Friday, December 6, 2013

Gravel & Gems: They Walk by Amy Lunderman

First off, let me say I’m not a book snob. Or, perhaps better to say I don’t let a category deter me. If a book is labeled “Young Adult” (YA) for instance, I don’t simply decide it's juvenile and refuse to read it. Some YA novels like The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan were pretty good and I enjoyed reading it quite a lot.

Then I came upon They Walk by Amy Lunderman. Which is an odd title, since all her zombies run and don’t walk! Still, running zombies aren’t a deal breaker if the story is good enough. Alas, its not. Perhaps it’s my fault because I know more than the author about military gear, behavior, how guns work, etc. Still, here’s a hint to all authors out there. If you don’t know about a subject you’re writing about, either A) Skim over it and don’t give details in your story, or B) Research! The author’s inability to do either really put me out of the story and was frankly painful. National Guard Armories do NOT use CBs in their communications room. They do NOT keep guns loaded and sitting on a shelf for people to just dump into bags. They do NOT have police issue weapons like UZIs or Mac 10’s. Corporals do NOT say “Hey dude.” Or similar to Captains. Captains do NOT say to his men its “OK to desert, it's reasonable” in front of his men. The men he’s trying to keep on duty at a rescue station to boot!

Anyway, here’s my grades:

Book: They Walk by Amy Lunderman

Type of Zombies: Fast zombies, actually undead (not infected)

Setting: Contemporary, through the eyes of people at a teen party.

Characters: Maggie, teen girl with unerring ability to make headshots. Claire, friend of main character. Dan, brother of Maggie and semi capable. Matt, BF of Maggie and bites it early in the book. Gabriel, hunky friend of Dan’s who Maggie hates, so of course she ends up hooking up with him. Noah, aforementioned corporal in prior list.

 Synopsis: Teens go to a party and are in the middle of festivities when zombie apocalypse happens. Most of the partiers are killed and revive (reanimation is within seconds). Book covers their efforts to find parents and get away.

Grade: 4/10, some good characterization but scenario is highly unbelievable. People just don’t act that way!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Slow or Fast Apocalypse?

Obviously, I've been convinced to hang around. Thanks to the followers of this blog who are willing to hang in there with me. ;) My wife's taking Design classes this semester, and her sculpting has taken up my gaming room. But I've been keeping my Zombie interest up with reading, 4th season Walking Dead, and a little writing in my spare time.

Something that's come to my notice is the idea of "Society Falling Apart"(TM) that's endemic to most Zombie fiction. How long do you think it would take for society to fall apart? The original Romero 'Dawn of the Dead' had the news guest Dr. Foster ranting about how the public hadn't listened to reason "...for three weeks! What does it take?". Of course, that was in the late 1970s. Today's technological society could collapse much more quickly than that.

Or could it? Would the Internet allow people to perform duties from home and thus actually extend that slow decline? This seems to be the tact that Mira Grant uses in her NewsFlesh trilogy. I'm still chewing on the pros and cons of each argument. Fiction is of little help, since depending on the author civilization falls within years to hours; depending on the needs of the plot.


Zombie Chow

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!

I've had this blog for a couple of years now, and I've enjoyed posting my thoughts and experiences with the Zombie genre in general and the game All Things Zombie (ATZ) in particular. I've also appreciated those fine folks who have taken time out of their schedules to read my ramblings and to comment on things as I've posted them. Well, except for the Spam bots. ;)
However, I've recently come to an epiphany. I've been concerned about how few games of ATZ I've actually been playing. This despite spending bucks on terrain, game board, figures, vehicles, etc. In fact, the more stuff I've bought the less I've actually played the game!
Why was this? I've come to the conclusion that it’s partly the fault of this blog. I've become so obsessed with getting the 'right' terrain, the 'properly painted' figures, and just the right Battle Reports with accurate ATZ rules; even fiction...that I spend less time playing and more time doing things to make the game appear 'cool' on the blog. This defeats the whole reason I got into ATZ in the first place; which was a solo game I could play when I felt like it and I didn't have an opponent who I had to schedule games around or appease with the 'proper' rules/figs/etc. Its become a source of guilt that I don't post enough, have BatReps out fast enough....I'm already 2 games behind on the fiction as well.
So, I've decided to kill the blog and go back to actually playing ATZ for myself. I will keep the blog up for July so if anyone wishes to grab some of my house rules or tables they can. But as of Aug 1 the "Those Who Remain" blog will go away. I haven't yet decided on the "Those Who Remain Journal" though. I might keep that going with sporadic posts as the mood strikes me.
Again, I appreciate all the support from the kind folks in the community for this project. For fans of corpses who eat people, the Zombie fandom is actually a pretty friendly bunch!
Best wishes,
Mike/Zombie Chow

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Back from the dead?

Apologies to all for my disappearance, but my hard drive crashed and I've only now gotten a computer to log into my blogger site. Technically I've had it for over a week, but since I teach Internet courses I've had to spend time catching up with students before I could come over here. From one group of Living Dead to another? ;)

More ATZ goodness soon, promise!

