It's been a while since we last checked in on Zombie fiction, and with the release of World War Z in theaters this summer, the time seemed ripe—yes, I said ripe—for revisiting tales of the undead.

Let's dig in!

(Yes, I went there again. Raise your Pun Shields—this article is full of 'em.)


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Many of the series we looked at in the last installment did not end there. Rachel Caine's Revivalist series, for example (the first book of which, Working Stiff, I actually neglected to mention last time round), has new entries with Two Weeks' Notice and Terminated. The series chronicles the afterlife adventures of Bryn Davis, who wages corporate war after being killed on the job when she discovered her bosses were selling a drug specifically designed to resurrect the dead. Another series I didn't mention was J.L. Bourne's military-zombie series Day by Day Armageddon (comprised of Day by Day Armageddon and Beyond Exile). The series continues with Shattered Hourglass in which a Navy commander leads a global mission to the heart of the undead pandemic.

Diana Rowland followed up My Life as a White Trash Zombie with Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues and White Trash Zombie Apocalypse. Cherie Priest extended her Clockwork Century series with The Inexplicables, in which its protagonist visits the zombie-infested city of Seattle. The Hessius Mann series by Stefan Petrucha continued with Dead Mann Running, another fast-paced outing for his noir-ish zombie cop. The Walking Dead prose novel Rise of the Governor by Jay Bonansinga and Robert Kirkman (creator of the graphic novels on which this series and the television show are based) got a sequel too: The Road to Woodbury further chronInexplicablesicles the interesting story of ho the enigmatic man known as the Governor came into power.

All good things come to an end. Some tasty series that we looked at before concluded with their just desserts, among them Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy, which ended with Blackout. Jonathan Maberry continued his Rot and Ruin series with Dust & Decay and will conclude the series with this month's Fire & Ash. The Autumn series by David Moody also concluded last month with Autumn: The Human Condition, a story that offers a stark view of the end of the world from numerous different perspectives. 


I still say that the best way to sample fiction, zombie or otherwise, is to dip into the buffet that is the short story anthology. These multiple-author compilations give you quick hits on varying styles, subjects and points of view. Even better: They serve as a springboard from which to explore further and make your own discoveries. To that end, any insatiable hunger for zombie fiction can be quickly satisfied with several anthologies that have been released since last we looked in.

Based on the Zombies vs. Robots graphic novel series, an exciting mashup that brings together a tried and true science-fictional trope with the thrill of a good zombie story, This Means War!, edited by Jeff Conner, assembles a themed anthology with prose stories by Joe McKinney, Nancy A. Collins and Jesse Bullington. Editor Christopher Golden's 21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology includes undead fiction by Jonathan Maberry, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, as well as a story set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse. Extreme Zombies, edited by Paula Guran, includes work by George R.R. Martin, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Joe R. Lansdale. Editor Stephen Jones tapped multiple authors to create his near-future mosaic novel The Mammoth Book of Zombie Apocalypse! Fightback, which weaves together various “voices” in the form of essays, reports, letters, official documents and transcripts relating to the conflict against the New Zombie Order. Zombies! Tales of the Walking Dead by Stephen Jones contains 26 stories from horror masters (like Clive Barker and H. P. Lovecraft) with a focus on various ways that the dead could be resurrected. And, finally, releasing this month is the Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages anthology, edited by Steve Berman, which looks at zombies through the ages and includes stories by Stephen Jones, Livia Llewellyn, Jonathan Maberry and more.


Now that we're caught up and have several tasty morsels to hold us until the next course (is your Pun Shield still up?)...coming up in Part 2, we'll look at new zombie series novels and at standalone novels featuring the undead. Stay tuned!

John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal.