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Digital Sextant : Living Dead
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{ Category Archives } Living Dead

Posts about things related to zombies.

In which I lecture about zombies at the Indian Trails Library

I have a lecture today at 1.30pm in Wheeling, IL, at the Indian Trails Public Library District. Come join us! Zombies 101 Grade 6 and up. Zombie Research Society Expert and Columbia College Chicago Professor, Brendan Riley explains everything you need to know about zombies. He explores the history of zombies and the philosophy behind […]

In Which I tell Real Simple Magazine about zombies

Real Simple magazine ran a piece on Zombies in this year’s October magazine, and guess who’s quoted in the article?  Thanks to Kate Booth for sending me the pictures.

Film review: As Above, So So

As Above So Below This film follows a group of renegade explorers as they dive into the Paris catacombs looking for buried Alchemist treasure.  It’s a creepy movie that plays on the extraordinary claustrophobia of underground spaces, and makes excellent use of the first-person camera genre (though it never proposes the means by which the […]

I always thought IKEA was kinda creepy, OR: Horrorstör – creepy by design

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix This remarkable, entertaining horror novel has a simple premise: a haunted IKEA.  It’s not actually the Swedish flat-pack behemoth, of course, but an also-ran called ORSK, a fictional store designed, the narrator asserts, to copy IKEA as closely as possible.  The tale follows Amy, her supervisor Basil, and a couple other […]

21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology

21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology Edited by Christopher Golden Each year, I pick a different anthology of zombie stories to read with my Zombies in Popular Media class.  This year’s collection was pretty good.  A few highlights: “Why Mothers Let Their Babies Watch Television: A Just-so Horror Story” by Chelsea Cain.  Written with the […]

The Thing (2011)

Having just seen John Carpenter’s original The Thing in January, I sought out the recent prequel, also confusingly titled The Thing.  It’s a weird prequel/remake, with an almost identical story structure to that of the original film.  In the 1982 film, we find out that a Norwegian research station had already been gutted by the […]

Thoughts on next year’s zombie class

I’m wondering how the course would work if I re-worked it next year as a series of Zombie subgenres (Hollywood, Vodou, Cyborg, Alien-slug, Fast/Virus, Philosophical, Nazi) and we approached the material from that perspective.  This would make the experience of the course way different from what it is now, and give me some variety in […]

In which my course “doesn’t sound right no matter how seriously you phrase it”

The Times of India has joined the “look at all these stupid courses” game with their own collection of summaries, including a bizarre summary of my course (and PERHAPS a course about embalming as well?  It’s weird).  Here’s the relevant text: Class on zombies Official course title: Zombies In Popular Media What it means: Slacker […]


Today marks the end of the first week of my annual horror j-session class, Zombies in Popular Media.  A few thoughts: This year brings another good mix of students with varying experience in zombie media.  As far as I can tell, though, I have no zombie fanatics.  Most years I’ve had at least one person […]

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey It’s hard to be a regular girl in a post-apocalypse world.  But in as much as she can be, Melanie has the same hopes and fears that most children do.  She likes some of her teachers, she dislikes others, she’s interested in Greek Mythology.  It doesn’t […]


Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer Annihilation is the first book in a trilogy about the strange.  The premise is delightfully vague — a zone (in the United States?) has become infested with some sort of invading biology that terraforms the land around it, menaces the people living there, and brings the strange in high doses.  Into […]

Dispatches from the Age of Electracy: I Zombify Myself to Teach About Zombies

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to Skype in to the Crane River Theater company’s zombie run training session to provide a little information for the zombie participants there.  I wasn’t able to do it live, so I sent them a 15 minute video to show instead.  They recently sent me a thank you […]

Juan of the Dead – Zombies Cubano

Juan of the Dead is a Cuban zombie movie in the long tradition of the humorous horror film.  Most directly, it reflects Shaun of the Dead in its narrative, but with a distinct Cuban flavor.  Juan and his friends find themselves among the only sensible people surviving in Havanna after the zombie outbreak begins.  So […]

The Grand Hotel – a spooky place to stay

The Grand Hotel by Scott Kenemore *Full disclosure: Scott Kenemore and I have been on convention panels together and he has visited my class several times to speak about his work on zombies.* The Grand Hotel is a ghost story anthology with a wraparound tale that contextualizes the eleven stories in the context of a […]

The Zombies of Mora Tau – not quite the worst zombie movie…

There’s a moment in the short-lived show The Middleman where Natalie Morales’ protagonist argues with her love interest that Zombies of Mora Tau is the worst zombie film ever made, and a great palette-cleanser between viewings of good zombie movies.  First, I’d suggest that you don’t need a palette-cleanser between zombie movies, as the aftertaste […]