dead · undead · walking dead · soulless corpse

  • informal

a person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings.

  • a computer controlled by another person without the owner’s knowledge and used for sending spam or other illegal or illicit activities.
  1. a tall mixed drink consisting of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice.

Okay, so ignoring the last one, because there is no way I can put a spin on any of us being a rum cocktail, no matter how much I want to or how hard I try. That’s just not going to work. But, the rest works, and hopefully you’ll see where I’m going with this without thinking I’m completely crazy.

We’re slaves.

All of us.

Each and every one of us. We’re slaves to life, to work, to money, to jobs, to family, and so on. A zombie is just a simplified version of us. (Well of course they are, they’re the dead ones, right!) They’re slaves to food, or more importantly to the act of feeding, since they don’t actually gain (that I’m aware of, any doctors are free to be more accurate if they choose) any nutritional value from eating human flesh, or brain. They’re like one of the seven deadly sins personified.

Zombies are the gluttony of the deadly sins.

They live to feed. They don’t feed to live, unlike us. They don’t need it, they want it. They crave it, and they don’t try to fight it, even at the mercy of their own loved ones, they don’t fight it. It’s a primal urge I guess, and one that they can’t ignore. Just like when you go out and buy donuts from the store, or you buy takeout because you’re craving those greasy noodles, or that cold beer that you’re drinking right now, the one you don’t need, but you want it, and so…you have it. You don’t need those things, you choose to have them. You choose to let that craving take hold of you and control you.

You’re a zombie as much as a zombie is a zombie.

 

The definition of a human is this;

  1. human

[ ˈ(h)yo͞omən ]

ADJECTIVE

adjective: human

of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings:

of or characteristic of people as opposed to God or animals or machines, especially in being susceptible to weaknesses:

“they are only human, and therefore mistakes do occur”

synonyms: mortal · flesh and blood · fallible · weak · frail · imperfect ·

vulnerable · susceptible · erring · error-prone · physical · bodily · fleshly

More

  • of or characteristic of people’s better qualities, such as kindness or sensitivity:

“the human side of politics is getting stronger”

synonyms: compassionate · humane · kind · considerate ·

understanding · sympathetic · tolerant · approachable · accessible

More

NOUN

noun: human · plural noun: humans

a human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.

synonyms: person · human being · personage · mortal ·

member of the human race · man · woman · individual · soul · living soul · being · Homo sapiens · earthling

More

 

Now go read the zombie definition again. Yeah, go on. I’ll wait here why you do…

Did you see? The difference between them and us is that we’re weak.

We make choices every day in life, on what we eat, and where we go, what we’ll wear, and how kind or how much of an asshole we’re going to be. I said earlier that zombies were the simplified version of humans. But now that I think about it more, maybe we’re the simplified version of them.

Zombies are primal and basic. They eat. They walk. They growl. They’re angry and violent. There’s no mistaking what you’re going to be getting with a zombie.

But humans, we’re different altogether. You never know what you’re going to get with us. We’re fickle, shallow, vain, obnoxious, weak, plus a whole host of other things. We eat to feed our fragile bodies, to nurture ourselves, but we also feed out of greed.

It sounds like maybe we’re the more primitive form, and not them.

To me, it sounds like maybe we’re the zombies after all.

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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: Dave Lund #SummerofZombie

Stress and Depression in the Zombie Apocalypse

By Dave Lund author of the Winchester Undead series

DaveLund-Headshot-01

In any high stress environment the body and mind can only function for so long before mistakes happen, before chemical changes in the body and mind occur and before the chance of depression creeps into the picture.

With the natural fight or flight response, moments of adrenaline, a rollercoaster of chemical releases in the body, ups and downs that are high stress then the letdown after the adrenaline fades, the body’s meager attempt to protect its self.  Combat veterans, of whom I am not, have spoken to the idea that once you live in an environment where people are shooting back at you, the normal world feels flat.

The fight or flight response is as old as life on Earth, animals, people, experience similar reactions.  The body identifies an immediate threat, blood pulls into the body, senses grow highly attuned to the surrounding environment, heart rate raises, muscles tense and a snap decision to run for your life or to turn and fight happens.  Which one of the two responses depends a lot on the stimulus, but also depends on training and conditioning.

