It’s that time of year again: as the crocuses poke their little purple heads out of last year’s mulch, the first zombies begin to claw their way through the newly-unfrozen ground. I don’t know who to root for, so to speak. I dig plants and I dig zombies. Is there no universe where weed all just get along?
For now, my loyalties remain divided between the grains and the brains. If you’re still deciding which group to attack with a garden trowel this year, then these books are for you.
Amy Stewart has it all for you: first your favorite plant will poison you literally to death, and then it will get you so stinking drunk that you’ll come back as a zombie. At last, synergy.
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
Not sure why everyone has it in for zombies, but if you’re one of the hordes of hostile anti-zombie activists out there, here’s the key to understanding the undead. And re-deading them, if you’re so inclined.
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Personally, between a zombie who happens to be hungry and a plant that really just wants to kill you for no reason, and can also run after you to make that happen, I’ll choose a zombie any day. Give that guy some brains and he’s good. Give a triffid some brains and it’ll just keep murdering the heck out of you. There’s no negotiating with some people. Or plants.
Monster Island by David Wellington
On a mission to zombie-infested New York in search of AIDS drugs, Dekalb (our hero) discovers a zombie that has retained its intellect and identity. He’s kind of a doof, so he decides not to shoot it. Thus do his problems multiply.
Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird
Tompkins and Bird are all about humans and plants and their mystical spiritual connection. If you’ve ever just wanted to do some yoga with a tree, then this is the book for you. Don’t be surprised if the tree wins, though.
iZombie by Chris Roberson
Gwen has never really gotten past the whole “eating brains” thing. C’est la vie: if she doesn’t chow down on some grey matter on the regular, then she gets kind of too cranky for polite society. But you know what they say: you are who you eat.
What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz
So, remember that time that you played Metallica at that forsythia bush? Well, I hope you’re happy, because it took that personally. Daniel Chamovitz thinks that you ought to get right over there with some Bach and apologize.
A Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon
That’s right: even the great Diana Gabaldon of Jaime and Claire fame can’t resist the siren call of “braaaains!” When Lord John goes to Jamaica, he’s never heard of a zombie before. He’ll know a lot more about them when he leaves. If he leaves, that is.
Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
Pot. French fries. Hard apple cider. And the tulip, because plants really do make people do stupid things sometimes. Michael Pollan is about to tell you about all of it.
Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
OK: I forgot about the unicorns. The migratory spring unicorns. So now it’s Plants vs. Zombies vs. Unicorns. I kind of hope that the plants and zombies gang up against the unicorns, because if you read the original unicorn myths, they were kind of jerks and had some weird symbolic implications. Somewhere in this compilation of short stories, I’m sure zombies and plants will conspire together to bring down those glorified ponies once and for all.
Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon by Paul Tobin
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare from Popcap