WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
File:Newsflesh3 5819.jpg

The Masons take their news so seriously they're willing to die to bring you the truth.

Newsflesh is a series of Zombie Apocalypse medical political thrillers written by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire, author of the October Daye Urban Fantasy novels).

In the summer of 2014, three men tried to help the world, and nearly ended it instead. In Colorado, Dr. Daniel Wells worked on a genetically engineered virus designed to cure cancer, finally achieving a breakthrough with teenager Amanda Amberlee. In Virginia, Dr. Alexander Kellis worked on a similar program to wipe out the common cold. And in Pennsylvania, Brandon Majors led a group of college students to break into Dr. Kellis' lab, setting free the experimental and incompletely tested virus.

Soon, the two viruses met and combined to form Kellis-Amberlee, which turned out to be the Virus: it caused the dead to get back up as zombies and eat people, which of course generated more zombies. The initial series of outbreaks was dubbed The Rising.

In an attempt to prevent mass panic, the government decided to lie to the public; newscasters were given scripts indicating that it was either a zombie walk, or a variation of H1N1 making people act aggressively and violently. However, one brave doctor from the CDC leaked the real story, even as bloggers and geeks had already guessed the truth and started spreading the word.

Once the worst was over (for some values of "worst"), humanity researched the situation and quickly learned just how screwed they were: every mammal on the planet was infected with Kellis-Amberlee; any mammal large enough (about 40 pounds) would reanimate as a zombie upon death. A few would simply convert directly into zombies without dying. There was no cure.

In the twenty years since the Rising, life has changed drastically to address the continuous threat of new outbreaks. A significant portion of the American public has retreated behind walls. Everyone who has to go outside has to know how to shoot. Strict hygiene protocols must be obeyed. Bloggers are now considered valid journalists because they immediately shared the truth and spread the word during the Rising, while traditional media was still either dancing to the government's tune or just failing to take the disaster seriously.

In 2039, Senator Peter Ryman, seeking the Republican nomination for president, chose a team of bloggers to join him on the campaign trail: After The End Times, headed by Georgia and Shaun Mason and Buffy Meissonier, from the first generation to come of age since the Rising. In addition to learning about Ryman, they discovered some disturbing truths that led them to dig deeper, finding more than they -- or anyone -- ever bargained for.

Some months later, the After The End Times crew were getting back to normal when an unexpected visitor showed up -- and they realized that what they had discovered so far was just the tip of the iceberg.

The novels are:

  • Feed (May 2010) - 2011 Hugo Award nominee for Best Novel and optioned for a motion picture.
  • Deadline (May 2011)
  • Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella (August 2011)
  • Blackout (May 2012)
  • San Diego 2014: The Final Stand of the California Browncoats (scheduled for sometime in 2012)

In addition, the short story Everglades was published in the anthology Living Dead 2 in 2010, and a series of vignettes collectively titled Countdown were published to the author's blog in the weeks leading up to Deadline's release. In August of 2011, Countdown was released as a Novella. (The chronological order of events is Countdown, San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, then Everglades, then the novels.) Ms. Grant won the 2010 John W. Campbell award for best new writer for this series.

As usual for stories set after a Zombie Apocalypse, expect a lot of unspoilered Death Tropes to be mentioned.

This series contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Becks, and any other female Irwin who goes out and hunts/taunts/fights/shoots zombies for a living.
  • After the End: Feed begins 20 years after the Rising, and the trope is lampshaded by the name of Georgia, Shaun and Buffy's site: "After the End Times".
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • In Feed, Shaun has legions of fangirls offering to marry him. He has no interest because he's already sleeping with Georgia.
    • Played with in Deadline: Maggie and Dave.
    • Played with some more in Deadline with a twist: Becks was in love with Shaun, who was completely oblivious, though the George living in his head was not. And Alaric has been nursing a crush for Becks, which Becks never notices.
    • Another example from Deadline: Mahir had feelings for Georgia, to the point where his wife Nandini bears a resemblance to her.
    • Subverted in Blackout when Alaric develops feelings for Maggie and they get married by the end. Though we never see the relationship develop.
  • All There in the Manual: Links from the website for Feed show...
    • ...what the web and social media are like in the post-Rising world, right down to Twitter conversations during which the typist goes into amplification.
    • Zone levels for each of the United States: which means how severe the zombie infestation is, and accordingly, whether humans are allowed to reside in the area with or without accompaniment from the authorities and the CDC.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The team tends to take anybody out once they've gone into viral amplification, but this is a 'verse in which anybody can be zombified. except Shaun...
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Some folks are a little disturbed that any mammal over 40 lbs can zombify and think Kill It with Fire is the best idea there.
  • Anyone Can Die: This is a post-zombie-apocalypse society. It kind of comes with the territory.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 1-3 but without the technology failure.
  • Arranged Marriage: Mahir and Nandini.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Prevalent, and of a necessity.
  • Asian and Nerdy:
    • Feed had Chuck Wong, the techie for the Ryman campaign, and Indian Mahir Gowda, Georgia's second for the Newsies division.
    • Deadline revealed that After The End Times has the Chinese Alaric Kwong on staff. Alaric and Mahir are both Newsies and therefore infojunkies, and as an occupational hazard tend to have a better than layman knowledge on a number of subjects from the obscure to the occupational.
  • Ate His Gun: One of the Ryman security team after being bitten.
    • Shaun confesses to this urge early in Deadline from living without Georgia.
    • As well as one of the scientists Mahir contacted in his 'lets check the Doc's data' search
    • Dr. Thomas, after Georgia II has not only escaped but revealed the conspiracy.
  • Awful Truth: Considering there's a government conspiracy involved, this is inevitable, though the one that hits hardest is the revelation that Georgia might have recovered had Shaun not shot her.
    • Additionally, the fact that reservoir conditions may allow people to survive amplification without conversion cannot be allowed to become public knowledge because people will stop shooting their loved ones in the head in the hope they will also survive amplification -- disastrous in a world where all mammals become zombies.
  • Ax Crazy: The Fox from The Brainpan, only with guns rather than actual axes.
  • Babysitter From Hell: The one who declared, "Oh, you don't need these," and summarily tossed a young Georgia's glasses out into tall grass at night with zombies roaming the neighborhood.
  • Back From the Dead: Kelly Connolly, who didn't actually die, and Georgia Mason, who did, although cloning technology was involved in both cases.
  • Backstory: expanded on in Countdown, Everglades and San Diego 2014.
  • Badass Family: The Masons.
    • Stacy Mason helped keep the residents of Berkeley alive during the Rising, then had to shoot her own small son, and went on to be a famous zombie killer and blogger.
    • Michael Mason was a voice of sanity during The Rising and is also a famed blogger.
    • George and Shaun themselves founded "After The End Times" and risk their lives for the truth on a daily basis.
  • Bang Bang BANG: Shaun had to fire his gun inside the closed van.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: George Romero never really expected his movies to be what saved the human race, but once KA was out there, he left his body to science to help search for a cure. There are Urban Legends about people who mistakenly blamed him for the Kellis-Amberlee mutation that caused the Rising.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Marigold and Maize, the sweet, lovable golden retrievers who lived next door to the Masons until the Rising, at which point the trope is subverted; they were the index case for KA having affected other mammilian species besides humans and Phillip the proof, converting when zombified Marigold bit him.
    • Inverted by the pack of tiny teacup bulldogs in Maggie's house, but played straight with Joe the Mastiff in Deadline. The implication by his size and the way he interacts with his mistress is that he can go from big and friendly to attack dog at his mistress' command.
  • Black Eyes: Georgia at first appears to have these. Hers are actually the result of retinal Kellis-Amberlee, which left her pupils permanently dilated, and as a result she wears sunglasses almost all the time. She also has special, light-filtering contacts that she doesn't often wear; while they make her eyes appear a normal blue, Shaun says they're even creepier, especially since her condition means she doesn't need to blink.
    • Georgia's true eye color is brown, which no one notices except for Rick, when they wake up in a CDC facility and George is given a pair of transparent UV blockers instead of her usual sunglasses.
      • By Blackout, her eyes are normal.
  • Black Sheep: Becks. She's the scion of a rich old money family. They wanted her to go to Vassar, find a nice, well-bred husband, and settle down. When they found out she went into the news, and being an Irwin at that, they disowned her.

