Today we have another guest blog by our favorite guest blogger, Kate Voss. Thank you Kate!
Seven Sick Zombie Books for Fall
October is here and it’s the perfect time to catch up on all of the great zombie books you haven’t been reading. Horror, science fiction, romance, humor – the zombies have infected every genre and some of the best stories out there spin the idea of the living dead in new and surprising ways.
The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein
This science fiction novel by master of the genre, Heinlein, presents “zombies” not as reanimated corpses but as living humans taken over by alien parasites that control their actions. Agents with a shady government organization are tasked with not only convincing people that the alien menace exists, but eventually in saving the world. Like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Puppet Masters is heavily influenced by science fiction with a liberal dose of horror mixed in. It also became a film starring Donald Sutherland.
Dead City by Joe McKinney
Sometimes a zombie story does best when it stays true to its roots. Dead City is the ultimate definition of horror, centered on a police officer out on the job one night who quickly finds himself in the middle of a zombie outbreak. All he wants is to survive and get back to his family, and all the zombies want is to rampage, kill, and eat anyone living. It’s violent, gory, and reminiscent of The Walking Dead, but that doesn’t detract from its ability to scare you.
Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess
Another zombie tale that feels more like a science fiction novel than a straight up horror story, Pontypool Changes Everything features humans infected by conversations that make them turn aggressive and cannibalistic. These aren’t old school Night of the Living Dead style zombies, but instead living people that have been turned into monsters by an infectious agent that is almost impossible to contain. This book was also turned into a movie (one of the best zombie movies of the last few decades), starring Stephen McHattie and is currently available on Netflix.
World War Z by Max Brooks
Subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War, World War Z is told as a series of first person accounts by people that experienced the zombie outbreak and eventual overrun of the world. It feels more like history than fiction and does a great job of showing the apocalypse from the very beginning, through the destruction of most of the world, and into the new world order. Brad Pitt starred in the film version of the book, though the movie was done in a much more traditional storytelling format and missed many of the elements that made the book such an interesting read.
Cell by Stephen King
Here we see horror mixed more thoroughly with science fiction, as Stephen King’s zombies are humans turned violent, aggressive, and cannibalistic through a signal on their mobile phones. The uninfected seek survival in a world taken over by these creatures, but that seems less and less likely as the “zombies” (called “phoners” in this story) begin to evolve powers such as telepathy and levitation that make them much harder to escape.
Warm Bodies by Isaac Newton
Told from a zombie’s point of view, this novel takes a turn with romance taking central stage. The main character eats the brains of a boy and finds himself in love with the boy’s girlfriend. This leads the two of them on a Romeo and Juliet-like odyssey where they must navigate both the inner works of the zombie world (which is much more active than you would expect) as well as the human world. Nicholas Hoult starred in the movie version, which can currently be streamed through Amazon and DirecTV.
The Walking Dead, Vol 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
The comic book series that started it all for this latest popularity surge in zombie media, The Walking Dead is horror, action, and drama all mixed in one. It begins with our favorite Rick Grimes waking from a coma to find his entire world changed and zombies walking the streets and crowding buildings. The search for his family leads him to become leader of a rag-tag group that just wants to survive in the new world order. But zombies aren’t the most terrifying thing they have to look out for these days, as the last bits of humanity have their own ideas of how the world should now be run.
Whether you are already obsessed with zombies in media or looking for a great way to get into the genre during the Halloween season, these books will leave you hungering for more.