New Short Story from Max Brooks

Don’t ask me why author and zombie aficionado Max Brooks had to go and ruin a good thing by including vampires in his latest short story, which can be read over at the Daily Beast.

We called them subdead, and to us, they were little more than a joke. They are so slow, and clumsy, and stupid. So stupid. We never considered them a threat. And why would we? They had existed beside us, beneath us rather, flaring up like brushfire since the first humanoids left the trees. Fanum Cocidi, Fiskurhofn, we had all heard the stories. One of us had even claimed to be present at Castra Regina, although we mainly considered him a braggart. Through the ages we had witnessed their bumbling eruptions and humanities’ equally bumbling response. They had never been a serious threat, either to us or the solbreeders they devoured. They had always been a joke. And so I laughed again when I heard of a small outbreak in Kampong Raja. Laila had told me about it, on that warm, still night ten years ago.

“This isn’t the first time. Not just this year, I mean.” Her tone was mildly fascinated, as if discussing any other rare natural phenomenon. “Others have been talking, about Thailand, and Cambodia, maybe as far as Burma.” Again, I laughed, and perhaps said something disparaging about humans, probably wondering how long it would take them to clean up the mess. I didn’t think about it again until a few months later. The whispers hadn’t abated. We were entertaining Anson, a visitor from Australia. He’d come for the ‘sport’ as he called it, a chance to ‘take in the local flavors’. We were both very taken with Anson, he was tall and beauteous and very, very young. He could not remember a time a before voicewires and metal kites. His unburdened eyes glittered with envious vim.

I wonder if this is a first look at the World War Z author’s new direction.

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