 "Mom? Dad? The next thing I do in public is for you. I hope you choke on it."

"Look, Ma! I'm abducting the president! Aren't you proud of your baby girl now?"

  • Blatant Lies: What you tell someone who's just been bitten by a zombie until the test results come up, such as:
    • "He just bit her. There's a chance his saliva hadn't gone live yet."
    • "You're going to be fine."
    • Ruminated on in a couple of blog entries in Deadline.
  • Body Language: The fact that Team After The End Times has hidden cameras in their clothing, hair, and accessories means their body language may be natural -- or it may be to give a camera a better shot.
    • But for non-camera related body language? Pay close attention to Shaun and Georgia's.
    • Glasses Pull: Subverted. Georgia lowers her sunglasses specifically to get good looks at people's faces or to take advantage of her own creepy eyes.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Not generally recommended due to dangerous proximity to active infected, but happens at least once in Feed.
  • Bonus Material: A YouTube trailer for the series is located here. And the Countdown entries on the author's blog.
    • An alternate ending to Feed -- in which some things panned out differently at the climax for our heroes -- was originally on the author's Facebook page as part of the run-up to Blackout, but is now on
  • Born Lucky: Shaun Phillip Mason. So lucky he can have zombies grabbing at him but never become infected or start amplifying, even with hot blood nearby.
    • As of Deadline, we discover it may not be as much luck as it originally appeared.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. People run out of ammo, and Shaun is the first to call them out on trying to reload with zombies lurching around.
  • Break the Cutie/Haughty: Kelly Connolly. Who goes from naively believing in and defending the work the CDC is doing to discovering how much harm they've been doing in the name of amassing power (keeping the populace afraid, and refining Kellis-Amberlee to behave in worse and worse ways before putting any effort into a cure) to being betrayed by her much-respected colleague and mentor to being zombified and killed off.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Georgia and Shaun had a sexual relationship, revealed in Deadline. It's social incest, not genetic incest as they are not blood relations, and actually went to a genetecist to confirm they are not.
  • Brother-Sister Team: George and Shaun
  • Caught on Tape: commonplace for the main cast. They don't go anywhere without recording devices on them.
  • Catch Phrase: Shaun has a tendency to say "Check this out" before he does something interesting or foolish.
  • Celibate Hero: Shaun has an adoring harem of fangirls that would probably Fan Mob him if given the chance, but he doesn't have a publicly known significant other; and Georgia, who doesn't even pretend to have a publicly known Love Interest.
  • Cell Phone: Miniaturized to ear cuff size or included in PDAs, mostly. iPads and other devices have built in cellphones as well.
  • Character Blog: The chapters are bookended by excerpts from the blogs of the Masons and the After The End Times bloggers.
  • Character Tics: Senator Ryman does the Picard Maneuver in a tense moment.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Legally speaking, they're not. But Subject 7B is kind of a special case, one that a certain blogger is willing to defend with extreme prejudice.
  • Cloning Blues: Several cases, given that the person cloned was subject 7B with subjects 7C through 8C still in the bottles.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Subverted. Buffy intentionally cultivates the image of the space case ditz, but she's the Techno Wizard of the group, and tends to grab attention so that Shaun and George can stay in the background and pick up details.
  • Code Name: More like coded email name, but used for essentially the same purpose by Dr. Abbey, who wanted to share information with Shaun without giving away who she was to anyone but his team.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Buffy's are what cause her to sell out Shaun and Georgia for her religious beliefs.
  • Cool Teacher: Professor Michael Mason. When The Rising began, he made his biology students support their position of concern that there might be actual zombies, and then, on the chance they were right, dismissed the class on the condition they stay together and keep their eyes and ears open.
  • Counting to Three: George and Shaun's long honed habit for simultaneous blood testing. They do it on "two" because trouble remembering or difficulty speaking are both signs of conversion.
  • Crazy Prepared: Shaun Mason. He has several laws memorized. He has proficiencies in multiple types of zombie-killing weaponry and has since childhood. He can look at a building and determine in seconds how suited for a zombie siege it may be. He has maps memorized of the area around his home.
    • Rebecca Atherton as well -- she turned up with a sniper rifle even Shaun hadn't been aware she owned; and later, a semi-auto that was not legally cleared for private ownership.
    • And she managed to get a grenade into the White House.
  • Creator in Joke:
  • Creepy Twins: A lot of people regard Georgia and Shaun as this, particularly because they'd rather sleep in the same hotel room together. But it's justified in that:
    • they grew up with adjoining bedrooms
    • they know each other best, guard each other's backs, and Shaun can snap out of a dead sleep and defend his disabled sister if something goes wrong in the night, and
    • they're Not Blood Siblings.
  • Cure for Cancer: It works, but it co-mutated with the cure for the common cold and the combined virus is what causes zombies.
  • Dead Guy, Junior: Shaun's middle name is Philip. The name of the Masons' biological son who Stacy Mason had to shoot when he converted? Philip.
  • Dead Little Brother: The Masons' first child, Philip.
  • Dead Woman Writing: Team flibbertigibbet Buffy leaves a video recording apologizing for and confessing to her part in the conspiracy. An example more befitting this trope would be Georgia's last post, made out before Shaun is forced to shoot her before she could infect him as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: George.
    • Mahir Gowda. Considering he was Georgia's second, and took her place after her death in Feed, it makes sense.
  • Death From Above: The method the government (at least in the United States) will use when they have decided an Outbreak is too big/unmanageable to handle with troops on the ground. A fuel-air bomb dropped on the outbreak site gets the job done.
    • In Deadline, Dave Novakowski, one of the Newsies, is killed this way, in a Heroic Sacrifice to allow the rest of the crew to escape the outbreak in Oakland.
  • Decontamination Shower: So commonplace that the majority of the population has blonde streaks in their hair from daily bleach sprayings. Considered the normal and polite thing to do, since smelling either of bleach or the citrusy lotion to repair bleach damage to skin is an olfactory indicator one has recently been decontaminated.
    • Sterilizers for clothing are also considered part of the Decontamination Shower routine.
    • The Masons' insurance requires a really intense one because of how much time in the field with zombies the family spends.
    • Shaun's in his first apartment at the end of FEED is technically illegal because its ratings are out of date.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • In Countdown, Dr. Alexander Kellis, once the Rising had begun because of what his research had contributed to the disaster and the loss of his beloved husband. And a particularly rough example, Dr. Wells commited suicide by letting his converted zombie family attack him and turn him.
    • The main character in Everglades, choosing the particularly gruesome death by zombie rather than the quick, tidy method of getting shot.
    • In Feed, Susan, one of the security guards gets everyone to safety before shooting herself after being infected.
      • In the alternate ending for Feed, it's Georgia Mason who commits suicide because she meant it when she said she didn't want to live in a world without Shaun.
    • In Deadline, one of three scientists contacted by After The End Times to do some research for them; but not before giving the results to Mahir.
    • In Blackout, we find out that the Democratic candidate for President did this after her loss. As well as Dr. Thomas after Georgia II's escape.
  • Drop What You Are Doing: George drops one of her ever-present Cokes in shock at seeing something unexpected at Eakly.
    • She drops her handheld camera in Eakly as well.
    • One of Sen. Ryman's aides drops a whole sheaf of papers in reaction to being chewed out by the Senator.
  • Dystopia/ Crapsack World: Let's see: Zombies are real, and they walk the earth. Every mammal over 40 pounds will become one upon death. Many food animals are included in this situation. When one's blood test comes back for an amplification one is legally required by law to shoot the person dead. There is no cure. Certain parts of the world had to be ceded to the zombies and evacuated because there was no reliable way to get rid of enough to make the areas safe for habitation. It's not safe to hang out in large crowds anymore. Agoraphobia is a common condition. And, oh yeah, since the Rising, a global conspiracy has arisen to keep people afraid so that anything is permissible in the name of keeping safe from the zombie threat. This results in a second Rising.
  • Dying as Yourself: Rick Cousins is determined that any person he cares about who goes into amplification will die before the conversion robs them of their mind.
    • Georgia Mason, to Shaun, after Buffy gets infected: "I hired her. Now it's my job to fire her." To Buffy, before shooting her: "Your name is Georgette Marie Meissonier."
    • Rebecca Atherton seems also to share this mindset, making sure that Kelly Connolly has enough bullets that she can die remembering her own name after she has been forcibly injected with live virus.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: the end of Blackout. Sure, there's still zombies out there, but almost all of our main characters end on a happy note. "Anyone coming within a hundred yards of my happy ending had better pray they're immune to bullets."
  • Ending Memorial Service: For Georgia Mason after the events of Sacramento.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Subverted and Lampshaded by Georgia, who notes how useful that would be in a world where zombies exist.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Smirkily subverted as Kelly Connolly got the nickname "Princess" as something half-affectionate, half-pejorative, depending on who said it. And considering that her arrival at the offices of After The End Times started the series of events leading to things deteriorating rapidly.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Buffy Messonier lives the trope, having tiny holo-foil butterflies in her hair and little sequins and mirrors attached to her clothing.
  • Evil Gloating: The main villains of both Feed and Deadline do this, but in the second book, the villain goes so far as to detail his plan to Shaun, Becks and Mahir.
    • Becks actually lampshades it and asks outright why the bad guys always feel the need to detail their plans.
  • Evil Laugh: Happens right after the Motive Rant in Feed.
  • Expendable Clone: Any clone created for research purposes by the CDC and the clone used to fake Kelly's death. And Georgia's various clones.
  • Faking the Dead: Dr. Connolly, with help from Dr. Wynne, via a vat-grown Kelly clone.
  • Famous Last Words: Subverted. "I'll be right back". Shaun makes it back.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Both upheld and subverted at different points throughout Feed and Deadline.
  • First-Name Basis: Georgia refers to Senator Ryman as "Senator Ryman" out of respect, and "Peter" when she gets to know him better. But Governor Tate she refers to as "Governor Tate" because it's professional to refer to him thus... and "Tate" the rest of the time because she dislikes him immensely.
  • Flash Back: Shaun has a few to the events in the van in Sacramento.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Never on the actual page, but Shaun describes some of the creative swearing in Chinese Alaric does at various points in Deadline.
    • In one instance, Alaric's swearing slips into English before he can respond to Shaun calling his attention.
  • Foreshadowing: Several subtle examples through the two main novels.
    • One of the more lighthearted examples:

  Becks, seeing a horde of zombies closing in: "Oh, fuck me."

Shaun, on the cellphone: "Maybe later."

