As I wrote last year, zombies were coming to Winnipeg Public Library. It looks like the zombie apocalypse is still on the agenda, judging by the number of awesomely creepy new books we’ve seen come through our doors. In what is fast becoming an annual tradition (I know twice isn’t really a tradition, but if I whine enough about it, they’ll let me keep doing this for the next few years), I present you with my favourite zombie titles published this year.
Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan is an outrageous take on the zombie apocalypse – and joint winner of the first Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. The story begins with a cow that just wouldn’t die, and quickly builds to an epidemic that transforms Britain’s livestock into slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his math teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognise a scoop if she tripped over one. As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world? Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome . . . Yup, we’re screwed.
By the Blood of Heroes by Joseph Nassise. At the tail end of 1917, the Germans introduced a new type of gas to the battlefield –T-Leiche, or “corpse gas” – and changed the face of the war by resurrecting the bodies of the dead, giving the enemy an almost unlimited source of fresh troops. When an American flying ace is downed over enemy lines and taken captive, veteran Captain Michael “Madman” Burke is the only man brave and foolish enough to accept the mission to recover Freeman. Burke assembles a team of disparate members, from his right-hand man, Sergeant Moore, to big-game-hunter-turned-soldier Clayton Manning, who funds the mission for an opportunity to confront this most dangerous zombie game, to professor Dan Richards, one of Tesla’s top men and the resident authority on all things supernatural. With the help of a highly advanced British dirigible war machine to infiltrate enemy territory, the team faces incredible danger as it struggles to reach the prison camp and strike at the heart of the enemy. But they are pitted against the most deadly enemy of all: Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Having risen from the dead with his abilities enhanced but his mind on the brink of madness, Richthofen has plans for victory that give no quarter to soldiers or civilians.
Sadie Walker is Stranded by Madeleine Roux is the sequel to last year’s Allison Hewett is Trapped. Months ago the world ended when an unknown virus spread throughout North America and then the world, killing millions of people. However, that’s only where the horror started. The dead began to rise and when they rose they had an insatiable appetite for the living. A new hell had been unleashed on earth and the fight for survival had just begun. Sadie Walker is one of the survivors in this new world. Living in north Seattle behind barriers that keep the living in and the dead out, she’s raising her eight-year-old nephew Shane while trying to get back to a normal life, if anyone even knows what “normal” is anymore. Then everything goes sideways when Shane is kidnapped by a group of black market thieves who bring down a crucial barrier in the city while trying to escape, flooding the city with the walking dead. Sadie and Shane manage to escape Seattle on the last remaining boat, along with other survivors. However, now they must face the complete chaos of a world filled with flesh eating zombies and humans who are playing with a whole new rule book when it comes to survival.
21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology, edited by Christopher Golden. The Stoker-award winning editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead returns with an all-new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection… with ZOMBIES! The stellar stories in this volume includes a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse, the first published fiction by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family, and resurrection from the legendary Orson Scott Card. This new volume also includes stories also from other award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, such as: Simon R. Green, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, S. G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Dan Chaon, and more!