Exclusive: Author Simon Monk Talks The Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Author Simon Monk Talks The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse



Back in early September we told you about Simon Monk’s The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, available October 25th from No Starch Press; and to help get you ready for the book’s release in just a few more days, we have an exclusive Q&A with Simon to share.  Read on to learn more about The Maker’s Guide and what else author Monk has up his sleeve.

Dread Central:  Your background is in hardware and electronics; you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Cybernetics and a Ph.D. in Software Engineering.  What in the world made you decide to combine that knowledge with the zombie apocalypse?

Simon Monk: I have always found the idea of post-apocalyptic survival fascinating. I’m no warrior or leader, but I would be able to do useful things with technology to make life more comfortable and keep my group safe. I feel that the engineering aspects of post-zombie-apocalypse survival have been ignored for too long!

DC:  Zombies are so popular now – but you’ve certainly taken a different approach in writing about them.  Can you describe your process of incorporating real-world technology into a fictional scenario like the zombie apocalypse?

SM: I am a big fan of “The Walking Dead,” and when thinking about projects for the book, I always try and think of how the project would work in “The Walking Dead” world and also where you would get the parts. For example, it’s pretty easy to rig a trip wire alarm with a car battery, microswitch car horn, and some wire — all things that are readily available for scavenging in a post-apocalyptic world.

DC:  Are you yourself prepared for such an event?  Do you have supplies stockpiled “just in case”?

SM: No. It’s fiction! However, I do have everything boxed up and stored — just in case.


DC:  What are some of your own favorite zombie tales, and how have they influenced your writing in The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse?

SM: As I mentioned before, I am a big fan of “The Walking Dead.” I also love a good zombie film. I thought World War Z was very good, although the book is even better.

DC:  Are you a fan of the horror genre?  Do you plan to return to it again for future books?

SM: I enjoy a good horror film, but I am not a hard-core fan. I prefer horror-comedy — Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods (I watched that again the other night), and Severance are my favorites. This was a really fun book to write, and although I don’t have any plans to write another horror-related book, there are still project ideas that could be useful post-apocalypse, so who knows… there could be a sequel some day.

DC:  The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Defend Your Base with Simple Circuits, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi will be out just in time for Halloween.  Does your family celebrate the holiday in a big way?  I imagine this year will be a memorable one!

SM: We live on the edge of a country park surrounded by woods, and this year the park is hosting an event called “Moonlight Zombies” on Halloween so I expect there to be hoards of zombies and victims roaming around the neighborhood.

DC:  Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?  What’s next for you?

SM: Although the book is themed around a zombie apocalypse, it’s equally useful for other types of apocalypse or even for people who just want to learn a bit more about technology and how you can do small-scale electricity generation and use tools like Arduino and Raspberry Pi to make projects.  Next up, it’s back to the core electronics maker community for me with Make: Action: Movement, Light, and Sound with Arduino and Raspberry Pi (Make) and new editions of Practical Electronics for Inventors (McGraw-Hill Education) and Programing Arduino (McGraw-Hill Education).

Big thanks to Simon for his time and to Anna Morrow at No Starch Press for facilitating our interview!


In this indispensable text, expert hardware hacker and zombie anthropologist Simon Monk gives readers all they need to survive an undead uprising. The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Defend Your Base with Simple Circuits, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi covers everything from identifying basic zombie types to crafting essential electronics. Artwork is by Miran Lipovaca.

Take charge of the environment:

  • Monitor zombie movements with trip wires and motion sensors
  • Keep vigilant watch over the compound with surveillance cameras
  • Power anti-zombie systems with car batteries, bicycle generators, and solar power

Escape imminent danger:

  • Repurpose old disposable cameras for zombie-distracting flashbangs
  • Open doors remotely for a successful sprint home
  • Prevent disasters with fire and smoke detectors

Communicate with other survivors:

  • Hail nearby humans with Morse code
  • Pass silent messages with two-way vibration walkie-talkies
  • Scan radio stations with an automatic frequency hopper

Founder Bill Pollock, last seen barricading his office door with Commodore 64s and crates of bourbon, was unavailable for comment. However, a flash drive unearthed in the rubble of the No Starch Press office had this to say: “The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is for any survival-minded maker who wants to learn how to utilize their surroundings, use salvaged parts, generate their own power, and develop maker and survivor skills.”

For anyone from the complete beginner to the keen hobbyist, The Maker’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is an essential survival tool and will be available everywhere this October 25th.


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Which Monsters May Be Making Their TV Debut in Junji Ito Collection?



Studio Deen’s highly-anticipated anime anthology Junji Ito Collection has been building buzz, especially since its new teaser dropped weeks ago. Eagle-eyed fans who are well-acquainted with horror mangaka Junji Ito’s body of work will spot some familiar faces in the new trailer, brought to the small screen by showrunner Shinobu Tagashira.

So, who among Ito’s famous menagerie of monsters may be making an appearance in the show when it airs next year?