  • Friend to All Living Things: Magdalene. She has a pack of at least six rescue teacup bulldogs, and immediately takes to bestowing lovings and snuggles on the amplification-size Joe the mastiff, when everybody else is freaked out by the dog that could kill and zombify them all.
  • The Fundamentalist: David Tate.
  • Genetic Memory: Subverted. The scientists working on the clones in this case found ways of replicating memories to 97% accuracy via electrical impulse manipulation.
  • Genre Savvy: The major population of Berkeley, California, and a bunch of knowing Geeks who'd seen a lot of zombie movies and knew what was happening even before the news media stopped treating it as a joke.
  • Government Conspiracy: Uncovered. And then things get really hairy.
  • Guns Akimbo: Becks in Deadline early on, though Shaun mentions being a fan of the style later in the book.
  • Hallucinations: As a symptom of the Sanity Slippage began at the end of Feed, Shaun Mason suffers very specific ones when his stress level rises: he goes from hearing Georgia in his head, to actually seeing her as if she were standing right there: once after hearing about George potentially being able to survive infection, and again when he tries to find Buffy's wireless transmitter in their van.
  • Hair of Gold: Dr. Kelly Connolly and Buffy Messonier which is subverted when Buffy turns out to have been working for the bad guys, and then upheld again when it turns out she had no idea they were really the bad guys until it became obvious -- and was genuinely guilt stricken and apologetic.
    • And subverted again in Deadline when wholesome Dr. Kelly Connolly turns out to have been working for the bad guys unknowingly, then upheld again when it turns out she had no idea she was sent in as a Judas goat.
  • Happily Married: As seen in Countdown, Stacy and Michael Mason, and Alexander and John Kellis.
    • Senator Peter Ryman and his wife, Emily.
    • Mahir Gowda and his wife Nandini.
  • Happy Dance: You would think you wouldn't see much happydancing in a 'verse where the Zombie Apocalypse is a daily danger. You'd be mistaken. In Deadline, Alaric does one when Shaun shows up, guns and taser baton blazing, to draw off a zombie mob and get him and Becks safely out of the danger zone.
  • Hazmat Suit: Commonplace in the CDC and WHO headquarters, but they will also show up that way on the site of an outbreak or location where hot blood has been indicated.
    • As proof of how rich and connected she is, Maggie's super fierce security team also has them when the situation calls for it.
  • Hearing Voices: Insane variation. Shaun has such a hard time coping with the death of Georgia that his subconscious conjures up a simulacrum of her. She talks to him, and he talks back. It wigs out everybody on the team except Mahir, who takes it all in stride.
    • Granted, Mahir isn't convinced Shaun isn't being straight-up haunted, rather than simply crazy.
  • Heroic BSOD: It's implied this happened to the Masons when they had to kill their own son; the narration notes that that was back before doing something like that wouldn't completely break someone.
    • Shaun, immediately after having to shoot Georgia, which leads directly to his Sanity Slippage.
      • Shaun lampshades this in the first page of Deadline:

  That's apparently the only thing anyone thinks I'm doing these days. I'm "coping". There are days when I feel like I'm never going to be allowed to do anything else. I'm going to walk through my life being Shaun Mason, The Dude Who Copes.

