Last updated: June 2, 2009.

Added information about copyright/Creative Commons licensing. Repaired broken H2 tags by changing them to H4.

Blue Zone: Zyracuse deals with the survivors of the Class IV zombie apocalypse fortified in and radiating from Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

To facilitate writing stories for this site, please read our information on the following sections. Our goal is to create maximum creative liberty through consistency with a minimum number of rules. Most items are left deliberately vague to allow for maximum creativity, but we request adherence to the material posted below.


Geography «» Departments «» Legal Stuff

Characters «» Corpse Corps «» FAQ «» Food «» Style and Grammar «» Timeline

Geography and Physical Characteristics

  1. All dates will be given relative to the evacuation of Central New York by the US Armed Forces, known locally as the Thruway Retreat, which took place 19 days after the Battle of Yonkers and 11 days before the Niagara Incident. On Day 0 (whenever that is determined to be), 1856 refugees were registered in the Blue Zone. This number is maintained on a whiteboard on a pillar inside the front door by Clipboard along with the traditional date and number of days since evacuation. This number will fluctuate as evacuees leave and enter the zone and die of other causes, most likely of which are starvation and cold. There is also a large wall with pictures of the missing, lost, and dead.
  2. There is no way of knowing the population of Onondaga County on Day 0. Before the Battle of Yonkers, it was estimated by US Census projections to be at 448,916, but it is unknown how many fled to the North or to the West during the evacuation. The population density around the airport is approximately 1,183/square mile.
  3. Since Niagara, Canadians are treated with distrust, in spite of the long history of friendship between Canada and Central New York. Though the incident has been disclaimed by the Ontario provincial government, it has resulted in the loss of most electrical power in the region.
  4. Since the evacuation, the federal government is typically held in disregard.
  5. Zombies are inanimate when the temperature falls below freezing. Fortunately(?) this seems to happen quite a lot in Central New York.
  6. Zombies do not move faster than a slow shuffle: 2 steps every three seconds. There are no fast-moving zombies, tool-wielding zombies, or intelligent zombies. We are not telling fairy tales here. Zombies do not gain super-human strength upon reanimation.
  7. Until further notice, Zyracuse is isolated from the supply lines of the west. It is hoped for a supply run down runway 10 one day. But that’s a distant hope. All supplies must be locally produced or scavenged.
  8. An inventory list of great supplies (fuel, snowplows, bulldozers and so on) will need to be produced. There is no barricade around the Syracuse airport to the West across Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard, known locally as the Boulevard, leaving the entire Zone vulnerable to walkers.
  9. According to the Syracuse Airport home page, the Perimeter Road and Security Fence, completed in 2005, finished a seven and one-half mile long road around the Airport, and built an eight-foot high fence in any area where the existing fence was not adjacent to the paved road. Patrols may now travel around the Airport keeping the security fence in sight at all times to further enhance the safety and security of the Airport.
  10. According to Channel 3 News, the airport garage contains 2668 spots and the lot contains 1304. If those numbers are wrong, it’s my fault for remembering them wrong.

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    The various needs to be filled by the populace include:

  1. Food production & procurement
  2. Water production
  3. Waste disposal
  4. Corpse Corps
  5. Transportation/cavalry
  6. Scavenging
  7. Heat & power
  8. Weapons & Technology
  9. Medicine & Psychology
  10. Law enforcement
  11. Child-rearing & education
  12. All of these areas are available for development by authors.

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Legal Stuff

  1. Any work accepted as complete will be considered canon and must be accommodated in future stories.
  2. Any story, audio, or comic submitted becomes property of Blue Zone Zyracuse and may be edited for content, consistency, style, and grammar. We may have to remove references to Max Brooks’ work if Crown Publishing does not like our efforts.
  3. The previous line does not mean that won’t let you publish a story elsewhere if you get the opportunity to do so. We want to encourage our writers, not dominate them; however, we do reserve the right to remove stories that are inconsistent with the goals of the site, including that of high-quality writing.
  4. Blue Zone Zyracuse Podcasts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Our authors retain copyright control over their works, which may not be re-used off the Zyracuse.com website without their permission and attribution to having been first published at Zyracuse.com.
  5. For more detailed information, follow this link: Creative Commons License

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    Blue Zone Zyracuse contains some stock characters as community property. They include

  1. Brooks–The leader of the Zone
  2. Dr. Krezner–Head of the medical department
  3. Clipboard–The Brains of Zyracuse. Think Radar on M.A.S.H.
  4. Captain Slater–Head of Corpse Corps
  5. Other characters are the informal property of the authors who create them. They may be referred to or interacted with but should not be featured as protagonists or killed without the permission of the original author.

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  1. How long was it from the initial outbreak until we all moved to the airport?
  2. » That part of the timeline has not yet been determined and will have to be, either by us or by story. Timelines in WWZ are extremely vague and we probably need to leave them that way as well.