Military men and women, law enforcement, often turn to the threat to engage, to fight with every intention on overcoming the threat.  Part of that is due to the personalities drawn to such professions, but much of it is due to training and mental conditioning.  Even with all the training and the mental conditioning, the body’s response is still occurring; they are just controlling what they do with the response.  The chemical response in the body can’t be controlled, it is a natural function and the end of that response is also a natural function.

Just recently research is being spent in identifying and treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.  With the PTSD the research is still very new, but a few things have been observed.  First the disorder can happen from a single high stress traumatic event or it can occur from long term exposure to high stress over time.  Regardless as to why it occurs, sociality we are starting to understand that it does occur.  We are also beginning to understand that the depression that follows can be cripplingly severe.  The sad statistic being that in the US we average twenty two active or veteran service men and women who die daily from suicide.

In a realistic sense, if modern society ceased to function due to any number of reasons and we found ourselves in a now post-apocalyptic society, regardless as to the presence of the undead or not, the situation as a whole could be considered high stress.  Basic daily functions that most of modern society do not have to immediately concern themselves with, water, food and shelter, are no on the forefront of their minds and not easily solved.  Our modern society has created safety nets for such situations, government agencies and non-government agencies (NGA) respond with rescues from dangerous areas, temporary shelters, food, water, health care, treatment and even at times some sort of entertainment to help ease the traumatic event.  The military does the same for its members, the food, water and shelter being taken care of logistically, USO tours, music, games, movies, many things are attempted to be given to help give an emotional outlet, a moment of rest to the fighting men and women.

With the collapse of society in a post-apocalyptic event, we have to also think that not only are the government agencies going to fail, but the NGAs will as well.  I knew a police chief who, to my initial surprise and then understanding, kept a secret list of officers who worked for his department.  The list defined who he believed would respond to work as a police officer during a catastrophic event and those who would not, opting to stay home to protect and provide for their families.  He estimated that only 20-25% of the sworn officers of the department would respond to work, the rest having families and children, putting them in front of their sworn duty.  Once past the initial shock of the revelation, it made sense.  People, when presented with the fight or flight response on a large scale, will evaluate what is the most important aspects of their lives.  For many their families top that list.

So without any NGA response and no response or a limited response from the government, people will be left to fend for themselves.  Having seen behind the curtain into the dark nature of society, I will warn that the have not’s, the not prepared, will immediately turn to the prepared for help either by asking or by force.  If after asking they’re not given a handout, force is often the immediate secondary response.

That is a high stress environment.  Some are conditioned to it, most are not.  As time marches forward, dieses, accident and violence will kill some of the population (mostly dieses due to sanitary concerns), but eventually even in the post-apocalyptic world, a routine will be found by the survivors.  In that routine, after the end of the stress, after the adrenaline fades, PTSD quickly sets in, depression following.

Modern medicine’s response is therapy and medication.  The medication will be non-existent or only available bartering with people who already looted pharmacies.  Therapy will consist of your fellow survivors, long gone are the comfortable couches and dim rooms of the office of a licensed therapist.

With the routine, with the stark reality of the new world thrown asunder, no hope to be seen, no help to be had, I believe that suicide will become the number one killer, surpassing dieses with-in a year of the beginning of the end of the world.

Winchester Prey (book2) cover

*   *   *   *   *

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: Shana Festa #SummerofZombie

Shana Festa’s Zombie Roll Call

Shay2

I like to think I’m fairly well-versed in All Things Zombie. Assuming, of course, reading hundreds of books and watching every zombie movie or TV show I can get my hands on qualifies me as being an authority on the topic. Over the years we’ve seen the traditional zombie morph into something…well…more.
So it’s only logical, in my opinion, that there should be zombie categories. Without getting too detailed—we could be here a while—here’s what I deem the high-level types of zombies.
1. Traditional Shamblers (my favorite)
2. World War Z—Holy Shit—Zombies (my most feared)
3. The Sneaky Bastard Zombie (my likely downfall)
4. The Mutant Zombie (my most frustrating)
5. Self-aware Zombies (my most take it or leave it)

Traditional Shamblers:
This is most likely what comes to mind when one hears the word zombie. Slow, stumbling/bumbling mindless undead with a visceral drive to feed…on flesh. That need to feed is their only reason for existence.
The traditional shambler is best described as the Romero zombie, and my favorite kind to read or watch. Alone, they can be easily thwarted, but where the real danger comes from is when the hordes form. Unless you wield magic, or a tank, you’re making it out of a horde without joining their undead ranks. The zombies in Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead are right up my alley…even if their appearance is almost shameful compared to today’s zombies. Apparently, all it took for most of these mall-shopping Z’s was a bit of gray paint and a stiff walk. Luckily, the film is iconic in the genre and it can still hold its own even by today’s standards because of the nostalgia.