  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Rebecca Ryman, 3 months from graduating high school, bridled a post-amplification horse and got her little sisters to safety at the cost of her own life. And all while her father and mother were onstage accepting the nomination for Republican presidential candidate.
    • Dave, who goes back to the apartments to hold off the anti-zombie measures so everyone else could get safely out and away from the Oakland apartment -- which means he doesn't ever get out.
    • Kelly. She was going to amplify anyway thanks to being shot with a live virus dart. So she waits for the security guards and gives Shaun and company a chance to escape.
    • Rebecca, doing the same as Dave except at the White House, and also having a stash of grenades on her.
  • He's Dead, Jim: It's a zombie-populated world. Lots of the 'grievous bodily injury' method prevalent.
    • And subverted in a particularly odd way. Once someone's KA infection goes from dormant to active, and their blood tests confirm this, they are legally dead even if they're still walking, talking, and capable of thought.
  • Hide Your Gays: Subverted. There's a government representative who is married to another woman, and Dr. Alexander Kellis' husband John is mentioned in Countdown, all done normally like there's nothing special to it.
  • Honor Before Reason: Team After the End Times was well aware things were starting to turn deadly and dangerous, but Georgia's quest for the truth kept them on task even after people started dying.
    • Shaun in particular because he's got a death wish after the events in Feed but won't give in to it until he's dug up the reasons behind what happened in Eakly, Texas, and Sacramento.
  • Idiot Ball: Shaun and Becks were super careful about sweeping Kelly for bugs when she showed up, but didn't stop to think that anybody in the Brainpan might've bugged them. That comes back to bite them, later -- hard.
  • If I Do Not Return: Shaun's directions to Maggie and Alaric upon his leaving Memphis.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Played with. The entire house in Weed is glowering at Shaun the morning after he and Becks sleep together because they're not sure if he was toying with Becks' emotions or not.
  • I Have Your Wife: How the brains behind the conspiracy got President Peter Ryman to cooperate with them. They kidnapped his wife (and his children).
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: It was mentioned in Feed how much Kelly looks like Buffy, much to the distress of Georgia and Shaun. The resemblance is taken Up to Eleven in Deadline once they are forced to put her in Buffy's clothing.
    • Mahir's wife Nandini, despite being Indian, bears an inexplicable resemblance to Georgia.
      • Given that he had a thing for Georgia for a while, it's presumably part of what drew him to her.
  • The Immune: Dr. Abbey managed to breed a dog that is essentially immune by dint of reservoir conditions; some intentionally introduced.
    • More traditionally, Shaun.
  • Infant Immortality: It's a series full of zombies. Cruelly subverted for the elder Masons' biological child and Rick's son. And for lots of cute animals.
  • In Harm's Way: The personality type that leads to people becoming Irwins.
  • Inner Monologue: Both books have substantial parts of the narration done this way.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Justified in that the overwhelming majority of anything getting shot at is already dead, and this is just putting them down for good.
  • Insult of Endearment: Shaun and his team use "Princess" as a pejorative for Dr. Kelly Connolly, but as the story progresses and they realize that she was naive and misguided in some ways, the vitriol drains from the once-insulting nickname.
  • It Got Worse: Countdown is a brilliant study in how this trope works once the Mayday Army releases the Kellis cure.
    • Feed has its share of things going rapidly and more spectacularly downhill as well.
    • In Deadline, not only do we find out that The CDC is part of the conspiracy ... they're responsible for the deaths of people with reservoir conditions because those people are starting to develop immunity to the live virus. They're also responsible for every outbreak since the Rising, because they've been genetically engineering new strains of KA to try to defeat the tendency to generate immunities. And if that's not bad enough -- Tropical Storm Fiona arrives, bearing mosquitoes capable of carrying and transmitting live state Kellis-Amberlee, causing a second Rising and causing the government to write off the state of Florida as unrecoverable due to zombie infestation.
    • In Blackout, it's confirmed that there's no cure for KA that will leave humans alive, so there will never be one. The only possible improvement on the condition are the rare folks with reservoir conditions, and the government would rather infect everyone with the same strain of no-reservoir KA with their engineered mosquitoes than leave the possibility out there that some folks could be immune from zombification. And they're willing to kidnap the President's wife (with a reservoir condition) and family to force him into going along with this.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Mahir on discovering Georgia's contingency plan.
    • And again in Deadline when Becks and Shaun realize that someone set up them the zombie outbreak.
  • Irony: Several occasions throughout Deadline.
  • Jerkass: Shaun, as of Deadline. He's having so much trouble with his Sanity Slippage and just trying to function that he does all manner of jerky things -- many of which are him simply not realizing what a jerk he's being.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the ways the living keeps the zombie numbers down in low-threat zones that aren't considered livable just yet.
    • And one of the ways certain secure facilities make sure an amplification case never gets beyond an elevator, garage or antechamber once it's gotten in.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Magdalene Garcia. She is the heiress to one of the biggest and most powerful pharmaceutical companies in the world, and wields a lot of power because of it even though she's not actually in the pharamaceutical field. She lives in a giant farmhouse with state of the art security, and invites people over for horror movie parties on the regular because she's lonesome.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Shaun. He and Georgia were so close that losing her to KA courtesy of David Tate literally drove him crazy.
  • Mad Doctor: Dr. Abbey, who is not merely mad -- she's angry; driven so by the knowledge that the CDC found it cheaper to Fuel-Air bomb a university campus with a majority of noninfected (including her husband) than to try containing the outbreak, and that they also are not really working toward finding a cure for Kellis-Amberlee She has experimented on insects, arachnids, dogs, and an octopus.
  • Mad Science: In addition to the weirdness going on in the lab in Oregon, there's also cloning going on. To say nothing of what the CDC is doing with tailoring Kellis Amberlee to be worse than it was when it happened by accident.
    • It's pretty funny in its own way that bringing Georgia back as a cloned version of her original self with memories 97% intact is what totally blows everyone's minds, makes them think the impossible can be done, and clues them in that they live in a sci-fi universe.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Repeatedly.
    • When anyone who dies reanimates as a zombie, a little sabotage of the safety equipment can make it look like things were just unfortunate for the Ryman caravan at the wrong time.
    • When any mammal over 40 pounds can become a zombie, people are not likely to think anything but "well, it was a horse ranch -- sad but it was bound to happen sooner or later."
    • In Deadline it is discovered that the high rate of death among people with reservoir conditions was a lot of murders made to look like accidents.
  • Male Gaze: On the trip back from Memphis to Weed, Becks intentionally put on a pair of hot pink shorts designed to attract the male gaze in case her face was on the news.
  • Mama Bear: Emily Ryman. She has taken a motherly liking to the bloggers and slaps her husband's running mate for treating them disrespectfully. And let's not even get into how she reacts when you mess with her family.
  • The Maze: All CDC installations are built this way intentionally. Zombies are not good at doing complicated route planning.
