Post-apocalyptic settings provide interesting environments. They’re ideal for showing how people can evolve (or devolve) to cope with the massive changes that take place when society crumbles. The fun of throwing a supernatural horror element into the mix is that it keeps the threat of what originally devastated the populace constant, even while the survivors are struggling to deal with each other in a world they no longer truly rule.
Sadly, the monsters are also where things tend to fall flat.
I like zombies as much as the next guy and I appreciate the symbolism they represent, but their overuse has become a crutch for creators in the horror industry. For every person who manages to weave a cool, original story involving them (and to be fair, I do know several), a hundred others churn out something derivative of Romero’s original trilogy.
And honestly … there are few things I loathe producing more than unoriginal work.
Enter the Horde.
The creatures that devastated New York in Surviving the Crash defy any kind of uniform description. Each creature is unique, making the group’s origin all the more troubling to conceive and the threat that much more difficult to defend against. While (somewhat) vulnerable to conventional weapons, sunlight provides the beasts’ only shared natural weakness. And they all have a taste for human beings.
I went with this approach for a number of reasons. First, it allowed me to offer the reader a little surprise every time a creature appeared instead of just providing him more of something he’s already seen (which is also a great deal more fun and challenging to write). The concept of the Horde also provided the story with a mystery to pick at the characters. And even when they believe they have the answer, it turns out to be far vaster than they ever imagined…
And so concludes this little series. I invite you to click on the link below if you want to check the book out:
Now, back to the articles and Bestiary!