Racelink has joined forces with Stand Up for Cancer so you can race against Mel C, Bill Bailey, Ore Oduba and Edith Bowman in Celeb Chase Virtual Race!
Season 6 will be taking its scheduled hiatus after episode 20, before returning later in the summer. You’ve been warned – eke out your episodes accordingly. Or you know, binge them all and then wait eagerly for the conclusion.
Podcasts & Videos
Podcast Detected has a few new episodes for your delectation, including a few bonus episodes covering the mysterious topic of “Zombology”.
Over at Rofflenet, flschleiss wrote & recorded “Sam You’re All I’ve Got”, a fantastic song for everybody’s favourite Radio Operator!
Arts & Crafts
We have something a bit different this month – 94knps over at Rofflenet posted this incredible supply cache he made for his girlfriend. Check out all the images to see what was included!
The Lost Papers of Abel Township is an undeniably cool project. It’s a unique take on fanfiction, crafted around “found” documents from Runner Five, including diary entries. I can’t wait see what else they come up with!
Prom by erbinnerdgirl5 is an adorable fanfic where – you guessed it! – Abel holds its first ever prom. This is a lot of fun to read amidst the darkness of Season 6!
But to return us to that same dark, Digna Factis Recipimus by bbelladonna is a fantastic exploration of the kind of nightmares Five might have after all they’ve seen. Be warned – the current chapter has spoilers up to Season 3, and bbelladonna plans to continue through all the seasons in this style.
Spring Virtual Race – The new Virtual Race is here! This time, a train has crashed in the Channel Tunnel, with 500 souls and 1 zombie onboard. You’ll be playing as Rescue Five, part the European Rescue Force, to save them. You can head over to our Virtual Race site for more info!
The Zombies, Run! comic book – With Kascha Sweeney’s fantastic artwork, we’re all really excited about how this comic book edition of Jolly Alpha Five Niner is shaping up. It’s exclusive to the Spring Virtual Race, and you can see a sneak preview here on our blog.
Introducing Racelink – We’ve just launched our new platform for charities and brands to create their own Virtual Races. You can read our Racelink blog post to learn more about it. Our first races are with the British Science Association for the free-to-enter Run the Solar System race and the Spy Virtual Race for Macmillan, both of which we’ve loved working on!
Season 6 release – You can look forward to more Zombies, Run! episodes in April. What exciting twists and turns does Season 6 hold? Well, that would be telling, but we just know you’re going to love it.
Zombie Christmas Carols
Over on Rofflenet, some poetic Runners 5 were found singing Zombies, Run! themed Christmas carols. This is a small selection for you to enjoy!
By jozzowozzo, to the tune of Jingle Bells:
Dashing through the woods, Runners 4 and 6 by my side, trying to run missions, while watching each other’s hides! Moans from zombies ring, making our hearts race, what fun it is to get to Abel before they close the gates.
Oh! Zombies, Run! We have fun, keeping the zoms away, collecting bras and tins of food and ammo all the day! Zombies, Run! We have fun, keeping the zoms away, keeping Abel safe and sound from the undead scourge all day!
By sandpiper, with season one spoilers and to the tune of O, Christmas Tree:
O Runner 5, O Runner 5 How massive is thy backpack You run so fast, or briskly walk One thing’s for sure, you never talk O Runner 5, O Runner 5 List’ning to Eugene and Jack
O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Much sports bras dost thou bring us! With ev’ry mission, Runner 5 Helps Abel Township to survive! O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Patrols the walls that ring us.
O Runner 5, O Runner 5 How strong thy glutes and hamstrings You ran the night in Season One When nearly killed by New Canton O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Thy legs are sore and aching
O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Demons and Darkness world champ Thanks to you, who are so nice, We finally got 12-sided dice O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Playing late by oil lamp.
O Runner 5, O Runner 5 Out dodging zoms by starlight Sam Yao quite often has expressed Of all his runners, you’re the best, O Runner 5, O Runner 5 I bet you brought back Marmite.
By guyandd, to the tune of Frosty the Snowman:
Zombies are no fun, They clutter up the place. With their missing limbs and their gruesome grins, What a truly loathsome face!
Oh, Zombies are no fun They are such a bloody pain. Shambling here and there, Somewhat unaware, Runners chase and zoms are slain.
There just might be a hatchet, In that backpack 5 just found. And 5 get ready to use it, Cause the Zoms are back in town!
Oh Zombies are no fun, They aim to give us chase. I’d like to sit and chat but Grab your baseball bat, we’ve got Zombies to displace. We’ve got Zombies to displaaaace!
At one point or other, we’ve all asked ourselves what Runner 5 is keeping in that notebook. The Notebook by Jazoriah answers that question, and weaves it into a story of how Abel Township will always pull together for someone in need.
Humid Summer’s Afternoon by Elford fills the gap between episodes 48 and 49. It’s a great piece, especially given it is their first submission to Archive of Our Own!
There’s never enough Archie Jensen in the world, and Friend in the Field by winterhill sees Archie and Runner 5 bonding after getting stuck outside overnight with injuries.
