As an adult, Bradbury considered himself a "delicatessen religionist" who resisted categorization of his beliefs and took guidance from both Eastern and Western faiths. He felt that his career was "a God-given thing, and I'm so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is 'At play in the fields of the Lord. Bradbury was a close friend of Charles Addams , and Addams illustrated the first of Bradbury's stories about the Elliotts, a family that resembled Addams' own Addams Family placed in rural Illinois.
Bradbury's first story about them was "Homecoming", published in the Halloween issue of Mademoiselle , with Addams' illustrations. Addams and he planned a larger collaborative work that would tell the family's complete history, but it never materialized, and according to a interview, they went their separate ways. Another close friend was animator Ray Harryhausen , who was best man at Bradbury's wedding.
Their shared love for science fiction, King Kong , and the King Vidor -directed film The Fountainhead , written by Ayn Rand , was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. These early influences inspired the pair to believe in themselves and affirm their career choices. After their first meeting, they kept in touch at least once a month, in a friendship that spanned over 70 years. Late in life, Bradbury retained his dedication and passion despite what he described as the "devastation of illnesses and deaths of many good friends.
They remained close friends for nearly three decades after Roddenberry asked him to write for Star Trek , which Bradbury never did, objecting that he "never had the ability to adapt other people's ideas into any sensible form. Bradbury suffered a stroke in  that left him partially dependent on a wheelchair for mobility. Bradbury died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, , at the age of 91, after a lengthy illness. The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.
For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury's death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values.
There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Numerous Bradbury fans paid tribute to the author, noting the influence of his works on their own careers and creations.
On the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal". One of the latter was called ' A Sound of Thunder '. The sound I hear today is the thunder of a giant's footsteps fading away. But the novels and stories remain, in all their resonance and strange beauty. Bradbury is credited with writing 27 novels and over short stories. In , Bradbury and his wife were expecting their first child. He took his short stories to a dozen publishers and no one wanted them.
Just before getting ready to go home, Bradbury had dinner with an editor at Doubleday. When Bradbury recounted that everyone wanted a novel and he did not have one, the editor, coincidentally named Walter Bradbury, asked if the short stories might be tied together into a book-length collection. The title was the editor's idea; he suggested, "You could call it The Martian Chronicles.
That evening, he stayed up all night at the YMCA and typed out an outline. What was later issued as a collection of stories and vignettes, Summer Morning, Summer Night , started out to be Bradbury's first true novel. The core of the work was Bradbury's witnessing of the American small-town life in the American heartland. In the winter of —56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown.
Instead, he extracted 17 stories and, with three other Green Town tales, bridged them into his book Dandelion Wine. Later, in , Bradbury published the original novel remaining after the extraction, and retitled it Farewell Summer. These two titles show what stories and episodes Bradbury decided to retain as he created the two books out of one. The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes, and fragments were published under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night , in From to , 31 of Bradbury's stories were adapted by Al Feldstein for EC Comics seven of them uncredited in six stories, including "Kaleidoscope" and "Rocket Man" being combined as "Home To Stay" - for which Bradbury was retroactively paid - and EC's first version of "The Handler" under the title "A Strange Undertaking" and 16 of these were collected in the paperbacks, The Autumn People and Tomorrow Midnight , both published by Ballantine Books with cover illustrations by Frank Frazetta.
During that same period, several stories were adapted for radio drama, notably on the science fiction anthologies Dimension X and its successor X Minus One. Bradbury's close friend Ray Harryhausen produced the stop-motion animation of the creature. Bradbury later returned the favor by writing a short story, "Tyrannosaurus Rex", about a stop-motion animator who strongly resembled Harryhausen. Over the next 50 years, more than 35 features, shorts, and TV movies were based on Bradbury's stories or screenplays. A significant result of the film was Bradbury's book Green Shadows, White Whale , a semifictionalized account of the making of the film, including Bradbury's dealings with Huston and his time in Ireland, where exterior scenes that were set in New Bedford, Massachusetts , were filmed.
The episode was first aired on May 18, Delgado, F. The director, again, was Charles Rome Smith. Containing the prologue and three short stories from the book, the film received mediocre reviews. The same year, Bradbury approached composer Jerry Goldsmith , who had worked with Bradbury in dramatic radio of the s and later scored the film version , to compose a cantata Christus Apollo based on Bradbury's text. Bradbury found the miniseries "just boring". Voiceover actor Paul Frees provided narration, while Bradbury was responsible for the opening voiceover; Greg Hansen and Roger Hoffman scored the episodes.
From to , Bradbury hosted a syndicated anthology television series, The Ray Bradbury Theater , for which he adapted 65 of his stories. Each episode began with a shot of Bradbury in his office, gazing over mementoes of his life, which he states in narrative are used to spark ideas for stories. During the first two seasons, Bradbury also provided additional voiceover narration specific to the featured story and appeared on screen. Bradbury wrote and narrated the animated television version of The Halloween Tree , based on his novel.
The story had also previously been adapted as a play, a musical, and a television version. In , Telarium released a game for Commodore 64 based on Fahrenheit In , the film A Sound of Thunder was released, loosely based upon the short story of the same name. The film The Butterfly Effect revolves around the same theory as A Sound of Thunder and contains many references to its inspiration.
Bush administration. Bradbury expressed displeasure with Moore's use of the title, but stated that his resentment was not politically motivated, though Bradbury was conservative-leaning politically. He pressured Moore to change the name, but to no avail. Moore called Bradbury two weeks before the film's release to apologize, saying that the film's marketing had been set in motion a long time ago and it was too late to change the title. The film has international distribution by Arsenal Pictures and domestic distribution by Lightning Entertainment.
