Sunday, November 5, 2017

An Interview with Alexander Pain - Author of Zombie Complex.

I recently had a chance to catch up with my friend Alexander Pain.  Alex managed to finish his great American Zombie novel.  He recently published Zombie Complex:  The Battle for Chattahoochee Run.




Why did you write the Zombie Complex?

I've lived in gated communities for years and I've always wondered if they could be defended against Zombies.

If Zombies came to your community would you bug in or bug out?

My city can barely handle heavy traffic on Halloween.  A zombie apocalypse qould be the last traffic jam most of mt neighbor's would ever sit in.  I'd hole up for as long as the baked beans in the cupboard last.


Does your community have everything you need to survive?


No.  Unless you live off grid in the mountains with your favorite goat, you have to to out and get a few things.  In Zombie Complex, a lot of the action happens outside the gates.

What's your latest anti-zombie weapon?

I'm no Negan, but I did find the coolest black baseball bat the other day.

Did you draw inspiration from The Walking Dead? 

I love that series.  But, the TWD characters ran from Atlanta. The folks in Zombie Complex chose to stay and fight.  Zombie Complex stands alone and is not part of the TWD universe.

What was the most fun for you in writing Zombie Complex?

Writing combat scenes was kick ass.  I got to combine my love of martial arts and weapons.  I really hope readers will enjoy them.

The Zombie Complex features many characters from India.  What motivated you to have characters from such a far away place?

I've been working closely with Indian workers for many years and living near them as well.  I've felt the frictions between American and Indian cultures and felt the consequences of the shift towards a global workforce.  I've also seen the wonder and excitement of young Indians discovering our country and its freedoms.  It seemed like an area that was ripe for exploration.

Why should readers take a chance on reading Zombie Complex?


There is no risk involved.  About 16 chapters are available for preview.  Right now, the book is free with Kindle Unlimited.  And, in a world full of $12 paperbacks, the Kindle version is a steal.  I hope people download Zombie Complex and tell their friends!

Is there more to come after Zombie Complex?


I sure hope so. I plan to get a paperback version out.  I'm also working on short stories and hopefully another novel.  There's lots to explore!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Zombie Fighting Tactics - How to Ambush Zombies

Zombies aren't the most aware of creatures.  They'll walk into almost any trap you set.  It should be relatively easy to ambush them right?  Not necessarily.  Since zombies travel in groups, sometimes very large groups, you have to choose your ambush site carefully so that you can get the Zombies, but they can't get you!

Zombies on this Raised Roadway Can't Get You Without Tumbling Off of the Roadway

One key thing to do is try to attack Zombies when they are in a position that they would hurt themselves in any attempt to get at you.  For example, if you can find a position to shoot zombies as they walk across a raised highway,  the Zombies will naturally walk towards you and off of the overpass in an attempt to get at you.



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Get Over It

Zombies don't care if you are black or white, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Nazi or Antifa.  They think we are all tasty!
Long Time Dead - By Martin SoulStealer from London, England (Long Time Dead) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you are human and alive and the Zombies come, you are going to have to set aside your differences with other people, you are going to have to let past injustices go, you are going to have to set aside hatred, and you are going to have to work hard together in order to survive.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Zombie Preps - Taking A Walk

If the Zombie Apocalypse (or #Zompoc) happened tomorrow, it would be bedlam.  Tens of thousands of people might be forced to flee their homes.  Highways would be jammed and might become impassable.  If you stay in your vehicle, you'll be overtaken by the zombie hordes.  Your alternative is to walk!

Zombie Hoard at the Big Chill - photo by Jez Nicholson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


If you need to walk during the stress of a disaster, you'll be glad if you are used to walking or jogging during more peaceful times.  So, one of the least expensive preps for a Zombie Apocalypse becomes very, very, simple.  All you need to do is get up from your computer, grab a bottle of water, and go for a brisk walk.

If you have been sedentary for awhile, your first walk should probably be slow and of limited duration.  But, if you walk regularly, you can start adding time and distance to your walks.  After awhile, you'll find yourself in shape and ready to walk to actual destinations.  To start a walking program, take it slow, buy a decent pair of shoes, and check with your doctor if you have any health issues.

Since walking can be a bit boring, you may want a tangible way to keep track of your progress.  You might start a walking diary or participate in a 10,000 steps program through your employer. The key is to get started.  Remember:  the Zombies will feed on the slowest and those with the least endurance first!


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Zombie Fighting Tactics - Using Firearms Against Zombies

When it comes to fighting Zombies, it's natural to assume that you'll prevail if you have a firearm.  You'll reason that you can use a firearm to deliver precision shots to the head that will put Zombies down permanently.  Firearms also offer a powerful advantage in that they can be used to dispatch Zombies from a distance.



Key Numbers to Know When Using Guns Against Zombies


However, the advantages of firearms in a Zombie fight can be deceiving.  You have to consider firearms use by the numbers.  Here are some of the numbers that you'll want to consider:

1) Your firearms magazine capacity.
2) The number of accessible and loaded magazines.
3) The number of Zombies in sight.
4) The distance to the Zombies.
5) The effective range of your weapon.
6) The time it takes to bring your weapon to bear.
7) The number of accurate head shots that you can make per second.
8) The time it takes for you to reload your weapon.
9) The number of Zombies within earshot of a gunshot.

