Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘zombies

“Alice in Deadland” : A Review

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Interesting premise that is very rough around the edges.

Pros: I thought that the idea for the book itself was quite intriguing. Alice in Wonderland + Zombies = Sounds like it would equal awesome.

There are moments when I felt that the book was picking up and that a ray of hope was beaming through to me.

It was cheap on Kindle

Cons: The novel could have used a good copy editor to go through and help streamline the text. For example, the author mentions Alice’s prowess as a warrior / fighter ever few pages. Or the story saying one thing and completely contradicting itself a few page flips later (not knowing who ran a corporation and, then, we have an idea).

The characters felt very static and were used in such a way that they were just pawns to move the story forward, rather than becoming fleshed out individuals who we as readers can interact with.

Deus ex zombia is ever present throughout because after the first little while of the novel we only see the zombies come into the story to save Alice. Quite frankly, I expected more zombie action.

All in all, if you want a fast read that is mildly entertaining like a Sci-Fi original movie, go for it. If you’re wanting something more, yeah… look again.

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Written by barryr22

June 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Excerpt from the Novel I’m in the Process of Writing

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So after working on my novel for the past six months (and writing the bulk of it during the last two months), I feel like it’s time to share a bit of it. While this scene may change a bit when I hit the revision stage, Sadie (the vampire protagonist) and DaSuh (a shadow elemental who is escorting her) run upon a group of zombies that long to feast upon their flesh, and they must deal with these lesser undead. This is a first draft of a scene, so please be gentle in your feedback. . .however, feedback is appreciated. Without further ado, an excerpt from “A Taste of Night.”

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            Poised for the battle, we waited until the zombies slowly formed a ring about us: a vampire and a shadow elemental against a horde. We quickly launched our attack, hoping for the best and preparing for flight if we got the opportunity. Soon, we lost the world in a flash of flesh and limbs as our bodies beat out a symphony against the decaying meat.

My claws sank into the head of the closest zombie, ripping through his rotted flesh and skull and tearing into the gray matter. With the brain destroyed, the body collapsed upon the cracked sidewalk. Turning away from it, I grabbed the outstretched arm of another and separated them from the body as the zombie tried feebly to bite me with its jawless mouth. Its suffering was ended quickly as DaSuh’s shadowmancing blade sliced the whole body in twain.

“Look out!” DaSuh shouted as what looked like a giant maggot lunged, for lack of better term, toward me from the brain of the now rapidly decaying corpse. I caught it midflight and crushed it in my iron grip, destroying it.

“So that’s what they look like!” I yelled back, swiping my talons through the heads of three zombies at once, thereby rendering them incapacitated and most certainly dead.

Glancing over my shoulder, I could see DaSuh destroying many more of the shamblers with single swings than I was managing. One flick of the shadow blades and ten went down. However, the creatures seemed to keep coming and moving in on us too swiftly to count. When I destroyed five, ten appeared to take their place with a few stopping to feast upon their truly dead and now rapidly decomposing comrades, which was disgusting since the books allowed they only feed on living flesh. Again, I did not allow my stomach to become upset and kept tearing into the insurmountable wall of rotting flesh.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end to them!” I bellowed as I crushed yet another parasite under my expensive boots.

“Yes, they keep coming!”

“What can we do?!?”

“Keep fighting and give me a sec to think!” he shouted, taking down another ten with one swipe of his blades.

Kicking hard into one’s skull, my heel broke off leaving me hobbled for a second as I quickly decided to break the other one in a similar fashion. I lodged this one into a zombie that eerily reminded me of someone, but for my unlife, I couldn’t remember who. Still, there was no time to think as I slammed two of the walkers’ heads together with a sickening “CRACK!” This still did nothing to stop the remaining zombies from descending, and unluckily for us, the wall of bodies that we were accumulating around us was beginning to turn to dust as quickly as we added to it, leaving us without this meager protection and turning the feasting zombies’ attention back on us.

“I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up!” I yelled back at DaSuh, who wasn’t fairing any better than me by the way the dead kept closing in.

