This is the second book in the “Zombie” series, and is the continuing saga of Jack Doom, an ex-marine combat veteran turned into a zombie killing sociopath by a plague of the undead that is ravaging the entire planet.
Now obsessed with tracking down an old friend that had abandoned him and his family when they needed him most, leaving them to die a grisly death at the hands of the famished zombie hordes, as well as another surprising source of unfathomable horror, Jack treks into another world consisting of vice, violence, and debauchery as he trails his adversary north.
As Jack sees it, only fate saved him and his family from a gruesome demise, and now he does not hesitate to do what he feels is necessary to survive in the zombie-plagued landscape and accomplish his self-imposed mission of revenge, no matter who has to die in the process.
After joining up with a devil-may-care psychopath named Derek, and reuniting with a former zombie fighting partner and her friend, they all head into a hellish land teaming with the hungry undead and a population of brutally vicious homicidal maniacs in search of Jack’s ex-partner and now sworn archenemy.
However, their real mission is still unknown to the group, but to their dismay, it will soon be revealed to them in a most unorthodox and heinous manner.
Born in a small Midwestern town, I spent my youth climbing trees, playing baseball, swimming at the local pool, creeks, or lakes, and peeling Greenie Stick’em Caps off the spent shells of my “plastic” ivory handled Colt.45’s.
Now, as an adult I find myself grossly under-prepared for an apocalyptic event of any proportion, let along one of Biblical dimensions as one might suppose that a zombie invasion could conjure up.
I am a major league fan of the TV series “The Walking Dead” (and a little bummed that they killed off Merle) and of zombie shows and movies in general, as my collection of undead DVD’s will verify.
Let me continue by presenting you with a prolegomenon of my science fiction genre books by saying thank you to everyone that has chosen to read and enjoy said books, and say that I am aware of the diversity of the reading population and the huge differences in the life experiences that they may or may not have had.
I also am keenly aware that everyone has an opinion of the books that they read, of themselves, and of just about everything else.
Therefore, before I go any further, I would like to apologize.
If I have offended in any way, whether in the past, or possibly sometime in the future, or maybe at anytime in between, anyone, by inflicting upon them any of the following listed below, or by using the big word printed above (Preface, Foreword, Prelude, Introduction, Preamble, and Prologue just didn’t seem quite right).
However, I will be reserving the right to expand the limits of my apology to include not only all of the things that are listed after this paragraph, but also to encompass anything that the reader may deem offensive to themselves, their relatives, their friends, or complete strangers. Including but not limited to, their pets, stray animals, plants, inanimate objects, and anything else that they may encounter at anytime in the future, as they journey through infinity and beyond.
The usage list is as follows:
“Horror genre, science fiction genre, intended or implied sorcery, quotes or quotation marks, metaphysics, words with more than two syllables, character names or statements made by said characters, a missing comma, obscenities, blood and gore, puns, imagination, parenthesis, political correctness, lack of political correctness, original ideas, timelines, psychopathic references, sarcasm, misspelled words, or profanity.”
Hold on! Let me catch my breath.
Pant, pant, pant!
Okay, I shall now continue.
“The mention of brains inside or outside of a skull, after thoughts that are pertinent to the story, sociopathic tendencies, unintended condescension, words with more than five letters, mind altering ideas or cerebral cortex expansions, sophomoric humor, this prolegomenon, scary stuff, sacrilege, my mere existence, the mention of intended or unintended puns. Or anything else, such as long sentences or one too many commas that may lead to irreconcilable differences in the normal thought process of any of my readers whether in the past, present, or future. All of which have seemed to perplex some of my readers at one time or another.”
The reason for making the following statements is to save certain possible future readers a great deal of time and trouble by helping them decide whether or not these books are going to appeal to them, by pointing out certain idiosyncrasies within it before they make their decision to delve into it.
Before these books were published, and after speaking to some friends that read pre-published copies of them and found issues that they disagreed with, my favorite criticism offered up of the books was the following comment.
I will now paraphrase for your convenience.
“Your zombie books had some unrealistic content in them.”
My answer to that usually caused the opinionated reader to take pause when I replied, “You’re right, let’s go interview a few real-life flesh eating undead zombies and get some tips on how to improve my unrealistic zombie stories.”
This book is listed in the Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction section. A place in which it seems some readers have a difficult time wrapping their head around many of the concepts put forth by the authors that reside there in.
