The Contagion by Ernest Bywater


Description: A deadly virus sweeps the world bringing dead back to life. A Think Tank Group is at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex when the alert is issued. Its senior members join in a conference with the Commander of the United States Northern Command who relays their orders from the Pentagon. Maximilian 'Mad Max' Milton, the 2nd in-charge of the Think Tank gives reason to his nickname, and the war is on with those afflicted with The Contagion. Will they win the war, can they win the war? 11,400 words.
Size: 59 KB ( ~ 11,188 words)
Type: Science Fiction
Age Rating: Older than 13
Tags: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Pandemic, Politics, Horror, Military, Zombies

Review by richardshagrin   [other reviews by richardshagrin]

Reviewed: 2016-08-02


The author, as this review is written, has one third of all 21 stories on the site. It may be too soon to compare this story to all the other stories on the site, or other stories I have read in the Science Fiction genre. However, it is in interesting read and could be the basis for a suspenseful story as the basic idea is strong.

But, and there is always a but, as everyone has one, there isn't much suspense as the story is short and the ending isn't entirely a happy resolution of the problems of the characters. Not that I could write a better story, but Mr. Bywater has, and read some of his others if you doubt me.

I agree world peace, or whirled peas if you want a vegetable, is a desirable outcome of any conflict. It is not entirely clear to me that that is what you would get out of this zombie attack. The author sets it up that way and it seems logical as you read it, but upon reflection maybe it is just optimism. Or a quick way to resolve the story.

The plot is strong, much stronger than the characters. I will give it an eight, which is an A as I grade papers. I saw no problems with technical quality, so I will also give that an eight, another A. Its difficult to downgrade what otherwise is a nice effort, but I have read science fiction that appealed to me much more than this story. Perhaps it does not have much in the way of character development, romance or conflict resolution. Its not just that the difficult was accomplished quickly, the impossible was done just as fast. Often in the next paragraph or so after the problem was exposed. So I will use a six, which is a C, average, to rate this story's appeal to me.

I strongly recommend other, longer stories by this author.

Plot: 8 | Technical Quality: 8 | Appeal to Reviewer: 6