Well, since Ken offered a perfect intro, I guess I should get off my but and deliver my promised book recommendation. World War Z is a mock-history of the zombie apocalypse. It postulates that some time in the very near future, zombies will rise (probably in China) and begin to devastate the world. Most of our high tech weapons and advantages will be useless against the zombie tide.
The conceit of the book is that the author was commissioned by the UN to deliver a final report (presumably after the war has been won) and the stories in the book are the "deleted scenes" from that UN report. The vignettes are roughly in chronological order, and take you through such things as different cultures different responses to the zombie threat, the environmental impact of the war, the draconian tactics that all countries were forced to use, the unique tactics developed to combat zombies (I particularly liked the "lemmings" plan), some of the turning point battles (including the disastrous Battle of Yonkers), and the larger than life characters that come to the fore.
The book succeeds because it takes itself so seriously. There is no wink and nod here. It also succeeds (for me) because it does more than just tell a horror story, it examines the impact of this event on the entire world. It is as much a thought experiment as The World Without Us. What is the environmental impact of all the fires and explosions that take place, which countries might actually profit from the war (hint: islands and totalitarian regimes) and what affect would this have on the people of the world?
The author has a knack for thinking of things that you would not have considered. For instance, there is a great sequence on what the Zombie War meant to the astronauts on the ISS. They had to watch the whole thing. Sure, there are a few bits that are a little too cute (a wealthy LA agent being "retrained" for useful work by his former cleaning lady, for example) but overall, this is the rare book that combines fantasy with real world implications without dissolving into Harry Turtledove territory.
I think anybody reading this would really enjoy this book, and I recommend it strongly.
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