Bradbury's poem "Groon" was voiced as a tribute in The Ray Bradbury Award for excellency in screenwriting was occasionally presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America — presented to six people on four occasions from to From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American author and screenwriter. For the author's story collection, see Ray Bradbury collection. Marguerite McClure m.
Main articles: Ray Bradbury bibliography and Ray Bradbury short fiction bibliography. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Play media. Retrieved April 22, Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition title for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
The New York Times. Retrieved June 5, Greasley, Philip A. Dictionary of Midwestern Literature. Indiana University Press. Retrieved March 5, A Walton Litz and Molly Weigel. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, Literature Resources from Gale. November 16, Although he was named after Rae Williams, a cousin on his father's side, Ray Bradbury's birth certificate spells his first name as "Ray". Becoming Ray Bradbury.
University of Illinois Press. November 8, Fields, George Burns Old Radio Shows. American Writers Supplement IV. Paris Review Retrieved August 26, Retrieved August 24, Ray Bradbury. Detroit: Gale, Magill's Survey of American Literature. Revised Edition. Pasadena: Salem Press, September 17, McMillan, Gloria Professor. Jefferson, North Carolina. Retrieved July 6, Russia Beyond The Headlines. June 7, Retrieved September 15, The Paris Review.
Spring The Veldt. Woodstock, Illinois: Dramatic Publishing. Retrieved December 9, Archived from the original on October 5, Retrieved September 30, November 10, Retrieved February 14, It's the art of the possible. Science fiction is the art of the possible. It could happen. It has happened. I am a fantasy writer. But the label got put on me and stuck. Walton, and Molly Weigel, eds.
American Writers Supp. New York: Macmillan Library Reference. Subterranean Press. Archived from the original on August 22, Florida State University Libraries. Dayton Daily News. Retrieved June 2, I Want to Prevent It". Quote Investigator. Retrieved February 21, Well, they are all Bradbury's ideas". American Writers: a Collection of Literary Biographies. New York: Scribner, Retrieved June 7, PC Magazine. Retrieved October 28, BBC News. November 30, Retrieved December 1, Archived from the original on June 8, Retrieved June 6, Retrieved October 31, The Directors Guild Theatre.
The Daily Telegraph. June 6, Archived from the original on October 1, Retrieved October 14, William Morrow, The Guardian. Retrieved June 4, Retrieved July 12, CBS News. Associated Press. The New Yorker. Test Pattern. August 15, Archived from the original on February 14, Retrieved April 7, Bruce Guthrie Photos. Retrieved February 6, Daily Herald. Los Angeles Times.
The Washington Post. The White House. Retrieved June 8, Boston Globe. Stephen King. Daughter and Other Poems. Salmon Publishing. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. New York: HarperCollins. Archived from the original on September 9, Archived from the original on February 1, Retrieved August 14, Locus Publications.
Retrieved April 2, Quote: "Effective January , here are the new rules for the Nebula Awards. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 15, Press release, office of Mayor Hahn, April 1, Woodbury university. Archived from the original on June 18, National Endowment for the arts. Archived from the original on March 2, Retrieved March 22, Retrieved April 6, First Fandom. Archived from the original on July 23, This was the official website of the hall of fame to The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved November 2, The jaw drops, lips retract, and, from the depths of its diaphragm, comes the moan.
Once contact is made, zombies cannot be distracted by any means. They will con- tinue to pursue their prey, stopping only if they lose contact, make a successful kill, or are destroyed. Motivation Why do the undead prey upon the living? If it has been proven that human flesh serves no nutritional purpose, why does their instinct drive them to murder? The tmth eludes us. Modem science, combined with historical data, has shown that living humans are not the only delights on the undead menu. Rescue teams entering an infested area have consistently reported them stripped of all life.
Any creatures, no matter what their size or species, will he consumed by an attacking zombie. Human flesh, however, will always he preferable to other life forms. One experiment presented a captured specimen with two iden- tical cubes of meat: one human, one animal. The zombie repeatedly chose the human. Reasons for this are still unknown. What can be con- firmed, beyond any shadow of doubt, is that instinct brought on by Solanum drives the undead to kill and devour any living creature they discover.
There appear to be no exceptions. Killing the Dead While destroying a zombie may be simple, it is far from easy. As we have seen, zombies require none of the physiological functions that humans need to survive. Destruction or severe damage of the circula- tory, digestive, or respiratory system would do nothing to a member of The Zombie Survival Guide 19 the walking dead, as these functions no longer support the brain.
Simply put, there are thousands of ways to kill a human — and only one to kill a zombie. The brain must be obliterated, by any means possible. Disposal Studies have shown that Solanum can still inhabit the body of a terminated zombie for up to forty-eight hours. Exercise extreme care when disposing of undead corpses. The head in particular possesses the most serious hazard, given its concentration of the virus.
Never handle an undead corpse without protective clothing.
Treat it as you would any toxic, highly lethal material. Cremation is the safest, most effective way of disposal. Despite rumors that a pile of burning corpses will spread Solannm in a cloud of smoking plague, common sense would dictate that any vims is unable to survive intense heat, to say nothing of an open flame. To reiterate, the zombie brain has proved, so far, to he tamper-proof. Experiments ranging from chemicals to surgery to electromagnetic waves have yielded negative results.
Behavioral modification therapy and other such attempts to train the living dead like some kind of pack animal have similarly met with failure. Again, the machine cannot be rewired. It will exist as is, or it will not exist at all. However, the origin of their name is the only similarity between the voodoo zombie and the viral zombie.
