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Literature: Black Tide Rising
In various places online and off, John Ringo has mentioned that he didn't care much for most Zombie Apocalypse fiction. So what does he do? He jumps on the bandwagon.

Black Tide Rising focuses on a Crazy-Prepared family surviving the initial outbreak (brought to America by illegal immigrants, of course) and taking refuge on a small boat in the Northern Atlantic. After a few months, they start scavenging other vessels, clearing them of zombies and rescuing survivors, finally establishing a small, well, nation of its own, charter and all.

The main characters are:
  • Steven John Smith: Australian born ex-soldier in the Australian Special Air Service, later a naturalized American citizen.
  • Stacey Smith: Steve's wife and engineer extraordinaire.
  • Sofia: 15 year-old daughter of Steve and Stacey, the Smart Chick.
  • Faith: The Action Girl. As in wearing 60 pounds of combat gear, fighting her way through entire hordes of zombies by hand, and doing all that while being 13 years old.

The supporting cast includes:
  • Thomas "The Train Engine" Smith: Steve's brother and security chief for the Bank of the Americas. He's the one to tip off Steve and the family about the upcoming apocalypse.

Books in the series:
  • Under a Graveyard Sky (2013)
  • To Sail a Darkling Sea (2014)
  • Islands of Rage and Hope (2014)
  • Strands of Sorrow (2015)

Not to be confused with Dark Tide.


The series uses the following tropes:

  • Author Filibuster: There is, at one point, a rant about how the pharmaceutical industry giants and the Bush administration may be responsible for the virus and/or seek to profit from the vaccine. It's delivered by an unreasonable Strawman Political conspiracy theorist.
  • Badass Family: The protagonists. Dad is a former special forces soldier, both daughters (particularly the younger one, Faith) mercilessly slaughter entire herds of zombies, and mom is an engineer that keeps things working in spite of resource limitations imposed by the setting even if she doesn't herself participate in zombie slaughtering
  • Bury Your Gays: A gay cop is introduced, given some backstory and then killed. What happens to his husband is unrevealed but considering he's in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, his chances aren't good.
  • Chainsaw Good: During the operation to clear a cruise line ship, Faith mentions several times that she'd like to have a chainsaw available as a clearing tool, although Fontana points out some of the problems with using a chainsaw as a weapon.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Smith family have enough plans for different apocalyptic scenarios, with a code for every single one of them. The father also has at least one other identity ready in advance, which he uses to keep the preparations for the apocalypse from being tracked back to him.
  • Dirty Communists: What remains of the Russian government has resurrected the Soviet Union.
  • Groin Attack: In a discussion on how to deal with infected security people aboard a cruise liner who are wearing body armor, Faith suggests a chainsaw. When Fontana points out the Kevlar armor would jam the chain, she says "come up", and makes a motion of cutting up between the legs.
    "Ooooh," Hooch said, grabbing his jewels. "Thereís things you just donít say around guys."
  • Hate Plague: H7D3 ultimately turns the infected into feral, vicious non-sapient cannibalistic animals who are human only in a biological sense.
  • Human Resources: The fastest way of collecting large amounts of antibodies for use in a vaccine against H7D3 is to collect the fluids from the head and spine of its victims, as it only infects higher level primates. The task is done under secret conditions by Thomas Smith and some associates due to the illegality of the act.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The FBI is mentioned several times as making it difficult to track down the virus, as the microbiology experts supposed to be assisting them are also the primary suspects, and the FBI's concern is more "find the guilty party" than "stop the virus". CDC staffers are particularly hostile to the FBI, thanks to how they reacted to previous events like the anthrax attack shortly after the September 11, 2001 attack.
  • Little Miss Badass: Faith becomes well known, both in the story and out, as being a hardcore ass-kicker, at all of 13 years old.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: At one point the team salvages a luxurious yacht belonging to "Mike Mickerberg", the CEO of "Spacebook", recognizes the owner among the zombies, and promptly serves him with a 12 gauge round.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Given that zombies were previously regarded as purely fictional, the experts are initially reluctant to call victims of H7D3 "zombies", but eventually give in to the inevitable as everyone's thoughts gravitate that way anyhow.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: The Technically Living Zombies of the series have no problems with eating other victims of the Synthetic Plague if other meat isn't available.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Technically Living Zombies, created by a Synthetic Hate Plague, do eat flesh like Romero zombies, but will turn on other zombies if no other food source presents itself, and can go into hibernation to conserve energy when food is unavailable. Ultimately, however, these can die on their own by starving to death, and don't require headshots or Applied Phlebotinum weaponry to kill.
  • Sanity Slippage: Faith goes a little into this after they board a yacht that was taken over by the mercenaries hired to protect it and sees the carnage that followed, killing and rape everyone there. It becomes more serious when they're clearing a cruise ship later. Oddly it's not fighting zombies that does it but what she finds after the zombies are cleared out, the horror shows in the cabins, even the ones where they find survivors. She turns Trixie, a teddy bear they found on one ship into a Companion Cube as a coping mechanism.
  • Schmuck Bait: One of the methods Wolf Squadron uses for dealing with zombies, discussed in Graveyard Sky and used in Darkling Sea, relying on the fact that zombies are attracted to noise and lights. Both done on a group level (ships holding large parties before machine gunning down zombies) and automated systems (modified cargo carriers turned into zombie shredding machines).
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sofia and Faith
  • Synthetic Plague: H7D3 is a purposefully designed multi-stage agent that ultimately turns its victims into very aggressive humans with no real sapience, basically being little more than two-legged feral animals.
  • Vestigial Empire: Many governments and their militaries, after the Hate Plague hits them, are almost totally destroyed, ruling only a relatively small part of their original territory.
  • The Cameo: Voltaire shows up in the midst of an apocalyptic rave in the Central Park.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Many people comment on the fact they don't like killing the zombie children and while we don't see it happen the characters clean up the remains of children on occasion.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Justified, The Virus H7D3 is man-made to create a zombie apocalypse.

Troy RisingCreator/John Ringo    
BlackstarLiterature of the 2010sBlue Rabbit

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