Aug 14

Infectonator!%20World%20Dominator

Here’s an fun little Flash game that’ll give all you zombie lovers some misanthropic pleasure: Infectonator! World Dominator. Your goal is to dominate the game’s world of 8-bit art in as few days as possible using your abilities to infect people with a zombie-creating virus and summon special, more powerful zombies.

infectionator world dominator - game screen grab

Traveling from city to city, continent to continent, you wreak havoc on the population. After infecting a few unsuspecting victims, just watch the carnage as your zombies attack and infect the panicked humans. Imagine the chaos! Afterwards you can use the money you collected to upgrade your zombies or improve your special abilities. After a while your zombies become an unstoppable hoard of merciless perversions of nature—we wouldn’t have it any other way.

infectionator world dominator - game screen grab

But be warned, some humans can fight back with guns, which makes it all the more satisfying to summon your special zombies, including such characters as zombie Ronald MacDonald, zombie Colonel Sanders, and, my favorite, zombie Michael Jackson. Those pesky humans have no chance.

We recommend this game. It’s addictive, but given the opportunity to dominate the world using zombie hoards, I wouldn’t call it a time waster.

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Jul 02

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve HockensmithI should have posted a review of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies prequel, Dawn of the Dreadfuls months ago. It was a wholly enjoyable book and I started reading it when it was released in March. For the delay, I cite personal reasons, although I think most Pride and Prejudice fans would agree. The problem: There is no Mr. Darcy.

Of course there isn’t. This is a prequel set before the characters are introduced to Mr. Favorite Literary Crush. But when I figured out he wasn’t in this book, I put it down and cried for a few months. Then took a deep breath, brought the book to the beach and loved it.

Of course I loved it. It’s funny zombie fiction. And it’s set in Regency England, where zombies aren’t just deadly, they’re an insult to good manners. The tight-lipped repulsion just leaps off the page.

Although it carries the same branding, P&P&Z: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a very different sort of book from P&P&Z. Rather than a literary mash-up of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s zombies and Jane Austen‘s prose, the book is original fiction by Steve Hockensmith. I had never read his other books and, although it appears that he’s a newcomer to zombie-fic, his humorous historical fiction has received much praise. Hockensmith’s writing is accessible and engaging, bringing a lightness to the P&P&Z franchise that should make it attractive to those turned off by Jane Austen’s profuse punctuation and pontification.

Dawn of the Dreadfuls begins at a funeral, when the body rudely awakens and reminds Hertfordshire of the dormant zombie plague it ought not to mention. As the undead continue to stumble from their graves, Mr. Bennet is forced to train his five daughters to be ninja warriors like himself — with the help of the handsome, strapping Master Hawksworth. Despite the dearth of Mr. Darcy, Hockensmith creates plenty of male characters to match up with Austen’s swarm of females, each of them flawed in ways that thankfully allow the ladies to kick lots of zombie butt.

Unlike in P&P&Z, the zombies are not an after-thought — or perhaps a never-thought on the part of co-author Austen (a point that I suppose is debatable). The zombies in Dawn of the Dreadfuls are plentiful and, as in most zombie books, the horde size increases with the page number. The black and white engravings also help to bump up the zombie-quotient, although I would rate the gore in this book as slightly less than in P&P&Z.

Overall, P&P&Z: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is a fresh, fun zombie book: a historical rom-zom-com with ninjas too. I give it 4.5 brains out of 5.

4.5 out of 5 brains

Related Posts:
P&P&Z: Dawn of the Dreadfuls Book Trailer & Author Interview
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies Was Pretty Good

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Apr 21

BreathersThe biggest problem with Breathers, a great new zombie book released last month, could be that no one knows what genre it belongs to. It’s about zombies, but it’s not exactly a horror book. It has romance, but it’s no love story. It’s a dark comedy, sure, but it’s more than that. Some reviews are calling Breathers a Rom-Zom-Com, short for a zombie romantic comedy, but even that seems like a stretch.

Breathers is contemporary, humorous and sophisticated. If it weren’t for the zombies, this book would be on the shelf next to Nick Hornby‘s latest and Fight Club. Why? Because I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the genre it belongs to is the poorly understood male ennui: A bored man struggles through a depressing existence, eventually learning how to take back his own life. Except the main character is a zombie, so he’s actually taking back his undeath.

And there’s no mistaking it — Breathers is definitely a zombie book. The story is told in first-person by Andy, a rotting corpse that lives in his parents’ wine cellar after reanimating, wandering out of the mortuary and getting locked up with the other itinerant undead at the SPCA. Between dull days and nights of watching bad television while drinking expensive wine and shampoo, Andy commiserates with other zombies at Undead Anonymous. Hilarity and poignancy ensue.

Breathers is cool and fresh new fiction. It’s the kind of zombie book you could loan to your mother. As long as your mother is okay with a little violence, irreverence and necrophilia — assuming it’s necrophilia if both parties are dead. Or undead. Whatever.

I’m giving Breathers five brains, then subtracting a half brain because, like zombies, the book starts off a tad slow but will get you in the end.

4.5 out of 5 brains

Further reading: Breathers has a pretty cool web page, Undead Anonymous, which has some good literature on coping with undeath.

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Apr 08

Today is the official release date of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen. As I mentioned last week, I was super excited to read it. I’m actually a bigger fan of Austen than I generally admit, so combined with my love of zombies, I thought I’d be the perfect demographic.

The problem is that I might just be too big a fan of Austen and too big a fan of zombies to fully appreciate the combination. It’s like making a sandwich with peanut butter and bacon. They’re both delicious on their own, but together?

I know people were saying all this before the book came out, but I didn’t believe them. Because, you know, everything is better with zombies. And the zombies in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are great. There just aren’t enough of them. But, to make room for the zombies, there is also less of Darcy and Elizabeth, the characters that make Pride and Prejudice so lovable. As a result, romance and mayhem are in competition.

That said, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was thoroughly enjoyable. It was funny and gruesome and had lots of ninja vs. zombie action. Grahame-Smith’s interpretation of Regency England included ongoing humor about vomit and balls. (Historical note: “Balls” once referred to social gatherings at which guests danced, rather than, “heheh, balls.”) Really, I couldn’t put the book down.

Grahame-Smith’s literary mashup, though not wholly seamless, is a fun and fantastical take on the Austen’s classic novel. Austen was a progressive woman with a sense of humor, but she feared that Pride and Prejudice was “rather too light, and bright, and sparkling.” Had she lived in modern times, maybe she would have realized that zombies were exactly the soiling the novel needed. Maybe.

I’m giving the book four brains out of five.
4 brains out of 5

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