“I can try one thing!” he roared. “But it will take all my concentration. Do you think that you can hold them on your own for a little while?”

“Maybe with your swords.”

“Fine here!” he replied tossing the blades to me that turned back to sapphire in my hands. However, they would still cut though.

“Thanks, but now what do I need to do to help you, besides protecting you from them?” I questioned as I sent the blades hacking into the snarling creatures around us.

“I need to be against something like a building,” he said pulling two daggers from his side sheathes.

“I think that we can do that.”

Cutting down all the zombies to my left with one swish, I began to clear the way to the abandoned back to our side, long boarded up. But hey, it was a building. Wheeling around, I began to take on the brunt of all the attacking undead as DaSuh took position behind me.

“I warn you before I start, little princess,” he said, “This will be dangerous on both our parts. Do you still wish for me to do it?”

“Yes!!!”

“It will take me a few minutes to work the intricate magic. DO NOT let them interrupt me or the consequences could be dire.”

As I continued to hack away at the never-ending seas of decay, I saw in my periphery that DaSuh sat down as if to meditate. From him, a chant began to rise as zombie hands tried to touch him, yet none of them ever did because I chopped them off and destroyed their owner before they got remotely close. Shortly, a tingle of energy began to flow through the air around us, which the zombies did not seem fazed by as they maintained their attack. This energy gained in intensity for the next few minutes, while DaSuh’s voice steadily rose in frequency and overall loudness; until suddenly, his voice was all that could be heard over the groaning and teeth-snapping of the zombie horde surrounding us.

“OKAY DUCK!!!” DaSuh roared.

I kneeled quickly as the bolt of shadow energy flew over me, waylaying the zombies in front of us, but they seemed to recover rather quickly as they started stumbling back to their feet. Suddenly, this ball of pure glowing purple stopped, however, and imploded into the space above where the zombies once stood. In an instant, the true power of the void enveloped the group and sucked them into nothingness. What’s more, all of their bodies vanished into it and went. . .who knows where. I felt myself being drawn to this singularity and found that I could do nothing to stop it as I dug my claws into the concrete beneath me. However, even doing so did not help me, but I wasn’t going to let this be my end.

“DaSuh, I’m slipping! Help me!” I screamed at the stolid figure looking on the scene of zombies being sucked to their death. . . redeath. . . to die again.

As I continued to be pulled to my imminent demise, DaSuh’s tight, steel-like grip closed upon my shoulder, keeping me from whatever the shadowy energy was. However, the bones in my shoulder did not quite like the strength of his grasp and proceeded to snap under the force. The “CRUNCH” filled my ears as the pain shot through my upper body.

“Oooowwweeeewwww!” I screeched, reflexively trying to pry his fingers from my tender flesh. After a few seconds, I stopped because the urge to live was more powerful than the hurt in my shoulder. I was thankful to not be consumed by nothingness or what I would assume to be nothingness.

While the zombies were also fighting against the power of DaSuh, each of the rotting corpses slowly found themselves devoured by the singularity. Moreover, the flesh of those that struggled to stay in this realm the hardest peeled off their bones and destroyed them all just the same. Before long, empty space and silence were all that remained around DaSuh and me, but perhaps even more dramatically, the large vortex of swirling purple energy started to shrink and left with a slight pop. It left us in an uneasy calm after the ordeal, yet we were still living. . .or whatever you want to call the existence of two creatures such as ourselves.

Written by barryr22

June 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

The Walking Dead: Post-Mortem Season 2 *Spoilers*

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By Uploaded to Commons Xeworlebi, image self taken [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After watching the season 2 finale of The Walking Dead, I come away with many thoughts about what happened and why I like some of it and why other parts irritate me. Overall, I liked season 2, and the finale made the overarching narratives go out with a bang.

1) Zombie blood bath– I think that this might have been the most impressive and exciting part of the season finale because it was the first time a horde of zombies attacked the humans without the humans invading their territory (the tank episode in Atlanta would be an example of territory disruption on the part of Rick and the others). All the characters are able to show their badassness in how they take on the horde as well with many of the more minor characters finally getting some screen time to show their skills (Hershel standing there blasting walkers made it interesting…).