Unstoppable by Sie_TheRunner5 is a Season 2 re-write. It’s impressive in scope, and brilliantly written. It’s only 2 chapters in at the moment, so you can jump in now without playing catch-up!
It’s been a while since our last community roundup – but don’t think we’ve forgotten about you. We’ve been keeping an eye on the fandom all year, and have loved seeing what Zombies, Run! has inspired. Here’s a smattering of excellent offerings from the community!
It’s been a little over three weeks since we finished our third Virtual Race! With over 5,000 participants, this was our biggest yet! If you wanted to get decked out, but didn’t get the chance to participate, the Fall Virtual Race t-shirts are available in store. We hoped you enjoyed the story, and we sure loved getting pictures of Runners 5 at the finish line – so much, in fact, that we’ve included some of those pictures below.
For other news on what Six to Start has been up to, you can check out our most recent State of the Township post here!
The lovely people who run the fan podcast “Podcast Detected” are looking for new people to join their team so they can get back to releasing new episodes! You can find all the information on their Tumblr if it sounds like something you’d want to get onboard with.
As promised, here’s a pick of the pictures people posted on Rofflenet (try saying that ten times fast!).
nlinindoll & David finished the race with their personal bests for 10k!
thedarkgrove finishing up the race with a well deserved cold beverage and the obligatory Curly Wurly
As soon as he finished the Fall race, faadinc was raring for the next one
If you have a picture of you and your medal, don’t forget to head over to Rofflenet to post it!
The perfect counter to everyone dressing up as zombies for Halloween…
Jill’s Runner 6 outfit is fantastic – full of detail, and her trophy head would strike fear into the heart of any zombie unfortunate enough to encounter her.
pekasairroc dressed up as Runner 5 for her Virtual Race 5k, which she completed around Halloween. We just hope those bright colours don’t attract too many zombies…
Last but not least, runner-five5′s Runner 5 knows her way around that axe, if her blood-stained shirt is anything to go by.
There’s plenty more fantastic fanfiction out there from this year, but this is just a taste. Everyone needs a few happy tales to recover from the rollercoaster of Season 5, and what better than some writing from the fandom?
First up, we have the lovely Tables and Chairs by idiopathicsmile from much earlier this year. A cheerful Jack/Eugene on-shot that takes place before they reach Abel Township, and idiopathicsmile captures their voices brilliantly.
Codex by Cana_banana lets us into the stories behind some of the items in the game. There are only two chapters at the moment, but we can’t wait to see what other stories this writer comes up.
Want some sweetness with your Zombies, Run!? Check out Excursion by ZaliaChimera, which has Simon Lauchlan trying to coax some rule breaking out of Janine.
With Halloween on the horizon, and the first ever Zombies, Run! Virtual Race well underway, it’s time to check in with the good folks of Abel Township the Zombies, Run! fan community. But first, here’s a quick roundup of what’s been going on at Six to Start HQ in the past couple of months.
$10,000 of Awesome: Tabletop Gamer, Enterprise Crew Member, Runner Five? Wil Wheaton discusses the Seven Things he did to reboot his life. Spoilers: Zombies, Run! is one! It’s a personal, insightful article. Thanks for sharing, Wil!
App Development: As usual, we’ve been hard at work making Zombies, Run! the best it can be. Here’s a roundup of the improvements we’ve made in the past couple of months – including Interval Training on Android! – and our plans for the next couple.
And with that, it’s time to take a look at what you’ve all been up to since we last spoke! Hit the readmore for the full shebang.
ZR! Community stalwart Zalia has resurrected a long-standing favourite: Iron Zombies! It’s a timed challenge to create a piece of Zombies, Run! fanwork to fill a prompt within a short amount of time, and has produced an absolute mountain of wonderful stuff in the past week. Get more info about the challenge here, and investigate the tag to see just what a fountain of inspiration it is! The current round of the challenge is over for now, but hopefully it’ll be back soon!
The artists in the Zombies, Run! community continue to be so creative and talented that it knocks my socks off. Take a look at some of the stuff that has left me particularly bare-feeted below.
Abel Outfitters by Maya_Koppori – What if Runner Five worked in a mall? AUs (alternate universe fictions) are a fun way to explore familiar characters, and this is one of the best. Putting ZR characters back in more “everyday” situations is a favourite trope of mine.
The month of August is upon us and, like its namesake, it brings with it a record of all its fine works. But who needs a bronze inscription when you have The Zombies, Run! Community Roundup?
Six to Start News
First up, let’s have a quick catch-up with all the goings-on here at Six to Start headquarters.
1) The current hiatus will finish next Wednesday, August 12th, with the release of missions 21 and 22 from Season Four. From then on, we’ll be releasing 2 new missions a week right through to the end of Season Four!
2) Virtual Race! We’re thinking about running one. Do you like the sound of that? Would you like to race against your fellow Runners Five, virtually? Let us know!
OK that’s all the official stuff out of the way. Hit the readmore for the fluff, heartbreak, illustrations and in-jokes you actually come here for.
