Katemandi

Jonesy Badge Winner: Anne Billson

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

The GGSApocalypse Girls are happy to award the Jonesy Merit Badge to Anne Billson for various contributions to cat-kind, not least of which her blog celebrating moggies in movies, “Cats on Film”, but in particular for her retelling of Alien from the point of view of the most important personage on board the Nostromo.

Jones the Cat, of course!

Get Anne’s “My Day by Jones: The Cat’s Eye View of Alien” for 99¢ over at Smashwords or Amazon. Here’s the blurb: Remember Jones, the ginger cat from the 1979 movie Alien? Of course you do. If you ever wondered what the events of the film looked like from his angle, here – at last – is a short story that gives you the cat’s-eye view. And if you never gave it any thought… well, maybe it’s time you did. Because you know what cats are like. 

It’s hilarious to read Jones’ description of life with the “can-openers” and the sudden arrival of a new creature on the ship expressed in decidedly feline terms. The ebook also contains a teaser chapter of Suckers, Billson’s satirical vampire novel. Also be sure to check out the various collections of Billson’s writing on film including reviews and her column from the Guardian. See her blog for details.

Congratulations on your Jonesy, because we know you’d always go back for the cat!

Don’t forget to add your suggestions for those worthy of winning GGSA merit badges and get your sashes at the ready!

UPDATE: Jonesy now featured at Bleeding Cool! Well done, Billson.

Medieval Irish Zombies?

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Tip o’ the hat to alert reader Terry Doherty who spotted this news story that suggests once again, as George Santayana wrote, that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it:

Did Zombies Roam Medieval Ireland?

Two 8th-century skeletons with stones shoved in their mouths suggest that the people of the time thought so

THE GIST

  • Archaeologists in Ireland have unearthed two 8th-century skeletons buried with stones stuck into their mouths.
  • They believe this could have been a way to ensure the dead did not rise up like zombies.
  • Bodies identified as revenants or the “walking dead” tended to be people who had lived as outsiders.

skeleton This 8th-century skeleton was found in Ireland recently with a large stone shoved in its mouth. Click to enlarge this image.

by Chris Read

Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths — evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.

The skeletons, which were featured in a British documentary last week, emerged during a series of digs carried out between 2005 and 2009 at Kilteasheen, near Loch Key in Ireland by a team of archaeologists led by Chris Read from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland and Thomas Finan from the University of St. Louis.

The project recovered a total of 137 skeletons, although archaeologists believe that some 3,000 skeletons spanning from 700 to 1400 are still buried at the site…

Read the rest at Discovery News.

Dana Fredsti: Plague Town

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

We are chuffed to have the one and only Dana Fredsti dropping by today as a part of the big PLAGUE TOWN blog tour; remember, you have a chance to get a zombie named after you. See the Titan Books site for details. Dana writes mysteries and romance as well as this new kick ass series: she’s got something for every reader!

Plague Town Pandemic Tour: Stop 7

A zombie virus of guest articles, Q&As and excepts from new urban fantasy novel, Plague Town, will be infecting websites, blogs and social media accounts across the globe to offer readers the chance to win a signed copy of Plague Town and have a character named after them in the next novel in the series!

Apocalypse Girls are the seventh stop on the ‘Plague Town Pandemic Tour’.

Collect the fifth word hidden in CAPS at the end of this article along with a sequence of eight others on blogs and websites outlined in the link below; tweet the sentence you’ve discovered to @TitanBooks and @zhadi1 with #PlagueTown before April 23rd.

Q: Are you ready for the apocalypse?

Well, we have a pretty decent earthquake kit, lots of bottled water (in fact, I think I’ll pick up another case because between me, Dave and the cats, we go through a lot of water), a good supply of wine (very important!), and a pretty defensible house other than the master bedroom window. And even that could be fortified. We also have weapons and know how to use ‘em. I think the only shortages would be cat food, cat litter and toilet paper if we were holed up for a long time. So better lay in a better supply of both of those too! Mentally and emotionally, I don’t think people are ever ready until something catastrophic actually happens. I’m fairly pragmatic so I like to think I’d deal with things without going catatonic or crazy.

Q: What do you think belongs in a bug out bag?

