Thursday, January 7, 2016
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Thanks for having me on your blog today, I really appreciate it. I promise I'll try to keep everything right where you left it. Except the bratwurst. I have to be honest and tell you right up front, I ate the bratwurst out of your fridge and for that, I am sorry. There, I feel better now that I've confessed so I think I'll go ahead and move on to the less delicious topic at hand, zombies. I love zombies. They are such versatile monsters and so intrinsically linked with our fear of death and what lies beyond in the afterlife. Zombies represent the possibility that there is no peace and that is something that makes more than a few people uncomfortable and it also explains why zombies are such a great subgenre.
The history of zombies in American literature and film all begins in the Carribean.
to be exact. The lore says that Bokors practicing voodoo would essentially
shanghai people by using a powdered mixture that caused paralysis and mimicked
death. The victim was thought to be dead and was buried while in an unconscious
state. The kidnapper would then come back under cover of darkness, dig up the
grave, and wake the confused soul within. The zombi had no memory of who they
were or what had happened. These folks were then said to have been sold to
plantation owners, or kept by the Bokor themselves to be used as slaves.
In time, zombi mythos migrated to the
where, in the swamps and forests of the southern half of North
America, it thrived and grew. These stories morphed from the zombi
being sold into slavery to them becoming aware and attacking the slave masters.
As more time passed the word morphed from zombi to zombie and the creature
itself began to change. This time they weren't merely humans who had their
memory erased, now they were the dead brought back to life seeking vengeance. As the decades passed the stories, and the
creature itself, changed and morphed throughout all mediums.
In 1932 the film "White Zombie", and its star Bela Lugosi, brought the zombie into the public theaters for the first time. This paved the way for other films like 1944's "Voodoo Man" These zombies were of the hypnotized/drugged variety and the mainstay in these stories is that the zombie themselves was not evil, but whomever turned them into a zombie was.
Other movies, like "I Walked With a Zombie" from 1943 showed the creatures to be magical and under the total power of a voodoo priest/priestess. Then came the undead. In the thirties, forties, and early fifties zombies start casually shifting from victims to monsters. By the time the man we refer to as the grandfather of the modern zombie, George A Romero, came around these beings were no longer something to pity. Gone were the days of the human robot being controlled by another through words, spells, or drugs.
The monsters Romero envisioned are the ones you read about most often today. The term 'Romero zombie' is actually used when describing a vicious, flesh eating, nearly indestructible terror out to spread the virus it carries in any way it can while feasting on the flesh and viscera of humans.
These beasts are still changing, still evolving, today. There is the more widely known zom-poc (zombie apocalypse) category but there are also other subspecies of zombie tale. Some, like Jeffrey Kosh's "Revenant", bring us back to the deep South and illustrate the lush voodoo tales of old, highlighting an undead creature's desire for revenge. Then there is the funny and entertaining world of zombie comedy --zom-com for short. Jeff Strand's "A Bad Day For Voodoo" being one of my personal favorites. These types of books and films poke fun at the thought of undeath. They seek to make this underlying fear of death --intrinsic to humans-- become something more light hearted and fun. When done properly, as
Strand did, these books can
be just as fun and thrilling as their survival type counterparts.
Whatever form the zombie has taken, wherever the story is set, and what the zombie itself is capable of doing changes based on the author/filmmaker. Zombies have been around for a long time and I honestly don't think they're going to disappear anytime soon. Some brush aside zombie fiction as being too mainstream, and to them I say; wade a little deeper into other areas of that pool, you just might find something you like after all.
* * * * *
The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014
AND so you don't miss any of the posts in November, here's the complete list, updated daily:
Posted by Mark Tufo at 6:55 AM
Saturday, November 1, 2014
What does the FluffyRedFox say??: Hallowed Horror Collection: What a fantastic collection this book is, some amazing authors who have supplied some huge novels and brilliant novellas. Everyone sh... Pin It Now!
