Do Zombies Freeze in the Winter?

With all of the hype about the Polar Vortex and large portions of North America subjected to brutally cold weather last week, I found myself wondering about whether or not zombies would freeze.

A quick search of Google shows there are plenty of opinions on it, with Cracked.com Zombese.com saying yes, while Zombie Research Society

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the slow, Romero-style zombies, not fast Dawn of the Dead (2004 remake) zombies. I think anything that is running like Usain Bolt probably wouldn’t freeze, unless they were dropped off at the South Pole. I suppose that 28 Days Later Rage zombies might, because they seem to be just people infected by a virus, not the living dead.

If you’ve read Zombie Night in Canada: First Period, you’ll know what I think…how about you?

Do zombies freeze in the winter or do they keep moving and avoid becoming zombiesicles?

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Polar Vortex + Sharknado = Avalanche Sharks!

No, this isn’t some hysterical post about how cold it is in January – I live in Canada and that is a FACT OF LIFE!

What I will do is have a little fun with it though…

PLUS

EQUALS

Now, go outside and freeze your tongue to a lamp post or toss some boiling water in the air! :lol: ;)

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An Alternative List of Christmas Classics

Some people might ask, why bother with this?

After all, there are lots of lists that come out at this time of year proclaiming the Top 50 Christmas Movies, Best Christmas Movies of All Time and so on.

This list is different for two reasons – it’s not proclaiming to be the best list of all time (or some other grandiose title) and secondly, every choice is sarcastic, violent and in some way, atypical of most Christmas shows.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with shows like It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life. They are fantastic and provide uplifting choices during the holiday season. This list however, goes the OTHER way and looks for choices that, while not necessarily spiritually uplifting, are still highly entertaining.

Here in alphabetical order are my choices for Christmas classics are;

Bad Santa – this film is the quintessential Christmas show for this list. Not only is Santa in this flick a drunk and a sex addict, he is also a criminal who plans on robbing the mall after it closes on Christmas Eve. Instead of the typical Christmas ‘happy ending’, the film ends with a shootout. Tack on John Ritter – one of Hollywood’s funniest actors – in his final role and you have the makings of a great Christmas film.

Die Hard 1 (Die Hard 2 gets an honourable mention) – Some people – like Jessica here – obviously think these are not Christmas movies, while others proclaim it the ultimate Christmas movie. I understand Jessica’s POV, but how many Christmas shows have a line like “Now I have a machinegun, Ho Ho Ho”? As a kid who once asked Santa for a machinegun, that struck a chord with me right away!

Now I have a Machinegun Ho Ho Ho

Home Alone 2 – while this is a Christmas film included on lots of lists, I’ve included it simply because the violence in this film was so over the top. With its cartoon-like violence, how could it NOT be on this list? While there was some limited violence in the first film, the sequel takes it to a whole new level, elctrocuting, blowing up and crushing the Wet/Sticky Bandits not unlike Wile E Coyote often faired in pursuit of the Roadrunner.

It’s a Bundyful Life – this satirical twist on Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is arguably one of the funniest Christmas shows ever. The family walks out on Al after he is unable to get them Christmas presents and while hanging Christmas lights, he electrocutes himself and is viisted by a guardian angel who shows him what life for his family would have been like if he’d never been born. The results are hilarious, as is Al’s decision on whether to life or not.

Lethal Weapon – yet another great action film set at Christmas, it could be argued this isn’t really a Christmas show either. Still, there are plenty of great scenes which could only take place at Christmas, like Rigg’s coke bust at the Christmas Tree lot or when Gary Busey blasts the TV – playing A Christmas Carol – and shouts “It’s Christmas!”, I’d argue it fits in the genre just fine.

