The leadership falters in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 9 the Midseason Premiere titled The Suicide King. Both Rick and The Governor stagger under the burden of their decisions. It appears as though Rick is not fully recovered from his psychotic break when as a haunting image of his dead wife appears only to him near the end of this episode. It’s sure nice to have such a great show back! Leave a comment to share your thoughts on this episode! If you missed it watch it on your computer through the link from Amazon 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.
V for Vendetta meets the American Patriot. Isn’t it interesting how the ideas of self-sufficiency and smaller government have indeed become revolutionary in modern times? Wouldn’t many of us be on a POI (person of interest) list In an era where taking responsibility for the well-being of yourself and your family is considered subversive by the powers that be. Glen Tate’s 299 Days series forces a person to question their ever-increasing dependence on a bloated, incompetent and corrupt government. In The Stronghold, the fourth book in the 299 Days series, the faltering economy has the government on the ropes, grasping to power through bribery, propaganda and downright thuggery. The economy has failed on a massive scale. Food, fuel and medical supplies are becoming scarce. The government is handing out electronic ration cards called “FCards” to feed the masses. These “FCards” are funded through the confiscation of funds in bank accounts and 401K’s which people can no longer access. Unfortunately, through desperation, many people, especially in larger urban areas, are happy to get help from the government and eagerly hand over the last of their civil liberties for these rations. In contrast, Pierce Point, while dealing with the same scarcity, is becoming a bastion for common sense cooperation. People are looking for a simpler, practical, common sense approach to community. Don’t misunderstand, Pierce Point isn’t some self-sufficient, Constitutional utopia but Grant Matson, his friends and neighbors are willing to work together in a fair and common sense way that might just make our grandparents proud. The Stronghold presents some compelling possibilities and is an insightful exploration into the all too real possibility of an economic collapse.
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:
You’re probably asking yourself, “what do eggs have to do with the 299 Days series…has this guy lost his mind?…maybe he’s been reading too much of the doomer stuff?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Eggs are significant on a number of different levels but on a very basic level, leaving their genetic/reproductive aspects aside, they are simply a nice little package of nutrients and energy. These eggs just happen to be today’s harvest from our 12 hens that are starting to produce now on a regular basis. To me these eggs represent the beginning of a return to a more self-sufficient lifestyle similar to the one that Glen Tate envisions in his 299 Days series. This series presents some important and powerful ideas that I think would be beneficial to the lives of millions of people. Hopefully, through this giveaway for the first 4 books in the 299 Days series, which features a worldwide economic collapse, others will wake up to reality and start to fend for themselves rather than depending on help that may never arrive. Learn more about the 299 Days series @ http://299days.com and check out some of the podcast interviews listed below.
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Glen Tate Interviews:
Glenn makes a dagger out of a zombie forearm – was that the radius or ulna Maggie uses to take out the guard? A testament to human ingenuity, for sure. Woodbury is split wide open in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 8 Midseason Finale “Made to Suffer” as Rick and his team try to save Glenn and Maggie from almost certain death. Old loyalties are brought into question and new possibilities come to light. It’s going to be a long wait until the next episode in February but I have a feeling that it will be well worth it! If you missed this episode you can watch it through the Amazon 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.
Ladies and Gentlemen! The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 5 Say the Word introduces us to an entirely new fighting sport that is destined to take the post apocalyptic world by storm! While the official name for this debauchery has yet to be announced, I would vote to call it Zombie Fight Club (ZFC) […if it’s already taken, I propose that a PA is added for post apocalypse PAZFC]. Standing as a testament to the pure genius of the writers of TWD, the sport is similar to a “no holds barred” cage fight, only instead of a cage, the “ring” is made up of chained zombies! As the fight progresses, the zombies are given more chain, thereby making the “ring” smaller with each interval. We haven’t seen this type of imagination since the post apocalyptic world of Mad Max at Thunderdome. Sure it’s depraved and barbaric but it sure is fun! People need some way to blow off steam when they have lost all of their family, friends, homes, civilization and minds. Sure, you can sit on your “high horse” and judge this sport to be unsavory, but after a year of hanging on to life by a thread in the zombie apocalypse what do you expect? I say cut these people some slack and grant them a little morale booster fun and games! For this and other zombie apocalypse awesomeness check out the latest episode of The Walking Dead below:
In Survivors, James Wesley Rawles explores the same economic disaster that occurs in Patriots from a different perspective, mostly through a new cast of characters. While the story covers the first years of “The Crunch” in the southwestern United States, the most interesting and unique part of Survivors is the story of the newly discharged American Army Captain Andrew Laine and his journey back home to New Mexico from Afghanistan. With fuel shortages, violence and chaos reigning, Captain Laine is forced to find his own way back to the United States. He travels through post-shit hits the fan (shtf) Germany, France, England, crosses the atlantic ocean to Belize, then finally goes through Mexico and into the US. Much like he does in Patriots, Rawles provides copious details in his descriptions and, with the steady stream of bible passages, the book seems tailored with a fairly specific reader in mind. While the in-depth, detailed information is useful in terms of gaining knowledge, it makes the reading tedious at times. For example, when a character encounters a new gun, Rawles goes into considerable details on the history, mechanics, durability, range and effectiveness of the weapon, making the internal dialogue and narration slightly monotonous and unrealistic. The conversations in morse code are downright painful to get through. To give credit where credit is due, Rawles has packed a lot of useful prepping information into this book. He provides detailed information on a variety of topics including the possible uses of gold and silver as currency, using morse code via ham radio, weapons, food, fuel and even gives basic instructions on how to make molotov cocktails. If you are able to handle the sometimes “preachy” chapter introductions, a lot can be learned from Survivors. Rawles writes informative, “how-to” books in a fictional format. Unfortunately, the fictional aspect often takes a back seat to his strong religious message and “prepping” information. That being said, I would read Survivors again for its crisis preparation advice and its interesting speculation about world travel after an economic disaster.
For those of you that are interested in learning more about James Wesley Rawles and disaster preparation, visit his blog at http://www.survivalblog.com/ . In case you aren’t familiar with his site, it is actually one of the most popular blogs in the survival/prepping arena and will provide you with a practically endless amount of useful information.