Undead Anonymous

Zombie Fiction Friday

May 20th, 2011

In honor of Zombie Awareness Month (yes, apparently, May is Zombie Awareness Month), I’ve asked Jerry from Breathers if he would like to share his thoughts on some of his favorite current zombie fiction. So without further delay, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Jerry!


Thanks dude. So to be honest, I don’t read a lot of, like, zombie fiction. Just because I’m a zombie doesn’t mean I want to read about myself. How narcissistic is that? I mean, do private investigators only read detective novels? If they do, they’re total tools.

But anyway, I have read a couple of zombie novels recently that I thought were pretty good, so here’s my take on them.

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore

This is a story about a college professor dude in rural Ohio who wakes up from a car accident to find out he’s, like, a total zombie. Only unlike the other brain dead zombies that are freaking everyone out, he’s a smart zombie. At first he doesn’t even realize he’s one of us, but when it becomes apparent, he pretty much gives in to his hunger for human burgers.

But as he becomes isolated from the humans in his life (his friend and his girlfriend, who seems totally hot), he finds himself bonding with the other zombies and leading them across Ohio in search of food and purpose. It’s pretty cool, in a funny, disgusting, existential kind of way.

The main character kind of reminds me of Andy, all philosophical and wondering about the meaning of things. Personally, I think he should just chill out and have some fun. Smoke a bowl and drink some Jack. But of course, that’s what got me here, so maybe I’m not the best one to give out advice.

Zombies and Shit by Carlton Mellick III

This is one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. In a good way. Funny and gross with a lot of action and hot chicks. It’s like a mixture of the zombie apocalypse, The Running Man, and a totally fucked up version of Lost. Only without Hurley.

A bunch of dudes and dudettes, like twenty of them, wake up in an abandoned building on this island that’s totally swarming with zombies. Turns out they’re on a game show. And only one of them gets to make it off the island alive. So like, one by one they each get picked off, either by the zombies or by each other. Bummer.

The book was a lot of fun, with a bunch of zombies and zombie smart cars and these mechanized zombie dogs that totally freaked me out. I liked a lot of the characters, and totally related to Scavy and Junko, but Heinz was a complete dick. Oh, and one of the characters is a cybernetic Mr. T, that dude from The A-Team. That was awesome!


Scott Kenemore is the author of the Zen of Zombie series, including The Zen of Zombie, The Art of Zombie Warfare, and Zombies vs Nazis

Carlton Mellick III is the author of numerous Bizarro novels, including Satan Burger, The Haunted Vagina, and Christmas on Crack

Ask Andy – UK Blues

May 10th, 2011

Rachel from Birmingham, UK, asks:

Andy help me! I have been reanimated on a plane going back to dear old England. I am in Birmingham in a night cafe using the Internet and I need to find my family! What should I do? Cardboard boxes are the last place I need under the Spaghetti Junction!

Well Rachel, that sounds like an unusual situation you’ve found yourself in. Reanimating on a plane is considered an international crime, so I applaud you for managing to navigate the challenges of air travel and customs in your new (and improved) state. The fact that you’ve gained access to an Internet cafe deserves applause, as well. Here in the United States, zombies aren’t allowed access to public venues, not to mention the Internet.

As for finding your family, I’m not sure I can help you with that. Perhaps it would help if you could remember where you lost them. So I’d start there. And having never been to Birmingham, I’m presuming the Spaghetti Junction you mention isn’t an Italian restaurant but rather the infamous M6 interchange. I can certainly understand your reluctance to go into hiding beneath that. But with the resourcefulness you’ve exhibited to this point, I don’t think you’ll have to resort to setting up a cardboard home.

I would suggest getting hold of some industrial strength formaldehyde to slow the effects of decomposition. If you can’t get to a mortuary, then I’d suggest consuming some of your favorite cosmetic products, common household cleaners, or Alberto VO5 Hair Conditioner. I’m not fond of the taste, but the formaldehyde content is pretty tough to beat.

Keep your chin up! And the rest of your body parts, too.

Zombie Haiku: An Interview with Ryan Mecum

April 20th, 2011

Today I have a special guest who has stopped by for an interview. You could say he’s a supernatural poet, of sorts. Kind of like the Lorax, only instead of speaking for the trees, he speaks for zombies, vampires, and werewolves. And he does so through the use of haiku.

Please welcome Ryan Mecum, the author of Zombie Haiku, Vampire Haiku, andWerewolf Haiku.


SGB: In Zombie Haiku, you have the narrator writing about the zombie apocalypse and, inevitably, his conversion into a zombie through the use of haiku. What gave you the idea for the book?

RM: I once wrote a haiku as if I were a zombie wanting some brains. It made me smile so I wrote a few more. Soon I had about thirty gross haiku from the zombie perspective which I enjoyed sharing with friends. It wasn’t until I had a publisher interested that I realized I might be able to organize the little poems in such a way that they could all be part of a larger story.

SGB: So what came first? Your love of zombies or your love of haiku?

RM: Zombies came first. 7th Grade, Return of the Living Dead Part II. I learned haiku in 4th Grade, but didn’t fall in love with them until I had a roomful of fellow college classmates laughing at a few I wrote during a creative writing course.

SGB: Can you share one of your favorite entries from your book?

RM: It’s hard to beat the one in Breathers where you compare the sound of maggots eating flesh to Rice Krispies, but here goes…

Blood is really warm,
like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming

(Editor’s note: I love that one!)

SGB: You followed up Zombie Haiku with similar takes on the vampire and werewolf mythos. Did you find that one of these three lent itself to the haiku form more easily than the others? Are vampires more poetic than zombies? Do werewolves know how to count syllables?