Long Kiss Goodnight – the plot seems to have been stolen from Ludlum’s Bourne series, but the film still falls in here, as the good gal partakes in a Christmas parade, narrowly misses her kids’ Christmas concert and stops terrorists from blowing up a town celebrating Christmas. The heroine even uses a Christmas present (a doll) to facilitate her escape from a freezer that the bad guys lock her and her daughter in. It’s not as good a film as Letal Weapon or Die Hard, but it still has plenty of hunourous moments and decent action scenes to make it on this list.

Xmas Story – While on a ski trip, Fry gets nostalgic for a 20th centruy Christmas and finds out that pine trees are extinct and everyone nows calls it Xmas. He also learns that Santa was a robot created by The Friendly Robot Company in 2801 who determines everyone to be naughty (with the exception of Dr. Zoidberg), and instead of giving out lumps of coal, tries to kill them with grenades shaped like Christmas ornaments, TOW missiles and other deadly weapons. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out, although the second Christmas episode, A Tale of Two Santas, is equally hilarious, with Santa residing in a death fortress and the Neptunians he enslaved living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, instead of making toys.

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Coffin Hop Blog Hop Winners

Congratulations to everyone who entered – here are the winners of the 2013 Coffin Hop Blog Hop.

Free copy of The Saga of Mickey Wheeler

Kim K., Heather, Paul S., Jeanette J., Michelle M., Lori P., and C.W. LaSart

The winner of the autographed copy of Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is…

Traci F. (from my Facebook page)

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Zombie Night in Canada: Second Period – Excerpt #2

Officer Dan Simpson was bone tired. He had been leading patrols into the city everyday of late, sometimes twice a day. With large chunks of the Internet shutdown by power outages, the pandemic and up-to-date phone books increasingly hard to find, his local knowledge of Edmonton was more valuable than ever.

Many of the troops on the base hadn’t grown up in Edmonton and didn’t know much of the city beyond the places they and their families had frequented before the pandemic erupted.

With the help of Dan and his fellow officers, whom Dan had worked very hard to coax out of their PTSD shocked shells and back into serving the public, troops from the base now had well-stocked supplies of food, had located hundreds of survivors over the past two weeks and had dealt with thousands of infected.

His typical day started with a unit briefing, discussing transit routes, security, rules of engagement, and so on. To allow him to sleep just a little longer, he usually ate breakfast during the briefing. Some people had grumbled at first, citing the lack of manners, but eventually most saw the wisdom in his line of thinking and now most people were alternating eating and talking.

The pandemic had ravaged the Edmonton Police Service – less than five percent of its officers had survived the chaos of the past six weeks – and worst of all, those that had survived were those with the least experience to deal with its effects. Scanning the assembled officers, it looked as though Dan was the only Tactical Team officer in the room, excepting a couple of senior officers that had served a decade or more ago to flesh out their resumes enroute to their positions of command.

Dan though it probably had something to do with the swagger and gung ho attitude most Tactical Team officers needed to make it onto the team in the first place, he thought to himself. On several occasions, he had heard of Tactical Team officers take on dozens of infected only to meet a hideous end. Dan had been lucky because he had been grounded – although many of his former comrades probably would have called it hindered – by having Ed Teller as partner. Ed had been a normal traffic constable and didn’t have the attitude and military experience most Tactical Team members did. Consequently, Dan had been much more careful when confronted by infected than he might have been had he been accompanied by Tactical Team members. Unfortunately, Ed had not survived the fall of North Division and Dan had been largely rudderless for days after he had arrived on the base.

It had taken several days for Dan to break out of his funk and get back to work. Not wanting to sit on his ass, he had volunteered to lead a patrol back into the city. He led them to several different food distribution warehouses and had secured large amounts of food. Prior to that, most missions had been dismal failures, either coming back to the base empty-handed or being forced to retreat because of large numbers of infected. His knowledge of the city had made that possible, and coupled with his past military experience, gave him a mystique on the base.

A Captain entered the tent, and the soldiers milling around the coffee maker suddenly stood to attention as a non-com shouted, “Attention!”

