Go to the ZF website and answer the following scenario question: Stay or GO???
Scenario: You survived the zombie apocalypse and now live in a large compound that is well stocked and well-defended. A scientist shows up at your compound and says he has a vaccine for the zombie virus that will give the survivors the ability to immunize themselves against zombie bites and allow them to wage war against the living dead. However, it is in an underground military bunker five hundred miles away, and the chances of retrieving the vaccine and getting it to the right people are minimal. Question: Do you take the risk in the slim hope that what is left of the world can be saved, or do you stay where you are and ride out the apocalypse from the safety of your compound?
R.J. Spears is a writer, and he writes about the undead.
He grew up in a small city in southern Ohio, attended a large Midwestern university and studied film-making. He kicked around the Midwest, working in the hollowed halls of academe, but kept piddling around with writing. Just a few years ago, he got serious and now has 4 novels, two novellas, twenty or so short stories, a short story collection and a bunch of stuff on the web and in print anthologies.
This novelette is a perfect example of why I started BBB, and why I’m so passionate about supporting indie writers. It also reminds me that I need to thank the person who invented the e-reader, because without my Kindle I would have never found all the amazing books that I’ve read, or met the talent & hearts behind the writing.
(My awesome idea to thank the inventor of the e-reader is posted at the bottom).
OF LONE HEADSTONES combines all 4 verses of the previously published Headstone Sonata, and is the first volume in a series written by new-to-me author Jorge Bocanegra.
“What’s worse, the monsters crawling out of their graves or the ones that we can’t keep buried in our minds?
Joel has long been a victim to the viscous teeth of the assumptions and misconceptions conjured in his own mind concerning his relationship with his girlfriend, Alex. After three years together, things just haven’t been the same. But now, those monstrous doubts in his head will become personified in the form of risen corpses in the city of Orchard.
Will Joel and Alex be able to put aside their differences and survive together? Or will this apocalyptic event spell the perfect opportunity for the couple to go their separate ways?”
OF LONE HEADSTONES chronicles Joel’s experiences during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Surrounded by monsters, each new obstacle he faces triggers inner demons that he has to fight, making survival doubly difficult.
This is a very emotional story. I had tears in my eyes more than once, feeling literal heart-ache for the characters. There is a scene where Joel finds a boy (named Jorge) hiding from the zombies in a bathroom stall, and that encounter broke my heart in 27 different ways.
I can’t say if these situations are written from a deeply raw & painful place, or if Jorge is just a kick ass writer, but it’s definitely a hard journey to take, and I can’t wait to read more!
I’ll be reading this whole series, so plan on hearing more about Joel.
Awesome Idea #1572:
I’m going to send an impassioned letter to Anheuser-Busch requesting a ‘Real Men Of Genius’ Bud Light ad dedicated to “Mr. e-reader inventor guy” 🙂
“…so here’s to you, Mr. E-reader Inventor Guy, [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘we love your night reading mode’ ♪ ♫ ♩ ]. Maker of the electronic device that continues to connect lives through blood, guts, and zombies [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘oh no, zombie apocalypse’ ♪ ♫ ♩]… A toast to you! A cold Bud-Light, and our thanks. We couldn’t have done it without you. [ ♪ ♫ ♩ background singing – ‘Mr. E-Reader Inventor Guy’ ♪ ♫ ♩ ]
Survivalists / Preppers are people who have prepared to ensure their safety and continued existence in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse is something that everyone should think about. When TSHTF, and it’s the end of the world as we know it – zombies may or may not be the cause. It could be war, it could be disease, or even Mother Nature. Whatever the cause, if you’ve prepared for zombies – any other disaster will seem easy to handle.
Next comes the hard part.
Will you help those who have mocked you? Are you ready to defend everything that you’ve worked so hard to establish? What will you do as the government tries to interfere? These are all important decisions that will have to be made!
When the time comes, will you survive – or be caught unprepared?
“DOIN’ WHAT I CAN, WITH WHAT I GOT”
With all due respect to Bowie V. Ibarra, I disagree with you on the most hysterical part of any movie in the TREMORS franchise. What we have in common is that both of our moments include Michael Gross.
My *PMPL moment is when Burt declares – “I’m out of ammo.” At the time, that struck me as the funniest thing EVER.
The sad part is – Burt Gummer SHOULD be the second most quoted movie character of all time – (next to Sir Bruce). If we’re in the same bunker when TSHTF, that will become ‘our thing’. Deal?
The stories in this collection are all centered on survival in the apocalypse. Some people thrive, while others try to survive by force – stealing what they can, and turning against their fellow man.
One woman does what is necessary to survive on her own, while another woman tries to lure her friend over under false pretenses. Relationships are strained as friends turn against friends, and others are saved when couples realize that family comes first.
One man finds the love of his life – 33 minutes before she dies, while another man turns his back on his family to take care of the only thing of importance to him – Himself. Zombies are not the only monsters in this collection, and definitely not the only thing to worry about. These stories show that mankind is usually the worst monster of them all.