  • Meaningful Name: The Masons. Masons build things. Stacy and Michael built a reputation for themselves, and their kids, Shaun and Georgia, built a blog site all the way from baby blogger to alpha blogger status.
    • Zombie hero/monster slayer names became de regeur:
      • Shaun from Shaun of the Dead
      • Georgia as a tribute to George Romero
      • and Buffy because (paraphrasing) what else do you call a cute blonde girl who deals with the undead on a day to day basis?
  • Men Don't Cry: Subverted by Dr. Alexander Kellis, who not only cried openly, but repeatedly, after his untested virus was released by the Mayday Army.
    • Subverted, by Rick, who is not ashamed to cry when something hurts, upsets, or grieves him.
    • Upheld by Shaun, who does cry as well, but mostly not where anyone can see it.
    • Subverted by Alaric, who cries openly, but perhaps also upheld because he was amongst his closest colleagues and friends.
  • Motive Rant: Tate, who, unlike the Mayday Army, is not so well-intentioned an extremist; and explains that he's only doing it to get the country to turn back toward God.
    • Dr Wynne in Deadline goes off on a more subdued one that raises almost as many questions as it answers.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Georgia and Shaun consume heroic amounts of Coke and coffee, respectively.
  • New Content Countdown Clock: Taken to a new level as it's a countdown clock containing new content! In the spring of 2011, Seanan McGuire posted vignettes from the Newsflesh-verse on her blog to countdown the days to the Rising and until the release of Deadline. These are not spoilers because Georgia went over most of the stories being expanded on in Feed.
  • New Media Are Evil: Subverted.
    • The bloggers, because of their geeky connections, believed the Zombie uprising was happening and started to warn the world while the mainstream media was still snickering up its sleeves at what it thought was a joke. As a result, the public trusts bloggers more than regular news reporters afterward.
    • Social Media was vital in the time of the Rising. People posting on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube advised people of what to do with the dead once they got up, and also advised people who to stay away from, once they'd been bitten.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Poor Maggie has this problem a lot. In the first book, Buffy dies before Maggie can tell her. In the second, Dave died in the bombing of Oakland. Dave admitted his feelings on digital recording right before he died, but Maggie didn't get to tell him how she felt at all.
  • Never Split the Party: Subverted with George, Shaun, and Rick.
    • Happens again with Shaun and Becks, Alaric and Maggie, though Shaun admits he hates having to do it.
  • News Tropes: Several, including:
    • Crawl: Mentioned in Deadline.
    • Current Events Blog: Any blog run by a Newsie or a Stewart. Irwins can and do run on current events, but they also do other pieces. Fictionals may write their fiction about current events, or not.
    • Emergency Broadcast: During the outbreak in Sacramento.
      • And during the events late in Deadline.
    • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Justified, because if somebody's bleeding, there's the potential for an outbreak, and that's in the public's interest to mention first.
    • Intrepid Reporter: Georgia. Dedicated to the truth to the point where when Ryman wanted to send her team home, she became offended that they'd leave in the middle of the story.
    • Manipulative Editing: Stalnaker, in Countdown, creatively interpreted the facts about Kellis' cold/flu cure, and the way he phrased the story, incited the Mayday Army to break in and release it.
    • Paparazzi: Mostly outdated by 2039 because some celebrity freaked out and started shooting. They tend only to show up in large numbers when The Masons (Stacy and Michael) are out for ratings, or for major political events.
      • The government clamps down hard on any would-be news reporters or bloggers late in Deadline.
    • Practical Voice Over: The beta bloggers do some of these for Eakly when George and Shaun are too wiped out to do their own.
  • Night Vision Goggles: Shaun tosses off a quip about these to Steve late in Feed.
  • No Bisexuals: Subverted. Before Dave, Maggie had also been in love with Buffy.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Generally not recommended because it puts one in bite range, but used to dispatch Buffy before she finished conversion and rose again. Also with George; after getting infected, Shaun keeps his gun pointed at the back of her neck, to minimize the blood spatter, as she types her last post.
  • Non-Linear Sequel:
    • Both Countdown and Everglades, published after Feed, take place during the Rising, which is already history by the time Feed begins.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Georgia and Shaun were born six weeks apart before they were adopted, and therefore could not possibly have had the same biological mother. They're revealed in Deadline to have been sexually intimate as well.
  • Oh Crap:
    • In Countdown there are several:
      • At the CDC after they receive Dr. Kellis' research info.
      • Again after a research lab blows up.
      • In Berkeley, Professor Mason has one when his students draw to his attention there may be an actual Zombie Apocalypse.
    • Several moments in Feed but particularly after the convoy hits problems on its way to Texas.
    • In Deadline, when Shaun and Becks discover why their pell-mell flight from Memphis met with no pursuit.
      • And again in Deadline when Shaun and Becks arrive back at Maggie's home and find her security team pretty much loaded for bear and then some.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Doc. Justified in that online she is Barbara Tinney, guest blogger, but in reality she is Dr. Kelly Connolly, who was killed in a tragic break in at the CDC.
    • "The Monkey" -- apparently the best fake ID guy in the world, and responsible for Kelly's false identification
      • and the rest of his team at The Brainpan: The Cat and The Fox (and The Wolf, departed).
  • One of Us: The author mentions in an interview near the end of Feed that she enjoyed writing it because it let her binge on zombie movies as 'research'.
  • Open the Iris: Retinal Kellis-Amberlee causes a permanent case of this in its victims, and the full zombie version causes it to happen as a living infected begins conversion into the zombie.
  • Parental Issues: George and Shaun were adopted by their parents partly to prove that "the living have won" the zombie war; but mainly for ratings points, and they know it.
    • Disappeared Dad: Michael Mason unabashedly tries to cadge ratings from his children's successes.
    • Follow in My Footsteps: Shaun and Georgia are bloggers, taking after their parents, but not in the way their parents would prefer (automatically giving their parents preferential treatment simply for adopting them).
    • Missing Mom: Stacy Mason. shot her own biological child in the head when he converted, and then poses for photos at the school he used to go to. And if that's not bad enough? 82% of the affection Stacy shows her adopted children is only in public for posed shots.
      • By the end of Blackout, she realizes what a terrible parent she's been, and writes, "I wish I'd been a better mom when I had the chance."
    • Parental Abandonment: George and Shaun were both orphans, adopted because their birth parents had died in the Rising; a situation which was true for many, many infants at that time.
      • In Deadline, Alaric's parents both amplify, and that leaves his little sister an orphan.
    • Parental Neglect: Stacy and Michael Mason were ordinary parents for Phillip, but only going through the motions for Shaun and Georgia when in front of a camera, and at no other time, really.
    • Replacement Goldfish: Debatably. We don't know yet whether Stacy and Michael Mason adopted Shaun and Georgia with the genuine intention of being parents, or whether they decided they needed living ratings point generators.
      • Georgia getting cloned--a lot-- in Blackout. The full-memory clone is the one who survives.
    • The Unfavorite: George and Shaun are both unfavorites as compared to the Masons' first child.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish:
    • Subverted by using a password nobody would think of using as a password.