Posted by Mark Tufo at 4:19 PM
Friday, September 5, 2014
Hi all hope you enjoy this piece of fan-fiction as much as I did, the author wishes to remain anonymous but I'm sure would wish some feedback!
Entry one: Today I am starting a journal because it was suggested by a traveler that my thoughts may prove interesting for someone in the future. I have never kept a journal but he finds it comforting and I want to give it a try. I hope the reader will forgive my writing style, Mike says just write it in a way that tells the story. So here goes.
Mike and his family/friends arrived here the day before yesterday. I saw them calling out and knocking on doors in my neighborhood. I liked the way they tried to be polite and walked up to them. They looked exhausted and hungry. I introduced myself and offered to take them to a shelter house Robin (my sister) and I had prepared for refugees. They looked surprised and a little leery but agreed to follow me. I took them to two homes on Foxrun Avenue. These two houses have running water and propane hot water heaters. There is a working stove and gas fridge and it is stocked for guests. I thought Mike was going to hug me when he realized he was getting a hot shower. I liked this guy. I told him, "Welcome to Georgetown, Kentucky".
I went by last night to check on them and everybody was in bed. Mike was standing guard duty. I told him it was unnecessary but he said he didn't sleep much anymore would feel better keeping an eye out for trouble. He said it liked to follow him around. I laughed and said I could understand that but that I hadn't seen a zombie weeks and nobody would come into my neighborhood anymore. He laughed and asked me if I was a badass. I told him I was much, much worse, a pariah. Since we were sitting out and it was a nice night I told him my story.
I used to like zombies. I read every zombie book I could find. If it was about zombies...I was up for it. I recorded The Walking Dead on two DVRs to make sure I got it. I would have watched it "live" but it was on late and I go to work at 4:45 a.m. I especially liked audiobooks, had an entire zombie collection.
I worked as a nurse at the University of Kentucky, Chandler Medical Center. A level One Trauma Center, capitalized because it is a big deal. If nobody else can handle the train wreck of your problems, you end up at a Level One Trauma Center, nearly everybody I took care of was on life support.
I was at work when I heard the first reports of the dead coming back to life. The announcers acted like they thought they were being punked...my mind went into overdrive. No...it couldn't be...could it? I thought about it all day and then said, “What the hell, why not?” After work I started on my crazy plan. I have a $10,000 credit limit on my credit card and I am going to max it out. I put a down payment on a nice little RV and stocked it with everything I thought I might need. I got a solar package with the RV for power, a case of solar lights, sterno, case of lighters, case of coffee (I like coffee), cereal, dry milk, canned and dried foods, toilet paper..well you get the idea. I went to Lowes and got plywood for my windows, I got hardware to secure my doors. I left everything in the packages--so I could return them if the zombie thing didn't happen. The prevailing theory was that it would take about 10 years for the zombies to get to Kentucky--we are about 10 years behind on everything else!! HaHa. That was what people thought.
I called Robin in New Mexico and MADE her come for a visit. Robin worked as the director of the commissary at the largest prison in New Mexico. She barely knew what a zombie was. I liked fantasy--Robin watched stuff like Scared Straight, too much drama for me. She is a logistical genius. 3000 prisoners and their families relied on her to provide snacks, clothes and hygiene stuff for the prisoners. Do you know how handy it is to have a logistical genius during a Zombie invasion? Wow she was unbelievable! The help she provided for families was incredible. You know how in the zombie books people take over the stores and protect the assets with guns? That didn't happen here. Robin and her crew dispensed the supplies as they were needed and people BROUGHT stuff to the stores for trade. She made it work with a no nonsense attitude--just like she used with the prisoners. You can have a guy with a AK47 show up to take over the store vs. my sister and my sister will winevery time. Look how she organized your family when you got here! Did anybody get a vote? No, I didn't think so! But...she was right, you all got what you needed. Hot showers, good food, privacy and the special things that make this place a respite for travelers. We offer these homes to travelers who are passing through the area. If you want to stay, we can send you to people who can help you get established.
