A while back, I blogged about Asylum, the gay zombie novella by author Mark Allan Gunnells. Mark is bringing back the dead (again) in the novella Fort, which takes place in the same universe as Asylum, includes some playful character crossover, and once more follows classic zombie conventions.
While Asylum is set at a gay club, Fort focuses on a dorm on a college campus. There are a couple of minor gay male characters referenced, and two of the female characters trapped in the dorm are a lesbian couple, but there are also plenty of straight characters, so this feels very much like “reading” a mainstream zombie film.
This straightforward tale of a band of kids trapped in a dorm building and getting just as hungry as the zombies mixes things up by injecting flashbacks to further develop characters and establish how they all ended up at the same place at the same time. Even so, the main focus is on the current predicament of the characters and how each one reacts to the situation, which leads to a zinger ending.
Just like Asylum, Fort is a fast read—you might even say a feeding frenzy for fans of the undead—and could easily be part of a longer collection of short novellas that take place during the same zombie outbreak. Will we ever find out how the epidemic began? Will we ever learn if it’s squelched? We’ll just have to see. Now that Gunnells has two living dead tales under his belt, perhaps he’s working on more.
Meanwhile, he keeps pumping out horror novels and short story collections. For more about him, check out his website.