Although it is said that voodoo houngans priests can turn humans into zombies by magical means, the practice is rooted in bard, undeniable science. The toxin temporarily paralyzes the human nervous system, creating a state of extreme hibernation. With the heart, lungs, and all other bodily functions operating at minimal levels, it would be understandable if an inexperienced coroner declared the par- alyzed subject to be dead. Many humans have been buried while in such a state, only to awaken screaming in the pitch darkness of their coffin.
So what makes this living human being a zombie? The answer is sim- ple: brain damage. Many who are buried alive quickly use up the air inside their coffins. Those that are recovered if they are lucky almost always suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen. These poor souls shamble about with little cognitive skills, or, indeed, free will, and are often mistaken for the living dead. How can yon distinguish a voodoo zombie from the genuine article? The telltale signs are obvious. Voodoo zombies show emotion. People suffering from zombie powder-induced brain damage are still capable of all normal human feelings.
They smile, cry, even growl with anger if hurt or otherwise provoked something real zombies would never do. Voodoo zombies exhibit thought. As has been stated before, when a real zombie encounters you it will immediately home in like a smart bomb. A voodoo zombie will take a moment to tty to figure out who or what you are. Maybe it will come toward you, maybe it The Zombie Survival Guide 21 will recoil, maybe it will continue its observation as its damaged brain attempts to analyze the information given it.
What a voodoo zombie will not do is raise its arms, drop its jaw, unleash a hellish moan, and stumble directly toward you. Voodoo zombies feel pain. A voodoo zombie that trips and falls will undoubtedly hold its bruised knee and whimper.
Likewise, one already suffering from some other wound will nurse it, or, at the very least, be aware of the wound's existence. Voodoo zombies will not ignore deep gashes in their bodies like a real zombie would. Voodoo zombies recognize fire. This is not to say that they are afraid of open flames. Some that have suffered severe brain damage may not remember what fire is.
They will stop to examine it, perhaps even reach out to touch it, hut they will recoil once they realize it causes pain. Voodoo zombies recognize their surroundings. Unlike real zom- bies, who only recognize prey, voodoo zombies will react to sudden changes in light, sound, taste, and smell. Voodoo zombies have been observed watching television or brightly flashing lights, listening to music, cringing at thunder, and even taking notice of one another. This last fact has been critical in several cases of mis-identification. Had the zombies in question not reacted to each other they looked at each other, made noises, even touched each other's faces , they might have been accidentally exterminated.
Voodoo zombies do NOT have hypersense. A human who has suf- fered the debilitating effects of zombie powder is still a sight- dependent human. He cannot operate perfectly in the dark, hear a footstep at yards, or smell a living being on the wind. Voodoo zombies can actually be surprised by someone walking up behind them. This is not recommended, however, as a frightened zombie might react in anger. Voodoo zombies can communicate. While this is not always the case, many of these individuals can respond to audiovisual signals. Many understand words; some even comprehend simple sentences.
Many voodoo zombies possess the ability to speak, simply, of course, and rarely for extended conversations. Voodoo zombies can be controlled. While not always true, many brain damaged humans have lost much of their self-realization, making them very susceptible to suggestion. Simply shouting for a subject to halt or even go away can he enough to get rid of a voodoo zombie. This has created the dangerous situation of confused peo- ple believing they could control or train true zombies.
Several times headstrong humans have insisted they could simply command their living dead attackers to stop. As cold, rotting hands grabbed their limbs and dirty, worn teeth bit into their flesh, these people discov- ered, too late, what they were tmly dealing with. These guidelines should give you a good idea of how to tell a voodoo zombie from a true zombie.
Although it is not impossible to find someone who has been turned into a zombie by a houngan elsewhere, the chances of such an encounter are slim. Scholars, scientists, even con- cerned citizens have all argued that these movies depict the living dead in a fantastic, unrealistic fashion. Visually stunning weapons, physi- cally impossible action sequences, larger-than-life human characters, The Zombie Survival Guide 23 and, above all, magical, invincible, even comical ghouls have all added their colors to the controversial rainbow that is "the Zombie Movie.
These serious charges demand an equally serious defense. Unless we are discussing pure documentaries and even some of those are "sweetened" , moviemakers must take some artistic license to make their work more palatable to the audience. Even movies that are based on actual events will sacrifice pure reality for good storytelling. Certain characters will be an amalgam of real-life individuals. Others may be purely fictional in order to explain certain facts, facilitate the plotline, or simply add flavor to the scene.
One might argue that the role of the artist is to challenge, educate, and enlighten her audience. That may be true, but try imparting knowledge to an audience who has either left or fallen asleep within the first ten minutes of the picture. Accept this basic rule of moviemaking and you will understand why Hollywood zombie films stray, in some cases wildly, from the reality on which they are based. In short, use these photo-plays as their mak- ers intended: as a source of temporary, lighthearted entertainment and not a visual aid to your survival.
The number of zombies in this class of outbreak ranges between one and twenty. Total human casualties including those infected range from one to fifty. The total duration, from the first case to the last known , will range between twenty-four hours and fourteen days. The infested area will be small, no larger than a twenty- mile radius. In many cases, natural boundaries will determine its lim- its. Response will he light, either exclusively civilian or with some additional help from local law enforcement.
Media coverage will be light, if present at all. If the media is present, look for common stories like homicides or "accidents. Class 2 Urban or densely populated rural areas are included in this level of out- break. Total zombies will range between twenty and one hundred. Total human casualties may reach as high as several hundred. The duration of a Class 2 attack may last no longer than a Class 1 outbreak.
In some cases, the larger number of zombies will spark a more imme- diate response. A rural, sparsely populated outbreak may extend to a hundred-mile radius, while an urban outbreak may encompass only several blocks. Suppression will almost certainly be organized. Bands of civilians will be replaced by local, state, even federal law enforce- ment. Look for an additional, if low-level, military response, the National Guard in the United States or its equivalent abroad.