World War Z—Holy Shit—Zombies
Appropriately named, these Zs are referred to as swarms. I’ll admit, this category of zombie terrifies me more than any other. If we were to put zombies in the context of dinosaurs, the World War Z zombie would be the velociraptors. Fast and ruthless, this roid raging breed of Zs will hurl themselves through car windows, and unlike their slower brethren, they don’t lose the urge to find living flesh on the out of sight out of mind principle. These bad boys will keep going until they find what they’re looking for.

The Sneaky Bastard Zombie
I like to think of these guys as lurkers. Without external stimuli they almost go dormant, until something piques their interest. I still remember the bus zombies from the pilot episode of The Walking Dead. I literally said to my television, “Ooh, those sneaky bastards!” Hence why I’ve dubbed these lurkers The Sneaky Bastard Zombie. I can fully accept the fact that out of them all, this is likely the kind of Z that would do me in. Lured into a false sense of safety with nothing moving, I’d probably turn my back on one and pay the ultimate price.

The Mutant Zombie
Resident Evil is most known for its liberal fictionalization of the zombie. This frustrates me. Sure, they’re well executed and graphically intense, but I don’t really get “zombie” from them. In RE: Apocalypse Matt is inducted into the Nemesis project where he undergoes some pretty extreme cellular changes. What comes out the other end is a bazooka-toting, mind controlled creature that looks less like a zombie and more like the Chattering Cenobite from the Hellraiser franchise.
I’m always a little disappointed with the RE movies when they overplay the mutants. Sure, I still flock to see the films, but I bitch about it after the credits roll.

Self-aware Zombies
I’m just meh over self-aware zombies. In fact, I generally wont read novels with this premise because, well, I just want the gory good stuff. I’ve been watching the CWs new iZombie show and I’m still on the fence. It’s all a bit tepid for me, if I’m being honest. Not bad, not excellent…hence why this kind of zombie is one that I could take or leave. I just don’t feel like it hits the mark, or feeds my zombie needs well enogh to actively seek them out.

So. What’s your favorite category of zombie?

Shana Festa grew up in the small town of Northborough Massachusetts. As an impressionable tike, she shared in her father’s love for Horror, and spent most of her childhood hiding under the blankets worrying what nightmarish creature lurked in her closet. She grew up on a healthy diet of classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Return of the Living Dead, American Werewolf in London, Child’s Play and Poltergeist.

Her writing career was born from her long-time addiction to terrifying tales. Under her alter ego, The Bookie Monster, Shana reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis on zombie fiction. Her altruistic beliefs fuse seamlessly with The Bookie Monster’s mission to provide readers with honest reviews and to provide authors with a platform to promote their labors of love.

Shana holds a degree in nursing and now resides in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and two adorable dogs. In addition to her apocalyptic series, TIME OF DEATH, she is a founding member of AT HELL’S GATES, a horror anthology series dedicated to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Promo links.
Author Website: http://www.shanafesta.com
At Hell’s Gates: http://www.athellsgates.com
The Bookie Monster: http://www.bookie-monster.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookiemonstersf
The Bookie Monster Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebookiemonster

*   *   *   *   *

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: A. Giacomi #SummerofZombie

What Zombies Want

EveBrenner1_EbookCover

Hey zombie fans! A.Giacomi here, affectionately known as The Poetic Zombie. I’m a huge fan of zombies, as I’m sure you can already tell by my enthusiasm. I’m also the author of the Zombie Girl Saga, a four book series following Eve, a zombie trying desperately to regain her humanity. Book 1 & 2 are out NOW from Permuted Press!

http://permutedpress.com/books/eve-brenner-zombie-girl-the-zombie-girl-saga-book-1

I love my zombies, and am always looking for ways to share my thoughts on them with other zombie enthusiasts. Today I want to use cinema to discuss what zombies really want, and if you’re curious, then I’ll tell ya what they want, what they really really want (yup Spice Girls reference, deal with it!)

