Few movies have had such a profound and long-lasting impact on me as George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978). For a kid already revved up about the horror genre, this film was like a supercharger. I was too young to appreciate the subtext and social satire, but the zombie lore Romero created (essentially vampire mythology crossbred with cannibalism and the traditional ‘voodoo’ zombies) fascinated me at the same time as it was scaring me witless. It’s no coincidence that my short story bibliography includes three tales of the walking dead, with a fourth due to appear in Andromeda Spaceways later this year.
Faint but sharp; frost on the breeze, welcome after the sweltering Hell of Summer.
He tried to avoid the attentions of other walkers; consciously emitting an aura of raw repulsion; a black cloud that swarmed around him like flies around a corpse. It worked, for the most part, those few that smiled welcome turning away, suddenly fascinated by some tree or patch of weeds; their mobile phones or iPods, hurrying by.
Don Katnik is the author of the creepy tale “5 O’Clock Shadow” in Dark Moon Digest 17.
1. What was the very first story you ever wrote, and what happened to it?
I wrote “The Kid and I” in eighth grade. It was circulated among friends, one whose mother taught college English and said my dialog was realistic. It was never published anywhere. I probably still have a copy but no desire to read it—I recall it being too cliché and melodramatic. It was a building block.