“Gentlemen, our planned mission has been scrubbed due to an urgent situation at 742 Signals Squadron. They have reported that they are surrounded by hundreds of infected and the fenceline there is in danger of collapse. Our mission is simple – wipe out the infected and secure the compound,” he said.

“You heard him, let’s mount up and kill anything that doesn’t have a pulse!” a warrant officer at the front of the room shouted.

With that, Dan followed the crush of bodies hurrying out of the room and onto the grounds. More than a dozen vehicles were waiting, most with their engines already running. Dan ran to where Privates Barker and Hall had parked their G-Wagon and hopped in. Other troops scrambled towards their assigned vehicles and jumped onboard. The Captain twirled his hand in the air and the convoy headed off.

The combat engineers had already deployed two of the bridges necessary to cross the intricate series of huge trenches that now surrounded the base. Once the convoy reached the third and final trench – colloquially known around the base as ‘The Moat’, two bridging tanks moved into place. One, lifted the bridge from the middle trench as a precaution, then the second tank dropped a bridge over the outside trench. The convoy inched across the bridge, careful not to damage the trench, then formed a laager as they waited for everyone to cross.

Once the last vehicle had crossed, the convoy roared off to the east. Behind them, the bridge was once again removed and the bridging tank began its slow retreat to the confines of the base.

Barker gunned the engine and raced well ahead of the other vehicles.

“Slow down lead foot,” Hall said. “We don’t want to get too far ahead or we might get cut off.”

“Intel showed nothing between the base and 742 Signals Squadron’s outpost, but Hall is right, slow it down champ,” Dan said.

Barker eased off the gas pedal and within a few seconds, the LAV behind them caught up. Less than a minute later, Barker slowed again as he negotiated a dogleg in the road ahead.

Like most cities in North America built in the 19th and 20th centuries, Edmonton was laid out on a typical grid system, with streets running north and south, and avenues running east to west. However, occasionally a road ran diagonally and it created all sorts of havoc for urban planners. Highway 15, an extension of Edmonton’s old Fort Road, ran northeast to southwest – or vice versa depending on the direction you were travelling. As such, when an avenue or street intersected with it, they usually had a slight dogleg to accommodate turn lanes and signaling equipment and so on.

Just as Barker was about to turn south to cross Highway 15, Hall yelled out, “Contact left!”

Dan replied, “What do you got?”

“Twenty to thirty potential hostiles coming out of the Temple!” he shouted back.

Dan scanned the building and saw a small group of people staggering towards the convoy.

“Charlie Two-One, contact left. Possible infected. Permission to engage,” Dan requested over the radio.
“Permission granted, but fire warning shots first to verify infection,” came the reply.

“Fire a burst over their heads, Hall,” Dan said.

“Sure thi–,” his reply was cut off by the C-9 firing a five round burst. Hall waited a second, then triggered a second burst.

“No reaction, they look hostile,” Hall shouted. Seconds later, he fired again, knocking several over like bowling pins. Most of them got back up and continued their march towards the convoy.

Dan noticed Barker had stopped the G-Wagon.

“Let’s get moving Barker. We’ve still got a mission to accomplish,” Dan ordered.

“Yes, Sergeant.”

The G-Wagon lurched slightly and sped away, crossing the highway. The E-LAV behind them let loose with its heavy machinegun and cut several of the infected to pieces, scattering limbs and body parts in several directions, then it too resumed its march eastward. As the convoy passed the temple, each vehicle slowed and fired off a burst or two and then continued onwards.

“What the hell is that crazy place?” Barker muttered.

“It’s a Sikh Temple, I can’t remember the correct term for it though,” Dan replied.

“You mean like a Paki? Or do you mean an Indian?” Hall replied.

“Sikhs are not really like either one – Pakistanis are mostly Muslim and most Indians are Hindu. Sikhs wear turbans, carry a ceremonial knife, have a separate religion and want a separate homeland. Some of them even resorted to terrorism to bring it about, but they got crushed by the Indian government.”

“How the hell do you know so much about them?” Barker asked.