Unless I can fit all my cats, nothing. I won’t be bugging out ’cause I have a fairly defensible setup here at home… and I would not be able to live with myself if I left my cats behind. And I have a few too many to fit in a bag.

Q: What are your favourite end of the world stories?

Swann Song, The Stand, Dawn/Day of the Dead (original), the Autumn Series by David Moody, Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry. Solarbabies (because yes, it IS so bad… and the best paved post-apoc landscape evah) World War Z… and so many more!

Q: How important are martial arts skills to survival after the apocalypse?

Training in martial arts gives a person a sense of their own body. I sucked at ballet until I studied karate for a few years, and suddenly my body and how it worked made sense. With that kind of control and understanding, a lot of other physical activities were opened up to me. And I felt more confident in general. So… I’d say very important if just for a sense of how to use one’s body as a weapon and to have enough confidence to fight for survival. If you’re really damn good, you’ll be able to defend yourself against those inevitable rapacious biker gang/religious zealot group/etc. as well as keep those stinky flesh-eaters off your ass.

Q: What kind of role model does Ashley Parker offer to GGSA fans? Strengths? Weaknesses?

She will not give up and she’s ethical. She does NOT have a tramp stamp crawling out of her butt crack. She keeps a sense of humor as much as possible and won’t put up with gratuitous crap from anyone. I love her empathy. That, however, is both a strength and a weakness.

Q: How important is a sense of humour for survival?

For me? Essential. Without it, life is bleak and crappy . If you can’t find humor in adversity, especially when that adversity is going to be a pretty constant companion for a long damn time… you might as well just kill yourself or become a Goth.

Q: What’s your motto for the coming apocalypse?

Lock and load. And go back for the cats.

A delight, as always Ms F! Here’s a snippet for your reading preview pleasure, apocalypse fans:

Josh and Jason had suffered less mutilation than Maggie. They traveled with her, some atavistic bond keeping them near even though their corpses were capable of moving much more quickly.

They were all hungry. Their last meal had been a week ago when they’d stumbled across one of the houses scattered through the mountains above Redwood Grove. There had only been one skinny teenager at home when they’d arrived, and by the time the three had eaten their fill, all the reanimated remains could do was flop and wriggle about on the floor.

Still their hunger persisted.

The sound of motors turned the trio towards a break in the trees. Vehicles painted in forest camouflage rumbled by on the road below.

Food.

Two weeks stumbling through dense forests with only the occasional meal had taken its toll on Maggie, and she quickly fell behind as Josh and Jason moved with a swift, single-minded purpose down a steeply graded hill that ended in a sheer drop-off. Neither zombie had the coordination stop from tumbling over the edge to the rock-strewn canyon below. Josh’s limbs shattered while Jason got lucky and fell on what used to be his father, rolling off without damage. Driven by mindless appetite, he slowly got to his feet and lurched off into the forest, leaving Josh to writhe hungrily on the ground.

Meanwhile Maggie had veered off in a different direction as the sound of trucks moved off into the distance. Lights shone down below the tree line.

Lights meant food…

Pick up Plague Town today and be sure to check out Dana’s website as well as Titan’s page for Plague Town. She’s also on Twitter.

CODE WORD 7: WAKING

For full details of the tour and terms and conditions visit:

http://titanbooks.com/blog/dana-fredstis-plague-town-pandemic-tour/

Plague Town by Dana Fredsti is published by Titan Books, 20th April, £7.99.

Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town Pandemic Tour!

Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town Pandemic Tour

Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town Pandemic Tour 

Apocalypse Girls team up with Dana Fredsti for the Plague Town Pandemic Tour!

A lethal zombie virus will be infecting websites, blogs, forums and social
media accounts across the globe from April 16th to celebrate the publication
of the first novel in an action-packed new urban fantasy zombie series by
Dana Fredsti!

To win a signed copy of Plague Town and the unprecedented chance to have a
character named after you in the next novel in the series, Plague Nation,
follow the spread of this virtual zombie pandemic by searching for a code
hidden across nine articles, interviews and excerpts hosted by a selection of
the top fantasy, horror and books sites in UK & US!

A word is hidden in CAPS in each article; collect all nine and tweet the
sentence you’ve discovered to @TitanBooks and @DanaFredsti with #PlagueTown
before April 23rd. The winner will be selected at random from the tweeters!

