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Thread: Zombie stories without zombies

  1. #26
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehlionney View Post
    When I say "fallen return as enemies" that doesn't have to involve the undead. It just means that defeated allies join the enemy, by whatever mechanism. Definitely the dead rising is zombie (or at least vampire/some form of undead/etc) but I was careful when wording it as such that it's not limited to the dead rising.
    I see. From my point of view, it sounded like the fallen were undead. So basically, they become puppets for the ones that defeated them then? At least that's how I'm interpreting it from your explanation. If it is something like that, it's probably safe to say they aren't zombies, and thus your story wouldn't be a zombie story. If you're talking creating a post-apocalyptic world without zombies, then there is infinite possibilities. If not, you can scratch my last sentence out.

  2. #27
    Just getting started. Michael Sellars's Avatar
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    I'd be really interested in reading a story where the setting is ostensibly 'undead apocalypse' but the narrative avoids the obvious elements. We don't encounter any zombies but we are moving through a world that has been dramatically changed by them, and encountering people likewise changed.

    I'd particularly enjoy it if the story was not simply about survival; if there was another narrative. For example, a man who has lost everything and is living on the periphery of the new society that is slowly rising from the ruins, encounters a feral child... The narrative is made possible by the zombie apocalypse but doesn't require a single zombie to propel it forward or make it interesting.
    Author of Hyenas, an apocalyptic horror novel set in Liverpool. Described by Kirkus Reviews as "genuinely frightening... exhilarating... a stirring addition to the zombie canon."

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  3. #28
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    You're describing the 'survival horror' genre, with an optional apocalypse. It's more commonly used to describe video games but it applies to books that fit your requirements list: The Road, The 5th Wave, Battle Royale (all great) and apparently The Martian too (haven't read it, but heard good things).

    More generally, 'horror' works fine as a genre label.
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  4. #29
    practical experience, FTW Twick's Avatar
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    Let's face it, if we really were survivors of an apocalypse, we'd be dealing with starvation, cold, mental disorders, wild animals, competition with fellow survivors for food - but actual zombies would be pretty far down on the list of things to worry about, along with "vampires" and "ferocious animated teddy bears."

  5. #30
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin BetaPositive's Avatar
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    The themes found in zombie stories predate the popularization of zombies themselves. Day of the Triffids hits on everything but the dead returning (this being the literal definition of a modern zombie), as does a lot of War of the Worlds.

    The discussion is somewhat hamstrung by the stipulation of the fallen returning, but I know an example that could fit: Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If it were happening on a global scale all you need is a few human survivors to fit the zombie movie template.

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