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In the 1990s, zombie fiction emerged as a distinct literary subgenre, with the publication of Book of the Dead

In the 1990s, zombie fiction emerged as a distinct literary subgenre, with the publication of Book of the Dead (1990) and its follow-up Still Dead: Book of the Dead 2 (1992), both edited by horror authors John Skipp and Craig Spector. Featuring Romero-inspired stories from the likes of Stephen King, the Book of the Dead compilations are regarded as influential in the horror genre and perhaps the first true "zombie literature". Horror novelist Stephen King has written about zombies, including his short story "Home Delivery" (1990) and his novel Cell (2006), concerning a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide outbreak of zombie-like maniacs.[94]

Max Brooks's novel World War Z (2006) became a New York Times bestseller.[95] Brooks had previously authored The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides.[96] Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because "Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race.... Zombies are slate wipers." Seth Grahame-Smith's mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) combines the full text of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) with a story about a zombie epidemic within the novel's British Regency period setting.[96] In 2009, Katy Hershbereger of St. Martin's Press stated: "In the world of traditional horror, nothing is more popular right now than zomb

Max Brooks's novel World War Z (2006) became a New York Times bestseller.[95] Brooks had previously authored The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides.[96] Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because "Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race.... Zombies are slate wipers." Seth Grahame-Smith's mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) combines the full text of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) with a story about a zombie epidemic within the novel's British Regency period setting.[96] In 2009, Katy Hershbereger of St. Martin's Press stated: "In the world of traditional horror, nothing is more popular right now than zombies... The living dead are here to stay."[96]

2000s and 2010s were marked by a decidedly new type of zombie novel, in which zombies retain their humanity and become friends or even romantic partners for humans; critics largely attribute this trend to the influence of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.[97][98] One of the most prominent examples is Generation Dead by Daniel Waters, featuring undead teenagers struggling for equality with the living and a human protagonist falling in love with their leader.[14] Other novels of this period involving human–zombie romantic relationships include Bone Song by John Meaney, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson, and Amy Plum's Die for Me series;[98] much earlier examples, dating back to the 1980s, are Dragon on a Pedestal by Piers Anthony and Conan the Defiant by Steve Perry.[99][100]

There has been a growth in the number of zombie manga in the last decade, and in a list of "10 Great Zombie Manga", Anime News Network's Jason Thompson placed I Am a Hero at number 1, considering it "probably the greatest zombie manga ever". In second place was Living Corpse, and in third was Biomega, which he called "the greatest science-fiction virus zombie manga ever".[101] During the late 2000s and early 2010s, there were several manga and anime series that humanized zombies by presenting them as protagonists or love interests, such as Sankarea: Undying Love and Is This a Zombie? (both debuted in 2009).

Z ~Zed~ was adapted into a Z ~Zed~ was adapted into a live action film in 2014.[102]

Artist Jillian McDonald has made several works of video art involving zombies and exhibited them in her 2006 show "Horror Make-Up", which debuted on 8 September 2006 at Art Moving Projects, a gallery in, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[103]

Artist Karim Charredib has dedicated his work to the zombie

Artist Karim Charredib has dedicated his work to the zombie figure. In 2007, he made a video installation at Villa Savoye called "Them !!!", wherein zombies walked in the villa like tourists.[104]

The release of two 1996 horror games Capcom's Resident Evil and Sega's The House of the Dead sparked an international craze for zombie games.[105][70] In 2013, George A. Romero said that it was the video games Resident Evil and House of the Dead "more than anything else" that popularised zombies in early 21st century popular culture.[106][107] The modern fast-running zombies have origins in these games, with Resident Evil's running zombie dogs and especially House of the Dead's running human zombies, which later became a staple of modern zombie films.[56]

Zombies went on to become a popular theme for video games, particularly in the survival horror, stealth, first-person shooter and survival horror, stealth, first-person shooter and role-playing game genres. Important horror fiction media franchises in this area include Resident Evil, The House of the Dead, Silent Hill, Dead Rising, Dead Island, Left 4 Dead, Dying Light, State of Decay, The Last of Us and the Zombies game modes from the Call of Duty title series.[108] A series of games has also been released based on the widely popular TV show The Walking Dead, first aired in 2010. World of Warcraft, first released in 2004, is an early example of a video game in which an individual zombie-like creature could be chosen as a player character (a previous game in the same series, Warcraft III, allowed a player control over an undead army).[original research?]

PopCap Games' Plants vs. Zombies, a humorous tower defense game, was an indie hit in 2009, featuring in several best-of lists at the end of that year. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game Urban Dead, a free grid-based browser game where zombies and survivors fight for control of a ruined city, is one of the most popular games of its type.[109]

DayZ, a zombie-based survival horror mod for ARMA 2, was responsible for over 300,000 unit sales of its parent game within two months of its release.[110] Over a year later, the developers of the mod created a standalone version of the same game, which was in early access on Steam, and so far has sold 3 million copies since its release in December 2013.[111]

Romero would later opine that he believes that much of the 21st century obsessions with Zombies can be traced more towards video games than films, noting that it was not until the 2009 film Zombieland that a Zombie film was able to gross more the 100 million dollars.[112]

Outside of video games, zombies frequently appear in trading card games, such as Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (which even has a Zombie-Type for its "monsters"), as well as in role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, tabletop games such as Zombies!!! and Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game, and tabletop wargames, such as Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. The game Humans vs. Zombies is a zombie-themed live-action game played on college campuses.[113]

Writing for Scientific American, Kyle Hill praised the 2013 game The Last of Us for the game's plausibility, which based its zombie enemies on a fictional strain of the Cordyceps fungus, which has real-world parasitic properties.[114] Despite plausibility, to date there have been no documented cases of humans infected by Cordyceps.[115] Zombie video games have remained popular in the late 2010s, as seen with the commercial success of the Resident Evil 2 remake and Days Gone in 2019.[116] This enduring popularity may be attributed, in part, to the fact that zombie enemies are not expected to exhibit significant levels of intelligence, making them relatively straightforward to program. However, less pragmatic advantages, such as those related to storytelling and representation, are increasingly important.[117]

On 18 May 2011, the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a graphic novel Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse providing tips to survive a zombie invasion as a "fun new way of teaching the importance of emergency preparedness".[118] The CDC goes on to summarize cultural references to a zombie apocalypse. It uses these to underscore the value of laying in water, food, medical supplies, and other necessities in preparation for any and all potential disasters, be they hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, or hordes of zombies.[118][119]

On 17 October 2011, The Weather Channel in the United States published an article "How To Weather the Zombie Apocalypse", which included a fictional interview with a Director of Research at the CDD, the "Center for Disease Developme

On 17 October 2011, The Weather Channel in the United States published an article "How To Weather the Zombie Apocalypse", which included a fictional interview with a Director of Research at the CDD, the "Center for Disease Development".[120] Questions answered include "How does the temperature affect zombies' abilities? Do they run faster in warmer temperatures? Do they freeze if it gets too cold?"[120]

In 2011, the US government drafted CONPLAN 8888, a training exercise detailing a strategy to defend against a zombie attack. [121]

Michael Jackson's music video Thriller (1983), in which he dances with a troop of zombies, has been preserved as a cultural treasure by the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.[122][123] Many pop-culture media have paid tribute to this video, such as a gathering of 14,000 university students dressed as zombies in Mexico City,[122] and 1500 prisoners in orange jumpsuits recreating the zombie dance in a viral video.[124]

The Brooklyn hip

The Brooklyn hip hop trio Flatbush Zombies incorporate many tropes from zombie fiction and play on the theme of a zombie apocalypse in their music. They portray themselves as "living dead", describing their use of psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as having caused them to experience ego death and rebirth.

The zombie also appears as a metaphor in protest songs, symbolizing mindless adherence to authority, particularly in law enforcement and the armed forces. Well-known examples include Fela Kuti's 1976 album Zombie and The Cranberries' 1994 single "Zombie".

Organized zombie walks have been staged, either as performance art or as part of protests that parody political extremism or apathy.[125][126][127][128][129]

A variation of the zombie walk is the zombie run. Here participants do a 5 km run wearing a belt with several flag "lives". If the chasing zombies capture all of the flags, the runner becomes "infected". If he or she reaches the finish line, which may involve wide detours, ahead of the zombies, then the participant is a "survivor". In either case an appropriate participation medal is awarded.zombie walks have been staged, either as performance art or as part of protests that parody political extremism or apathy.[125][126][127][128][129]

A variation of the zombie walk is the zombie run. Here participants do a 5 km run wearing a belt with several flag "lives". If the chasing zombies capture all of the flags, the runner becomes "infected". If he or she reaches the finish line, which may involve wide detours, ahead of the zombies, then the participant is a "survivor". In either case an appropriate participation medal is awarded.[130]

Researchers have used theoretical zombie infections to test epidemiology modeling. One study found that all humans end up turned or dead. This is because the main epidemiological risk of zombies, besides the difficulties of neutralizing them, is that their population just keeps increasing; generations of humans merely "surviving" still have a tendency to feed zombie populations, resulting in gross outnumbering. The researchers explain that their methods of modelling may be applicable to the spread of political views or diseases with dormant infection.[131][132]

Adam Chodorow of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University investigated the estate and income tax implications of a zombie apocalypse under United States federal and state tax codes.[133] Neuroscientists Bradley Voytek and Timothy Verstynen have built a side career in extrapolating how ideas in neuroscience would theoretically apply to zombie brains. Their work has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, and other publications.[134]