 Alaric: Secure connection confirmed, please verify your identity before I hang up on you.

Shaun: Fuck you, Alaric. I don't have time to remember some stupid code word. (The password was "some stupid code word").

    • Hilariously subverted. Shaun wanted a password for his voice activated, single-use phone that he would definitely not say by accident.

 Shaun: The bridge is out. The trees are coming, and I'm pretty sure my hand is evil. Now gimme some sugar, baby!

  • Patient Zero: Inverted. Because there were a fair number of Marburg patients and Kellis' virus had been released into the atmosphere, there was no patient zero. Instead, when Marburg and Kellis' viruses were done mutating, the Rising began happening spontaneously and simultaneously all over the world. Some people converted on the spot; others were killed and got back up.
    • Although, Amanda Amberlee is notable as she died in a car accident shortly before the Rising. The fact that she didn't amplify proved that the zombie plague was caused by the combination of the Kellis virus and Marburg-Amberlee, not just MA by itself.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Invoked by Shaun when he and Alaric realize they have a piece of Buffy tech that no one knew how to work but her.
  • Playful Hacker: Buffy, who routinely augments the team's own recording devices by taking over cameras in hotels and conference halls.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Deadline indicates that the living are supposed to refer to zombies as "post Kellis-Amberlee amplification manifestation syndrome humans". But as Shaun points out -- that's neither a catchy name, nor one you can shout quickly to warn somebody, nor an acronym that makes a short word you can shout quickly to warn somebody.
  • Posthumous Character: Georgia, in Deadline... until the epilogue.
  • Power Trio: George, Shaun, and Buffy, until Rick comes along and makes it a quartet.
    • Bounces around a bit later, going to George, Shaun, and Rick, then briefly George, Shaun, Rick, and Steve, and finally just Shaun, Rick, and Steve.
  • Primal Fear: In the twenty+ years since the Rising, people have stopped gathering in immense crowds. For people of George's generation, it's freaky to be surrounded by more than 15 people.
    • In Deadline running through a darkened series of mazelike hallways, chased by zombies they can hear and barely see by flashlight.
  • Product Placement: Un-sponsored.
    • Dr. Kellis used an iPad in the blog version of Countdown. It was edited to just "a tablet" in the officially published version.
    • Coke is Georgia's drink and Shaun takes up the habit in Deadline.
    • Avon Skin So Soft also gets a mention in Deadline.
    • Red Bull also gets a mention in Deadline.
    • Roach motels: (the infected) check in, but they don't check out.
    • Hostess snack cakes get mentioned.
  • Punny Name: A few.
    • Newsflesh itself is a pun on Newsflash, a term for interesting and important up-to-the-minute news.
    • Fish And Clips is Mahir's blog title, pun of Fish and Chips (commonly eaten in England).
    • The Kwong Way Of Things is Alaric's, where Kwong is a play on "wrong", presumably.
    • The site "After the End Times", which could refer literally to the post-apocalyptic era or be a twist on a common newspaper title.
  • Race For Your Love: Referenced by Shaun as he described what pre-Rising airports were like.
  • Radio Silence: A couple different occasions in Deadline.
  • Ramprovisation: In chapter 1 of Feed, Georgia does this with a hill.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Kelly had no idea she'd been sent as the Judas goat to Shaun, but she spent the entire series of events being arrogant, petulant, and thinking she knew best, to the point of withholding information from Shaun and his team. It was built around her core belief that the CDC were the good guys. But once she realized she'd been naive, she helped them take on the entity -- and ended up making a Heroic Sacrifice so Shaun and company could escape.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The minds behind the conspiracy actually intentionally started an outbreak inside the White House in an attempt to stop President Ryman and Team ATET from announcing the truth about the conspiracy.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat:
    • In Countdown: Stalnaker rewinds and replays Dr. Kellis' mention of "distribution channels" as it occurs to him how to spin an article about the Kellis cure.
    • In Feed: although we don't see it onscreen, Chuck Wong had to have done this with the Eakly footage in order to determine where the failure was that let active infected attack.
  • Road Trip:
    • Everything after meeting the Ryman campaign in Feed.
    • Getting to and from Portland, and once again to and from Memphis in Deadline.
  • Running Gag: Shaun mutters something under his breath. Steve asks what he said, Shaun answers, "Nothing."
    • Two between Shaun and Georgia.
      • "Hey George, check this out."
      • And, "Happy?" "Ecstatic."
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • The villain of Feed, once exposed, goes on a Motive Rant and the slippage happens fast and fiendish.
    • Shaun, after the events in the van and Georgia's final blog post and subsequent death at his hands.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Steve the bodyguard tends to operate at this level, with Georgia a close second.
    • ...and Mahir a close third.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Maggie and her parents. Maggie goes so far as to threaten Kelly Connolly's life, implying that killing Kelly and disappearing the body would be the best Father's Day present she could possibly give her father.