By sookie (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

2) Shane’s death via Rick– I’ll be honest that I’ve never like the character of Shane. He was a dick and marched to the beat of a different drum that was going to get the others killed, it was just a matter of time. While I don’t know that Rick stabbing him was an entirely convincing way to waste him albeit a satisfying one, I feel like this  broke the character of Rick from the hopeful one of the group and produced a scary individual on the other side… I’m not sure what is going to happen with him, but I know that Shane did have to die… Lori being pissy with Rick after the fact, however, annoyed the hell out of me because she was the one who initiated the whole situation… What did she think would happen?

3) Jenner’s Big Reveal– I’ve been thinking that there was something fishy with the whole Jenner thing at the end of Season 1 and kinda expected something like this to happen. However, I’m not sure of the consequences of telling everyone that they’re infected. Moreover, I don’t think that anyone had the right to attack Rick over his decision not to tell them… Really? Does it matter that they know? Are they all going to “opt out” now? Frankly, I think that for everyone it was an overreaction because nothing changed except for the knowledge that was passed between them, and besides, Rick didn’t know himself until zombie Shane came after him…

4) Can’t they keep Carl in the f*@$ing house or at least watch him– I’m tired of Carl… He’s annoying, and I wouldn’t feel bad if the character happened to get bit by the zombies (maybe they’d get Lori too). However, I’m astonished that no one ever knows where he is in the post-apocalyptic zombie world. We know what happened when Sophia got away from the group (zombiefied). Moreover, they seem to be trying to make him useful in some way in terms of the story, but I’m still not buying that he’s up and about from a gunshot wound that quickly…

 

5) Michonne– While I’m not very knowledgeable about the comic series, the fact that we get a glimpse of a badass character wielding katanas with zombies on chains behind her makes me excited… it seems that someone has gotten it figured out in the zombie apocalypse and maybe she will help the other survivors…

While these are not all my thoughts about the last episode / season, these are some that still are on my mind and that I hope we are going to get some resolution for (the more open-ended thoughts anyway). What I do hope though is that the zombie-rific action and the human drama (not the whiny kind though… *cough* Lori *cough*) will continue to get better as the series continues and, furthermore, that we will get some more insight into the importance of some character choices as the story continues to unfold.

Written by barryr22

March 24, 2012 at 1:19 am

Romero and Post-Romero Zombies as Gothic Antagonists and the Sublime

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Recently, in my Spectral and Sublime Gothic Literature class, we had a discussion in which the majority of people agreed that the gross-out, bloody zombies of modernity could not render a Gothic tale because they lack the element of the sublime which makes them the enemy that is foreboding yet one that you want to embrace you in some way. While on one hand, I do agree that in the traditional sense of the Gothic, the Romero-type zombie does not make one want to come to it and be converted into the path of the zombie (unlike the vampire which can be a very Gothic because they are unapproachable and sublime all at the same time). However, as I watched a marathon of The Walking Dead, I came to a conclusion that more than just the zombies exist as the supernatural, antagonistic elements of the show itself that does produce a Gothic tale of sorts.

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

To begin to deal with my ideology of the Romero / Post-Romero Zombie Gothic, I think that it is important for me to explain how I see the zombies begin to act as a sublime element within the movies, television shows, and comics in which I feel the Gothic exists rather than the norm of just horror. Whereas the zombies themselves are a representation of horrific / gruesome element of the sublime creature / person within a Gothic novel, they additionally represent the figure of death that comes into play in many Gothic tales. However, this death that they represent is not the beautiful death that one may identify with the Gothic notion of the sublime. Zombies represent a gruesome kind of death or undeath because they are not genuinely alive or undead with all their faculties and personalities about them like a vampire or a ghost, yet (and this is where it gets complicated in my mind) in many zombie movies, novels, etc., there is usually talk of “opting out,” as they call it in The Walking Dead.

