Colorado author Brian Kaufman has given a lot of thought to exactly what the pending zombie apocalypse will look like. Who will live (research scientists, a hot cop, and an ex-telemarketer named Kevin), who will die (everyone else, except Kevin's hot boss turned girlfriend), and where the best sites for defense are (a research facility-lucky break for all those scientists).
He explores all of these probabilities in his novel Dead Beyond the Fence, a shambling romp through a post apocalyptic world reeking of rotting flesh and potentially swarming with flies. Dead Beyond the Fence was published by the independent Fort Collins based Dark Silo Press, whose awe-inspiring motto is "Die screaming, one book at a time." You can find the book at darksilopress.com, and also on amazon.com.
The novel begins after the apocalypse has already taken place, with Kevin and his hot ex-boss, Angel, shacked up in an apartment building with a lot of poor trying-very-hard-and-doing-relatively-well-but-ultimately-doomed people. Kevin possesses the foresight to know the apartment complex, although pimped out with security features and floodlights to show the frantic inhabitants when the living dead have navigated past the aforementioned security features, will not be enough to save the people within. Thus begins Kevin and Angel's journey for a safe place. Sadly, safe places are few and far between.
Kevin and Angel's journey takes them to a research facility protected by a phenomenal, state-of-the-art, impossible to breach chain link fence and also by Janet, the security officer. The research scientists inside the facility, along with an old would-be wise woman and Janet offer Kevin and Angel shelter, but relief is short lived. Kevin quickly realizes that, although everyone is intent upon discovering the cause of the zombie apocalypse, none of them will work together. Nor do they see the priority of increasing their security measures beyond the fence. Kevin and Angel find themselves facing the dangers of interpersonal drama, self-righteousness and simple human stubbornness. Is it really safer inside the fence, or should Kevin and Angel venture once more beyond it?
Kaufman conjures the visceral gore of a world possessed by innumerable numbers of walking corpses intent on the taste of human flesh, yet balances it with human emotion we would all be familiar with. This is drama with a necromantic backdrop, the heightened possibility of painful, grotesque death at any moment heightening the suspense. The end of the novel was too ambiguous for some readers, so Kaufman included a sequel in the form of a novella, exploring how the story could have ended. The gentle reader gets to choose which of the endings is her favorite brand of depressing.
Dead Beyond the Fence is a scream. Order your copy now, before the apocalypse is upon us and the internet no longer works.