The New Year brings fresh promise and fresh opportunity . . . for Zombies! Part of the waning hours of 2011, I spent working on a short story. The premise: zombies in the 4th century Macedonian highlands. Some of Alexander the Great’s Orestid troops return home in the winter of 334 only to find their village overrun with the walking dead. Glory and terror ensue as they pit spear, sword, and shield against unholy flesh . . .
A good premise, I thought. And, upon doing a bit of research, I discovered a dearth of zombie stories written in the BC. Curious, I thought — mine came about after watching THE WALKING DEAD and wondering, loudly, why no one bothered to hit the library in Atlanta for a couple of books on tactics of the Roman legion, then swing by Museum Replicas and get kitted out in mail, helmet, shield, spear, axe/mace, and a good sword. THAT led to wondering how our Classical Greek ancestors might have viewed a zombie apocalypse — undead horde versus phalanx, FTW!
A chance comment by my friend, Louis Agresta, got me thinking: wouldn’t it be cool to do an anthology of ancient historical zombie tales? Yeah, that WOULD be cool. And because I never go through the proper procedure for these things, I put the word out on Facebook, and my writer friends responded. Which brings me to this: newbie, pro or in between, if you’d like to contribute a story to an anthology still in its infancy (not secured a publisher, yet, so not sure what rates I can pay), here are the initial guidelines:
1) Stories MUST take place before 1 BC and no earlier than 5000 BC. No pre-history.
2) Stories must be between 3,000 and 7, 000 words (this is firm unless you have prior permission — or you’re the one true Stephen King).
3) Deadline TBD
Send your submissions in standard manuscript format (txt or doc) to me at scottoden (at) gmail.com. As an historical author, despite the presence of the shambling and unquiet dead, I must insist on settings and portrayals of the ancient world that ring true. Do your research . . . then add zombies 😉
And so, to paraphrase the Bard: “Cry Zombie, and let slip the undead horde!”
Edit 1: Revised the lower word count limit down from 5K to 3K . . . otherwise my own tale would be disqualified!
Edit 2: Changed 1st century BC to 1 BC; and added the qualifier of no stories prior to 5000 BC, and no pre-history.