“Catholics” and “the walking dead” may have combined in your mind before now if you’ve ever been to a 6:00 am sunrise Mass, but author Ryan Trusell offers us an application that is more literal. Ora et Labora et Zombies is a horror story told through a series of letters from a husband to his missing wife, written while on the lam from wheezing undead hordes.
But don’t expect a Milla Jovovich Resident Evil script–thank God. The pacing and tone of this “epistolary novel” is reserved; the husband’s writing style is often florid and even anachronistic, instantly recalling the fictional letters scattered throughout Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stoker’s Dracula. And, of course, there is the religious content. There are I-don’t-even-know-how-many letters in all, and I’m only up to letter #5, but it’s clear that Trusell is using the zombie mythology to explore deep religious and existential truths, which is just a very cool idea.
Trusell has now produced a 4-part anthology, and guess who’s in it? Well, Simcha Fisher, Brandon Vogt, and Dorian Speed, that’s who—luminaries, all. But there’s also me! My contribution is called “The Offended,” a short fictional story of gothic horror that ties in to the season of Advent (which begins December 2). Advent is what the anthology is all about, in fact (hence the title: “Adventhology”). Advent is such a great season, and so misunderstood and badly neglected, so it’s good to find ways to explore its richness. I hope Adventhology will help with that.