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Digging it


An Oklahoma geologist unearths the undead for his first book.

Mia Ledet August 15th, 2012

Many sci-fi and horror fans have planned their zombie survival strategy, in fear (or is it hope?) that a zombie apocalypse is nigh.

With his debut novel, Zombacter: Center City Contagion, Oklahoma City’s Sean Bingham has created the contingency plan and the apocalypse scenario to go with it.

The first book of Bingham’s undead trilogy, Zombacter was published by Severed Press, an independent company that specializes in survival horror. It is Bingham’s first novel.

A Georgia native, he received his bachelor’s in geology from Columbus State University in 2004. After receiving his master’s from Auburn University, Bingham moved to Oklahoma in 2007 to work as a geologist for Devon Energy.

Bingham’s series was inspired by a dig he led in 2003, when he discovered the Ingersoll Shale fossil site in Alabama. He and his team uncovered feathers they initially believed had been replaced by bacteria.

Although that hypothesis ended up being disproven, the idea stuck with him nonetheless: What if something — or someone — could be replaced by another living creature and still look exactly the same?

“I’ve always liked the zombie genre, but I’ve never liked the fact that there was no good, scientific explanation for a zombie outbreak,” said Bingham.

For years, he read scientific journals and utilized his background in geology and paleontology to develop the logical reasoning behind his zombies. This is what separates his book from the others: a believable cause for a zombie outbreak.

“A lot of the stuff I learned about real microbe behavior was creepy,” said Bingham.

Readers will discover that not all of Bingham’s zombies are the slow and bumbling creatures made familiar through George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead movies. Some of the author’s undead are incredibly fast and terribly smart.

And yes: They’re all very hungry. “I wanted to breathe new life to the undead,” said Bingham. “There’s something in it for everyone. There’s sci-fi and even a love story. But I want people to know that my zombies don’t sparkle.”

Fans can expect the series’ second installment before Halloween.

 
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