George A. Romero returns to the living dead with short story John Doe

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Back in May, we let you guys know that George A. Romero was returning to the living dead with a new anthology book, fittingly called NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD. The book is set in the same universe, and during the same timeframe as the original film, and features stories from a host of different authors (listed below).

One of the contributing authors is none other than Romero himself and today Bloody Disgusting got their hands on the first four pages of Romero's living dead short story JOHN DOE. I have included a small excerpt from their four-page exclusive below.

JOHN DOE by George A. Romero:

Within the early months of the twenty-first century, even before the terrorist attacks of 9/11, most hospitals, nursing homes, and police departments in the United States— those sophisticated enough to be computer-equipped—were mandated to join the VSDC (Vital Statistics Data Collection) network, a cyber-system that received and instantly down-loaded information to a division of the Census Bureau known as AMLD (American Model of Lineage and Demographics). Jokingly referred to as “A Matter of Life and Death.” Whenever a birth or a death was recorded anywhere in the country, the doctor, nurse, registrar—whoever was doing the local filing— simply had to click on a link that copied the statistic directly to the VSDC.

John Doe’s VSDC case number, 129-46-9875, was recognized by the system twice on the night he died. It was initially forwarded by St. Michael the Archangel, a Catholic hospital in San Diego, California. The second entry, the one that made the case notable, came in almost three and a half hours later from the Medical Examiner’s Office in San Diego County. It reached the VSDC at 10:36 p.m. but went unnoticed for another forty-eight hours, until statisticians at the department started to search for abnormalities in recently entered files.

Thousands of similar files were received over those forty-eight hours. Statisticians only began to focus on John Doe’s case when they finally tried to determine when the phenomenon actually began. As sophisticated as the VSDC system was, it was unable to automatically organize entries by date and time. Statisticians had to search manually. John Doe’s dossier—temporarily catalogued in a file labeled ‘Beginners’— predated any of the others that were found. There may have been earlier cases, but they went undiscovered because the statisticians simply stopped looking.

You can head over to BD and read the rest of the four-page preview RIGHT HERE. Before that though, make sure to let us know how excited you are about Romero's return to the living dead on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD Anthology synopsis:

In 1968, the world experienced a brand-new kind of terror with the debut of George A. Romero’s landmark movie Night of the Living Dead. The newly dead rose to attack the living. Not as vampires or werewolves. This was something new . . . and terrifying. Since then, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture.

But it all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse…

Nights of the Living Dead returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the living dead himself, George A. Romero, to present a collection of all-new tales set during the forty-eight hours of that legendary outbreak.

Contributed authors include Jay Bonansinga, Max Brallier, Ryan Brown, Mike Carey, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Craig E. Engler, Mira Grant, Brian Keene, Joe R. Lansdale, Isaac Marion, Carrie Ryan, David J. Schow, Neal and Brenda Shusterman, John Skipp, David Wellington, and Chuck Wendig, Jonathan Maberry, Romero, and John Russo.

NIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD was released on July 11th.


Source: B-D

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