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The End of the World as Y'all Know It
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So, um, the dead have risen and are wandering the streets. Most of the ones I see have toe tags and sometimes hospital gowns, so I'm guessing they wandered over from the hospital a couple of miles away. Fortunately, I'm three stories above ground level, and so far, zombies appear to be like old-school Daleks, and they don't quite seem to comprehend how to climb stairs. I've just been chilling out and watching them from my window. The cats are totally fascinated. I've got a jo staff and I know I can improvise a hairspray flamethrower on short notice, but I really wish my buddy D. was here. He'd know how to beat the everlovin' shit out of some zombies.

You know, it's funny, I'm writing a book about Death, and there are indeed zombies involved. (So far just the revivified mummy of John Wilkes Booth, but more zombies are on the way.) Here's something from the beginning of Dead Reign (coming to a bookshop near you in October 2008, assuming the zombie apocalypse gets stopped) that seems more relevant now than ever. My two main characters, Marla and Rondeau, are spying on a necromancer named Ayres they suspect of misbehavior:

"So we're in the business of hassling crazy people now?" Rondeau said, pretending to read the newspaper open on his lap. He talked from the side of his mouth, like a convict in an old movie.

"We're not hassling Ayres," Marla said. They sat together in the sunny afternoon on a bus stop bench across from a halfway house -- a very special halfway house -- in one of Felport's more run-down districts. "He doesn't even know we're here. We're just keeping him under observation. Do you want hordes of zombies running around all over town?"

"Fast zombies or slow zombies?"

Marla lowered her sunglasses and scowled at him, but he didn't appear to take much notice. "What?"

"Well, the classic George Romero, Night of the Living Dead zombies, shambling around slowly, there could be a certain pleasure in dealing with that, you know? Taking them out, using shotguns and baseball bats, whack whack whack. Killing zombies is like killing Nazis. You don't even have to feel bad about it. It's like shooting rats at the dump. Very cathartic."

"You're a sick bastard, Rondeau."

He shrugged. "Fast zombies, though, like you see in movies nowadays, those are scary."

"Ayres makes real zombies." She considered. "Well, not actually like Haitian voudon zombies either, I guess. He animates corpses to do his bidding. Not like movie zombies, anyway."

"Oh, so the zombies aren't even contagious? I mean, if they bite you, you don't rise from the dead with a craving for brains? Hell. Those would be easy."

The hubris!

Oh, crap. There must be zombies down by the bird sanctuary on the other side of the lake, killing whatever they can catch. Because, yes, there, over the rooftops... zombie geese are flying straight for my windows.

The cats are really excited now.

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