Most The Zombie Survival Guide 25 often, so as to ease panic, these units will take a more noncombatant role, providing medical assistance, crowd control, and logistical sup- port. Class 2 outbreaks almost always attract the press. Unless the attack occurs in a truly isolated area of the world, or one where the media is strictly controlled, the story will he reported.
This does not mean, however, that it will be reported accilrately. Class 3 A hue crisis. Class 3 outbreaks, more than any other, demonstrate the clear threat posed by the living dead. Zombies will number in the thou- sands, encompassing an area of several hundred miles. The duration of the attack and a possible lengthy mop-up process could last as long as several months.
There will be no chance for a press blackout or cover- up. Even without media attention, the sheer magnitude of the attack will leave too many eyewitnesses. This is a full-blown battle, with law enforcement replaced by units of the regular military. A state of emer- gency will be declared for the infested zone, as well as the neighboring areas. Expect martial law, restricted travel, rationed supplies, federal- ized services, and strictly monitored communication.
All these mea- sures, however, will take time to implement. The initial phase will be one of chaos as those in power come to grips with the crisis. Riots, loot- ing, and widespread panic will add to their difficulties, further delaying an effective response. While this is happening, those living within the infested area will be at the mercy of the undead. Isolated, abandoned, and surrounded by ghouls, they will have only themselves to depend on. Class 4 See "Living in an Undead World," pages Now that the enemy has been defined, the next step is early warning.
This does not entail building a "zom- bie command post" in your basement, sticking pins in a map, and hud- dling around the shortwave radio. All it requires is looking for signs that would slip by the untrained mind. These signs include: 1. Homicides in which the victims were executed by head shots or decapitation. It has happened many times: People recognize an out- break for what it is and try to take matters into their own hands.
Almost always, these people are declared murderers by the local authorities and prosecuted as such. Missing persons, particularly in wilderness or uninhabited areas. Pay careful attention if one or more of the search members end up missing. If the story is televised or photographed, watch to see what level of armament the search parties carry. Any more than one rifle per group could mean that this is more than just a simple rescue operation. Cases of "violent insanity" in which the subject attacked friends or family without the use of weapons.
Find out if the attacker bit or tried to bite his victims. If so, are any of the victims still in the hos- pital? Try to discover if any of these victims mysteriously died within days of their bite. Riots or other civil disturbances that began without provocation or other logical cause. Common sense will dictate that violence on any group level does not simply occur without a catalyst such as racial tension, political actions, or legal decisions. Even so-called "mass hysteria" can always be traced to a root source. If none can be found, the answer may lie elsewhere.
Disease-based deaths in which either the cause is undetermined or seems highly suspect. Deaths from infectious disease are rare in the The Zombie Survival Guide 27 industrialized world, compared to a century ago. For this reason, new outbreaks always make the news. Look for those cases in which the exact nature of the disease is unexplained.
Also, be on the alert for suspicious explanations such as West Nile vims or "mad cow" disease. Either could be examples of a cover-up. Any of the above in which media coverage was forbidden. A total press blackout is rare in the United States.
The occurrence of one should be regarded as an immediate red flag. Of course, there may be many reasons other than an attack of the living dead. Then again, any event causing a government as media-conscious as our own to clamp down merits close attention. The truth, no matter what it is, cannot be good. Once an event has tripped your sensors, keep track of it. Note the location, and its distance from you. Watch for similar incidents around or near the original site. If, within a few days or weeks, these incidents do occur, study them carefully.
Note the response of law enforcement and other government agencies. If they react more forcefully with each occurrence, chances are that an outbreak is unfolding. Follow them to the letter. Punishment may range from a sizable fine to incarcera- tion. In any case, the resulting criminal record is something you cannot afford! When the dead rise, law enforcement must look upon you as a model citizen, someone to be trusted and left alone, not a felon of questionable background who should be interrogated at the first sign of trouble.
Fortunately, as this chapter will show, simpler, legal weapons will serve you much better than paramilitary death machines. Practice as often as possible. If classes are available, by all means sign up. Learning from qualified instructors will save immense time and energy. If the device can he disassem- bled, do so, both in sunlight and total darkness until you know every pin, every spring, every curve and edge of that all-important machine. With practice will come both experience and confidence, two traits you must develop in order to successfully do battle with the living dead.
History has proven that a well-trained individual, with nothing but a rock, has a better chance of survival than a novice with the latest technological marvel. Anyone with firearm experience knows that inspection and cleaning are part of everyday use. This also applies to close-combat weapons. Blades need polish and rust protection. Grips need checking and mainte- nance. Never abuse your tools or expose them to unnecessary dam- age. If possible, have them tested regularly by experienced professionals.
These experts may detect early-stage defects imper- ceptible to the amateur user. Always research your chosen item thoroughly and ensure that it is intended for actual use in the real world. Do not rely solely on the company's word. If resources permit, purchase a duplicate item and train with it to the breaking point. Only then should you trust in its abilities. Americans are notorious for their bad diet, lack of exercise, and relentless fetish for labor-saving technology. Weapon No. Obey a strict diet and physical-fitness regimen.
Concentrate on cardiovas- cular instead of strength-building exercise. Monitor any chronic health conditions you may have, no matter how small. Even if your worst ailment is allergies, treat them regularly! When a situation does arise, you must know exactly what your body is capable of! Study and master at least one martial art. Make sure its emphasis is on escaping holds rather than delivering blows. Knowing how to Hie Zombie Survival Guide 31 slip from a zombie's clutches is the single most important skill yon can possess when yon find yourself in close combat. Given a zom- bie's lack of speed, it is much easier to run or walk quickly than stand and fight.