It varies from film to film, conspiracy to conspiracy, book to book. Is a zombie solely after brains and flesh? In this post I will attempt to answer that burning question with some of my favourite zombie films! So check it out and decide for yourself, after all this might be valuable information in the event of a REAL zombie apocalypse right?

  1. To Become Track and Field Stars

After watching World War Z it seems to me that Zombies might simply want to become Usain Bolt. I mean did you see what they can do at top speed? I’m sure you all saw the scene where the zombies stacked up against the wall? Yeah they’re like zombies prepping  for the Olympics. Long Jump? Gold Medal…High Jump? Gold medal…Hurdles? Pretty sure another Gold Medal. Maybe Zombies just want a little recognition. They’re known for being slow as hell, perhaps they want to clear up any stereotypes.

  1. Power

Zombies have been held down by the man, well the HU-man for many decades.  I think they want to rise and rule. After all they were human once. Perhaps they just want control of their afterlife, and humans really do get in the way don’t they? You know with the killing them and such. So I guess the zombies got fed up in Land of the Dead and decided to take back their lives, well sorta…

Just think about zombie armies and herds for a second. Power in numbers my friends, power in numbers!

  1. Friendship

If zombies are going to be all self aware, then they’ll most likely want friends. Fido is the best example of true zombie friendship (an honorable mention goes out to Shaun of the Dead in this department). Timmy goes to great lengths to protect his zombie pet, and Fido goes to great lengths to protect his assigned family. I suppose it all comes full circle when Fido sort of steps in as a surrogate father at the end. A zombie with a family, yep.

  1. Romance

I suppose I should give Shaun of the Dead another honorable mention here, since it was technically the first Zombie Romantic Comedy, but when people think Zombie Romantic Comedy, the first film to come to mind will always be Warm Bodies. People mock it, saying they’re not real zombies, but perhaps all zombies really want is love…oh come on like you don’t want to hug one of those things…you know you wanna! Is it too cliché to believe that love really can cure all? I mean love is one of the biggest of human desires; does it really die after you…well…die?

  1. Brains

Yes, their beloved braaaaains. The word all zombie fans utter and giggle at.The Return of the Living Dead was one of the first films to utter this famous craving. Brains became synonymous with zombies, well until Hannibal Lecter, he made a guy eat his own brain! Now that’s impressive. It seems that Brains are pretty high on the zombie want list. I mean they’re juicy, and full of memories! Warm Bodies and iZombie have something in common, brains give them a little more than nourishment, it gives them human memories, and that is perhaps their biggest craving!

So without further ado…I give you the #1 want on the zombie wish list…something all zombies desire whether they are conscious of it or not! Whether it be infection, a virus, a curse, some voodoo, or mutation. Zombies all want…drum roll please….

  1. To be Human

Just think about it for a second. Flesh feeds their hunger, but perhaps the zombies consume it because they crave something they can no longer be…human.

I think this craving to be human is best exemplified in zombie novels, films are aimed at the action, the killing, the blood spattering, it sells! And I’m not complaining, I love that aspect of zombie culture, the pure horror of it all! But if you’ll allow me to get all philosophical for a second, I think zombie novels truly show the pain and anguish that zombies endure, especially if they are self aware. They lose everything. Life, loved ones, the ability to eat decent foods. I mean come on don’t you think they’d miss pizza? I would!

Perhaps the most compelling piece of zombie perspective cinema comes in the form of an Indie film simply called Colin. It has heart, and shows that being a zombie is no cake-walk. I won’t spoil the film in the hopes that you’ll watch it. It’s not your typical zombie movie; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Well there you have it the “Zombie Want List.” I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll share it, and I hope you’ll continue to support zombie culture. Why? Because I can’t live without it! *see what I did there?*

 

A.Giacomi  is the author of the wildly entertaining Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl Saga.

She is an educator, writer, and artist from Toronto, Canada. She is a zombie enthusiast, a wife, and mother to one small human child.

For more on A.Giacomi visit her on

Twitter @thepoeticzombie

Facebook A.Giacomi

or her official Blog http://www.poeticzombie.com

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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!