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Here's the official description:
“Queen of the Undead, Carrie Ryan, takes readers once again to the world of The Forest of Hands and Teeth." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL on "Bougainvillea."
From a life raft cast adrift in the middle of the ocean to the attic of a suburban garage; from the heart-pounding moments just after the dead begin to rise, to the ravaged world generations later, the five stories in The Dead and Empty World present a chilling portrait of what it takes to survive – or not – the zombie apocalypse.
This 39,000 word collection contains five previously published stories and never before published bonus materials, including background information on each story, easter eggs, and an essay detailing the inspiration for the Forest of Hands and Teeth.So why this collection and why now? First of all, it's almost Halloween, so what better time to debut a collection of zombie stories? But also, I've been planning on putting this collection together for quite a while, and finally, with the help of Jeremy West and everyone else at Red Creative Design, I've been able to make it happen (thanks Jeremy!!).
Even though I’d always dreamed about becoming an author when I grew up, if you’d told me that I’d end up writing about zombies I’d have laughed. Not just because I was the kind of kid who refused to watch scary movies, but also because I’d always assumed I’d write romance novels. But when my husband took me to go see the Dawn of the Dead remake, I became obsessed with zombies (and trust me, no one was more surprised than I was!).
I wrote The Forest of Hands and Teethbecause I was fascinated with the idea of a world generations after the zombie apocalypse – where zombies were a part of every day life to such an extent that you couldn’t imagine a world without them. But more than that, I’m fascinated with how people survive when everything around them changes – when the world they’ve known becomes unrecognizable.
To that end, I began writing short stories set in the same world as The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Some of them I used to explore characters from the books (Sister Tabitha in the story “Hare Moon”) and some of them I used to play out my worst nightmares (being stuck in a life raft with someone who’d been bitten as in “Flotsam & Jetsam”). In many I tested out escape plans to determine whether they’d be successful (“A Game of Firsts” and “Bougainvillea”) and in some I just wanted to know how to build a life in a terrible world (“Scenic Route”). The Dead and Empty World represents my own struggle to determine what it means to do more that simply survive – but to actually live life despite the obstacles – dead or alive – that stand in the way.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!