“Who We Used to Be” — David Moody

David Moody’s short fiction has appeared in the anthologies The Undead and 666: The Number of the Beast. His zombie novel Autumn and its sequels were originally self-published and released for free online; the books have been downloaded more than a half-million times and are currently being rereleased in print by Thomas Dunne Books. A film based on Autumn, starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine, was released in the U.S. earlier this year. Moody’s novel Hater is also currently being adapted for film, with Guillermo del Toro producing and The Orphanage’s J. A. Bayona directing. Moody’s other novels include Dog Blood (the sequel to Hater), Straight to You, and Trust.

Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins was recently asked if, since he did not believe in any sort of afterlife, he was afraid of death. He replied that he was not afraid of death—after all, the universe had existed just fine without him for billions of years before he was born, so why should it trouble him to imagine that it would go on existing without him for billions of years after he’s gone? Rather, he was afraid of dying, because current laws compel dying patients to endure a torturous gauntlet of pain and suffering rather than letting them decide for themselves when to let go.

“I think many people assume that if they really did find themselves facing-off against the living dead, they’d react like the people in the movies and books: they’d hunt out weapons and supplies and fight off wave after wave of the dead,” Moody says. “I think the reality would be very different. Many people would just implode. Others would deny the impossible events unfolding around them and try to continue with their day-to-day as usual.”

Our next story questions the logic of trying to survive for as long as possible when all you’re doing is wasting precious time and effort prolonging the inevitable. “It’s like keeping a dying patient alive by pumping them continually with drugs which make them feel worse,” Moody says, “but sometimes you just have to accept that letting go might just be the kindest and most sensible option.”