Zombie Chow

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Podcasting Goodness

Hey all,

Still working on the BatRep for game 6, but here’s some zombie podcast goodness for one and all:

Watching Dead with Jim an Aron

Their coverage of this past Sunday’s episode “Arrow on the Doorpost” can be found at:

For non-zombie goodness…

Up Yours, Downstairs with Kelly and Tom

Both are part of the Bald Move network at:
 ...and are quite cool. I’ve listened to WD since their second season cast and went back to listen to all their first season shows to get their reaction to Walking Dead season 1. UYDS is a Downton Abby Podcast, and provide a lot of detail about the historical period as well….even though they occasionally reference <shudder> Wikipedia. :P  The Bald Move folks do several podcasts on TV shows, such as Breaking Bad, Madmen, Justified, Game of Thrones, etc. as well as some original podcasts too. Put it this way, I’ve never watched Downton Abby and I still feel like I know everything that goes on during the show!

Zombie Chow

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Youtube Fun

A quick post, as I'm still waiting on the pics for the Defend scenario. To keep my readers amused, check out the below 2 links on Youtube.

This is an actual broadcast on a TV station in the Great Lakes region. Hackers got into the Emergency Broadcast System of the station and ran the following announcement:

This is some ATZ miniature gaming that was pretty cool:

Hope everyone had Happy VD on Thursday! :D
Zombie Chow


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Surgery, In-Laws, and Defend!

Hello all,

Well, I've managed to get an ATZ game in this week but I had to play the Defend scenario for my group a bit fast and loose as my wife was supposed to have surgery today. Which meant my mother-in-law came down to help her through the post-op and for some reason wanted to stay in the guest bedroom instead of sleeping on the couch because my ATZ board was set up with minis on the bed. Weird! ;)

Anyway, I stayed up until 1am last night finishing the game (pics and batrep to follow soon) and I discovered a couple of things. First I rolled that half my group was gone (Kaylee, Sebastian, and Neeva) while Liz, Jennifer and I were at the house with the two little girls from the Domestic Disturbance scenario from ATZ Haven. The dice said for the team not to return until 4 activations but was a bit fuzzy as to when the count started. I had them start from the first activation the zombies began attacking the barricades as otherwise Team Kaylee would make it here in no time. How do others handle this?

By the ATZ barricade rules, since 2 of the 3 people in the house had some carpentry tools it seemed like the zombies couldnt' get in very well. After all, if a survivor is on the other side with tools then even if 3 zombies tear down the barricade 1 rank then that survivor can just put it back up on their activation right? Was I doing this correctly?

Anyway, more later. Hope all are having a fun January!

Zombie Chow

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A warning for those buying plastic minis

ThinkGeek is running a sale on some plastic army men and zombies...As I am big into 20mm figs (ie plastic army men) I thought this would be a great set to use to increase my variety of zombies. A few extra survivors wouldn't hurt either. So, I put them on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas.

My In-Laws (of all people!) got them for me. Great, right! Wrong! The figures are nice, well sculpted....and about 45mm tall(!) Who thought THAT was a good scale? not only are they waaay too big for my 20mm stuff, they're not even terribly useful for the standard 28mm gamers! I sent them to Dexter (from the Board of the Living Lead) to see if he could do something with them, as I can't.

The big gripe I have is that ThinkGeek didn't put their scale on the page, just that they were zombies and troopers of "traditional plastic army men". Now, is it just me or does "traditional plastic army men" bring 1/72 scale figs to mind? Or even 1/35 at the outside, not 45mm.

***This has been a Zombie Wargamers Public Service Announcement***

Zombie Chow

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013...

...even though December 21, 2012 was kind of a bust. ;) I hope everyone had a great holiday, and that Zombie Santa brought everyone goodies. I got a trucking warehouse built-up that adds to my growing collection of buildings for my All Things Zombie games. I just need a church and a police dept. and I'm all set. I also got some of the ThinkGeek zombie army men, but alas they're closer to 30mm and so are pretty useless for my 20mm gaming. Oh well!

I'm terrible at New Year's Resolutions, but I'll try the following:

1. Do more writing, both on the THR Journal and non-Zombie stuff. I've got a gig with Flying Buffalo that I hope will bring some much-needed exposure in 2013 as well as someday seeing Victorious! by Troll Lord Games see print.

2. More zombie gaming. I've got tons of stuff now, so I have less excuse for only having 7 games total under my belt, with 5 posted. Granted FFO threw me for a loop at the end of this year but that's no excuse. More will happen!

3. Comment more on fellow Zombie Blogger's blogs. I do my best, but most Spam filter systems (ie "Prove you're not a Robot") wreak havoc with my screen reader but I will try more often. There are some great blogs out there with fine Battle Reports, I'll just try to comment on best I can.

4. (Non-Internet) Finish my PhD within the next year, year and a half at most. My thesis is published, and is unique enough I think I can expand it to fill the dissertation requirement.

...Now, we'll see how long these resolutions last! LOL!

Zombie Chow