Welcome to the second part of the Working for the Mandroid stop on David Wellington's blog tour for his epic zombie adventure story Positive. This tour is hosted by Pump Up Your Book tours. Earlier we had a review of Positive and now the author himself has stopped by to discuss post-apocalyptic stories. If you're into zombie fiction and are looking for a book with a young, naive teen boy narrator suddenly thrust into a wild and unfamiliar world with danger around every corner, Positive could be the book for you! Let's here from David.
Aren’t you a little sick of post-apocalypse stories? I know I am. Oh, I’m a big fan of mutant-haunted wastelands, going way back. In the ‘80s, when I was young, we were terrified of nuclear war. Yet our stories about what happened afterward, after the bombs dropped, were strangely hopeful. In the desert you could start over again. The shackles of modern civilization would be gone, all the expectations of a post-industrial society. No more punching the clock—your new job would be fighting off the fifty-foot tall grasshoppers who threatened your town. No more waiting in line at the DMV. No need for a license on the empty highways of the badlands. You would get to start a whole new life, and look like a badass all the time. You’d have a great atom tan and there seemed to be no shortage of hair care product, if the movies were anything to go by.
But then the nuclear war just… never happened. Today’s fears of the apocalypse are different, more scientifically grounded, perhaps. Maybe just more nebulous. What will your life look like after climate change reshapes the planet? In case of an economic collapse, how much gold do you need to have stored in your bunker? And as our fears grew more diffuse, our apocalypse fiction grew steadily more grim and horrible. Life after The End just doesn’t seem as appealing as it used to. Oh, sure, no matter how bad things get, some plucky teenager might come along and save the day. Maybe. Or maybe the future is just going to suck, and we need to all accept that.
David Wellington on his Post-Apocalyptic Novel Positive
I’ve written seventeen novels, now. My very first published novel, Monster Island, was about what New York City would look like after a zombie rising. It was grim, let me tell you. Gritty. Nobody had a good time in that book (except, hopefully, the reader). That was back in 2003. I was obsessed with zombies in 2003. Over the years I’ve watched countless movies about zombies and the apocalypse, though, and they’ve just started to depress me. You know? It just seems like things would go from bad to worse, and there was no hope for anybody. Worse—far worse—I’ve seen the people around me, especially the younger generation, start to think that the apocalypse is inevitable. That the year 2000 was the high water mark of civilization, and it’s all downhill from there.
Which is why I needed to write my latest book, Positive, which just came out in paperback. I needed to write a book that was both post-apocalyptic… and hopeful.
Is such a thing even possible? Finn, the main character of my book, is living in a pretty nasty world. Twenty years ago a virus raced through the population, causing some to turn into mindless, incredibly aggressive zombies. The worst part about the disease was that it could take twenty years to incubate. You could have this thing in your brain, growing and festering in secret, for two decades—and not even know it. Just one day you would go crazy and attack everyone around you. Of course, society’s response to this turned out to be even worse than the disease. Anyone even potentially infected is branded as a Positive, given a plus-sign tattoo on their left hand and shunned by society. Which is exactly what happens to Finn. He could be a zombie.
Yet Positive is not really a zombie novel.
Finn is forced out into the wilderness. A suburbia overrun by looter gangs and deadly road pirates. Think Mad Max but set in a world of crumbling row houses and strip malls. A world where you can be killed at any time for your canned food, your gasoline, even just for the shoes on your feet.
Yet Positive is not a road pirate novel.
As Finn ventures west, looking for some kind of security, some kind of salvation, he encounters a city that has fallen back into a primitive state. He finds a medical camp that is twenty different kinds of hell. Eventually he runs afoul of a death cult, which offers protection in exchange for human sacrifice.
Yet Positive is… well, you get the drill.
No, Positive isn’t about those things (or at least, not just about those things). It’s the story of somebody who can make his way in that world… and know there should be something better. That there can be something better, if we all pitch in.
Positive is about the moment after the end of the world. The moment when the dust has settled, when the bodies have been buried. And about what happens next. In my early zombie novels, I had a number of characters ask the same question: What do you do the day after the world ends? Finn is finally the character who can answer that question.
It’s simple, really. You rebuild. You gather together people who you can trust. People who get your vision. You sift through the rubble—but rather than just scrounging for tin cans, you look for the tools and the people who can make a whole new world.
Positive is post-apocalypse fiction, sure. I also like to call it pre-renaissance fiction. It’s about what to do when there’s nothing left. It’s about finding hope in a place where hope has died.
It’s also a ton of fun. Fast-paced, full of action and suspense and a love story for a damaged—but not quite defunct—age. I hope you’ll give it a look.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a honest review.
Released April 21, 2015
Thriller / Suspense
The acclaimed author of Chimera and The Hydra Protocol delivers his spectacular breakout novel—an entertaining, page-turning zombie epic.
Anyone can be positive . . .
Years after a plague killed 99 percent of the population, turning them into infectious zombies, Finnegan and his family live in a barricaded New York City. But Finn's sheltered life fractures when his unsuspecting mother falls sick with the zombie disease—latent inside her since before her son's birth.
Finn, too, can be infected. If he remains healthy for the last two years of the potential incubation period, he'll be cleared. Until then, he must be moved to a special facility for positives, segregated to keep the healthy population safe.
Tattooed with a plus sign on his hand that marks him as a positive, Finn is exiled from the city. But when marauders kill the escort sent to transport him, Finn must learn how to survive alone in an eerie, disintegrated landscape. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger is his fellow humans.
About the Author:
David Wellington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where George Romero’s classic zombie films were shot. He is the author of an online zombie serial, the Monster Island trilogy; Thirteen Bullets, a serialized vampire novel; and the Jim Chapel missions, including the digital shorts “Minotaur” and “Myrmidon,” and the novels Chimera and The Hydra Protocol. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
For More Information
Visit David’s website.