Episode 694: Choices

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Controlling Men Zombie survival stories have a tendency to favor more traditionally “masculine” skills. If the writer isn’t careful, characters can quickly fall into traditional gender roles as well, with male characters handling most of the important tasks while women fill a supplemental role. Sometimes writers take this a step further and… Read more »

Episode 693: No Promises

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Disclosure of Risks In a zombie survival situation, there are no guarantees. Yes, you can and should do everything in your power to eliminate, or at least ameliorate risks. But not matter how hard you work at this, there are simply too many variables out there to avoid everything. Honestly, our safe,… Read more »

Episode 692: Hard Truths

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Smart or Compassionate One very common theme in zombie stories, and end-of-the-world stories in general, is that survivors will often need to give up their compassion for others in order to survive. Indeed, I’ve read and watched more than a few stories where trying to help others leads directly to disaster, while… Read more »

Episode 691: Parental Guilt

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Putting Yourself Last One of the first things you have to get used to as a parent is the idea that you no longer come first in your own life. That’s a really big adjustment for most people. In the past, you only needed to worry about yourself and possibly your significant… Read more »

Episode 690: Denial

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Hard Truths Carl Sagan once said “Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.” There’s a lot of wisdom in this. After all, Sagan was a pretty smart guy. I’ve seen this phrase quoted or nearly quoted in a variety of places, often via the token “smart” character in fiction…. Read more »

Episode 689: Foregone Conclusions

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Realism Okay, before anyone comments about the subject of realism in a zombie story, let me say that I’m talking about people considering their situation realistically. I know zombies themselves aren’t realistic (or are they?), but I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. That out of the… Read more »

Episode 688: Catching Up

Zombie Cliche Lookout: More Good News One of the worst things about bad news is when you have to share it with the people directly affected by it. Sure, everyone is bummed out when a friend or loved one suffers a setback, but imagine being the person who tells them about it. Naturally, existing in… Read more »

Episode 687: Don’t Get Too Excited

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Quest Failures One of the things that makes zombie stories so interesting for me is the fact that the characters are in a perpetual state of disadvantage. With perhaps a very few, short lived exceptions, people surviving the zombie apocalypse have the deck stacked against them to a ridiculous degree. Not only… Read more »