Carl suggests to his father that it might be time for him to step down as their group leader in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 11 titled I Ain’t a Judas. Rick might be coming around though, as his hallucinations seem to be subsiding thanks to the supply of Haldol that Hershel found in the prison infirmary (just kidding, about the Haldol part 🙂 ) Andrea struggles with her loyalties to both Woodbury and her old friends and at least temporarily makes her choice near the end of the episode. A semblance of cooperation returns to the prison survivors as Beth (Maggie’s sister) starts singing a haunting rendition of Tom Waits’ song Hold On that echos through in the prison corridors. I’m a big fan of musical endings and this is a good one, reminiscent of the Bob Dylan’s Tomorrow is a Long Time at the end of the first season as the CDC building burns. Incidentally, a Soundtrack for The Walking Dead is available now for pre-order through this link and also on itunes. If you missed this episode, watch it through the link below.
Premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in 2011, The Day is a Canadian independent post apocalyptic film that follows a group of desperate survivors that get caught in a trap set by tribal cannibals. For those of you familiar with The Road, the atmosphere and setting to this story is quite similar. It is set in a bleak and desolate world that has been left barren by some unknown catastrophe. I thought of this movie as taking place in the same world as The Road with a different set of characters in perhaps a different part of the world. Taking this movie for what it is, I enjoyed it. It does have some logic problems though. For example, why does this tribe of cannibals keep coming after a group that has guns. I mean almost all of them are killed as they approach the house in waves but they just keep coming. Why would they risk the lives of so many of their own clan to get just a few people. After 10 years of post apocalypse survival surely they would learn that only practical energy is worth expending or they would have perished already? Considering that this is an independent film without a big Hollywood budget, this film isn’t bad. If you need a break from zombies and want a fix of doom and gloom, The Day might be for you. Beware though, these cannibals aren’t much smarter than zombies.
Considered to be a science fiction classic, Walter Miller’s A Canticle For Leibowitz, first published in 1960, is one of the best known post apocalyptic novels.
Spanning some 2000 years into the future, its vast sense of scope and depth is mesmerizing. Worthy of dissection in a literature class, the treasures are plentiful in these pages and clearly beyond the scope of this short review.
After a full-scale nuclear war, a small order of Catholic Monks strive to preserve a collection of scientific and historical records for posterity. This small monastery, located in the southwestern United States, struggles for centuries to preserve and protect the remnants of a forgotten age. Initially, the monastery is organized to safeguard scientific records during the violent anti-technology backlash that follows the great “Flame Deluge”.
Later, over the centuries, documents and parts of ancient books are carefully preserved from decay through the passing of time. The story progresses through several eras covering a nearly 2000 year time span.
Often viewed as a cautionary tale, A Canticle for Leibowitz explores the repetitive nature of the rise and fall of civilizations and the inevitable destruction that seems to be the pinnacle of mankind’s technological progress. Obviously, the story is religiously oriented though it does not promote any particular religion. In fact, the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church is often the object of the author’s discourse. Some of the extensive Latin dialogue and references may be considered tedious by some, however, it does add to the grand scope of the book.
While A Canticle for Leibowitz is not light reading, it is brimming with insight, satire and imagination and is certainly a must read for connoisseurs of apocalyptic & post-apocalyptic fiction.
The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse is an enjoyable collection of speculative short stories featuring a fine variety of different apocalyptic scenarios. Zombies, plague, solar flares, collapse, alien invasions, even an ancient apocalypse from the perspective of a long dead medicine man. While each of these stories share an apocalyptic element, they are otherwise quite unique in terms of structure, style and setting.
Reading The Fall was an interesting experience. By viewing the apocalypse from so many different perspectives one sees that the apocalyptic story is indeed as old as death itself. These are tales about death but also offer a glimmer of hope for a potential rebirth.
A few of these apocalyptic short stories are worthy of special mention. These include Hairline Cracks, WWBBCDITZA and The Last Sacrifice. Ryan Graudin’s Hairline Cracks gives us an entirely new angle on the zombie phenomenon, suggesting that a connection remains between the souls of the living and their reanimated corpses. WWBBCDITZA (which stands for What Would A Big Black Cat Do In The Zombie Apocalypse) is a clever story, written by A.M. Supinger, that speculates on the role of a warrior cat amongst the walking dead. Judy Croome’s The Last Sacrifice leaves us wondering just how many times people have been at the edge of the fall of their civilization and wondered what might come after? Ranging from sorrowful to light-hearted,
The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse is a very thoughtful and entertaining collection of stories that will appeal to quite a wide audience.
Written as a prequel to The Last Pilgrims, W1CK is a compelling story that takes place just days before the devastating apocalyptic war that leads to the return of a new Dark Age. Though W1CK started as a short story, Michael Bunker and Chris Awalt have created a thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly thoughtful and contemplative apocalyptic novel.