  3. Do we have full power pre-Niagara? Do we have any post-Niagara?
  4. » Yes. Not yet determined.

  5. Do we have any animals for food? Are we all vegetarians now? I don’t like vegetables.
  6. » I agree with the third sentence. The airport is a former asparagus farm that still grows asparagus. Think of it as hell. Probably not. I’d like to rescue some diary cattle, but they’ll be looted before we get there.

  7. Can animals become zombies? Do we have to watch out for Zombie Cows?
  8. » According to ZSM, no. They become dead when bitten. This is just as bad in the long run. You do not want to eat Solanum-infected meat.

  9. Are the survivors working on making shelters, or just living in the terminal. What are
    the conditions like? Do we have running water, toilets?
  10. » This is an item that remains open for development by authors. It may not need to be formally addressed in its own story, but running water is a major concern of Krezner for health reasons and Brooks because she was a plumber before the Panic.

  11. Do we have any ways of communicating with the outside world?
  12. » Good question that needs debate. I don’t think 1856 people can fit into the terminal. There is a 100,000 square foot cargo terminal, which is only 53 square feet/person. The best defensible area is the parking garage levels 2 and 3, but that gets real cold and is filled with cars. Water & toilets needs to be discussed. I don’t know much about the power requirements for two-way radio communication. We need someone who knows something. Same with gasoline, diesel fuel, generators, and stuff like that. It’s a bit over my head and I’d like to pass the buck.

  13. Is there a government anymore?» Yes, but we are isolated from it. The Zone will be a representative dictatorship. In a future story, Brooks will refer to it as republidemosociofacism. Although all survivors may voice an opinion in public meeting and some issues are available for direct voting by all adults, matters are decided by a Congress-substituting Triumvirate of three currently unnamed, elected officials. Decisions of the Triumvirate are subject to veto by Brooks, leader of the Blue Zone.

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Corpse Corps

  1. The zombie removal group will be known as Corpse Corps. They will travel in groups of four called Squads and each squad will be numbered. Each squad will contain a leader and at least one woman. The roles of the other three members of a squad will be determined the author. The 37th Squad is all women.
  2. It is headed by Captain Slater.
  3. Four lieutenants each lead a battalion made up of 20 squads and serve at his pleasure.
  4. Each lieutenant selects a sergeant who may travel in command of multi-squad forays. The sergeant or designated Corps member is also responsible for securing all weapons in the battalion headquarters in the ticketing area. Weapons are not permitted to circulate through the Zone by permission of Brooks. (Or are they? Does the 2nd Amendment still apply? Does Zack pose more of a threat than other humans? Sounds like an episode…)
  5. We are completely aware that this is not standard military operating procedure. Sgt. Meaker is correct in pointing out that the term “battalion” typically applies to 500-1000 men. We’ll use the term incorrectly nonetheless because it’s cooler.
  6. While prestigious, risks are high. Turnover is fairly low. At 325 people, CC makes up one of the largest factions in the Zone.
  7. Only three battalions may be outside the fence at any time. One remains on reserve for a week. Thus, each battalion is on home duty, patrolling the perimeter, 24×7. Squads from this reserve may be ordered out in relief of other besieged units at the risk of leaving Central partially defended. Defending the perimeter is a responsibility of the Corps, but in the end, it’s everyone’s. Even Clipboard carries a pistol.
  8. As a general rule, members of Corpse Corps do not scavenge.

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    Food is a major concern of the zone.

    Some great research by Rob Kay reveals that

  1. There are over 500 species of edible plants native to North America and many of them flourish in New York State. These include, but are not limeted to, chickweed, amaranth, shepherd’s purse, young ferns, a couple types of wild berries, as well as edible tubers and roots. In addition to these there are also several edible varieties of fungi native to the area.
  2. There are 30 species of fish living in Lake Ontario alone; all of which, with the exception of the lamprey, are edible. The area’s waterways also contain crayfish and frogs; also edible.
  3. With the massive reduction in the human population and the grinding halt in all industrial fronts the area’s already abundant animal life can also be exploited as a food source. In addition to our native white-tailed deer we can expect a resurgence in elk, moose, as well as their natural predators, wolves (all of which are equally edible).
  4. Adding to theses big ticket sources smaller species can also be used to supplement the Blue Zone diet such as rabbits, various marmots, burrowing animals, rodents, and wild fowl. These can be either hunted or traps and snares may be set.
  5. The population, while heavily dependent on these sources, need not revert fully to a hunter gatherer diet. Seeds keep for a very long time and produce more of themselves after the first crop. Small to medium size gardens may be established within the perimeter and seeds can be found at any of the abandoned hardware stores.
  6. One of the major obstacles the survivors will be facing is the lack of drinkable water. You won’t be able to just turn on the faucet and get clean water. We need to come up with a way to purify and store enough water for 600 people to survive. The north branch of Ley Creek runs along the airport’s southeast corner. A project in the 1990’s sought to ease raw sewage outflows into the creek from the Liverpool area.
  7. This easy availability of wild-growing natural food is not held by all writers to be sufficient for the needs of the Zone. There is no doubt that the first winter will see a large population correction, a gigantic euphemism for mass starvation. In any event, food will always be in short supply and seasonal. (After the Labor Day Storm of 1999, the Onondaga Blvd. Wegmans was picked clean in a single day. This was the result of a three-day interruption of supplies.) Most people have stopped complaining about the hunger, as doing so is pointless.