In addition, devouring such literary content by said readers may cause an expansion in their frontal lobes to the point of exploding through their forehead, sending cranial bone fragments into nearby customers of the favored coffee shop that they’re patronizing at the time. ¿°
For us logical thinkers, of course it’s going to have some unrealistic content in it, at least until real science catches up to science fiction, or there is a real-life zombie attack on our world.
However, there is a slim possibility that that could be part of the reason that it’s called “Fiction”. But I’m sure that you are mature and intelligent enough to decide that for yourself.
Below is an excerpt that might help to clarify certain confusing aspects of the literary world. It is from one of the many fine dictionaries that are available for public perusal.
[ ‘fikSHen ]
literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer.
something that is not true.
synonyms: novels stories (creative) writing (prose) literature lit
On a technical note:
Does anybody remember the original Star Trek’s Captain Kirk using what he called a “Communicator” in the year 1969?
Does anyone remember themselves using a “Flip Phone” in the 1990’s?
I think not!
Now, I would like to share with you a recent quote from Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA.
“I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.”
Life on other planets?
Like some others, I say, “Balderdash!”
With the billions of galaxies in the universe, supporting the billions of stars within each of those galaxies, and the untold number of planets orbiting around that astronomical number of suns, one would have to be a completely insane fool to even contemplate the premise that another intelligent species could have possibly evolved somewhere else in the vast reaches of outer space. I mean what an idiotic concept. Right? So much for science fiction. ☺
These books mixes the horror genre with that of the science fiction genre; however, be warned, this concept does seem to boggle the minds of certain individuals, which makes me wonder why in the world they’re on safari in that dark corner of the Amazon jungle in the first place.
The mindset of these astute readers seems to be more attuned to something in the documentary aisle. Please check the Dewey Decimal System for quick reference in that section. 🙂
Enough about science fiction for now, and let me turn your attention in the direction of horror.
Another small criticism that I have received falls directly onto the characters in the book, the complaint being that certain readers can’t relate to them?
Holy mackerel in a pink tutu, I should certainly hope not, for if you can remotely relate to most of the characters in these books without the aid of a Biblical type cataclysm to assist you, then you should without a doubt, be reading it from the confines of a cell in a maximum-security asylum for the criminally insane.
In my opinion (like I said, everybody has one) horror is not exclusive to zombies that can’t wait to rip the brain out of someone’s thick loser skull to satisfy their dietary wants and needs, or to any number of other bloodthirsty monsters that might be stalking the darker reaches of our weak and twisted minds.
Horror is a vast wasteland composed of demons, werewolves, spooks, monsters big and small, supernatural beings, entities from other dimensions, vampires, and possessed inanimate objects, just to name a few.
However, the scariest, most horrifying bloodthirsty fiend of them all is the human being.
The everyday ordinary average human being that lives in your neighborhood, that you see on your television, which you work with, even the one that you might be married to, could be a serial killer and you wouldn’t even suspect it.
For these monsters are the monsters that we trust, that we feel would never harm us, which we would never think of being capable of anything so brutal, they are the monsters that we think we know. These monsters are not out of the realm of fiction, they are from the realm of possibility, and that’s the scary part.
After all, we humans have been practicing the craft of murder and honing our homicidal ways since the first caveman caught the second caveman skinning woolly mammoths with his common law wife.
Another technical note:
Looking back into recent history, Hurricane Katrina comes to mind, not the storm itself, but the people caught up in the aftermath of its destruction.
I remember watching the news and seeing Police officers strolling around a department store pushing a shopping cart and casually picking items off the shelves as looters ran by them with the items that the police themselves weren’t stealing.
Meanwhile only blocks away, armed roving gangs along with everybody else, ignored the dead bloated bodies that were floating in the waist deep floodwaters around them.
If we were to step back a little bit further in time to the year 1888.
If you were a woman, you might not have wanted to take a midnight stroll into the Whitechapel district of London during that period in England’s history, or you could have found yourself face to face with the infamous serial killer “Jack the Ripper”.
Who, in my humble and meager opinion (there’s that opinion thing again), wouldn’t even make the front pages of today’s newspapers with his pathetic body count of only five victims.
However, in his own time he scared the living hell out of the people of London.
Let’s examine the case of the “Cannibal Cop” Gilberto Valle, who was a New York City police officer who was convicted of conspiring to kidnap, cook, and eat women, lots of women.
It doesn’t get much scarier than that.
Fortunately, for everyone involved, he and his fellow conspirators were caught before they had a chance to carry out any of their heinous plans.
Now think back about how Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Psycho” had moviegoers wetting their pants in the movie theaters when it made its debut in 1960.