Please check back on APOCALYPSE GIRLS on the 19th April to read a Q&A with Dana Fredsti and for the chance to have a zombie named after you!

Scientists predict that the outbreak will have reached the following
international locations by the dates below:

***

April 16th

We Love This Book
Good Girls Gone Geek

April 17th

Starburst
Horror Talk

April 18th

Geek Syndicate
The Daily Dead

April 19th

**Apocalypse Girls**
Flames Rising

April 20th

We Love This Book

Happy Hunting,
Dana Fredsti and Titan Books

Zombies vs Professors

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

If only I’d seen the original call! But there’s still time for you to make your plans to attend if you need the academic approach to the Apocalypse. I wonder if they’ll be able to come up with a catchy song like Plants vs Zombies

Zombies vs. Professors: 

An Academic Symposium 

(April 13th-15th, 2012)

Indiana University/University of Louisville

Zombies seem to everywhere these days, and now they’re banging on the gates of the Academy . . .
The undead hordes have always represented a challenge to humanism and civility, to the humanities and civilization. Stalking the cultural horizon, they wreak havoc on notions of identity and agency, ideologies of expression, mechanisms of production and consumption, and boundaries of property and safety, culture and theory, bios and zoe, death and non-death.

But now it’s personal—they’re coming for us, threatening to feast on our student’s brains, tear through our professional identities, and rot our intellectual categories. Brain workers everywhere must rise together to shore up the defenses, firm up critical and analytic resources, develop new lines of inquiry and tactics of common cause.

This small conference, to be held in a secured site in Louisville, Kentucky, will aim to chart lost histories and craft novel escape routes; we seek researchers for a multidisciplinary discussion about the many facets of this phenomenon and its implications for our work and its future. To those ends, we seek papers in the following categories:

Zombies through history: cultural representations of the undead from antiquity to modernity; in both Western and non-Western contexts; approaches may be literary, art historical, anthropological, sociological, etc. (no vampires or werewolves, please)

Zombies in/as popular culture: zombies in literature, films, music videos, video games, graphic novels, flash mobs, etc.; zombies as avatars of capitalism, consumer culture, etc.; zombies and the public sphere, etc; zombie rules and zombie canon; etc.

Zombie science: virus theory, epidemiology, statistics, physiology, etc.; zombie manuals, anatomies, technical guides; zombie and science ethics; etc.

Zombie theory: zombie philosophy, zombie ethics, zombie history, etc.; zombies and political theory; zombies and sociology; zombies and the subject; zombies and race; etc.

The conference organizers seek papers that promote new thinking about cultural studies and cultural critique—adventurous work that moves beyond the parochialism of contemporary disciplinary apparatuses without compromising intellectual rigor. We also seek stylish approaches that would appeal to popular as well as academic audiences; we don’t want anyone to sacrifice intelligence for the sake of accessibility, but we do not think that these two terms are necessarily incompatible.

Organizers:
Edward P. Comentale (Indiana U)
Aaron Jaffe (U of Louisville)

Cassandra of the Apocalypse: Susan Sontag

By Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

“That even an apocalypse can be made to seem part of the ordinary horizon of expectation constitutes an unparalleled violence that is being done to our sense of reality, to our humanity.”

 “Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.”

Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens and real diseases are useful material.”

Most people in this society who aren’t actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.”

Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.”

The problems of this world are only truly solved in two ways: by extinction or duplication.”



 

Pirates of the Apocalypse

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Arrr, mateys. The apocalypse be nigh, or so the ancient scrolls be tellin’ me. And I ought to know, as I am also the sea-farin’ captain of the Pirate Pub, currently on a trip ’round the world amassing the most accurate data on pubs to be visitin’ around the globe that will reward yer piratical thirst.

All right, enough of Talk Like a Pirate: I’m serious here. Think about it: as the polar ice caps continue to melt, sending denizens of the white wastes ever southward, we have to face facts.

We’re lurching toward Waterworld.