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Style and Grammar

    Site-specific Style Points

  1. Zombies will be known as ghouls, zombies, Z’s, or Zack (not Zacks, Zac, Zak, or Zaque.) Zack is a collective noun used to refer to zombies as a group. Thus, ‘a Zack’ is grammatically incorrect. The singular of Zack is Z. The word “zombie” is deprecated in most people’s writing.
  2. In Max Brooks’ work, a Blue Zone is a fortified area that has been abandoned by the central government, which has retreated to a Red Zone. Blue Zones exist for the sole purpose of being zombie bait and future bases for potential re-establishment of civilization. Survival is a perk and not guaranteed. White zones are massively uncontrolled areas with no possibility for inhabitation. The nearest White Zones to Central New York would be the Boston-New York-Philadelphia megapolis.
  3. We ask for(meaning insist upon) swearing and vulgarity to be kept to an absolute minimum. The founders of the site believe that vulgarity is a shortcut taken by a lazy writer. Euphemisms are preferred. Thus, frak, gorram, and shiny and their derivatives can and should be used in place of their English equivalents.
  4. Due to anti-Canadian attitudes, ZED will not be used to refer to zombies. A ZED is a Zombie Elimination Device–a handheld weapon that does not use bullets. It will not be standardized among members of the zombie squad, but need not be individually described. There will not be periods used in the acronym.
  5. Authentic and actual CNY locations should be used to increase realism. We have Google Maps available to make finding such things easier.
  6. We suggest the use of the WordPress editor for writing posts. Should you choose to use Microsoft Word, please refer to Chris Sinclair’s instructions, located at Post 182.
  7. Comments that are not part of the story, such as “I know this sucks, but I hope you like it” or “I was up really late, so it’s full of grammar mistakes” need not be posted. If they are in the story text, they will be deleted. Should authors insist on making such pre-apologies for bad writing or lousy grammar, it should be done in the first comment after posting the story.
  8. We are suportive of one another’s efforts to revise and perfect our work. That concept of working together for a greater good is critical for our survival in the zone.
  9. Basic Usage

  10. We expect authors to conform to basic standards of written English
  11. All sentences shall start with a capital and end with a period, even in comments.
  12. Text abbreviations like lol are not welcome on the site.
  13. Names should always be capitalized.
  14. Paragraphs should be block formated, not indented. All paragraphs should align with the left margin with a blank space between each paragraph.
  15. Dialog should be quoted and punctuated properly. Dialog in English is punctuated like this

    He said comma quote capital letter period quote.
    He said, “I like to talk.”
    or “I like to talk,” he said.

    There are so few exceptions that it is easier just to memorize it like this. We will point out exceptions in later comments. There should never be air on both sides of a quote. ” does not exist alone in nature.

    It is not necessary to have “she said” every time someone speaks. In fact, in a long dialog, it is dreadfully dull.

  16. When writing dialog, each time a speaker changes, a new paragraph must be used.
  17. Quotations inside of quotations are marked by apostrophes, not quotation marks.
    i.e.: “Yeah, then Rocky was like, ‘YO ADRIAN!’ I love that movie man.”
  18. If there is a sentence in English that can be improved by starting with the word “also”, it has not yet been discovered by scientists.
  19. Spell Check doesn’t catch everything. Spell Check will say this sentence is spelled write, but its really knot. Read what you’ve typed.
  20. Grammar check doesn’t catch everything. Did you see in the sentence above that the word its should be it’s because the usage is ‘it is’?
  21. The major confusing word pairs include:
    its=belonging to it
    it’s=it is
    there=a place, like here or where
    their=belonging to they or them
    they’re=they are
    your=belonging to you
    you’re=you are
    alot=you should really think about not writing any more
    a lot=you are boring, but at least you can spell.

    There is no better way to look like someone who never graduated from middle school than to confuse these basic English words. Only a thinking human can catch these mistakes. A thinking writer should never make them.

  22. Please remember that and followed by a verb does NOT take a comma before the and.
    “He smiled and walked onward” is correct. “He smiled, and walked onward” is not.
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