Why was it so scary? Because, everyone knew that it could actually happen to them. :-0
My point is, that real people exist out there that will take our lives in a heartbeat, in the most brutal and disgusting ways that we can possibly imagine. 🙁
Those are only three examples of how the human being should be the most feared of all of the monsters, because they are the real monsters. Not all of us, just the really evil ones.
If you would like further examples of human nature gone bad, turn on your local, national, or world news tonight, and as you watch, keep in mind that we’re not even in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. At least not at press time.
So it’s no wonder that some people can’t relate to the characters in this book, there’s always the possibility that those people just might be halfway sane. Even though they live in an insane world.
Now back to helping you decide if these books are the right fit for your semi-demented mind. ☺
Keep in mind that these books were not written for people that believe that everyone that they may encounter during a zombie apocalypse, or for that matter any apocalyptic cataclysm, would be a Hiram Milquetoast kind of guy or gal, or a Goody Two-Shoes whose main concern is their personal welfare. Or someone whose principal goal in life during such a world changing event is to sit around a roaring campfire and roast marshmallows while singing Kumbayah with you.
Anyone that feels that the kind and caring good Reverend Smith, or the learned Coach Jones who lives down the street from them, or perhaps the sweet sixteen next-door neighbor girl Susan, would not sprout a set of very sharp horns from their forehead and then proceed to do whatever they deemed necessary to protect themselves, their families, and their friends, at your expense, in the face of a Biblical sized crisis.
Well that person just might want to skip this publication and move on to the children’s fantasy book section. Hey, I’m just saying
If a real zombie apocalypse were to take place, these are the people that will be the main course on the dinner menu of the zombies, and of the zombie killers, and of their neighbor Susan (figuratively speaking of course). 🙁
Believe it or not kids, there are still Jack the Rippers trolling in the dark of night looking for victims. The only difference is that the names have changed to protect the not so innocent.
How did Shakespeare put it? Oh yes, “Jack the Ripper by any other name, will still slit you from crotch to eyeball in a dark alleyway if given half the chance.”
I believe those were his exact words. 🙁
And if you are one of the people that really think that things would not change during a total breakdown of society, without any law enforcement, military, or neighborhood watch programs to protect you, and you’ll just use reason and talk your way out of every life threatening dilemma that confronts you.
Then I would now like to take this opportunity to make another suggestion to you.
Don’t cross paths with the characters in my books, or anyone remotely similar to them.
Hey, again, I’m just saying. ☺
Okay, you got me! There’s no such thing as a sociopath, or a psychopath, or anyone that’s out to do you any harm, especially in a lawless landscape like a zombie apocalypse. What was I thinking? Will somebody please slap some sense into me?
On the other hand, if you are the kind of person that is looking for a unimaginative cookie-cutter zombie story where the usual government experiment goes awry (again) and causes the dead to rise, or the evil chemical company pollutes the world’s waterways with zombie causing toxic waste (again), you will be gravely disappointed in this story.
So instead, may I suggest one of the many fine and well written, although possibly dry and boring (depending on your mindset) dictionaries that I alluded to earlier? They are available in a multitude of languages to satisfy your literary appetite.
They’re really cool, no matter which one you choose, the story’s always the same, nothing ever changes. Well not much anyway. 🙂
On another pertinent note, my characters speak in a manner that a real-world person might talk being of a certain race, creed, color, religion, national origin, or resident of a particular part of the country or world, or in the time in which they may have lived.
Such as Mark Twain’s characters did in his book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and others.
With all of that said, I’m sure that within the quantity of readers that take pleasure in reading these books, some of the people are still going to find hidden within the pages something that they disagree with. Something that the characters either do or say that annoys them. Or, something that they would do differently while facing a doomed and dangerous world, or writing a novel about that world, and I’m fine with all of that. As long as they keep in mind that I was kind and generous enough to forewarn the masses of some of the impending content of these books, and the mindset in which it was written. 😉
I believe that not all zombies are created equal, some result from government experiments gone awry, some from meteors crashing into the earth, and a myriad of other reasons, so keep an open mind and remember, the only good zombie is a really dead zombie. I personally shall endeavor to persevere along those lines during any future apocalyptic event that chooses to incorporate the undead in its venue.
A word of warning, Haters will definitely HATE my books, however, Lovers all seem to LOVE them. Very few find themselves sitting on the fence wondering which way to fall.
With that said, I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my work, no matter what their opinion is or how right or wrong they might be during the end (of days).
I sincerely hope that my attempt at elucidation will help to make the decision on whether or not to read these books easier for those that may be in need of such assistance.
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