How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, Again….

Okay, let’s take a moment to review here.  We have looked at the zombie basics of understanding the typical scenario of a zombie outbreak and how it spreads.  We have examined the essential films to see what we can learn from them.  We have looked at the zombie book lists and should have a feeling for what life in the zombie apocalypse should be like.. By this point. you should have a pretty good idea of the skills needed to survive a zombie apocalypse and know what to expect.

But what if you still don’t “get it?” What if you just don’t think your zombie kill skills are quite up to snuff?  What if you are so unnerved by the sight of the living dead that you can’t think? What if, God forbid, you flunk one of The Oatmeal’s tests?

Then it is time for Dr. Dale to the rescue. 

Dr. Dale is a zombiologist who does training seminars on How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.  That’s right personalized, small group training for those who require a little extra help in learning how to survive your very own zombie outbreak. 

These seminars were a huge hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year.  After successfully appearing in UK venues as well as on a very successful podcast series,  Dr. Dale and his team are back with series 2, The How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse Reloaded.

The How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse Reloaded seminars are currently being seen at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through the 29th of August. Dr. Dale and his crack team of teachers have donated all of their share of the takings from the opening weekend (6th-8th Aug) to Zombie-Aid, a charity that holds zombie events to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

“Our seminar will save lives,” the self professed guru, Dr Dale Seslick, tells us, nodding sagely. “I look upon this show as a divine mission to ensure that the general public receive the information they need to be able to survive a zombie outbreak no matter what their level of intelligence. In order to do this we cover a wide range of topics, including such gems as:  how to build weapons and barricades from everyday items; the killing of and defence against the undead; where the safest places to hide are and how to choose which friend or family member to sacrifice when the need arises – it’s a fun and informative evening for all.”

If you are considering this type of interactive training, Dr. Dale recommends that you ask yourself some of these questions relating to how prepared you are for a zombie apocalypse:

Do you know what a zombie looks like? Do you know how you become infected? Would you be aware of the safest place to go when the undead rise? Could you effectively kill a zombie with just a Florida orange lip balm and roll of cellotape? The answer to these questions may be ‘yes’. The answer to these questions may be ‘no’ or the answer could just be ‘I don’t care’ – well, you should care! Because if you don’t care then you will die! And then you will rise from the dead. And then we’ll have to kill you. And then you’ll die again…. and that is just unacceptable.

 He has also written a new, soon-to-be-considered-a-seminal work called Dr Dale’s Zombie Dictionary: The A-Z Guide to Staying Alive. I am looking forward to reading it  – I think my copy accidentally got diverted to the Falklands, LOL!  Actually, I am still holding out hope for a Kindle version! The early reviews, like this one from The Rotting Zombie,  are great!

The dictionary is said to combine first rate zombie survival skills with a dry, British sense of humor. Where else are you going to find information on how to deal with a naked zombie? Considering how often that scenario happens in zombie books and films, I am surprised no one has addressed that issue before! This is certainly an area I need help in!

If you are interested in further information on the seminars and podcasts (as well as Dr. Dale’s dictionary), you can visit the website at www.howtosurviveazombieapocalypse.co.uk.

Or, you can contact Dr. Dale at 07910 301616, 01524 34316 or via email at show-time@hotmail.co.uk.

Next up: The Zombie Apocalypse Basic Skills Test (ZABST). Please have your digital number two pencils ready!

The Essential Zombie Book List

There is so much new, good zombie literature out there right now, keeping this a list to a managable length is tough. Because there are so many full length books available, I am concentrating on  them, which means no comics and no anthologies on the list. My sincere apologies to The Walking Dead fans!

I am also skipping books like Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your…Brains by Ryan Mecum.  While I agree that there is a certain symmetry to zombies and haiku (zombies are notoriously “in” the moment), I must reject for this list books that have no real survival skill teaching value. (This book not available for the Kindle)

I am also rejecting books that are too advanced for this introductory study guide series like Jonathan Mayberry’s Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead. Although, I have to say that that since I am a big forensics fan, zombie forensics really sound intriguing!  (Unfortunately, this book is not available for the Kindle,  either)

Since there are such a large number of these books that are so good, I can’t, in all fairness, give them a ranking.  Therefore, I am listing the authors in alphabetical order.

