Sam Stall

Novelist. Journalist. Repository of Odd Information.

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tips I Learned at InConJunction

I spent this past weekend as a guest at InConJunction XXXII, a sci-fi/fantasy convention held in Indianapolis. I sat on a number of panels, the most eye-opening of which was called Zombie Apocalypse Survival Planning & Preparedness. Like any careful, prudent person, I've thought a lot about what I'll do in case of an undead uprising. Well maybe not "a lot," but "more than a little." Figuring you folks have done pretty much the same thing, I decided to pass along some of the "out of the box" zombie disposal tips uncorked by the InConJunction experts.


Shoot their legs. I know this is sounds like sacrilege to the "pop 'em in the head, make sure they're dead" crowd, but consider this. Plunking someone in the melon is hard. Trained marksmen can't do it consistently. And in a zombie melee you might have to do it dozens of times, without a single miss. Which is impossible for anyone whose nickname isn't Hawkeye or Deadshot. Better to go for the kneecaps or thighs. It won't kill your undead assailant, but it will immobilize him and expedite your escape.



Just switch your boom stick to full auto, spray the first wave at slightly below crotch level and haul ass.


        I'm well aware that a certain percentage of you are now shaking your heads and saying, "But Sam, all I've done is create a dangerous 'crawler' that's going to bite someone else in the ankles. How can we ever stem the tide with such a half-assed strategy?" My answer is that while there will certainly have to be an armed, organized response to the zombie apocalypse, you aren't it. You're just a civilian trying to stay alive until the Marines show up. So swallow your pride and go for the knees as you (A) fight your way across a burning purgatory to rescue your love interest, (B) hole up with a group of desperate strangers in a hastily fortified farmhouse, or (C) amuse yourself with some other foolhardy project while civilization crumbles. Which leads to the next rule ...


Your Memaw is dead. You don't need to go check on her. The Aunt Ellies and Uncle Bens and Cousin Rolands of the world will be first on the buffet line. Plus -- to be extremely hardhearted -- what would you do if your octogenarian relative was still kicking? Pack up his/her prescriptions, shove his/her walker into the back of your tricked out Armageddon Wagon and then ... what? Listen to him/her kvetch that all this devastation was caused by Obama? Complain that he/she is missing Matlock? Bitch that you're driving too fast? Better to let nature take its course and use your energy to save yourself.



Your grandma during the zombie apocalypse, asking one of the cannibal undead if he'd like a tissue for his nosebleed.


Zombie time is hammer time! Looking for the ultimate melee weapon? One that won't jam up with blood and guts or, even worse, get stuck in some ghoul's rotten melon? Then ditch your sword/machete/chainsaw and try a war hammer. Developed during the middle ages to perforate the helmets of mounted knights, this classic design is basically a three-foot-long hardwood shaft with an iron hammerhead attached. Great for crushing skulls instead of splitting them open, which cuts down on unwelcome, unhygienic zombie blood spray. You can get your war hammer online, in a wide range of styles and colors. Of course.



 MC Hammer (cropped).jpg

This Hammer, however, will be useless.


Run away. As mentioned earlier, you're not going to stop the zombie apocalypse on your own. The best you can do is stay alive long enough to locate other survivors and formulate a plan. So instead of spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about how you'll combat the undead, do yourself a favor and just avoid them. Which means, if you see zombies, don't stand and fight. Ever. Just walk away. Or run.




Get a bicycle. Why doesn't anyone in zombie movies grab a bike? It's the ultimate form of post-apocalypse transport. They're simple, they don't require fuel, they're silent, and they're everywhere. So quit trying to hotwire that sweet-looking Land Rover and raid the nearest bike rack. You won't look as cool, but all the idiots who might be tempted to point that out are already dead. So screw them.



 Post-apocalypse bikers won't have to constantly glance over their shoulders to see if some unobservant douche in an SUV is about to run them down.

1 comment | Add a New Comment
1. Charlie | July 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM EDT

I enjoyed meeting you at Incon! I had a great time at the panels.

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