RM: The haiku is such a stoic poetry form that, when reading them aloud, they often flow out as gracelessly as a lurching zombie. I have loved writing poems from the voice of a werewolf and a vampire as well, but there is something about a zombie writing a poem that resonates with me. Vampires probably think they’re more poetic than zombies, but there is an innocence to a poem written by a zombie versus a pretentiousness when written by a vampire. Werewolves don’t care, which make them a bit more poetic, but they are so rushed they might miss the moment. There’s a full moon above you, werewolf. Stop, enjoy it, and let out a howl.

SGB:In all three books, the narrative is from the point-of-view of someone who starts out human but who eventually becomes the “monster.” Are you sympathetic to the challenges of being a zombie, vampire, and werewolf? Or are you just channeling your inner monster?

RM: Totally sympathetic to the challenges of the monster. That is probably the main reason why I loved your book Breathers so much. I enjoy wondering about daily life from their perspective.

SGB: Do you have a favorite poet? Are there any other writers who have inspired you?

RM:Andrew Hudgins has a book called After The Lost War, which had a strong impact on my desire to be a poet. Billy Collins is another favorite. Both of these writers helped me realize that poems didn’t have to be riddles the reader had to solve. However, Stephen King is easily the one writer that left the largest impression on me. Not only did he feed my love for things that go bump in the night, but he also helped me want to be a writer because so many of his characters were writers. King gave me glimpses into the life of a writer, which has had a lasting effect on me.

SGB: On Twitter, you write haiku on subjects ranging from breakfast cereals to mixed tapes to Pac-Man. Can you write a haiku for us about public bathrooms?

RM: Would you believe I wrote one on that topic a few months ago? Here it is…

Gas station bathrooms
I cover in graffiti
with your phone number

SGB:How many haiku have you written over the past three years? Do you constantly find yourself counting syllables?

RM: I’m counting syllables all the time. I dream in 5/7/5. I’ve written four books of monster themed haiku, each with about 350 poems. So that’s 1,400. I tweet about 3 haiku a day, and have been doing that for almost two years. That puts me to about 3,500 haiku. That’s a lot of haiku. Hopefully one of them is a keeper.

SGB:Film tri-fecta question: What’s your favorite zombie film? Vampire film? Werewolf film?

RM: I usually say Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead for my favorite zombie film, but I’ve been leaning a bit more toward his Night Of The Living Dead lately. My favorite Vampire film is Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark. My favorite werewolf film is Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers.

SGB: What’s next? More haiku? Or are we going to see zombie verse in iambic pentameter? (To rot or not to rot, that is the question.)

RM: I’m trying to stay away from mixing monsters and other poetry forms. Something about wicked witch limericks sounds like a tougher sell than haiku. My next book, Dawn Of Zombie Haiku, comes out this summer and I am really excited for people to read it. It’s written from the perspective of a young girl keeping a haiku journal during a zombie outbreak. Ever since the first book, I have wanted to write another zombie story in haiku. It took me a while to find a story that I both loved and felt would stand out as original in the growing cannon of zombie fiction. It was fun to write.

SGB:Where can people find you on the Internet to learn more about you and your books?

RM: People can find more info about me at www.ryanmecum.com and they can be fed a few daily haiku via my Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/mecumhaiku.

SGB:Thanks for taking the time to visit with us, Ryan. Good luck with the new book and with all of your future endeavors!

RM: Thanks S.G.! And thanks for creating Andy Warner. He’s a friend of mine.


October 17th, 2010

This Halloween weekend, the zombie apocalypse will be in Seattle as the inaugural ZomBcon comes to the Pacific Northwest October 29-31.

With a guest list that includes George Romero, Max Brooks, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Chuck Palahniuk, Malcolm McDowell, and a number of authors of zombie novels (including yours truly), it should be quite a weekend.

The event takes place throughout downtown Seattle, including the Seattle Center, Barnes & Noble, and the AMC Pacific Place and will include author coffee chats, signings, panels, film festivals, and much more.

Check out the full schedule of events.

As for my scheduled appearances, they’re all on Saturday, October 30:

9:00AM Coffee Chat
Barnes & Noble

2:00PM Book Signing
Barnes & Noble Pavilion
Seattle Exhibition Center

4:00PM Panel
Zombies Are People Too
(w/Stacey Graham, Scott Kenemore, and Jesse Petersen)
Seattle Center NW Conference Room

I’m also planning to be at the Opening Ceremonies Friday morning at 10AM and at the VIP Meet and Greet Sunday at 4:30PM.

If you’re already attending, I’ll look forward to seeing you there.  If you’re not attending, then you’ll be missing out on a lot of zombie fun.

The Living Dead 2

August 30th, 2010

The website for The Living Dead 2 is now live!

To elaborate, The Living Dead 2 is the follow up anthology to The Living Dead, both edited by John Joseph Adams for Night Shade Books. While the first volume contained mostly reprints of classic zombie stories from authors including Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Neil Gaiman, The Living Dead 2 is packed with original zombie tales from names such as Max Brooks, David Wellington, Jonathan Maberry, and Carrie Ryan.

Oh, and you’ll also find my original short story, “Zombie Gigolo,” in the anthology, as well.

On the official website for The Living Dead 2, you’ll find eight stories in their entirety, available both as regular web pages and in a downloadable ebook sampler, currently available in epub and pdf format. There will also be 36 different author interviews with the contributors scheduled to appear daily, starting on August 30 and running through October 4. And last, but not least, you can also read the introduction and the header notes to each story in the anthology. (You can read the introduction for “Zombie Gigolo” HERE.)

You can order The Living Dead 2 now through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Night Shade Books.  Or pick one up at your local bookstore!