While the zombies themselves are not what one would call sublime, this natural death to end human suffering in the zombie filled world takes up this sublimity. The humans themselves by “opting out” or committing suicide, usually from a gunshot to the head, create an air of the sublime in the natural death that does not happen as a result of being bitten or waiting to be bitten (cause let’s fact it… it’s only a matter of time in a zombie filled world). The beauty that natural death represents in this isolated and inhospitable world holds a certain air of that sublime that they want but what they are afraid to get because it is suicide. Moreover, this suicide sublimity also provides a stark contrast to the gruesomeness that is the zombie, walking till either starvation or some outside force takes them down. The need to be truly and definitely dead rises to conflict with the zombies.

Then, the nature of the sublime that exists within the modern zombie movie, television show, novel, etc. becomes a triangulation of sorts from humans to zombies / undeath, from zombie / undeath to natural death, and from natural death to

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

humans. Thought the zombies themselves do not equate a form of death that can be considered sublime, the full equation of death that they and the natural death paralleling them represent the sublimity of the Gothic. As the concept of gruesome death in the form of the zombies overruns the world in zombie stories, the desire to have a natural death without the possibility of a sub-par undead resurrection plays at the corner of the survivors minds, even before a zombie literally plays with and eats their brains.

Written by barryr22

March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

My Vampire Rant from professorbeej.com

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I love good vampire books and lore. The stuff that you can truly respect. And you have to take the idea of the vampire back to the mindset of when the idea originated. It was an illogical response to the idea of bodies rotting in the earth…their blotted forms and flushed appearance became the basis for the myth, and the fact that people also associated them with plagues and diseases of the time.

In my mind, a vampire also doesn’t go bump in the night in my head. Vampires tend to be more eloquent beings living among the humans but not being part of them. They also represent all the bad aspects of humanity just exemplified. If you take Dracula for instance, he has all the desires and drives of any man; however, his drives take a more perilous front seat than many men because he has the power to go forward and nothing that can hold him back (save garlic, holy relics, stake through the heart). A reading of him could be paralleled to any tyrranical dictator that has been or will be.

While vampires can symbolize rape, they also represent the dawn of plague and darkness upon the land. During the course of human history, a lot of the time that plagues and turmoil of that nature arose, one could find it giving rise to the mythos of the vampire because they were considered the bringers of death. In the older ideal of the vampire, the vampire was a more personal creature going back to slowly take away their family, friends, and town folk to the darkness that is their death. For me, they represent the death that they inevitably cause because no matter how careful a vampire is in fiction or the movies they will eventually take a life. However, I do agree that they are also a perfect metaphor for rape because they do “penetrate” their victims and take their innocence away.

While I will admit that you are right about the vampire stories written from the “human” perspective, I will have to say that you need to read some vampire lit from the perspective of the vampire. Anne Rice does a brilliant job of this. She writes from the idea that the vampire is just a human who happens to have immortality, other special powers, and has to live off blood. Her vampires are just exceptionally flawed humans. They are set in their ways and have trouble changing with the times just like many of our older generation. They have loves, can’t stand to be around each other for extended periods of time, hate who created them, and eventually come back to this dark parent at some point with love leading the way.

I think that vampires are scarier too. We each have our own personal “vampires” that we deal with on a daily basis. They are anything that steals a bit of our spirit, of our soul, of our life blood. Religious cults also equate to religion because they have to “baptise” the new comers to their order with their own blood (anybody reminded of Christianity…everything is covered by Jesus’s blood). They also remind me of the cold, calculated evil of any dictator or religious fanatic that has sprung up in the last several hundred years like Vlad Dracul who is still celebrated as a hero in Transylvania, although we look on him as a mass murderer and altogether unsavory individual.

I don’t know. Vampires hold a fascination for me that no zombie ever could. I think it’s because they hold their individuality after “death” and still have to choose their own path or be left in the dust (no pun intended). They have infinite possibilities. I hate that the drivel that comes out of the mainstream has reduced this creature to a sparkling, love-sick wuss instead of the scary mofos they are…

Written by barryr22

January 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm