Title: ZA: Run and Gun
Author: I.D. Locke
Length: 12,600 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m science fiction horror romance
The world has gone to hell in a hand basket with the dead shambling in the streets and attacking the living. Konrad and Jase have a Plan for the ZA, because, who doesn’t? Something that was just for fun is frighteningly real now. The married couple is separated by a hundred kilometers of zombie infested roadway. Konrad is at their condo and Jase is at the military base he’s assigned to. Neither one is going to let that stop them from reuniting with each other.
What follows is running and gunning that surpasses anything available in video games.
It’s the Zombie Apocalypse and Konrad is stuck in his apartment. Fortunately, he and his husband, Jase, have been planning for years for this eventuality and have a watertight plan ready-made for survival. Unfortunately the ZA hit when they were apart. Jase is on the military base 90 minute’s drive away and Konrad has no way of knowing whether he is safe.
This action packed story hit the ground running and didn’t stop the whole time. The first part follows Konrad as he sits in his apartment, looking out at the zombies and picking off those he can get a clear shot at. He’s got a plan and he’s sticking with it. Meanwhile, he’s missing his husband and hoping Jase is OK. It was a nice mix of romance/pathos, tense claustrophic scenes and thrills as we see the difficulties Konrad has in surviving when stepping out of his door would be almost certain death.
There’s an almost cinematic feel to the section from Jase’s point of view. It’s a trifle overblown as we see Jase attempt to get to his helicopter so he can fly back to Konrad. You may even say that it was tongue in cheek. However, it was also tightly written and included some nice detail about the military base and the helicopter so I could forgive the rest.
This wasn’t a perfect story, for example, there was a huge blank on how the ZA started and Konrad been left with permanent damage after suffering a type of stroke which is supposed to only have symptoms for about 24 hours which seemed odd, but it was still very entertaining nonetheless. The romance is a nice touch of sweetness amongst the gore and I liked that both men are loving and committed to each other.
If you like apocalyptic stories and want something fairly lighthearted but in keeping with the horror genre, then this could be the story for you.