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Valentine's Day is upon us, and this librarian's thoughts are turning to... zombies!  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Move over, sparkly vampires!  Pundits in the publishing world have been predicting since last summer that 2010 will be the Year of the Zombie, and a lot of great titles have been hitting our shelves recently.  The modern zombie has come a long way from George Romero's shuffling, mindless corpses.  Today's zombies are busting out of horror and shambling across genre lines into comedy, sci fi, mystery, fantasy, and yes, even romance.  ("Romantic lead" may seem like a tough sell, but hey, when a zombie gives his heart he really means it.) 

While there are still plenty of traditional splatterfests on the market, authors have been reinventing the genre with a vengeance lately.  Since Stephen King's Cell phone zombies led off in 2006, we've seen everything from steampunk zombies to cities of the walking dead to zombie fashionistas (it's all about knowing the right embalmer, darling).  Zombies have made appearances in popular series like Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" and the "Star Wars" books.  Seth Grahame-Smith's modest addition to the Jane Austen canon has sparked a trend all its own.  Graphic novels have jumped on the zombie bandwagon, too, bringing us such excellent offerings as Jason's sparsely-worded The Living and the Dead.

The biggest change I've seen is a shift in the zombie's role, from biodegradable extra to lead character.  Today's zombies have brains (and not just for dinner); they have backstories.  Much like a certain reanimated corpse in Mary Shelley's masterwork, many of these zombies are self-aware, and retain (or at least remember) some shred of their humanity.  (As Reg Shoe, zombie activist in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, is fond of saying, "Undead yes-- unperson no.")  If you have some time on your hands this month, why not check out a zombie?  (If you don't have time... don't worry, they'll wait.)


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (Horror Grahame-Smith)
Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne (Horror Bourne)
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (Fiction Brooks)
Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne (Horror Browne)
White Night by Jim Butcher (SF Butcher)
Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey (Fantasy Carey)
Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry (Horror Henry)
Deadtown by Nancy Holzner (Fantasy Holzner)
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard (Horror Howard)
Sleepless by Charlie Huston (SF Huston)
Cell by Stephen King (Fiction King)
State of Decay by James Knapp (Horror Knapp) (COMING SOON)
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry (Horror Maberry)
My Zombie Valentine by Katie MacAlister, et al. (PbkRomance My) (COMING SOON)
Black Blood by John Meaney (Horror Meaney)
Hater by David Moody (Fiction Moody)
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Horror Priest)
Underground by Kat Richardson (Horror Richardson)
The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens (SF Rubens)
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy Sanderson)
Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber (SF Schreiber)
Monster Island: A Zombie Novel by David Wellington (Horror Wellington) (COMING SOON)
John Dies at the End by John Wong (Horror Wong)


The Living Dead by John Joseph Adams, ed. (Horror Living)
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Christopher Golden, ed. (Horror New) (COMING SOON)
The Dead That Walk: Zombie Stories by Stephen Jones, ed. (Horror Dead)

Graphic Novels:

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks (741.5973 Brook)
Zombie Tales: Oblivion by Joe R. Lansdale, et al. (741.5973 Lansd)
The Goon: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker by Eric Powell (741.5 Powel)
Batman: Haunted Gotham by Doug Moench, et al. (YA GN Batman Haunted)
Tag: Cursed by Michael Leib and Chee (741.5973 Giffe)
Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse by Ben Templesmith, et al. (741.5994 Templ)
The Living and the Dead by Jason (741.5944 Jason)

Further Reading:

On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears by Stephen T. Asma (398.2454 Asma)
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks (818.602 Brook)
The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless by Richard Greene and
    K. Silem Mohammad, eds. (398.45 Undea)

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