“I knew a couple Sikhs on the Force back in the day,” Dan replied.

“Okay Hall, we need to head north on 17th street NE – that’s a left on the road ahead,” Dan said.

The G-Wagon slowed and Hall made the turn. He had barely finished when dozens of infected appeared out of nowhere, erupting from the trees and ditches lining the road.

“Contact Left! Contact right! Contact centre! Fuck, contact everywhere,” Hall shouted and opened fire.

“Barker, back it up and let that E-LAV take point!” Dan shouted over the gunfire.

Barker jammed on the brakes and threw it in reverse. Fists thumped off the sides of the vehicle.

“Shit!” Barker yelled as the E-LAV filled up his rearview mirror and blocked his path down the road.

Barker slammed on the brakes again and turned the wheel hard, yelling, “Hold on!”

He gunned the engine and the G-Wagon flew off the road and into the wheat field located next to it. Hall fired madly at anything that moved.

“I can’t see shit!” Barker shouted.

“Turn left again,” Hall shouted back, then he opened fire once again.

Barker turned left and drove blindly through the tall wheat and grimaced as bodies flew left and right as he barreled through them like a bull in a china shop. Then one particularly corpulent zombie bounced off the hood and spider-webbed the windshield, blinding his vision.

“Don’t stop for anything,” Dan shouted, grasping the handhold above the door so hard his knuckles quickly turned white.

Five seconds later, the G-Wagon hit a rut and flipped, cartwheeling in the wheat.

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Zombie Night in Canada: Second Period – Excerpt #1

October 26th

When Xander Barnes had first driven on the base, his feeling had been one of safety – now that he was isolated in quarantine, it was one of boredom and loneliness.

Right after the convoy had pulled onto the base, all the vehicles with civilians were directed towards a small, fairly non-descript building at its southern edge. It wasn’t until after they had stopped that Xander had noticed the razor wire topped fences and guard towers with heavily armed soldiers facing inwards – not outwards like the rest of the base.
They had been shepherded unceremoniously into the prison, stripped of all their belongings, including their clothes and then forced into showers and told to clean themselves thoroughly. After that, they had been subjected to very invasive medical inspections, and then sent off individually to sit in cells.

For Xander, the worst part had been the automatic assumption that he and everyone else were infected. Even after a more than thorough medical that had involved lots of rubber-gloved probing into sensitive areas and prodding with all sorts of sharp medical instruments to retrieve blood, skin, and even hair samples, they still quarantined everyone in these spartan four by eight cells. They even separated family members, tossing kids into their own cells, albeit as close to Mom or Dad’s cell if at all possible. Still, that first night, Xander got hardly any sleep, as the kids cried and wailed for Mommy and/or Daddy.

Xander didn’t cry himself to sleep that first night, but it had been incredibly frustrating for Xander to spend it alone. For the past six weeks or so, Xander had spent every night with Evelyn, and while they hadn’t had sex all of those nights, he had grown accustomed to the warmth and companionship her closeness brought. He thought of masturbating a few times, but every time the thought crossed his mind, his eyes scanned upwards of the camera mounted on the ceiling of his cell.

But even that wasn’t a big deal. No, the problem was being cooped up in this cell and having no freedom. For the past six weeks, Xander had been able to do whatever he wanted inside the Costco, whenever he wanted to, and now he was stuck in here with no freedom and nothing to do to while away the time.

So he sat and stewed all alone in his cell.

His mood changed the next morning when a soldier came by later with a cart stacked with books and iPods and all sorts of other gadgets. The soldier, Private Davis, had been walking down the aisle for the past twenty minutes, and had had to endure bitching from every cell he stopped at, but he was still fairly polite and friendly to everyone he spoke with.
The soldier had just stopped at the cell next to Xander’s when Xander heard a loud snarl in the hallway.

“We’ve got infected in cell one-one-seven,” the soldier shouted into his radio. Then Davis pulled his pistol and fired twice, ending the snarling and grunting emanating from the cell next door.
“Sitrep Davis,” came the query over the soldier’s radio.