Anyway, back to my story..the zombies were in the major cities and spreading devastation within days. Panic was starting but people here still thought the government was going to do something to stop it. I thought the government was going to make it worse. So I made a plan..yep me...a plan. I am not a military commander and my only experience was, get this...I liked to read zombie books. There is a gravel pit about 2 miles from my home. Every afternoon between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. they set off explosives. My neighbor is an engineer and used to work there. He said the tunnels go back for about a mile. I went there and inquired about buying some gravel and talked to the guys about the set-up. They didn't offer to show me how to set off explosives but I got a good bit of information that I hoped to never need.
A few days later, zombies came to Lexington. Within hours they were here. The plywood went up and we waited it out. Within 24 hours my zombie fantasy was reality. I spent those hours storing information on my ipad (car charger). I wanted to know where to go if we survived. I wanted places to go where somebody had set-up their house off-the-grid. Solar, wells, septic tank, food gardens. I wasn't looking for the dumbass that built a castle in the woods to keep out raiders, I wanted the Mother Earth News kinda guy. I am an optimist that way. I didn't buy a lot of guns and amo. This is Kentucky, you can't throw a rock without hitting a gun collector here. I figured it wouldn't be much of a problem. Mike wanted to know more about my information hoard. A virtual survivor is a person who dosen't want to commit the funds to surviving--but wants to know where to find what you might need. I surfed the net for y-tube videos, off-the-grid solutions, primitive living solutions, home-grown medications etc. Like football fantasy team for zombie geeks. The information is stored on my computer--not on the web, since the web went down a few days into the disaster. Personally, I want my own island in the Caribbean sea. Hard to get here in my RV hybrid though! I've got a few other possiblities...but it is hard to leave home. We have a pretty good set-up here but the winter is tough. Plus what is going to happen to the zombies? Will they rot and just disappear? I heard from Mike they hybernate. Crap.
Here is the way it went down. You know, the best zombie stories are the beginning of the series. Where you get to see how they survived and see what worked and what didn't, well here goes...Georgetown is a place where they made theCambry for Toyota. About 50% of the people worked at the plant, about 10% at the schools and another 10% in local business. The rest didn't work or went to Lexington. The Toyota plant is about 10 miles east of my house and the schools (elementary, middle and high) are on the other side of town about 8 miles to the west. Georgetown University is in the center of town but was basically closed for the summer, Thank God!! Toyota must have treated the zombie invasion as a terrorist event and shut the plant--with the workers inside. Nobody gets in or out until the situation is under control, departments locked down. At first everybody was okay with the plan, after all they didn't think it would be more than a few hours. Then they started getting panic texts from family about zombies in the schools. Moms and family members were rushing to pick up the kids. Kids had been bitten and teachers were taking care of them. You can guess how that went. Zombies took minutes to hours to turn. Soon there were hundreds of bitten kids, moms, teachers and it was spreading like wildfire. The west side of town was overtaken within hours.
The people at the plant were not getting updates from family. Those that were getting news got unbelievable reports. The workers wanted to go home. The managers understood but denied all requests to open the doors. It wasn't long before the auto workers found equipment to start breaking out. But Toyota isn't made up of a bunch of stupid people and they were right, the workers should have just stayed there for a few days or weeks. They know how to secure a plant but the workers were determined to get home to their families. It was terrible. From what I understand the workers went a little crazy, who wouldn't? The zombies got to them because they forced holes in the defenses. I don't know anybody who made it out, but that is what I heard. I wonder what happened. Maybe someday I will hear the story first hand.