However, it may be necessary to destroy a zombie at close quarters. When this happens, split-second timing is critical. A wrong move, a moment's hesitation, and you may feel cold hands gripping your arm, or sharp, broken teeth biting into your flesh. For this reason above all, choosing a close-combat weapon is more important than any other in this section.
Bludgeons When using a blunt weapon, the goal is to crash the brain remember, the only way to kill a zombie is by destroying its brain. This is not as easy as it sounds. The human skull is one of the hardest, most durable 32 Max Brooks surfaces in nature. So, of course, is the zombie's. Extreme force is needed to fracture, let alone shat- ter it.
However, this must be done, and done with a single, well-placed blow. Missing your target or failing to breach the bone will leave you with no second chance. Sticks, ax handles, and other wooden clubs are good for knocking a zombie out of the way or beat- ing off an individual attack. What they lack is the weight and strength necessary for a lethal strike. A section of lead pipe will work 1 1 for a single encounter but is too heavy for those on 1 the move. A sledgehammer has the same drawback I and also requires practice for its user to hit a mov- i ing target. The standard, one-handed car- f!
Its short handle allows a zombie to grab your arm and pull it in. The police baton, made of acetate plastic in most cases , is strong enough for any battle but lacks the lethal power for a one-blow kill. Note: This was intended in its design. The best bludgeon is a steel crowbar. Its relatively lightweight and durable construction makes it ideal for prolonged close combat. Its curved, semi- sharpened edge also allows for a stabbing motion through the eye socket, directly into the brain case. More than one survivor has reported killing zombies in this manner.
Another benefit of the crowbar is that it may he necessary to pry open a door, shift a heavy object, or perform other tasks for which it was origi- nally designed. None of these functions can be accomplished with any of the previously mentioned items. Even lighter and more durable than the steel crowbar is the titanium model. Edged Weapons Blades, in any form, have advantages and disadvantages over bludgeons.
Those hat have enough strength to 1 i t the skull rarely stand up after many repeti- tions. For this reason, slicing, particu- larly decapitation, serves almost the same function as a head blow. Note: The severed head of a zombie is still able to bite and must be regarded as a threat. The advantage of slicing over bludgeon- ing is that it can make killing a zombie unnecessary.
In some cases, simply chopping off a limb or severing the spine is enough to disable an undead assailant. Note: Severing a limb also brings the possibility of contact with the virus through the exposed area. The civilian ax can easily ernsh a zombie's skull, smashing through bone and brain in one swing. Decapitation is equally easy, which is why the ax has been the favored tool of executioners for centuries. Connecting with a moving head, however, might be difficult. Furthermore, if the swing ends in a total miss, you might be taken off balance. The smaller, one-handed hatchet is a good weapon of last resort.
If you find yourself cornered, and larger weapons are useless, a hatchet blow will more than take care of an attacker. The sword is the ideal edged weapon, but not every kind will suf- fice. Foils, rapiers, and similar fencing weapons are not suited for slic- ing. Their only possible use would be a direct stab through the eye socket followed by a quick swirling action through the brain. This motion, however, has been accomplished only once, by a trained swordsman, and is therefore not recommended. Single-handed long swords allow you a free hand for other tasks 34 Max Brooks such as opening a door or defending your body with a shield.
Their only drawback is the lack of swinging power. One arm may not have the strength to slice through the thick cartilage between bones. Another drawback is its user's notorious lack of accuracy.
Scoring a flesh wound anywhere on the body of a living opponent is one thing. Making an exact, clean chop through the neck is something else alto- gether. Double-handed swords could be considered the best in their class, providing the strength and accuracy for perfect decapitation. Of this type, the Japanese Samurai Katana ranks first. Its weight three to five pounds is perfect for long-term conflicts, and its blade can sever the toughest organic fiber.
In tight quarters, shorter blades hold the advantage. The Roman Gladius is one choice, although combat -readyreplicas are hard to find. The Japanese Ninjite boasts a two-handed grip and, in genuine mod- els, renowned tempered steel. Both factors make it a superior weapon. The common machete, because of its size, weight, and availability, is probably your best choice. If possible, fmd the military type usually sold at Army surplus stores. Its steel tends to be of a higher quality, and its blackened blade helps concealment at night.
Miscellaneous Hand Weapons Spears, pikes, and tridents serve to skewer a zombie, keeping it out of reach but not necessarily scoring a kill. The chance of an eye-socket stab is possible, hut remote. The medieval European halberd an ax- spear hybrid may serve as a chopping weapon but, again, requires great amounts of skill and practice to accomplish a decapitating blow. Other than using them as bludgeons, or keeping your attacker at a dis- tance, these weapons serve little purpose. Morning stars or "flails," a spiked ball chained to a rod, do basically the same damage as a crowbar, albeit in a more dramatic way.
The owner swings the rod in a wide, circular motion, providing enough momentum to bring the hall crashing through the skull of his or her The Zombie Survival Guide 35 opponent. Using this weapon takes considerable skill, and it is there- fore not recommended. The medieval European mace serves the same function as the stan- dard household hammer but without benefit of the latter's practical uses.
A mace cannot pry open a door or window, drive a chisel, or ham- mer a nail. Attempting such an act could result in accidental injury. Therefore, carry this medieval weapon only when no alternative is available. Knives are always useful, serving a variety of functions in a range of situations. Unlike a hatchet, they can kill a zombie only when the blade is stabbed through the temple, eye socket, or base of the skull. On the flip side, knives almost always weigh less than hatchets and, therefore, are better if you are on the move.