Oshikiri Toru

Oshikiri is the morally-questionable highschooler who begins to question his perception of reality in Hallucinations, a series of some loosely connected one-shots. Oshikiri’s a little on the short side, with an even shorter fuse. One thing he’s not short on is moneyas evidenced by his impressive, albeit creepy, mansion. We’ve yet to see which of his adventureswhich range from murder to parallel dimensionswill be his television debut.


The once-chatty Yuuko falls ill and sees her worst fears come to pass in Slug Girl, the famous one-shot whose brand of body horror is sure to feel like a distant cousin (or maybe a predecessor?) to Uzumaki‘s “The Snail” chapter. It offers little in the way of answers but is best enjoyed in all its bizarre glory.

The Intersection Bishounen

In Lovesick Dead, one of Ito’s longer standalone stories, an urban legend causes a rash of suicides when young girls begin to call upon a mysterious, black-clad spirit called the Intersection Bishounen. The custom catches on quickly among teenagers, out late and eager for him to tell them their fortune in life and love, since his advice is to die for. Literally.

Souichi Tsujii

A long-running recurring character in Ito’s manga (probably second only to Tomie herself), you’ll know Souichi by the nails he sucks on or sticks out of his moutha strange habit borne out of an iron deficiency. He’s an impish kid whose fascination with the supernatural makes him the odd man out in an otherwise normal family. The morbid pranks he likes to playfunny only to him—don’t do much to endear him to his peers or relatives, either.


The titular character in Fashion Model, Fuchi works as a professional model for her, shall we say, unique look and Amazonian stature. When she and another actress are hired by a crew of indie filmmakers, Fuchi shows them that she doesn’t like sharing the limelight. She also makes a cameo in a couple of Souichi’s stories, and in them he finds her genuinely attractive. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Nemo Rising Signing Happening at Dark Delicacies on December 23



Author C. Courtney Joyner will be signing copies of his new book Nemo Rising at Burkank’s Dark Delicacies horror store on Saturday, December 23 at 4pm. You can get the full details of the event and directions on Dark Delicacies’ website.

Nemo Rising will be a sequel to Jules Verne’s 1870 masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and will see President Ulysses S. Grant recruiting the notorious Captain Nemo to destroy a gigantic sea monster which has been responsible for sinking ships. The gigantic eight-tentacled mollusc can be seen on the book’s cover below, and it looks like Nemo will have his work cut out for him.

Joyner also worked on the screenplays for the Full Moon films Doctor Mordrid and Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, whilst his previous books include Hell Comes To Hollywood and the Shotgun series. If you can’t make it to the signing, Nemo Rising will be released in the US on December 26, and in the UK on January 13.

Nemo Rising Dark Delicacies Signing Details:
​Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26th, 2017.

JUST ANNOUNCED: On December 23rd at 4:00 PM, C. Courtney Joyner will sign copies of NEMO RISING at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California!

C. COURTNEY JOYNER is an award-winning writer of fiction, comics, and screenplays. He has more than 25 movies to his credit, including the cult films Prison, starring Viggo Mortensen; From a Whisper to a Scream, starring Vincent Price; and Class of 1999, directed by Mark Lester. A graduate of USC, Joyner’s first produced screenplay was The Offspring, which also starred Vincent Price. Joyner’s other scripts have included TV movies for CBS, USA, and Showtime. He is the author of The Shotgun western series and Nemo Rising.

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Mill Creek Celebrates Shadow Stalkers and 100 Years of Horror in February



Mill Creek Entertainment is kicking off the new year with a couple of collections that have nothing but giving you the shivers on their agenda!  Read on for the details of both Shadow Stalkers and 100 Years of Horror!

Shadow Stalkers – February 6, 2018

Let the nightmares begin with this freaky film collection filled with creepy clowns, masked killers, and maniacal murderers.

Out of the Dark – 1988 – R – Karen Black, Bud Cort
Happy Birthday to Me – 1981 – R – Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford
Eyes of Laura Mars – 1978 – R – Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif
Don’t Answer the Phone – 1980 – R – James Westmoreland, Nicholas Worth
Nightmare in Wax – 1969 – R – Cameron Mitchell, Anne Helm, Scott Brady
Bloody Pit of Horror – 1965 – R – Mickey Hargitay
Silent Night, Bloody Night – 1972 – R – Patrick O’Neal, Mary Woronov, John Carradine
Funeral Home – 1980 – R – Barry Morse, Kay Hawtry
Don’t Open Till Christmas – 1984 – R – Edmund Purdom, Belinda Mayne
The Driller Killer – 1979 – R – Abel Ferrara

100 Years of Horror – February 6, 2018

Hosted by Christopher Lee, 100 Years of Horror is the first show of its kind ever produced; it chronicles the history of movie horror from the earliest experimental chillers through the unforgettable golden age of movie monsters and on through today’s terrifying fright films.

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