We still had electricity and internet in those first few days. I went on the Georgetown city page (where people were posting messages for police and firemen to come save them) and proposed my plan. Lure the zombies to the gravel pit and blow them up in the tunnels. I thought zombies would be attracted by sound and wanted volunteers to play the car stereo loud and get zombies to follow them to the pits and others would have arranged IUDs for the zombies and others would shoot any that survived from the ridge of the pit. I wanted drivers like the Dukes of Hazard, military guys and hunters. I was a idiot. I watched too much TV. I read too many fantasy books. These hillbillies jumped on board The Plan. We worked it out onlineand people who were trapped in their houses wanted a way out, and something to do. We are Americans! We can do this. I was a total dumb ass, any military leader would tell you this idea would take a couple of months to work out. We did it in days over the internet.
If we had enough military experience, maybe we could have made it work perfect. We made it work a little. The first day two 20 something girls died, they were drivers--bringing the zombies to the pits. They missed their turn. They made a u-turn to correct their mistake. A FREAKING U-TURN!! The zombies that were following the cars that made it to the pit were not as interested in following the sounds of the Grateful Dead CD we were playing, as they were in eating the drivers in the parked cars. Imagine that! I stood there on the rim with the gunmen and watched my plan not working. I ran down the side and started yelling at the zombies from the bottom. "Come here...Got your nice juicy human"! Idiot. Well they started coming..but just a few. Then others came down to help me. "Get out of here" I told them "I am an old lady (54) and I don't have kids, get back"! They came anyway and six of us got the zombies to follow us into the tunnel. There was a way out and we ran for the exit. I was the slowest. These guys ran like track stars! Dammit! I needed my inhaler but I made it. I pantomimed a boom while gasping, the demo team set off the explosives. The end of the tunnel collapsed and a lot of zombies were ended. The gunmen got the stragglers and we had a meeting to work out the problems. No celebration let me tell you. We were drained. We decided to do it again the next day and cleared out another area of town. By the fourth day, the guys looked pretty bad. I didn't think they were sleeping. We had destroyed hundreds of children zombies. Their families were fractured. Their souls were disintegrating. This must be what it is like for soldiers, I thought. We knew what we were doing was important but it was killing the humanity that made us the people we thought we were. We held it together long enough to clean out the town... Afterwards, two guys killed themselves.
If you think for a minute that the townspeople thought I was a hero for pulling this together you are wrong. I was told that I was "just like Hitler with the Jews". I led their family members to the pit and killed them in cold blood with my Nazi helpers. I am a nurse and know how grief works. DABDA we call it. Denial (10 years for zombies to reach KY), anger (Hitler and hernazis) bargaining (if we hate her then we are not responsible for killing our kids, friends and family) depression and acceptance. We have the anger and depression in full force here. Nobody is ready to say that what we did was for the best. You can't say what you are thinking. Not yet, maybe never. All these houses are empty because anybody alive in my neighborhood moved out—wouldn’t want to be associated with me. It is too bad because my sister, Robin had been helping a lot of people get food and clothing organized as I was working on my project. She is driving me nuts with nothing to do.
Mike thanked me for nursing his friend who was zombie bit and I told him is was okay because we were bit too and knew how it felt. He said he hadn't heard of anybody surviving the bite. So I told him about getting bit on the fifth day of the crisis. I was stupid and let it happen during the pit project. I went home and asked Robin to kill me. She said she would tie me up and take me out after I turned into a zombie. I talked and cried and talked some more and we waited. I had to pee. I chair walked to the shower and sat there waiting to turn. I got hungry and Robin made me a sandwich (which she fed me with thebarbecue tongs). I got tired and slept. Days went by. We talked about why I wasn’t turning. I wanted to get untied. She wanted to give it more time. I wanted to kill her. I had been tied up FOUR days before she cut me loose!! We were hardly talking by that time. Yeah laugh now—you try it! A couple of weeks later Robin got caught out in the yard. I had a gun and got the zombie but not before he got a piece of her. Now it was her turn to get tied up. Four days later I turned her loose. Good thing I had the gun is all I have to say. We talked a lot about why we didn’t turn and we have a couple of theories.
Mike wanted to hear some more but I was tired, I will tell more tomorrow.
Posted by Mark Tufo at 7:46 AM