When choosing a knife, make sure the blade is no more than six inches long and always smooth. Avoid serrated knives and saw-blade combinations found in survival knives, as they tend to become lodged in their victims. Imagine yourself stabbing one zombie through the temple and turning to engage the other three ghouls but not being able to retrieve your blade.
The trench spike is, without a doubt, the best compact anti-zombie weapon on earth. It is a combination of a seven-inch steel spike for a blade and brass knuckles for a handle. It was developed during the vicious hand-to-hand combat of World War I, where soldiers killed each other in trenches no wider than a few feet.
Specifically, it was designed to stab downward, through an enemy's steel helmet. Yon can imagine how effective this weapon would be against a zombie. The user could stab easily through a zombie's skull, withdraw cleanly and quickly, then turn to either brain another zombie or, at the very least, knock one over with a brass-knuckle punch to the face.
Original mod- els are extremely rare, with barely a few remaining in museums and the homes of private collectors. However, if accurate, detailed schematics can be found, have one or perhaps two combat-ready, stress-tested replicas made. They will be an investment you will never regret. It may appear unconventional: a six-foot hardwood staff with a flat, bell- shaped blade on one end and an outward-facing crescent blade on the other. Its roots date hack to a bronze-bladed agricultural tool used dur- ing the Chinese Shang Dynasty B.
When Buddhism migrated to China, the spade was adopted by Shaolin monks as both tool and weapon. On several occasions, it has proven to be surprisingly effective against the living dead. Thrusting forward with either blade will produce instant decapitation, while its length provides complete safety for the user. This length does make it impractical for indoor combat, and it should therefore be avoided in those situations.
In open spaces, however, nothing combines the safety of a spear with the killing power of a katana sword like the Shaolin spade. A variety of other hand weapons exist around the world, and space does not permit the author to discuss each one individually. If you dis- cover an implement or tool that you think might make a good weapon, ask yourself these questions: 1.
Can it crush a skull in one blow? If not, can it decapitate in said blow? Is it easy to handle? Is it light? Is it durable? Questions 3, 4, and 5 will have to depend on your present situation. Questions 1 and 2 are essential! The Zombie Survival Guide 37 4. Power Tools Popular fiction has shown us the awesome, brutal power of the chain- saw.
Its lightning-quick, rotating teeth can easily slice through flesh and bone, making the strength and skill required for manual weapons unnecessary. Its roar might also give the owner a much-needed psy- chological boost — empowerment in a situation where abject terror is a given. How many horror movies have you seen in which this indus- trial killing machine has spelled doom for anyone and anything it touched? In reality, however, chainsaws and similar powered devices rank extremely low on the list of practical zombie -killingweapons. For starters, their fuel supply is finite.
Once drained, they provide as much protection as a hand-held stereo. Carrying extra fuel or power cells leads to the second inherent problem: weight. The average chainsaw weighs ten pounds, compared to a two-pound machete. Why increase the chances of exhaustion? Safety must also be considered. One slip, and the spinning teeth might be slicing through your skull just as eas- ily as your enemy's.
Like any machine, another problem is noise. A 38 Max Brooks chainsaw's distinctive roar, even if running for just a few seconds, will be enough to broadcast to every zombie within earshot, "Dinner is served! In most cases, this is tme. However, if used properly, such a weapon will enable you to score a kill at long range with little or no sound.
What if you're attempting to escape an infested area, yon turn a comer, and a single ghoul blocks your path? It's too far away for a hand weapon. Before you get close, its moans will betray your position. The crack of a firearm will sound an even louder alarm. What do you do? In cases like these, certain silent weapons may be your only option.
The Sung Made famous from the biblical story of David and Goliath, this weapon has been part of our heritage since prehistoric times. The user places a smooth, round stone in the wider center of a thin leather strip, grabs both ends, swings it repeatedly in a rapid circle, then releases one end of the strip, loosing the stone at his target. Theoretically, it is possible to dispatch a zombie with a silent headshot at just under thirty paces. However, even with months of training, the chances of scoring such a hit are one in ten at best.
With no experience, the wielder would be better off just throwing stones. The Slingshot A descendant of the leather strap, the modem slingshot has at least ten times the accuracy of its ancestor, the sling. What it lacks is punch. Small projectiles fired from a modem slingshot simply do not have the force, even at minimum range, to penetrate a zombie's skull. Using this weapon might serve only to alert a ghoul to your presence. The Zombie Survival Guide 39 3. Shuriken These small, multipoint devices were used in feudal Japan to pierce a human skull.
In appearance they resemble a steel, two-dimensional replica of a shining star, hence their nickname, "throwing stars. However, as with many weapons discussed, the throwing star requires great expertise. Unless you are one of the few masters of this art only a handful can still claim this title , refrain from such an exotic method. Throwing Knives As with shuriken, these short-range weapons require weeks of practice to hit something as large as a human body and months to hit something as small as a human head.
Only a dedicated expert could even hope for a reliable zombie kill. The time and energy spent training could be much more productive if applied to a conventional weapon. Remember, you have a variety of skills to learn, and not all the time in the world to learn them. Don't waste those valuable hours attempting to master a third-rate weapon. The Long or Compound Bow To be blunt, hitting a zombie through the head with an arrow is an extremely difficult feat.
Even with compound bows and modem sights, only experienced archers have a chance of making a direct shot. The only practical use for this weapon is the delivery of incendiary arrows. For starting fires silently, at long distance, 40 Max Brooks nothing works better than a flaming arrow. This manner of attack can, and has, been used to set undead individuals on fue. The targeted zom- bie will not know enough to pull the mow from its body and might, given the right circumstances, bum other ghouls before succumbing to the flames. See "Fire," pages , for appropriate use.