Here are a few highlights from this amazing collection –
THE BEGINNING is the first story in the collection, and it sets a tone for the entire book. Sara Gray paints a picture with colors that I never knew existed – and parts of it had a bigger impact on me than I’d thought possible. I don’t want to post spoilers, so I’ll keep this brief… This story of one woman’s survival begins the moment the SHTF, and follows her throughout the z-poc. At one point during this ss, I wanted to curl into a fetal position, cover my head, and cry. Very powerful, and the perfect story to begin this collection.
Alan Dale’s contribution – EAT ME, BITE ME; JUST DON’T IGNORE ME! is another stand out story in F/F. Two survivors in a city over run by the dead look for a way to connect. The distance that separates them could practically be measured by saliva, (spitting distance), but it might as well be miles.
Rick Restucci’s THE HUMAN RACE could easily be made into a movie – probably not as good as the one that played out in my head while reading it, but a good movie nonetheless. A very wealthy survivor finds a way to bring entertainment back to television – in the form of a new reality show.
BRINGING IN THE HARVEST is a unique and enjoyable story. By Introducing new elements into the zombie genre, Carl Fox is a name I’m going to keep an eye on.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS is a story that I’d contact Bowie about, if he wasn’t already a part of this anthology. Grizz needs to read it for sure!
Jamall K. Luckett ties the zombie story in with with the male soap opera world of wrestling. This ss is going to make a lot of people I know giddy with delight!
The epilogue is from UP FROM THE DEPTHS author J.R. Jackson. I’ve learned more from him than from all those tv survivalists combined! He’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the field. He gives you tips that are usable by the everyday person, and you don’t need a million dollars to get the supplies you need. He also advocates the use of water purification tablets, rather than drinking your own urine, so… BONUS!
When the weekly Survival Chat starts up again, I’ll make an announcement. Until then, you can join in on group discussions at Zombie Fiend.
There are stories of greed, and stories of compassion. Family turning against family, and people trying to make it alone. Each is different, but it’s all about survival. This anthology will make you think. When the shit hits the fan, how will you end up? Feast, or famine?
I’m so far behind on my reviews, I feel guilty starting another book!
I need to get posts up for at least two more for Ed Lee, five for Jeff Strand (Pressure, Fangboy, and the first 3 Andrew Mayhem books – yay!), and, I started the Jack Daniels series by J.A. Konrath – (I’ve finished WHISKEY SOUR, and am halfway through BLOODY MARY). FEAST OR FAMINE, the newest anthology from Zombie Fiend, is going to knock your socks off! Stand outs [so far] include shorts from Sara Gray, and Alan Dale.
Four stories from Terry West have turned me into a lifelong fan, Zané Sachs‘s SADIE was described to me as the female Peter Jenkins – and I adore her now, and I need to find more from the author. I finally read Jamie Johnesee‘s Bob The Zombie books – and I can’t wait for more – Bob is awesome ❤ Mitchell Crowe has four great shorts that I need to review, Adam Light and Kevin Strange are also on the list that seems never-ending.
If I ever get caught up, I will buy myself a surprise!
I updated Cover To Cover, the page that lists the books I’ve reviewed here on BBB. It was getting hard to follow, so I added a new page listing books alphabetically – by author.
I noticed how many reviews aren’t listed or linked, so I’ll get those up ASAP!
Books I plan to read soon include titles from Jeffery Thomas, (author of the Punktown series), Ray Garton, and Tom Piccirilli. Plus – I’m ashamed to admit how many stories from Matt Shaw have danced outside my budget… Tortured, Rotting Dead Fucks, Porn, A House in the Country, and Seed… omg! Bad Fan!
I realized that I didn’t have anything here about HUNGER PANGS, (the cannibalistic anthology that started at ZF, and was completed at MDC). I cannot find any of my old notes or files, so it was the perfect opportunity to read it again!
❝From the ravenous Donner Party expedition to the twisted mind of Albert Fish, and verily even the fictitious Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs to the recent rampage of carnage spawned by the Florida Face Eater, fascination with cannibalism has always been intense. How hungry do you have to be…or how sick to eat another human? You are cordially invited to dine with some of the finest authors in the horror genre as we savor the delights of these tales; dress code is relaxed, bring a friend, regrets only, RSVP not required.❞
FOR ELISE by Evan Roy
After a seemingly never-ending series of tragedies, finding the broken fuselage of what was once a military aircraft felt like a miracle to Eric. He knows that they wouldn’t have survived the winter without it’s shelter, and the meager supplies found inside. But, the supplies didn’t last. As spring approaches, Eric knows what has to be done to keep his daughter alive. While he mentally prepares for the task, he remembers the days, and the events that led them here.
FOR ELISE is a heartbreaking story. While Eric defends his family from the things that are hunting them, he learns that humans can be the most frightening monsters of them all.