“Infected eliminated, send in a clean-up and decon crew,” the soldier said into his radio.

The soldier then holstered his pistol and pushed a cart in front of Xander’s cell.

Xander was already waiting at the bars when Davis stopped. Davis flinched and his hand went to his pistol instinctively, and his holster snapped as Davis prepared to draw it.

Xander blanched and back-stepped, raising his hands, “Whoa, hold on there…”

Davis stopped, eyeing Xander and then he slowly secured his pistol.

“You need to be careful – I could have shot you,” Private Davis said.

“What the fuck for?” Xander snapped.

“Thought you turned and wanted to pounce,” Davis grumbled, “They should have told you step away from the door when we approach.”

“I don’t remember that, but they told us way too much stuff to remember it all, I guess.”

“Well, in the future, when you hear us coming, stay on your bunk or at least well away from the bars. You don’t want us to think you’re infected. In here, there’s only one remedy for that,” Private Davis said, pointing to his pistol.

“Well fuck. I didn’t realize we were goddamned prisoners when we came here yesterday. I thought we were being rescued,” Xander groused.

“Do I look like I give a fuck? Or that I make policy around here? See that?” he said, pointing to his shoulder, “That’s the bars of a private. I don’t get to decide what makes sense, I am just expected to follow orders.”

“Whoa touchy…” Xander replied.

“Don’t even fucking start asshole,” Private Davis shot back. “I’m at the bottom of the totem pile and I get shit on all the time.”

Private Davis paused for a moment and took a deep breath.

“Anyways, do you want something to waste your time here – assuming you’re not infected and just going to get shot in the next couple of days?” Private Davis gestured at his cart.

“What do you have over there?” Xander asked.

“All sorts of stuff – iPods, a few laptops, books, games. Feel free to take whatever you want, just don’t break it or there will be hell to pay.”

“Any idea what’s on any of these?” Xander asked, pointing at the iPods.

“Nope, no idea whatsoever. I just know they all are pretty full,” Davis replied.

“What’s on the laptops?”

“Some have movies, some don’t, either way, there is no wireless in here. Not that that matters very much, the ‘Net is down pretty much everywhere anyways,” Davis said.

“I’ll take a laptop with movies and an iPod with rock music,” Xander said.

“Sorry, the numbers are limited, so it’s one or the other.”

“Okay, I’ll take a laptop and hope it has some music on it.”

“Here you go, do you want a book?” Davis asked.

“No thanks – what bout that X-Box down there?” Xander said pointing to one on the lowest level of the cart.
“I was going to give it to one of the kids down the hall.”

“Fair enough,” Xander replied.

Davis turned to go to the next cell, when Xander said quietly, “Hey, what happened next door?”

“When he had his medical inspection, he said the wounds on her arms were just that, scratches, and not bites. Guess he lied,” Private Davis trailed off.

“Shitty,” Xander replied.

“Could be worse…I could have to clean that mess up,” Davis turned to leave.

Noticing the scowl still on Xander’s face, he said, “Look, it’s not so bad. Quarantine lasts five days, a full day longer than any known case so far. We’ll feed you, do our best to make your stay as pleasant as possible and once it’s finished, you can go explore the base and do whatever you want. Got it?”

“Yeah,” Xander replied.

“Good, because otherwise I might just shoot your grumpy ass on general principles,” Private Davis said.

Xander grimaced, “Really?”

“For fuck sakes, dude, man up!”

With that, Private Davis smiled and continued onwards.

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Announcing the Coffin Hop Death By Drive-In Anthology

I’m proud to announce I’m part of this anthology, the proceeds of which go to charity;

COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN is a collection of 22 amazing tales of terror by some of the best and brightest of the Coffin Hop crew. The anthology will be revealed this September, with 21 amazing B-movie inspired stories from some of the best Indie authors around. All profits from the anthology (as well as our Coffin Hop store) will be donated to LitWorld.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

My story, Retirement, looks at what might happen to Godzilla if he reached his golden years.