  Maggie: "He's so hard to shop for."

    • Before half the team took off for Memphis, Maggie outfitted the van she loaned them with special run-flat tires, and handed them an envelope stuffed full of money as well as a corporate credit card.
    • Her dad was willing to send an armed extraction team to rescue her because he believed Magdalene was in danger.
    • In Blackout, certain high ranking officials of the United States Government.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Alaric's brother, who had to shoot both parents when they amplified.
  • Serious Business: By law, anyone who comes into regular contact with journalists must regularly update their last will and testament. Journalists are subject to some of the same hazard laws that people dealing with zombies are.
  • Scale of Scientific Sins: The question of Souls is why there are laws against cloning, although the CDC has special dispensation, and any clones must be made of the scientist him/herself.
  • Shout-Out: In Countdown there's a reference to The Screwfly Solution

   Imaginary!Georgia: That's not a good sound.

    • Georgia makes a sardonic reference to Star Wars in passing.
    • San Diego Comic Con was the site of a massive amplification during the Rising, Georgia mentally notes that "the city hasn't had a break since." For example, the San Diego Zoo was the site of a mass bombing, intended to kill the animals (since they, too, carry K-A), but that ended up just releasing the now-zombified animals to infect more people, such as a zombie giraffe.
      • Firefly/Serenity: The novella is "The Last Stand of the California Browncoats".
    • The name for Lois the cat may be an in-universe tip of the hat to the famous reporter, whom Georgia dressed as for Halloween one year.
    • Frankenstein: Complete with the pointing out that Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster.
    • The Wizard of Oz: A couple of references, and at one point Doctor Abbey is referred to as The Wizard.
    • Alice in Wonderland: Becks: "We're all mad here."
    • Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead (referred to as "pre-Rising video games") are both alluded to by Shaun and Becks while they're walking through a series of mazelike corridors in Portland.
    • Robin Hood: Dr. Abbey refers to Shaun's team as the Merry Men.
    • Super Chicken: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" is a Catch Phrase from that show, used as the answer to any question about a zombie blogger walking into danger.
    • Evil Dead: Shaun's completely crazy and random password -- isn't, not so much.
    • X-Men: invoked by Shaun when he was being confused about what part of the country Becks came from.
    • Nightmare On Elm Street: Buffy's secret log in to the After the End Times site in Blackout.
    • "Living Dead Girl" as a reference to Georgia II, who later calls her blog this.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Not a literal example, but Rick refers to it as such when the CDC knocks him, Georgia and Shaun out.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: According to Dennis Stahl it is... However, George replies that while cancer is no longer an issue thanks to one component of the virus, smoking can still give a person emphysema.
  • Sole Survivor: Shaun Mason, the only one of the After The End Times founders to live to the end of Feed.
  • Survivor Guilt: Georgia after Buffy's death at the hands of the bad guys.
  • Stealth Pun: Or maybe not entirely stealthy. But the title of Feed is a double meaning: what zombies do, and what people do to follow blogs. Then the first novel's cover takes it Up to Eleven by showing the RSS Feed symbol in blood.
    • And one of the headers in the story itself is entitled Death Writes.
    • The second novel, Deadline shows the EKG line that goes flat upon death.
  • The Stoner: Brandon Majors and his friends who helped cause The Rising.
  • Straw Character: Governor Tate is very one-dimensional and spouts conservative sound bites. Then he's quickly elevated in terms of scope and becomes something...more. Kelly from Dealine is a less overt example, as she essentially exists to be kicked around and her views shot down.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: At least two medical research laboratories in Countdown, which occur chronologically before the events in Feed, and also count as HeroicSacrifices.
    • Trailers at the Sacramento campground.
    • Part of The White House in Blackout.
  • Synthetic Plague: Marburg-Amberlee was a benevolent man-made virus. Alpha-RC007 was a benevolent man-made virus. They met. They fell in love. They co-mutated into Kellis-Amberlee, and began attacking other benevolent man-made virii...among other things.
  • Talking to the Dead: Probably fairly common in the post-Rising world given that everybody has to be able to shoot a gun accurately, and people have to (as seen on the webpage) kill their own relatives; and there are no more coffin burials, just cremations. But in Deadline Shaun talks to Georgia... however, she replies, because Shaun's cheese is slipping off his cracker.
  • Talking to Yourself: Shaun does this a lot but the truth is he's talking to George. Her voice is inside his head.
  • Telecom Tree: used to get the entire site staff online for one conference before Shaun and company left the Weed compound.
  • Tears of Remorse: Buffy, in her confession video.
  • Theme Naming: Doubling as ShoutOuts: George becomes a popular name for babies of both genders because of George Romero's zombie movies being the reason people know how to survive zombie attacks.
    • Georgia's brother is named Shaun.
    • Buffy's boyfriend is named Chuck.
    • Sixth Ranger Rick's wife was named Lisa.
    • Not only that, but the blogger types have theme naming as well:
      • Irwins (Shaun and Stacy Mason, Becks) are the thrill seekers who willingly and cheerfully go into danger zones to poke zombies with sticks.
      • Stewarts (Alaric) report their opinions on the news as they see it.
      • Newsies (Georgia, Rick and Mahir) do just the facts with no opinion if at all possible.
      • Aunties do the recipe sharing and try to inject a little normal into a world changed to the point where normal is hell and gone.
      • Fictionals (Buffy and Maggie) do the entertaining from the internet with stories and poetry.
    • The members of the Brainpan: The Monkey, The Cat, and The Fox.
  • Tomboy: George Mason.
  • Tomboyish Name: Pretty much all the girls named Georgia, Georgette, Georgina, etc, after George Romero (and presumably girls named Shauna as well).
  • Too Dumb to Live: People Georgia classifies as "Darwin Was Right", those who venture into zombie infested hot zones without preparation or training.
    • Also, The Mayday Army, a bunch of pothead laypeople who released Dr. Kellis' untested virus, thinking they were freeing the world from Big Pharma.
    • And anyone trying to fight zombies hand-to-hand or with swords. Rule of Cool does not apply. One nick from a sword with hot blood on it, and it's over.
    • The director of the Portland CDC office, who knew the bloggers were from a globally rated news site, tried to kill them, and had no backup story for them when they survived, much to his surprise.
  • Tracking Device: Commonplace.
    • In Deadline Kelly was not trusted until after scanned for same.
    • In Blackout The EIS made extra sure to remove them from Clone!Georgia
      • The Brainpan didn't generally use them, but one of their own kind of went rogue and bugged Team ATET.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Drink, actually, and doubles as Product Placement: Georgia Mason loves her some Coke. Justified in that caffeine helps George stave off terrible, debilitating headaches caused by her Retinal Kellis-Amberlee condition, and the fact that it is illegal for her to use her prescription painkillers in certain zones based on how recently an outbreak has occurred.
  • Troperiffic: Between the first novel, Countdown and the sample first chapter of the second book, we had ... well, a lot.
  • Tuckerization: Several over the course of the series, but also two were auctioned off for charity.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Twenty minutes, twenty years...
  • Unable to Cry: Anyone with sufficiently advanced retinal KA. Subverted horribly when Georgia goes into viral amplification and is finally able to cry even as she understands she's about to convert and still has to break the conspiracy story before she goes.
    • Could also be viewed as a straightforward use of the trope, rather than a subversion, in that a resolution in which the character in question is finally able to cry is described on the trope's page as not unusual.
    • The physical nature of the affliction, and of its resolution, may also make this more a case of Tears From a Stone.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Subverted by George. She is so dedicated to the truth that she is a terrible liar, and takes care to let you know when she's deviating from the truth and showing her readers her opinion.
    • Played straight in Deadline. Shaun is well aware his sanity is no longer properly anchored, and that his perceptions may be a little bit ... skewed.
  • Unstoppable Rage: What drives Shaun at the end of Feed, and what gives him his drive back in Deadline after the events in Oakland.
  • Urban Legends:
    • The one mentioned above about George Romero being partly responsible for The Rising.
    • There are occasional ones that pop up about people who survive amplification without zombifying. The medical community usually reminds people that's not possible, and the urban legends drop off again...for a while. In truth, though, such people may exist. In Deadline, we find out reservoir conditions are the human body trying to build up immunity to the KA virus.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Big Bad in Feed, upon realizing the jig was up, had a real lulu of one.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The CDC, considering several people there are working to create new, worse strains of KA, and not really working toward a cure at all in general. Specifically, Dr. Steward, and Dr. Wynne.
  • The Virus: Kellis-Amberlee started out as two separate viruses: a cure for cancer and a cure for the common cold that got together and mutated into the horror that caused the zombie outbreak called The Rising. And any zombie freshly turned is more interested in making more zombies than in eating flesh for a while.
  • Virus Victim Symptoms: Dialation of the irises, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking, difficulty with motor skills, aphasia and memory problems are all indicators of conversion and/or amplification. And the symptoms vary by the size of the victim, as well as whether the victim is calm or stressed when amplification begins.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shaun and Becks. The rest of his staff either avoids Shaun at his jerkiest or calls him out on it. Becks takes the insults and gives back as good as she gets.
  • Way to Break It Hero: Brandon Majors, legend in his own mind, thought he was saving the human race by releasing the Kellis cure.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Mayday Army. A bunch of well meaning college age people who, incited by a news article, believed that Kellis' cure for the common cold was going to be sold only to the wealthy, leaving the poor to suffer. So they broke into Kellis's lab and released it before it was tested, and helped cause the Rising.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: Given a dark spin, as the viruses to cure cancer and the common cold are what mutated to start the zombie apocalypse.
  • Wham! Line: In Deadline, Kelly drops a psychological anvil on Shaun (and the reader) with these five words: "she would have gotten better."
    • And then there's the end of the last chapter: "My name is Georgia Mason. What the fuck is going on?"
    • And then there's the Wrong Name Outburst noted below.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: For Becks -- it's bugs. The fearless badass Irwin is Squicked out by millipedes and cockroaches.
  • Word of God: on the Feed website, listed above, or on
    • Inverted, in that the actual Feed website was set up by Orbit and the author has no control over it.
    • And the author herself has said that the Shaun/Georgia relationship was a sexual one, and that Georgia didn't think it was the viewer's business, and Shaun didn't care about keeping it secret once she was dead.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: In Deadline, a half-asleep conversation after Shaun and Becks hook up:

 Becks: Good night, Shaun.

Shaun: Good night, George.

  • You Called Me "X" - It Must Be Serious:
    • Shaun only calls his sister "Georgia" when he's worried about her or afraid for her.
    • Georgia calls Buffy Meissonier by her real name, Georgette, when the symptoms of conversion have set in and she can't remember her own real name.
    • Shaun tends to only call Becks by her real name when situations are serious.
    • Maggie's full name, Magdalene Grace Garcia, is practically a magic word when used in the right circumstances.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason for the problems the convoy experienced en route to Houston? Buffy stopped supplying info to her "friends", realizing their motives weren't as altruistic as they'd led her to believe.
  • Younger Than They Look: Both the dead Kelly and subject 7B were artificially aged to maturity.
  • Zombie Apocalypse and acoutrements thereof, including:
    • Deadly Lunge: Shaun has a problem with one of these late in both Feed and Deadline.
    • Horror Hunger
    • Not a Zombie: The news (under order of the government) tried to pull this at the beginning of the Rising.
    • Not Using the Zed Word: Subverted. The population of the Newsflesh-verse is Genre Savvy -- it saved their lives -- so they don't bother with dodgewords to make you feel better, especially lethally unwieldy ones (see Political Correctness Gone Mad). Those shambling moaning things? They are zombies. Though there are other non-Z-word names used for them as well, such as "moaners".
    • No Zombie Cannibals: Subverted. It is mentioned in Deadline that if zombies go long enough without living human flesh, they will eventually turn on each other.
    • Our Zombies Are Different: The K-A virus has a form of sentience where zombies seem to get smarter as their numbers grow. Also, if the zombie is freshly converted -- it's a fast zombie. They do, however, slow down to the familiar shamble as they age.
      • The way it's described in the book--that individually they're mindless but gain tactical sophistication in numbers--is very reminiscent of the Geth from Mass Effect.
    • Raising the Steaks: All mammals over 40 pounds. Up to and including whales.
      • This also means a lot of dietary limitations for people who still eat meat. Cooking is not a sure way to kill the KA virus.
    • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Just the last part, really. There were a few decapitations during the Rising, but that stopped quickly once they realized that the blood spray carried the infection.
    • Undeathly Pallor: combined with nosebleeds, eye-bleeds, or Blood From the Mouth for people amplifying or converting.
    • Zombie Gait: Naturally, and Lampshaded by Shaun, who warns how stupid it is to walk like a zombie in front of security cams.
    • Zombie Infectee: in this case, the entire world. Everybody who dies will reanimate. Everybody. And some people still try to hide it when they get bitten.
      • To make things even more fun, it's entirely possible (albeit rare) to go into spontaneous amplification while still alive. No wonder so many people never leave their homes.