The Last Mission of the Living
by Rhiannon Frater
Series: The Last Bastion
Publication date: August 28th 2014
Genre: Horror, Post-apocalyptic
Humanity teeters on the brink of extinction…
Vanguard Lindsay Rooney has faced the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge and lived to tell the tale, but she has also suffered horrible losses. Like millions of other civilians, she had hoped that The Bastion would recover after a team of modified soldiers eradicated the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge that infested their valley. Yet the city still crumbles around them, along with any chance of survival.
Lindsey’s growing friendship with Torran MacDonald, an officer with the Science Warfare division, is her only solace as the decline of the city continues. When food riots fill the streets, martial law is enacted, and the upper echelons of government battle for control of the city, Lindsey is conscripted by her superiors to embark on a dangerous mission into the dead world beyond The Bastion. To add even more complications, Torran and the SWD join the squad.
Soon, Lindsey realizes that her mission is more than what it seems, and there are secrets that could both destroy The Bastion and take her life.
Zombies Infecting Other Genres
by Rhiannon Frater
I’m still amazed by the fact that I established my writing career by publishing a zombie serial online over the course of two years in the long ago time of 2005. I wrote the first installment, “Tiny Fingers,” during a break at work and posted it online on a lark. The disturbing scene of a mother staring down at the tiny fingers of her zombified toddler pressed underneath a door caught the imagination of my readers and it was their fervid insistence that fueled me to continue the story of Jenni and Katie.
At that time there were certain zombie story tropes that dominated the genre. Most of the zombie stories were about lone gunman wandering across the zombie-infested wastelands. Women only served to be catalysts for the male character’s evolution or convenient zombie fodder. Jenni and Katie broke all those rules with their reliance on their own abilities and sisterly friendship. The fact I was writing about strong female protagonists freaked a lot of people out, and some were downright hostile to the idea.
After the online serial was done, I self-published As The World Dies as three books (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, and Siege) and they were later picked up by Tor. The aspects of the story I’d received so much grief about were exactly why Tor wanted the trilogy.
Happily, there are now many zombie novels with male and female characters that continue to break the tropes that used to dominate the genre. As more writers add their own spin to the zombie genre and breaking rules, more and more stories are bumping up against other genres. I would even go as far as saying the zombies are infecting other genres.
Zombies and Science Fiction
Zombies definitely fit into the science fiction genre when done right. My Last Bastion series which includes the recently release The Last Mission of the Living, has its roots deep in science fiction though it does feature a zombie-like creature called the Inferi Scourge. The books take place in a world where humanity is confined to one city and resources are running low. I was heavily influenced by the gritty feel of Blade Runner and Alien. The Scrags (as the military call the Inferi Scourge) are terrifying in their desire to infect, but the true enemy of The Bastion is a bit more chilling.
Zombies and Steampunk
I never would have thought of this twist, but I’ve noticed a lot more novels popping up that includes the undead in a steam-powered Victorian era. It gives the zombie genre a whole new vibe when airships are raining unholy hell down on the heads of the undead.
Zombies and Alternate History
How do you make history more exciting? Add zombies. Zombies versus Nazis. Zombies versus the British Army. Zombies versus just about anyone. Think about it. What would be more terrifying than being at war? Being in a war where the dead get right back up.
I’ve also noticed a lot more old west settings for zombie novels of late.
Zombies and Mysteries/Thrillers/Urban Fantasy
Zombies and necromancers are perfect together, so a lot of these types of books usually have both. Zombies of all sorts populate the stories in these books from the voodoo ones to sentient ones. My own Pretty When She Dies has zombies controlled by necromancers.
Zombies and Medical Thrillers
After the movie World War Z, this seems like a natural fit. Add in the hysteria surrounding the recent Ebola outbreaks, and it’s a perfect fit. People are already obsessed with both pandemics and zombies, so that more and more books are popping up with this theme should be no surprise.
Zombies and Romance
Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical of the merging of the romance and zombie genre. Though I do have romance in my books, it is not the central focus of the story. Therefore, I wasn’t too sure how these two genres would really work. Surprisingly, they can if done right. If you look at history, people tend to hump like rabbits during disasters and wartime. When faced with the possibility of dying every day, a fast-paced romance or a quick hookup seems like a good way to spend what might be your last moments of life.
At this point in time, anything really goes with zombies. It’s all about being creative and making a unique spin on a story work. Zombies make a great foil for any protagonist and are a dramatic way to upset a fictional world.
When I first started writing in the zombie genre, the big argument was fast zombies or slow zombies. Now with so much diversity in the genre, the argument has expanded to what sort of story is a true zombie story.
I have to say “all of the above.”
Grab book one from Amazon!
~About the Author~
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
Rhiannon’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads
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