Check it out on Smashwords or at your favourite book store right away and support a great cause!

Coffin Hop Souvenirs – you know you want ‘em!

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Some good news on Zombie Night in Canada: Second Period

No, it’s not getting published right away – sorry to dash anyone’s hopes.

However, I have gotten some feedback about fans being disappointed, so I am going to post the first chapter here over the coming week.

Please keep in mind this is second draft stuff, so there might be some errors in it (grammar, spelling, run-on sentences, etc). I’ve gone over and re-read it myself, but no editor has looked at it, so please don’t be too hard on it.

Having said that, please feel free to give me any feedback on it. If you don’t like the grammar, how the story is going or whatever, please do let me know. Heck, if you think that something should happen (like Evelyn getting bitten ;) ), then let me know that too!

That way I can take your opinions into account in the editing/re-write stage to turn out the very best product possible.

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The Coffin Hop Blog Hop rises again!

It’s back baby!

The 3rd Annual Coffin Hop Blog Hop is running from October 24th – 31st and features a wide number of authors from around the world talking all about horror.

For those of you who don’t know how it works – it’s pretty simple. You ‘hop’ from blog to blog and read interviews, blog posts, stories, etc and leave comments. Maybe you pop by the writer’s Facebook page and/or follow them on Twitter too. Then you get entered into a contest for cool prizes and if you’re lucky you win something.

Prizes

For prizes, I have free copies of The Saga of Mickey Wheeler in ebook and Zombie Night in Canada: First Period in paperback format (signed).

Best of all, there is no purchase necessary – just leave a comment here or on

Facebook

and you’re automatically entered!

Don’t forget to visit all the other writers in this blog hop, which gives people a lot of chances to win a prize(s).

I think because we are all doing the prizing independently, a person who visited all of us (80 or so) would have a pretty good chance to win a couple of prizes – but you didn’t hear that from me! ;)

Coffin Hop Souvenirs – you know you want ‘em!

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Why does everybody hate Evelyn so much?

In the last little while, I have had a couple of really great reviews of Zombie Night in Canada: First Period.

Here’s one on Amazon.com and I stumbled across this on Amazon.ca.

Both of them however specifically mentioned how much they disliked Donald, Xander’s brother-in-law and Evelyn, Xander’s love interest.

Now I’m not the least bit surprised by Donald. I intentionally tried to make him the most annoying, unsufferable, lazy piece of shit that I could think of. I wanted some internal conflict inside after they hunkered down – and who better than a lazy, shiftless bastard like Donald?

However, I have to admit I was a bit surprised by the intense dislike for Evelyn. When I wrote the novel, I certainly didn’t set out to make her unlikable. I just tried to write down what I thought someone might feel in that situation.

Personally, I thought Evelyn was an interesting character. She recently moved to a strange city and doesn’t have very many friends or know many people. She’s dated a bit and met Xander, then all of a sudden, the zombie apocalypse breaks out and she has nowhere to go and no one to turn to. So she turns to the most recent guy she slept with. Xander, being the altruistic (and horny) guy that he is, takes her in.

Case closed…or so I thought.

Both reviewers specifically mentioned how they disliked her and hopes she gets bitten in Zombie Night in Canada: Second Period. I get that she is a touch annoying, but she is dealing with the end of the world and totally reliant on somebody she just met, so cut her some slack.

But I have to admit, I am now tempted based on feedback to kill her off.

The other thing these reviews have shown me is that I really need to work on the main characters. They get mentioned and talked about, but I have yet to see anywhere as much passion for Dan or Xander as there is hatred for Donald and/or Evelyn.

SPOILER ALERT

For those of you who DO want her to get bitten, I doubt it will happen. In my current draft, she is written out of the story but for another reason altogether (she is not bitten) – sorry to disappoint anyone…

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