W1CK begins as Clay Richter, a disenchanted widower, makes his way through the devastation and aftermath left by Hurricane Sandy as he travels to his country home in Ithaca, New York. Unfortunately, Clay, who is hopelessly unprepared for his journey, stumbles upon a decades old plot, set in motion by secret forces in the former Soviet Union, to destroy the United States. This dark apocalyptic conspiracy is depicted through a steady stream of colorful metaphors and dialogue, creating a deeply human story.
In some ways W1CK is a fictional exploration of the very notion of imprisonment. Initially Clay seeks to escape an invisible prison ruled by consumerism. Later, through a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself in an actual prison filled with dangerous sociopaths. Through his imprisonment, Clay has an epiphany of sorts and realizes that he is indeed imprisoned mainly by his own desires. Regardless of ones political or religious views, isn’t it, in fact our desire for safety and comfort that is the very structure of our jail cell? One of the very causes of our suffering is our constant struggle to escape from suffering. (as if spoken by the Buddha himself! 🙂 )
Conspiracy, espionage, survival and understanding in the early days of the apocalypse, W1CK is quite an enjoyable and insightful book that I can easily recommend.
A Listing of Apocalyptic Fiction Author Sites and Blogs
If you would like to submit your Author Page to be listed here please use the contact form below:
To celebrate the start of a new year, we are running a giveaway for a great new compilation of apocalyptic short stories called The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse. This is an excellent short story collection featuring thirteen unique tales of destruction. We are giving away an electronic version of this book. Use the form below to enter the giveaway:
Facing the zombie apocalypse alone, Adrian keeps a diary as a way to cope with the unimaginable horror of his new world. Adrian’s Undead Diary chronicles one man’s struggle to survive in a zombie infested apocalypse and is frankly one of the best zombie stories that I have read.
After barely surviving the first day of the apocalypse, Adrian escapes with his cat Otis to his out of town private school bugout location, where he worked as a night dorm monitor. Yes, that’s right, he takes his cat Otis with him! Point scored for us male cat owners! Cats are awesome, by the way and FU to all of you haters! Once Adrian saves his cat Otis, who he fondly refers to as his “homeboy”, I knew that I was going to enjoy this story.
Adrian’s Undead Diary (AUD) is presented as a series of diary posts at http://adriansundeaddiary.com and is written by Chris Philbrook. The story is available for free through the AUD site which boasts a large and active community. Adrian is a great character. His sense of humor and no-nonsense, quick to act attitude make him one kick ass cool dude in my book.
In addition to telling the story of Adrian’s physical battle for survival, the diary also exposes Adrian’s surprisingly realistic emotional struggle with the end of the world. He suffers from survival guilt and blames himself for his inability to save his long time girlfriend. One of my favorite parts of AUD is when Adrian is seen through the perspective of another character that is mentioned in one of his diary entries. For example, the chapter called Soccer Mom details the experience of the chief of police’s wife during the “first day” and she encounters Adrian in the grocery store. I really enjoy how these stories intersect. Hearing another character describe Adrian as they briefly meet is like an out-of-body experience or something. AUD is currently at the top of my list for awesome zombie apocalypse entertainment and I highly recommend it. In fact, I like AUD so much I bought the hat! :
ps. You can get this hat featuring Adrian in a slightly altered MLB design at http://adriansundeaddiary.com/aud-cap.htm which I think is a great way to support and spread the word about AUD!
Update: A of 10/17/16 AUD is available on a Kindle through the link below:
It looks like the Governor bit off more than he can chew in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7 “When the Dead Come Knocking”. Rick and his crew have seen their fair share of hard times and won’t be bowing down to Woodbury and its cronies. There is some undeniable karmic righteousness when evildoers underestimate their victims. Call it what you will but a natural order exists that is inevitably restored to all circumstances, eventually. The Walking Dead is like so many other well told stories and stirs up some ancient archetype that we recognize unconsciously and find so appealing. Or maybe it’s just some good old zombie skull crushing fun. You choose, either way, or both is just fine with me! Enjoy!