J.L. Bourne:

J. L. Bourne is actually a military officer and his books are extremely survival oriented.  The first book started out self published on the web and developed a following from there.  The books have their own unique take on the zombie phenomenon and really strongly focus on survival methods and weapons. That means you are more likely to read a detailed description of an MRE or field stripping a weapon than gory descriptions of pus-filled zombies. But Bourne’s books are compelling, delicious reads.

And honestly, don’t you want to know whether an M-4, an MP5 or an M-16 is more effective at killing zombies? I thought so….

Day by Day Armageddon

Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile

Available for the Kindle.

Max Brooks:

Max brooks has become quite the zombie expert. The Zombie Survival Guide has sold over a million copies. It is not unusual to see Max Brooks’ World War Z listed at the top of any top zombie books list. And, it is being made into a movie staring Brad Pitt. Funny? Yes. Poignant? Yes. A must read? Absolutely!

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War 

Both are available for the Kindle.

Bonus Tool: The Zombie Survival Guide Deck: Complete Protection from the Living Dead.  These are flashcards to use with the Zombie Survival Guide.

S.G. Brown:

Civil rights for zombies? Yep!

This is a very different kind of zombie story. Imagine your child died. Then, he reanimates as a zombie. And, to keep him in your home, you have to have a license. And, he has to go to therapy. And, if he’s out after curfew, he gets picked up by animal control. And, you have to pay a fine to get him back. And, did I mention that they have absolutely no rights? This is an extremely thought provoking look that makes you see things from an unusual point of view.

Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament 

Available for the Kindle.

David Dunwoody:

Empire is a different kind of zombie novel, with its own twists and turns. The book has been hailed as “A macabre masterpiece of post-apocalyptic zombie goodness.”  In an unusual move, the book is set 100 years after the zombie outbreak begins. The reasons for the outbreak have a different explanation.  There are several kinds of zombies and they range from slow to fast.  The appearance of the grim reaper add an interesting twist to the novels, as does an antagonist who wants to use an army of the undead to create an empire. According to the reviews, this book tends to polarizing; people wither love it or hate it..

Empire (Zombie Novels)

Available for the Kindle.

Rhiannon Frater:

This series started out self published. Just a few pages in, I was absolutely hooked. This book has really interesting  women characters and I would love to do a feminist critique on these books! It is another one of those books that takes you from laughing hysterically to helplessly sobbing and back to laughter again. Plus, I learned so many new ways to kill zombies! 

As The World Dies: The First Days: A Zombie Trilogy

As The World Dies: Fighting To Survive: A Zombie Trilogy (Volume 2)

As The World Dies: Siege: A Zombie Trilogy

Currently available for the Kindle. Note that these books will soon be published by Tor.

Additional Untold Tales are available on the forum at the author’s website.

Seth Grahame-Smith:

This was the first of the now many literary mashups. Grahame-Smith has admirably truly captured Jane Austen’s “voice.”  The zombies are actually a nice addition to the story. This book spawned a large number of mashup adding zombies to classic works of fiction.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

   There is also a prequel available by Steve Hockensmith: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, but I haven’t read it yet.

Available for the Kindle.

Brian Keene:

Another very different take on the zombie story, both for the nature of the zombies and the origins of the outbreak.   Zombie bunnies?  Zombie goldfish? And, fast moving, thinking zombies?  Definitely thought provoking.  This is a series that, like David Dunwoody’s Empire, people either love it or hate it. 

The Rising

City Of The Dead

Available for the Kindle.

David Moody:

These books were originally self published. In fact, the author gave the first one away for free on his website to build a following for the book.  While not your typical Romero-esque zombies, these books are interesting and I feel are an important addition to the zombie canon. The series will be reissued by St. Martin’s Griffin starting in October, 2010

Autumn

Autumn: The City

Autumn: Purification

Autumn: The Human Condition

At least the first in the series is planned in a Kindle edition.

And of course, I have a  To be read zombie list that includes the following:

Monster Island: A Zombie Novel (Available for the Kindle.)

Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Saga (Available for the Kindle.)

I, Zombie: Tomes of te Dead Series (Available for the Kindle.)

Brains: A Zombie Memoir Available for the Kindle.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Available for the Kindle.)

The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead  (Available for the Kindle.)

Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel  (Available for the Kindle.)

36 Hours by Anthony Barnhart (This does not seem to be available on the Kindle and I am not sure if it is still in print.)

So, did I miss anyone’s favorites?

Next up: A new seminal zombie dictionary and personal training seminars for the Zombie Apocalypse!