Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Archive for the ‘Lauren’ Category

Lauren Deposed

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010


Lauren, Queen of the Zombies, is in a support group with Penelope, the Vampire Queen, and Tara, the Werewolf Alpha Female. They call it a book group, but honestly they’re just there to commiserate with each other and trade recipes. Recipes for dealing with soulless monsters, recipes for escaping the clutches of self-appointed heroes. Recipes for steak tartare.

She thinks that Tara is really quite nice. Penny’s the one they both agree is a bit of a bitch, which Tara finds inordinately funny.


Zombies are good at congregating. Lauren was a PTA president in a former life, and could never get everybody on the same page. The living dead, though, they’ll follow her anywhere. She’s organized a Zombie Pride Parade, complete with a banner for Brian and Parker to carry as they lead the way.

She expects her sons to balk. They’re both a bit shy, and not too keen to associate with zombies. She’s surprised, then, when they eagerly participate. “Let’s walk past the sporting goods store,” they say, and, “Isn’t there a gun store near there?”


They hide. They run and hide again. Ruthless gangs of zombie-hunters pass their alley, their doorway, their basement.

Lauren is just happy that she and her boys have escaped the ethnic cleansing. She won’t miss the responsibilities of queenship, light as they were. It breaks her heart to lose her husband, though. Her last memory is of him snapping at grasping hands that bear him to the street. Still, in a way, she almost feels as if she’d lost him already.

She suspects he’d only loved her for her nutritional value.

Lauren, Queen of the Zombies

Monday, January 11th, 2010


Lauren has two children, Brian and Parker, the elder named after her late husband. When he was young both of his parents and his brother would laugh when Parker would lurch around the house, hands stretched out in front, intoning, “Brians! Must… have… Brians!”

Now it’s not so funny. But, on the bright side, at least Brian Senior is still upright, still staggering about. Still King.


Don’t ask how Lauren became Queen of the Zombies. She’ll just shrug and say that it’s her burden. Besides, zombies rarely pay attention to authority, or much of anything beyond their gravitation toward the nearest grey matter. The obligations are only as heavy as she wants them to be.

Lauren tries to be a good Queen. She fills notebooks with laws for her subjects, she writes government leaders asking to trade ambassadors. She argues tirelessly with governors. “If Lesotho can be a separate country surrounded by South Africa,” she says, “we deserve an independent kingdom inside Tennessee or Mississippi.”

She has yet to convince any official to welcome an autonomous nation of ravenous monsters.


She is ever so slightly worried about her position. Not that any of her subjects would seek succession. No, they’re simply not interested. Assassination, though, seems possible, and zombies have not taken to heart the concept of ‘bodyguard’.

So far, nobody has taken any shots at her, although quite a few of her people have been dispatched under mysterious circumstances. By fire. By shotgun blasts to the head. By having ponderous weights dropped on them. All her appeals to law enforcement have fallen on deaf ears.

Or not so much deaf as vengeful.