Is that phone really ringing? Has Rick officially gone insane? Messages left in zombie parts? The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 Hounded forges its way into the post apocalypse with some more truly unforgettable scenes. After losing so many people in the last episodes, the survivors are further divided in their struggle to stay alive. Being a sociopath certainly has its advantages in the zombie apocalypse, as evidenced by Merle’s apparent success at being Woodbury’s enforcer. Check out the latest episode through the link below:
The Reawakening puts a brand new slant on the zombie apocalypse. Joseph Souza’s mutant monsters, which come to be known as “fuckers” are different from traditional zombies in that they often take on features of the infected animals that bite them. Not only that, in the moments preceding their “reawakening” these creatures have some type of unearthly insight into the true nature of reality. I think that mutant zombie is an appropriate name for these reawakened creatures as it becomes apparent that their origin involves some type of genetic experimentation that has gone horribly wrong. Shortly after Thom and his daughter Dar arrive on a trip to visit Thom’s brother in rural Maine, animals and people begin to act very strangely and become increasingly violent. Apparently this abhorrent behavior is caused by some type of new disease that turns the infected into violent maniacs. Worse than that, the diseased are somehow able to reanimate after death and turn into monsters that are driven to consume human flesh. Under constant threat of attack from these reawakened creatures, Thom, his daughter and a small group of survivors are forced to spend a nightmarish winter barricaded in a fortified cabin that is surrounded by an improvised perimeter wall made up of snow, ice and rotting mutant zombies.
Faced with their own destruction and the insanity of their disgusting new world, the survivors have some “reawakenings” of their own. Like some other post-apocalyptic, kick ass female characters, Thom’s daughter Dar discovers her true purpose through the traumatic, violent events in the early stages of the apocalypse. In the spirit of Stephen King’s Cell ( is something in the water up that way? 🙂 ), Joseph Souza reinvents the traditional zombie and creates an entirely new mutant freak. He deserves a great deal of credit for venturing out in his own direction instead of recycling the standard zombie concept. While it may upset some zombie purists (if there is such a thing?), I think most fans of zombie fiction will find The Reawakening to be a bold, surprisingly refreshing and thoroughly entertaining story.
Can’t we have just one good day? The world answers Glenn back with a resounding NO in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 4 titled Killer Within when they discover that the prison walls have been breached by hundreds of bloodthirsty zombies. Maybe that’s what is so great about apocalyptic fiction in general, no matter how bad your day is, it can always be a LOT worse. What could be worse than being stuck in a prison full of flesh-eating zombies? How about getting your throat ripped out by one of those zombies…
The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 titled Walk With Me introduces us to a whole new group of survivors and their well-kept, relatively safe community of Woodbury. Andrea and her friend, Michonne, are first captured and later welcomed by the leader of Woodbury known as “The Governor”. The characters in The Walking Dead really show their battle hardened/seasoned nature after a year of struggling to survive the zombie apocalypse. These are characters forged in a constant life and death struggle. The writers and actors deserve a lot credit for continuing to create this awesome television show. Thank you! Watch the episode through the link below:
What’s the difference between a walker and a blood crazed sociopath? Not much. Which is why Rick has to eliminate some holed up human monsters in their new-found prison sanctuary. In The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2 titled Sick, Rick and our small band of survivors stumble upon a group of prisoners that don’t understand the full scope of the zombie problem. Apparently, the fact that Rick and the crew actually broke into a prison wasn’t enough for these dim wits to realize that the world had gone bad. It was amusing to hear these prisoners that had been isolated since the start of the zombie apocalypse asking questions like “why don’t you go to the hospital?” or “where’s the National Guard?” all while acting like they are so tough. A dark apocalyptic sense of humor is greatly appreciated by this fan, though I’m sure prisoners the world over were offended by the apparent assault on their intelligence. Watch this episode at Amazon through the link below:
In R.P. Ruggiero’s new apocalyptic novel Brushfire Plague, a highly contagious, lethal new virus is spreading across the world, forcing civilization to its knees. The virus is aptly named the Brushfire Plague after its ability to spread extremely fast and its very high mortality rate.
In Brushfire Plague, there are no bugout locations and there is no safety. The virus attacks indiscriminately and kills fast. This apocalyptic story follows the early stages of a rapidly spreading pandemic and the violent beginnings of civil breakdown in suburban Portland, Oregon. Cooper, a combat veteran, is unable leave his recently buried wife and decides to make a stand at his suburban home. In an attempt to fend off the seemingly never-ending waves of violent incursions, Cooper works to organize his neighbors. With the help of his best friend and neighbor, Dranko, they are able to equip a small neighborhood defensive force.
Right from the beginning of Brushfire Plague, violent threats are met with deadly force. R.P. Ruggiero presents a fight or die type of scenario that I suspect is quite similar to what it would be like in a war zone. With no time for deliberation, one must choose to stand up against those with harmful intent or be at their mercy.
Brushfire Plague really captures the sense of panic and sadness that would undoubtedly accompany such a large-scale disaster. For an added twist, Cooper discovers that the plague may not be a random occurrence and may actually have its origins in a laboratory.
Ruggiero has written a very entertaining apocalyptic novel that presents an entirely possible pandemic scenario through a cast of interesting and likable characters. Bring on the sequel!