MEAT DOCTOR by Cal Miller
When times are hard, and the food is scarce, you need to be able to use every bit of the meat that comes from your livestock. So, if the animal died on it’s own, and wasn’t butchered for it’s meat, you called your local vet to tell you if the meat was infected or good to eat. Hence the nickname ‘The Meat Doctor’. But, these days are harder than ever before, livestock isn’t as easy to come by, people are getting hungry. Behind closed doors, you call on the Meat Doctor to look at your dead family member. Meat is meat, and, you need to eat to survive. It didn’t take long for people to start nudging the sick or the elderly toward the Meat Doctor, or his cleaver, one less mouth to feed is also protein for the rest of the family.
This particular case that the doctor is called to… this one is a little different…
END OF TRADITION by Trevor Smith
Silent rage & sweet revenge.
This story, told in verse, is about the brave man who rebels against tradition, in his own way.
STILL LIFE by Dave Jeffery
A highly secretive scientific experiment [‘Project’] gone wrong, leaving a city full of human statues in it’s wake. One man awakes to find his town utterly still. While trying to make sense of the surreal scene before him, he feels the beginnings of the changes within him.
THE SMOKEHOUSE by Kim Krodel
Ellie gazes longingly at the empty smokehouse while trying to nurse her babies. Her husband, Kenny, is basically useless is this new world. The only bacon he manages to bring home these days is his own inadequate member, and Ellie has begun to find that thing just as useless as the rest of him. When he forcefully planted another seed in her belly, she makes a decision; one way or another, he WILL provide the meat to place in the smokehouse.
COMPROMISED MORALS by Rebecca Besser
William was brought-up with beliefs that he never thought to question – until now. Raised from birth to think one way, challenging these ideas was an alien concept to him. Now he’s forced to rethink everything he has ever known to be the truth, and more than just life & death hang in the balance of his decision.
JUST ONE DAY by TL Decay
Sometimes, just one day makes all the difference in the world.
This piece of poetry from TL is very unsettling.
Needless to say… I love it ❣
RUMP ROAST WITH A SIDE OF THIGH by S.P. Durnin
Freelance Zombie Eradicator & Death Dealer, Van, has more to deal with than just maggot heads on this job in Reeves Crossing!
This ss by S.P. Durnin, (KEEP YOUR CROWBAR HANDY), is pretty damn witty, and I appreciate the originality of the outbreak.
PREY by Shaun Phelps
There are tales of a world where humans are not hunted, nor are they hunters. A place of hope, not of despair. Talks or questions of Pilgrimage were forbidden while growing up, thus making it even more desirable.
If Pilgrimage were real, would it be the utopia that you so desire, or would it be an unimaginable nightmare with no escape?
MR. PAKOOL’s SPICE by JZ Murdock
Jake is an amazing father. On the run in the woods of Oregon, he is keeping his son & daughter safe, and teaching them the skills to survive in this new, post apocalyptic world. While they try to search for a new place to call home, and avoid the *PUDS, they cross paths with another survivor. He has a name that’s hard to pronounce, and they start referring to him as Mr. Pakool, because of his odd cranial accessory – his pakool hat.
When Jake is able to fit the pieces together, he realizes that he knows who this man is. The PUDS aren’t the only things he needs to protect his family from. *Poor Unfortunately Dangerous Suckers
SAFETY IN NUMBERS by Alan Wismer
It’s hard to survive on your own. After a while, though, ‘on your own’ is all you know.
Readapting to NOT being alone is difficult, but it’s harder for Cal because he cannot speak. He couldn’t decide whether his uneasiness in this new camp of survivors was due to his lengthy period of solitude, or if there was something more sinister afoot.
Safety in numbers comes with a price, and he’ll soon realize it’s a price he’s not willing to pay.
DEEPLY DISTURBED by Jeremy Peterson
This is the journal of Sidney Stout.
35 years old, and the manager of the meat department, aka The Butcher, at The SuperSave Mart in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He started keeping the journal while hiding in the basement after the weirdest lightening storm he’d ever seen. As you read his thoughts, you’ll see that Stanley The Butcher is a Deeply Disturbed man.
FINE DINING WITH OSCAR by Jennily French
This is Alyssa’s account of her time in the Z-Poc.
After leaving the city with her roommate, Waylon, and their friend, Oscar, things quickly went to Hell. Oscar was on a lot of prescription meds, and even with cutting his doses in half, they didn’t last long.
Alyssa is worried about finding food, and Waylon’s increasingly strange behavior. She needs to keep a close eye on him!
THE HUNGER by Scott M. Baker “THIS IS HOW THE WORLD ENDS. NOT WITH A BANG, BUT WITH A MOAN.”
Sure, eating human flesh may be gross the first couple of times – you’ll probably puke. But, after a while… you acquire a taste for it. Janet tries to explain this to Buford, but, he’s being so pissy about it!