Abstract

The practical undercurrent to zombie apocalypse novels appears in their engagement with the role and form of infrastructure and planning in everyday life after the apocalypse. Max Brooks’s World War Z, Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, and Colson Whitehead’s Zone One imagine not just fighting the zombie horde, but also rebuilding after the zombie apocalypse. For these novels, zombie détente is a matter of public works. These zombie apocalypses appeal to current anxieties about the danger the crumbling infrastructure poses to the US getting about its everyday business, a danger that precludes the collective action necessary to confront social injustices. These zombie apocalypses articulate concerns about infrastructure in the US, and in the process highlight how important transport systems continue to be for maintaining society. The destruction, decay, and refitting of the infrastructure presents the emergent problems to address before reaching the point of getting organized to address problems collectively.

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