The Crossbow The power and accuracy of a modem crossbow can send a "bolt" crossbow mow clean through a zombie's skull at over a quartermile. Small wonder it has been dubbed "the perfect silent killer. Reloading requires time and strength, but this should he unnecessary.
The crossbow is a sniper's weapon, not a crowd-stopper. Use only against one zombie. Any more, and you might find yourself grabbed and mauled before you have time to load another bolt. As for bolts, either triangular or bullet-shape will suffice. For increased accuracy, a The Zombie Survival Guide 41 telescopic sight should be added.
Unfortunately, the size and weight of any good crossbow will make it the primary weapon. Therefore, choose one only when the situation permits, such as traveling in a group, defending your home, or when no silenced firearms are avail- able. The Hand Bow Smaller, one-handedcrossbows can serve as a complement to your pri- mary weapon. Carrying one means that a compact, silent weapon will always be on band if needed. In comparison to the larger crossbow, hand bows have inferior accuracy, power, and range.
Using one means getting closer to the target. This increases not only the danger but the risk of detection, which, in turn, negates the need for a silent weapon. Use the hand bow carefully, and sparingly. Keep it cleaned, keep it oiled, keep it loaded, keep it close. With a cool bead, steady band, and plenty of ammunition, one human is more than a match for an army of zombies.
Choosing a firearm must be an exact science, with every variable considered. What is your primary goal: defense, attack, or flight? What outbreak class are you facing? How many people, if any, are in your 42 Max Brooks group? What environment is your battleground? Different firearms serve different functions. Almost none serve all. Selecting the perfect tools means dispelling conventional doctrines of warfare that have worked so well against our fellow humans. Sadly, we know all too well how to kill each other. Killing zombies — that's another story. Its mechanism allows a storm of lead to be discharged in seconds.
These tactics may be invaluable on the human battlefield but are a feckless waste against the living dead. Remember, yon are going for a head shot: one bullet, precisely placed. As the machine gun is designed for saturation fire, it may take hundreds, even thousands of rounds for one, randomly lethal shot. Even aiming the machine gun as a rifle a tactic used by U. Why hit a zombie with a well-aimed five-round burst when one well-aimed rifle shot produces the same result?
In the s, one school of thought favored the "scythe theory": If a machine gun is placed at the head level of an undead crowd, it could mow them down with one long burst. This argument has been debunked — ghouls, like the humans they used to be, are not all the same height. Even if some are destroyed, at least half will survive to close on your position. But what about the massive body damage caused by these weapons? Won't a machine gun have enough punch to rip a body in half, and doesn't that negate the need for a head shot?
Yes and no. The standard 5. Army SAW Squad Automatic Weapon does have the ability to snap a human spine, sever limbs, or yes, tear a zombie's form in two. This, however, does not mean a head shot is unnecessary. For one, the chance of dismembering a zombie is slight and therefore requires large amounts of ammunition. For another, unless the brain is destroyed, the zombie itself is still alive — crippled, yes, perhaps even immobile, but still alive. Why give yourself the unnecessary need of having to finish off a mass of writhing and potentially dangerous body parts?
The Zombie Survival Guide 43 2. The Submachine Gun The problem presented by this weapon is similar to that of the heavy machine gun: ammo expended versus living dead dispatched. However, when fighting in tight quarters, the submachine gun finds its niche. The short barrel makes it easier to handle than a rifle, but the folding stock gives it much more support than a pistol. Always be sure to keep it on the single-shot setting. As we discussed, full auto is sim- ply a waste of ammo. Also, be sure to aim it from the shoulder. Shooting from the hip will produce nothing more than a loud noise and a clean miss.
One disadvantage is poor accuracy at long range. Because the submachine gun was designed as a close-combat weapon, you will have to get much closer to a zombie than if you were carry- ing a rifle or assault weapon. This would normally not be a problem except that submachine guns, like all auto and semiautomatic weapons, have the possibility of jamming while in use. At short range, you may be putting yourself at unnecessary risk.
This is the only rea- son to discount a submachine gun as your primary weapon. The Assault Rifle This weapon was invented originally to bridge the gap between the rifle and submachine gun, offering both range and rapid fire. Wouldn't these traits make it ideal against the undead? Not really. Although range and accuracy are needed, rapid tire, as we've seen, is not.
Even though an assault rifle can be set for semiautomatic, just like a sub- machine gun, the temptation to go full auto still exists, as it does with a submachine gun. When fighting for your life, it may simply be too easy to flip the switch to "rock 'n' roll," no matter how wasteful and useless this might be. If you do choose an assault rifle as your primary weapon, keep in mind the basic questions that apply to all firearms: What is its range?
What is its accuracy? Is the appropriate ammunition readily available? How easy is it to clean and maintain? To answer some of these questions, it is best to examine two extreme examples. The U. Army M16A1 is considered by many to be the worst assault rifle ever invented. Its overcomplicated mecha- 44 Max Brooks nism is both difficult to clean and prone to jamming. Adjusting the sight, something that must be done evety time a target shifts its range, requires the use of a nail, ballpoint pen, or similar device. What if you didn't have one, or lost it as several dozen zombies shambled steadily toward you?
The delicate plastic stock of the M16A1 obviates bayo- net use, and by attempting to use it as such you would risk shattering the hollow, spring-loadedstock. This is a critical flaw. If you were con- fronted by multiple ghouls and your A1 jammed, you would be unable to use it as a last-ditch hand-to-hand weapon.