No! Not that crap film: the real thing! As the sea levels rise, how ready are you for the Aquaeous Revolution? How are your sea legs? Have you got:

a) hat
b) bandana
c) cutlass
d) gold earring
e) peg leg

How’s your chantey singing coming along? Long sea voyages, as the Vikings well knew, require entertainment. If you’re not whittling a new fo’c’sle or weaving new herring nets, you’ll probably have to be tanning leather, silversmithing or telling stories. And they better be good stories or into the drink you go. Sea-faring folk are a tough audience.

Want a great role model? I give you Grace O’Malley/Grainne Mhaol, the Pirate Queen.

So, if you’re wise, you’ll start working on your knowledge of ocean-going vessels and get to know the common seabirds (and how to fricassée them). Practice glowering with just one eye and barking orders without spitting. Get rid of those city hands. Say a quick prayer to Yemaya. Bring me that horizon! Oh, and learn to tie a few knots.

GGSA at Pornokitsch

The gang from The Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse trooped by Pornokitsch to share our thoughts about why we do what we do. Drop by and say hello and see what we have to say. Among the highlights:

When Adele invited women writers and bloggers to contribute to The Girls’ Guide to the Apocalypse there were mountains of women bursting at the seams to talk about this stuff, not because women are suddenly going apocalypse crazy, but because there have always been women who were interested in this stuff who haven’t been given the same platforms to talk about it that men have. ~ Apocalypse Womble

Possibly the reason it appeals to women so much is that the end of the world is a great equaliser. ~ Cathy 

Pretty is all very well and good (we can be pretty and still kick-ass) but when it comes to genes that count towards replenishing the population, we have a lot more to contribute. ~ Foxglove



Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.* And that’s before you get to the aliens, zombies, dragons and mad fairies. We don’t know quite what’s going to do it, but one thing’s for sure — it’ll be interesting finding out. ~ Battleaxebunny


It is interesting to explore the changing dynamics within a family during the apocalypse. Parents, used to being firmly in control, may not be able to cope when everything they know collapses, while children may be required to take on more adult roles. ~ Geri

Cocktail Cabinet of the Apocalypse: #14 The Chastity Flame

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

What’s better than a kick ass role model? A kick ass role model with her own cocktail! Yes, it’s the Chastity Flame, based on the super sexy spy (or do we call them ‘governmental operatives’ now?) created by C. Margery Kempe. I’ll let her tell you about it:

If you want to bevvy up for the apocalypse, here’s a little drink you can try out. It first appeared in the Noble Romance Christmas Bonus Recipe Book. I was inspired by the wise words of one of my literary inspirations: 

“Never despise a drink because it is easy to make.”
~ Kingsley Amis, Everyday Drinking


When I created Chastity Flame, my sexy government agent, of course I had Ian Fleming’s Bond in the back of my head. While working on the sequel, Lush Situation (which draws its name from Richard Hamilton’s piece, of course), I decided that Chas needed a drink just as memorable as Bond’s “shaken not stirred” martini. Et voilá! I give you

The Chastity Flame:

2 measures gin (I recommend Boodle’s or Tanqueray Rangpur)
1 measure vodka ( I recommend Zubrowka, Reyka or Stoli)
A generous dash of bitters (is there any but Angostura that will do?)
Lime garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice, but don’t dawdle or it will get dilluted. Strain the chilled contents into martini glass — or a tumbler if you’re a heathen. Garnish with a lime slice and a shot of lime juice if you like that sort of thing (I do). It should be the color of Chastity’s amber eyes and be rather lethal, but then again, so is its inspiration. A perfect accompaniment for a stimulating book.

Or even the apocalypse!

Handbook for the Apocalypse: Riddley Walker

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Apocalyptic fans the world over mourned this week: Russell Hoban has left us to our fates on this earth. Wordy wordy wordsmith Will Self has called Hoban his hero and called Riddley Walker “perhaps the post-nuclear-apocalypse novel sans pareil” and it is an epithet well-earned.

Told in the fractured post-nuclear apocalyptic English of a twelve year old just reaching his rite of passage, the novel offers an indelible image of the blighted world to come and demonstrates the importance of keeping your Punch and Judy puppets close to hand.

In its pages you will find optimum tips for surviving the apocalyptic future, making coal, hunting wildlife with a spear, exploring the archeology of the past world and of course, the undying importance of storytelling as the way we make sense of even the most destructive world.

Trubba not and watch out for the arga warga.

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