Released late January 2010 by Dark Silo Press
When it comes to writing about a dead rising apocalypse in fiction storytelling, only so much can be said. “A bug/flu/government experiment gone awry infects patient zero. Patient zero infects others. Populations are destroyed in days, if not hours, humanity nearly eliminated in weeks. Protagonist gets cooped up with x-amount of survivors, and together they either a)succumb to the dead, or b) miraculously find a way to successfully survive if not defeat the menace altogether.
Generally speaking, though, it rarely ends the way it should. Brian Kaufman, author of “Dead Beyond the Fence,” saw to it his book would not – and did not – follow the same path as many other well known authors have been doing as of late.
With grim humor and a tragic ending, it would seem this was a story meant for Shakespeare.
Kevin and Angel are your everyday workers, screwed out of a life and happiness thanks to an unknown epidemic causing the recently deceased to reanimate and bite the still-unaffected.
The first plan is to leave Colorado, but that is quickly shot down when the governor of the state comes over the air and declares martial law. With no one else to protect her and no one to return home to, Angel agrees, however reluctantly, to Kevin’s help, and together they form a new plan: head for the mountains.
Fatigue and sleep deprivation force them to take refuge in what used to be a university research facility, guarded by a chain linked fence and barbed wire at the top. Inside, they meet the facility’s ten other residents. There, along with the other survivors, they battle each other along with the dead beyond the fence.
Among everything happening: the dead gathering more by the hour, the last shreds of the tenants humanity wearing thin, and food scarce, Angel holds onto a secret that, if told to the wrong person, could mean the end, and not just for her.
The story is gripping, intriguing, and more over unique. The ending is not like any other I have yet read, and the zombies, referred to as “shamblers” by Kevin and Angel, are not just the slow and stupid or fast and smart, but a mixture. The more they rot, the slower they get. The story gives its readers a nice reality check, showing what will most likely really happen if this sort of scenario ever did occur.
There are no gimmicks, no glam, and certainly no niceties to be found in this story; just the straight-forward, honest-to-God, unnerving truth: if the world ends today, we are all dead.
On a lighter note, Mr. Kaufman does add a small novella at the end of the book for those who may have thought or think the original ending did not say enough or promised a sequel. As he states just before the novella begins, “If you wanted more, here it is. But be careful what you wish for.”
The book was published in late January of 2010 by Dark Silo Press and is available at most major bookstores in paperback from. Read it, learn from it, and when the world ends, don’t make the same mistakes as these people.