For political reasons typical of the military-industrial complex you buy my weapon, you get my vote and my campaign contribution , it was adopted as the principal infantry weapon for the U. So poor was its early battle record that during the Vietnam War, communist guerrillas refused to take them from dead Americans. The newer M16A2, although somewhat of an improvement's still regarded as a second-class weapon. If given the choice, emulate the Vietcong and ignore the M16 entirely. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Soviet AK is consid- ered the best assault rifle ever made.
Although heavier than the M16 Its wide, spacious firing mechanism prevents jamming from dirt or sand. In hand-to-hand combat, you could either stab a zombie through the eye socket with the weapon's bayonet or use the solid, steel-backed wooden stock to smash through a zombie's skull. If imi- The Zombie Survival Guide 45 tation is the sincerest form of flattery, then several nations have cho- sen to flatter the AK with either direct copies Chinese Type 56 or modified designs Israeli Galil. Again, although the assault rifle is not ideal for defense against the living dead, a member of the AK fam- ily will be your best bet.
Why use a hunting rifle when you can own a sub- machine gun? Such arrogance is simply unfounded, its roots based in techno-chauvinism and the absence of practical experience. A well- made, expertly used bolt- or lever-action rifle offers a defense against the living dead that is as good if not better than the latest military hard- ware. A rifle's single-shot capability forces the user to make each round count, increasing the chance of a hit. A third reason is the relative easiness to clean and operate a rifle, something that must not be overlooked.
Hunting rifles are designed for a civilian market. Manufacturers know that if they are too complex, sales will plummet. A fourth and final reason is ready availability of ammunition. As there are more civilian gun shops than military armories in the United States a pattern not shared by the rest of the world , yon will find it easier to obtain ammunition for a hunting rifle than an assault weapon or sub- machine gun.
This will prove critical in any of the scenarios covered in the latter part of this manual. When choosing a bolt- or lever-action rifle, try to find an older, mil- itary version if possible. This does not mean that civilian models are inferior weapons — quite the opposite — but almost all military bolt- action rifles were designed for use in hand-to-handcombat. Make sure you take the time to study the use of a rifle for this purpose. Simply swinging it like a club would destroy any weapon, military and civil- ian alike. Manuals are available that explain how to use a rifle as a bludgeon.
Even old war films can demonstrate how deadly these 46 Max Brooks weapons are without firing a shot. Examples of bolt-action military rifles are the U. Many of these still exist, some in good working order. Before choosing, however, make sure the appropriate ammuni- tion is in ready supply. Having an impressive, bolt-action military rifle will do no good if the only rounds available fit civilian models. The Semiautomatic Rdfle Since its debut, this weapon has shown itself to be a superior zombie killer.
Given the possibility of wasting ammunition a round is expended every time the trigger is pulled , a fair amount of discipline is required. However, this option can be a blessing when engaging multiple targets. In one recorded instance, a trapped woman dispatched fifteen attacking zombies in twelve seconds! See " A. This story illustrates the potential of a semiautomaticrifle. For close combat or for people on the run, the semiautomatic carbine serves the same function as the larger model. Although possessing half the range, the carbine tends to be lighter and easier to carry, and uses smaller ammunition.
Either type will serve you well, depending on the situation. This may be surprising, but these older military weapons were designed to survive the greatest conflict in history. Not only did they meet this task admirably, but the Garand remained the U. Army's main rifle through the Korean con- flict, while the Carbine saw action up until the first years of Vietnam.
Another advantage of the Ml Garand is its secondary role as a hand- to-hand weapon in WWII, bayonet use was still considered a vital part of combat. Although no longer in production, many Garands still remain on the market with ammunition widely available. The h41 Carbine is, amazingly, still in production.
Its light weight and short muzzle perfectly suit this weapon to indoor combat or long journeys on foot. If discipline can be maintained, you will not find a better weapon than the semiautomatic rifle. The Shotgun At close range against human attackers, this weapon reigns supreme. Against the living dead, this is not entirely true. A good twelve-gauge shotgun can literally blow a zombie's head off. However, the longer the range, the greater the pellet dispersal pattern, and the lesser chance of skull penetration.
A solid slug would have the same effect as a rifle, even at greater range provided the barrel is long enough , but in that case, why not just use a rifle? What shotguns do possess is stopping power. The scattering shot acts as a solid wall, whereas a rifle bullet might pass clean through or miss the target altogether. If you are cor- nered, or on the run, and need time to escape, a good shotgun blast can send several zombies sprawling. The downside of a shotgun is that the large, twelve-gauge shells are bulky and therefore burdensome when traveling and leave less room for other equipment. This must be con- sidered if a long journey is required.
The Pistol Americans have a special relationship with handguns. They seem to appear in every movie, every TV show, every pop novel, every comic book. Our heroes have always carried them, from the Old West law- man to the gritty urban cop. Gangsters rap about them; liberals and conservatives fight over them. Parents shelter children from them and manufacturers make untold fortunes from them.
Possibly more than the automobile, the handgun is synonymous with America. But how 48 Max Brooks useful is this cultural icon against a swarm of newly risen flesh-eaters? In truth, not very. Unlike our fictional heroes, the average person may have difficulty hitting anything, let alone something as small and mobile as a zombie's head.
Throw in the obvious emotional strain of undead combat, and the possibility of a successful shot ranks one step above negotiating with your attacker. Studies have shown that of all wasted ballistic wounds — e. A laser sight increases the odds of accurate aim hut does nothing to steady a shaky wrist. Where handguns do come in handy is in extreme circumstances. If yon are grabbed by a zombie, a pistol can be a life-saver. Pressing its muzzle against the undead temple and squeezing the trigger takes no skill and ensures a positive kill. The fact that handguns are small, light, and easy to carry make them attractive as a secondary weapon for any scenario.