We hate to admit that we left something out of last week's gift guide, but we did: The absolute most perfect thing for those post-apocalyptic fiction fans and zombie lovers on your list. We will remedy that here.
A lot of national love has been heaped on After the Apocalypse—a collection of short stories by former Clevelander Maureen F. McHugh. Two of her tales are set here, including “The Naturalist,” which tells of an ex-con trying to survive life in the Cleveland Zombie Preserve which is—you guessed it, the Flats.
(No, excessive consumption of GLBC Christmas Ale did not give rise to the downtown zombies in this story.)
Here’s an excerpt from a recent Wall Street Journal review:
The collection's finest story is "The Naturalist," a must-read for fans of the flourishing zombie genre. Gerrold Cahill is a convict who, like other prisoners, has been left to die in the sealed-off Cleveland Zombie Preserve. But rather than hiding in fright, as the schlock-horror premise would lead you to expect, Cahill cultivates a zoological interest in—and appreciation for—the behavior of his flesh-eating neighbors.
A similar kind of anthropological assessment emerges from Ms. McHugh's stories, a picture of Homo sapiens doggedly persevering through any catastrophe. "Life in the zombie preserve really wasn't as bad as Cahill had expected" is the sort of jarringly phlegmatic line that keeps popping up in these stories, always to amusing effect.
Another story in the book involves suspicious medical research at the Cleveland Clinic—certainly a topic of interest to many.
Also notable—Publisher’s Weekly named After the Apocalypse one of the top ten best science fiction/horror/fantasy novels of the year.