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The Dead Paperback – November 14, 2009
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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About the Author
Born in 1952, author-illustrator Mark E. Rogers is best known for the Samurai Cat books: The Adventures of Samurai Cat, More Adventures of Samurai Cat, Samurai Cat in the Real World, The Sword of Samurai Cat, and Samurai Cat Goes to the Movies. The sixth and final installment in the series, Samurai Cat Goes to Hell, was recently published by TOR. His other books include The Dead, Zorachus, The Nightmare of God, The Expected One, The Devouring Void, and The Riddled Man. One of his novellas, The Runestone, was made into a movie; and The Dead is presently under development as a feature film---with a screenplay by Mark---at KNB-EFX. Mark's work has been adapted by Marvel comics, and has appeared on the cover of Cricket Magazine; he's published three art portfolios, and a collection of his pin-up paintings, Nothing But A Smile, is due in mid-2000 from Xenophile Books. Mark lives in Newark, Delaware, with his wife Kate---a philosophy professor at the U of D---and their four lovely kids, Sophie, Jeannie, Patrick, and Nick. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Mark E. Rogers
The moon looked as if it were hanging directly over the border between sea and beach; the surf was a silverlit fury of water and spray.
Hell, Gary thought, If that moon was any brighter, there'd be a rainbow. He took a hit from his flask.
The wind began to blow harder. Despite the warmth the liquor sent coursing through his veins, the breeze still cut.
God, is this really July?
He began thinking about that nice warm bed back at the house. Yes, it was time to head on home. Maybe there'd be news about mom....
"Dammit, God," he said, "I know I don't believe in you, but please let her be okay."
He was about to get up when he noticed something drifting in on one of the combers. Dark and rectangular, it looked almost like a piece of plywood; then he saw it was riding too high in the water. Back of some kind of flotation cushion, maybe.....But there was something about the stability of its movements that suggested something heavy beneath it.
Holy shit, he thought. A flotation cushion. And just about the size of an airline seatback.
The waves pushed it closer to the shore. Soon it was in the surf. Gary sat motionless, hoping his worst suspicion would not be confirmed. He tried to think of something else that could be attached----
(With a seatbelt, Gary?)
to an airliner flotation seatback, something else besides a......
The object tilted in the surf, and a wave caught it, tumbling the whole mass over. Sitting there serenely, as though he were asleep and not a day-old drowned corpse, was a dead gentleman in a business suit. It was hard to tell at that distance, but he seemed to have a large crab clinging to his face.
Gary felt suddenly sick, but parts of his mind remained strangely objective about the whole business. Should he try to haul the guy up on the beach? What exactly should he say when he phoned the cops?
Still he had not moved. Civic duty or no, he found he had no inclination to. Used to dead bodies neatly tucked into coffins, behaving themselves at funeral parlors, he was totally unprepared to deal with one in the process of washing ashore. And this one was an Italian tourist, no less. All the way from Rome, maybe, four thousand miles to drown off the Jersey coast.
The seat shifted with each wave, but it had pretty much run aground. Surf sloshed over the man's face, but the crab was still clinging to him. Looked like it had him by the mouth. Big damn crab.
No seafood for a year, Gary told himself.
That was when he saw the corpse reach up and tear the crustacean off.
A wave splashed over the body. When it receded, the corpse's hand was back at its side.
Old eyes playing tricks on you, Gary thought. Too much scotch. Wasn't any crab to begin with----
This line of argument was cut short as the corpse's pale hands whipped to the seatbelt and undid it.
Gary pressed himself slowly back against the boulder, trying to melt into the stone, even as he ran through the very compelling reasons why he had nothing to fear and could not possibly have seen what he had just seen.....
With a fearsomely quick movement, the corpse rolled from the seat, knocking it on its side as it passed over the armrest; then in an explosive splash it jacknifed up into a sitting position. Chin dripping foam, it appeared to be eyeing the jetty.
Jesus Oh God can it see me........?
But if the corpse was aware of Gary, it paid him no heed; its face swivelled seaward and jerked to a crisp, precise halt. Gary guessed he could not be all that obvious, with his dark-blue jacket and pants against the dark granite. There wasonly his pasty white face, and there was nothing to be done about that, not even cover it with his pasty white hands.....All he could do was press himself flatter and flatter against the stone and pray to Jesus Christ Almighty that he was just too damn drunk and none of this was happening.....
The corpse shot to its feet like a spear thrust up out of the surf. Gary's eyes darted eastward, out to sea, towards the spot it seemed to be staring at.
Three round things appeared in the trough between two waves and started towards the shore. Swells rolled over them, but each time they reappeared, closer to the beach. After a time they were clearly recognizeable as heads, rising slowly from the water, faces pale beneath dark hanging hair. Shiny black shoulders broke the surface; white collars gleamed. Pressing purposefully through the foam, barely staggering as waves crashed into them, the figures halted suddenly where the water was only knee-deep.
The corpse strode out to meet them, splashing through the shallows like an overwound toy soldier. As it came up beside them, they pivotted mechanically around; the four marched back out into the Atlantic, finally sinking from sight.
Frigid sweat poured down Gary's face.
Gone, he thought. They're gone.
He was leaping from stone to stone down towards the beach before he even realized it. Bounding onto the sand, he pelted across the beach to the boardwalk, not stopping till he reached his parents' house. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
If you read this pay close attention to the details, some reviewers said they skipped sections, this is a mistake, the details are important and play a part in the overall story. When the stuff hits the fan the action picks up and does not stop until the end - wow what a ride.
I would recommend this to Christians and non-Christians alike - both parties get good stuff. This has the rapture event, judging, hell & demons - but a lot of it is twisted to suit this novel but it works fine. Be mindful it does have a good deal of bad language including about 10 uses of using God's name as a curse word - but these do work in the novel as they are used and play out well in the overall story.
-Don't let the language turn you away
-Enjoy this novel as it is, spiritual and horror blended together
-Pay attention to the details for some gold nuggets
If you saw the author's list of novels you saw a snippet of an upcoming movie - 'fingers crossed' - with today's special effects this would be a 'killer' movie.
It's been a long time since I have read a book thats kept me so completely engrossed as this one did. I think the author did a brilliant job of making the characters believable and i actually felt happy when a couple of them got what they had coming. (Steve)
I didnt give this book 5 stars only because of the relationship between Gary and Linda. I think a little more time should have been spent creating more of a dynamic between them. I didnt get the feeling they loved each other, and the story would have been better had more emotion been put into that part.
If you love a GOOD zombie story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then this is the book for you!
That said, this book is very entertaining. The drawings don't do justice to what my imagination was throwing out in some of these scenes... really terrifying stuff. The long discussions on religion do, at least, lead to something later, but they are still forced and don't really flow with the story. Even with its flaws, I read the book quickly and enjoyed the discomfort some of the scenes brought over me. Very different from most in this genre, and if you consider its age, it's hard not to appreciate this book.