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Friday, 18 November 2011

Walkers, Walkers everywhere and many a book to read

While we wait for the publication of my trilogy, The Dead Walked ( and there’ll be news of the first volume this weekend), I thought it might to a good moment to point readers to some of the other zombie novels mouldering in bookshops at the moment.  It would seem that everyone is aware of World War Z and so I will completely ignore that (admittedly excellent) title for the purpose of this article and direct readers elsewhere.

George Romero is usually credited with creating the modern zombie with his classic 1968 shocker, Night of the Living Dead but if any man also deserves this credit it is screenwriter and novelist John Russo who wrote the script of the original movie.  Undead, published by Titan  Books, collects together the novels Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead. Night almost follows the film script to the letter, though we do get to know the characters a bit better in John Russo’s novelization, but the real meat here is the all original sequel, Return of the Living Dead which revisits the same location ten years after the events depicted in the movie. The book is on sale now priced £8.99 which offers good value considering there are two full length novels within its covers. Zombie Apocalypse which was edited by Stephen Jones is another cracker. This book shares many traits with the aforementioned, World War Z but it is far from a carbon copy and is a great addition to the genre. Personally I actually prefer this one to World War Z since the story is more contained but WWZ came first and this title owes it a massive debt.
Dead Ways by Christopher Edge is a zombie tale aimed at the YA audience and although the book is light on the gore and mayhem which are so essential to the genre it does it’s job well and provides a riveting read. The book uses tension more than gross out and is all the better for it. The zombies here are genuinely scary and the book deserves to be a big hit. TV’s Walking Dead provides the inspiration for the first in a series of tie-in novels – Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. The two writers are the idea choice to expand the Walking Dead universe since Kirkman is the original creator of the graphic novels while Bonansinga is a respected novelist. Though the choice of plot and characters seem a bit odd since much of this will mean nothing to the TV audience and only ring a bell with fans of the original comics. The Governor  doesn’t break any new ground  and is reliant on action set pieces which makes the book feel like a novelization.
Of course the zombie novel I want you all to run out and buy is The Dead Walked: Origin by Vincent Stark but then I’m biased since this marks my horror debut after a string of successful westerns written under the name Jack Martin and published by Robert Hale LTD. Origin is the first in a trilogy and you can read an extract below. Shuffle back later this weekend when we will announce the publication date for the first volume in the zombie event of the year.

The Dead Walked: Origin by Vincent Stark

The necromancer shall sing.
And the dead shall walk.

September was her favourite time of the year, and late September, when the autumn was just preparing to hand over to winter, when there was still a residue of the late summer warmth in the air, as well as the crisp promise of the iciness to come, had always been, as far as Missy was concerned, the finest chunk of that particular month.
Not for her was the spectacle of high summer, nor the morose beauty of mid winter. Of course they both had their fineries but these paled next to the season when the leaves glittered with reflected sunlight. It was the autumn, with September being the highlight of that season, which she loved – a time when nature put on its finest display as the lush summer growth was magically transformed as if by a sepia wand spewing gold dust into the air.

The sky itself seemed to glow at this time of year.

September was a time of promise.

A time of rebirth.

Not this September, though.

This September, Missy would remember as, the time the dead walked.

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