We decided to do something a bit different this month—instead of just one Mind Meld at the end of the month, we’re doing four, covering four times as many of our favorite scary reads. We’ve asked our bookish friends near and far about their current favorite horror favorites, and are breaking them out by the type of monster or supernatural foe featured, from werewolves, to witches, to ghosts, zombies, vampires, and more.
Next up: What are your favorite books or stories featuring zombies or the undead?
I thought I was pretty… not blasé, exactly, but sanguine about Stephen King’s work. Then I came to Pet Semetary, in all its suffocating, death-fearing, tragedy and horror. The idea of trying to resurrect the ones you have lost, only to have them return in a form nobody could ever imagine, let alone desire—it magnifies all the most painful elements of human frailty and mortality. Bleak, shocking, and heartbreaking by turns.
A.M. Dellamonica’s first novel, Indigo Springs, won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her fourth, A Daughter of No Nation, won the 2016 Prix Aurora. She has published forty short stories and one anthology in print, teaches creative writing at two universities.
My favorite scary read is a little bit difficult to categorize, but it’s one I go back to whenever I want to unnerve myself: Pet Semetary, by Stephen King. It’s a terrifying exploration of what it means to die, and what it means to own the things you build. Best enjoyed on a rainy night with a cat purring in your lap.
Mira Grant was born and raised in Northern California, where she has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead.
The criminally underrated and under-appreciated This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs is an all too real exploration of how an apocalyptic event unfolds for different people. Heartbreak and horror overflows within its pages.
Jason Sizemore is the owner of Apex Book Company and editor-in-chief of Apex Magazine. Follow @apexjason on Twitter for a continual stream of genre-related musings and coffee talk.
The Passage by Justin Cronin is simultaneously the best vampire book and the best zombie apocalypse book I’ve ever read, because of both the sweeping scope and the fact that the characters are so deep and well-explored. You get all wrapped up in the relationships and emotions, so when somebody gets ripped in half, it really sticks with you.
James L. Sutter is the co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games, and author of the novels Death’s Heretic and The Redemption Engine. Find him at jameslsutter.com or on Twitter @jameslsutter.
Go and pick up Tim Lebbon’s Coldbrook for an incredibly cool, parallel-universe thriller zombie apocalypse novel. Trust me. Of course, you could also call Stephen King’s Pet Semetary a zombie novel, and—all due respect to my horror brethren—that book is scary as hell.
Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of such novels as Snowblind, Ararat, Of Saints and Shadows, and Tin Men. With Mike Mignola, he is the co-creator of two cult favorite comic book series, Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. As an editor, his anthologies include Seize the Night, Dark Cities, and The New Dead, among others.
My family has a mummy joke (since my grandmother was born in Egypt), which affects how I read mummy novels. Zombies, on the other hand…Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth is probably my favourite.
Dr Gillian Polack is a writer, editor, scholar, fan and teacher. Gillian is a member of Book View Café and blogs for The History Girls. She was the 2014 GUFF delegate. Two novels and her 2016 research monograph were shortlisted for awards. Gillian edited two anthologies (one award-shortlisted) and has seventeen short stories published. You can find her on Twitter @gillianpolack.
Kelly Link’s “The Hortlak” is one of my absolute favorite zombie stories. Published in her Magic For Beginners collection, it is a unique and unsettling story. Each moment is filled with creeping dread and this sense of existential terror. This is a story that digs under the skin, and stays there long after.
Paul Jessup has a novel called Close Your Eyes, forthcoming from Apex books in July 2018.
Feed by Mira Grant. It’s Romero meets Transmetropolitan meets The West Wing. When bloggers become the front-line news reporters to the Presidential election in a post-zombie world, you know it’s going to be interesting, messy, and scary.
Jennifer Brozek is an award winning author, editor, and tie-in author. Often considered a Renaissance woman, she prefers to be known as a wordslinger and optimist. Her latest endeavor is the Five Minute Stories podcast.
What’s your favorite novel featuring zombies or the undead?