Are zombies apocalyptic? Or post-apocalyptic?

Zombies as portrayed in the movie Night of the...

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My husband and I had a lengthy conversation the other day about whether zombie stories are typically apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic.  It seems that most such stories take place as things are falling apart (for example, Night of the Living Dead), while some few take place a while after the damage as been done (for example, Day of the Dead).

It seems to me that there’s been something of a shift in the genre, from the apocalyptic to the post-apocalyptic.  There are more survivalist-type stories about what happens after the fall, such as 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead.  Of course, this is hair-splitting, since all zombie stories are stories of survival.  But more and more, that survival seems to include solar panels and gardening, not just access to a lot of weapons.

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I just finished reading Dead City by Joe McKinney.  It’s an interesting addition to the zombie genre.  It’s written by a police officer, about a character that’s a police officer who’s trying to do his job — and save his family — during a zombie apocalypse.  Imagine your favorite police procedural, but where the bad guys are trying to rip off your flesh.  It’s tightly-written and action-packed, and the main character is very richly described.  I’m looking forward to reading more by McKinney.

Posted on January 22nd, 2011 by Katxena