A Zombie Horde - By Martin SoulStealer from London, England (The Horde) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Firearms Use Scenario - Zombie Apocalypse


Let's say you are in a developed urban area.  You have a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with 15 rounds load and two additional loaded 15-round magazines.  You encounter a group of 30 zombies who are about 100 feet away from you.  Each zombie can cover 50 feet in 5 seconds.  It takes you two seconds to change magazines.  You can get off one accurate head shot per second.  In ten seconds you can kill 10 zombies, but 20 remaining zombies reach you.  If you double your rate of fire, you kill 20 zombies, but 10 zombies remain to kill you.


Zombie Math  - Why People Lose Against Zombies


The math gets even worse.  Once you start shooting, you might attract the attention of all the zombies in a 1000 foot radius.  Even if you attract 90 more zombies from 1000 feet away, if they move at you, they can reach your location in only 1 minute and 40 seconds!  Even if you survived the first assault, you now have to face a second wave with less ammunition.  Each shot is a beacon for more zombies to come your way.



Firearms Tactics Against Zombies

Here are a few tactics that may help you avoid being overwhelmed by Zombies:

1.  Concentrate Firepower.  When using a guns against Zombies, it doesn't pay to take on Zombies alone.  If you have multiple shooters, you have a higher rate of fire and a better chance of dropping the Zombies before they reach your firing position.

2. Shoot and Scoot.  Once you start shooting in an urban or suburban area, you are going to attract more and more Zombies.  To avoid getting swarmed, have a plan to rapidly exit the area to avoid being ovewhelmed.

Spartan APC SWAT Team Vehicle - By Jamesw007 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Fire to Redirect Zombies.  Since Zombies are going to be attracted to the sound of gunfire, consider fighting them at a location away from your home base.  If you are going to shoot at Zombies, pick a battle location that will draw Zombies away from your camp.

4. Use Sound Suppressors.  Anything that you can do to minimize the sound of your firearm will help to minimize the number of Zombies that will be drawn into the fight.  You can pay the applicable taxes and get the permits needed to own a sound suppressor or you can improvise by sound proofing shooting positions.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to Escape Zombies using Three Dimensions

When you are outnumbered and on the run from a horde of mindless Zombies, you need to think your way to an escape.  While Zombies have a drive to close with you and eat you, they aren't good at predicting your next move.  Zombies also aren't good at performing complex functions like climbing, crawling, or squeezing around obstacles.  If you can think about escaping in multiple directions and get out of the box, you can elude Zombies.

Zombie Flash Mob in London - http://www.cgpgrey.com [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Up to Escape Zombies


Sometimes, you can climb to escape Zombies.  For example, you can use a ladder to climb to a roof, pull the ladder up after you, and then escape from the other side of the building.  Similarly, you may be able to use a fire escape or steep cliff face to get up and away from Zombies.


Fire escapes in Cincinnati. Photo shot by Derek Jensen (Tysto), 2005-August-09 {{cc-by-2.0}} 

Down to Escape Zombies


In The Walking Dead, Glenn famously hides under a rolling trash dumpster to elude a horde of zombies.  Earlier in the series, Rick and his party crawled and hid under a tank.  Zombies may not immediately grasp that their prey has executed a complex move to exit from an area.  Instead, they will tend to mill about where they last saw their prey.  Unfortunately, they can mill about for an uncomfortably long time.

By Paul Sableman (Blue Sewer Lid) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Squeezing Through Obstacles


Zombies also do not seem to search exhaustively or methodically for the humans they seek.  You don't see them looking into dumpsters, searching closets, slithering into crawlspaces or climbing into attics.  They typically seem to push into obstacles to find humans when they are attracted by movement, light, or sound.  If you can squeeze through a gate, under a fence, or through an open window, they may take quite some time to figure out how to follow you.

A gap in a fence might be an escape! Photo by David Lally [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you are on the run from Zombies, a tool to cut through obstacles can prove worth it.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Inexpensive Weapons for the Zombie Apocalypse

Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse is not the highest priority in most households.  When it comes to the family budget, money spent on prepping can be hard to come buy during an average pay period.  If you are like most people, you have to think about prepping on the cheap and you have to think about building your supplies up incrementally.  Every pay period, you buy just a little something that makes you more prepared than you were the prior week.  Here are just a few things you can do to get ready and get ready cheap.

During a Zombie Apocalypse Any Club will do!


When it comes to Zombie Apocalypse (ZPOC) weapons, it might seem impossible to get a cheap and effective weapon when you are on a tight budget.  However, you can get a weapon for less than $10.  Harbor Freight Tools usually has an 8-inch survival knife for only $8.  It has a compartment in the handle with matches, a fishing line, and a couple of hooks.  You can find what appears to be the same knife here online and even save money on gas.



Another inexpensive weapon for the Zombie Apocalypse is the baseball bat.  You can likely find well-used baseball bats for less than $10 each at your local thrift store.  I have found baseball bats for less than $5 at a variety of thrift stores in my area.

ESPN Anchor Mary Rivera -photo by Elba Maldonado (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Once you've got your weapon situation sorted out, don't forget to stock up on food staples for the long siege.