The past month has seen a ridiculous explosion of amazing artwork, just a few pieces of which I’m able to share here with you all. I had to leave a whole lot of my favourites out so that we didn’t crash Tumblr’s servers with the wonder, so go check out the tags to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
In the past, comics haven’t been all that common in the Fivedom, but this month we’ve had some really excellent new sequential fan art. For obvious reasons, I can’t share them in their entirety here, so instead I’m going to post the first panel and provide a link so you can read the rest of the strip. Which you should, because they’re all amazing. Do it!
Here’s the beginning of a brand-new ongoing in-character diary which is really in-depth and well thought through. It’s great to read someone putting so much effort into getting inside their Runner Five’s head!
And that’s it for this month! As usual, there has been far, far too much great fan work to feature in one blog post, but if you think there’s something I’ve missed, or if there’s something to which you’d like to draw my attention, drop me a line on matt at sixtostart.com.
Fireworks arc into the air. Flags wave in the wind. Blog authors are unable to resist endless movie references (seriously you’ll get sick of them soon). Welcome to the Independence Day weekend Zombies, Run! Community Roundup Post.
Before we get started, let’s all take a moment to celebrate the fact that everyone’s favourite Doctor Girlfriends could now get married anywhere in the United States with a classic piece of loveliness from The Wondersmith
We’re horribly excited to announce that two of us from here at Six to Start will be appearing at this year’s Nine Worlds Conference in London from 7th – 9th August 2015: Adrian Hon (ZR co-creator, Six to Start CEO) and Matt Wieteska (Audio Director, Writer of Radio Abel, Me). We’ll both be speaking in various panels across the three days, so come and say hi!
But that’s not all! The ZR writing team will be out in full force, with Naomi Alderman (ZR co-creator and Lead Writer) and Rebecca Levene both attending. Finally, some of the ZR cast are also on panels, so there’s plenty of Zombies, Run! related reasons to come along.
You can find more information about the Nine Worlds schedule here. If you’re coming along, be sure to tweet us to let us know.
This Month in the Fandom
… has been absolutely ridiculous. I’ve never seen so much wonderful art, writing and discussion. Seriously, putting this post together has taken about three times longer than ever before because it was so hard to decide what to put in. You all need to be a touch less amazing or my pride centre is going to explode. Hit up the readmore to find a taste of what this fantastic fandom has been up to since we launched the All-New Zombies, Run!
Couldn’t let you through without a bit more holiday-appropriate giffage. On with the art!
So much stunning artwork this month. Check this stuff out.
Phew! That’s it for this month. Zombies, Run! Fandom: you are utterly fabulous. If there’s any fan work you’d like to draw my attention to for the next Community Roundup, drop me an email to matt at sixtostart dot com.
With the launch of Season Four just around the corner, many of our fan-fiction writers have been looking back to the seasons-that-were and exploring some of the most exciting moments from missions past. Here are a few of my favourites. I’ve noted which pieces contain spoilers, so be careful if you’re not up to date. Give them a read!
First up, ZR Writer extraordinaire thischarmingand has some fun in this piece with something that happens nine times in Season Three. Spoilers for Season Three Radio
The ever-hard-working Zalia has completed her latest round of curation for the Zombies, Run! delicious tag, which collects all the Zombies, Run! fan works from around the internet. You’re doing great work, Zalia, and the delicious tag is a vital resource for anyone who can’t get enough of the Abel Township crew!
Running can be hard work, as can surviving the apocalypse, which is why the brand-new Zombies, Run! positivity blog is a welcome resource for runners in need of some encouraging words. Great stuff!
Finally, sleepyempress has had a great idea for a community project: Draw Yourself as Runner Five Day!. We think this is a great idea and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with. As sleepyempress notes in the blogpost, this is open to everyone, no matter their level of artistic ability, so don’t worry if, like me, drawing isn’t your strong suit!
Phew! That’s a whole lot of great fan work to enjoy. If there’s anything you’d like to submit to next month’s community roundup, drop it in an email to matt at sixtostart dot com!
Calling all Runners Five! Dig your way out of that pile of roses, fish the novelty chocolates from your favourite sports bras and step away from the zombiefied love-heart teddy bear. It’s time for the February Community and Press Roundup and this one is a doozy.
Not content with breaking all our hearts, forcing us to weep buckets while running and generally creating the best post-apocalypse storyline the world has ever seen, ZR lead writer and co-creator Naomi Alderman has released a wonderful, insightful article on her experience of exercise and her relationship to her body this week. It’s received tons of well-deserved attention and has sparked a heart-warming and essential discussion on the nature of exercise. This is a must-read for ZR fans if you haven’t already devoured it.
Podcasts: Daft Souls and Brew / Drink / Run
This month, Zombies, Run! has featured on a couple of great podcasts. We know you’re all big fans of audio storytelling, so go check them out!
Firstly, the excellent video gaming podcast Daft Souls made everyone here at Six to Start feel very warm and fuzzy with their glowing discussion of Zombies, Run! and fitness gaming in general. Thanks guys!
Secondly, ZR was discussed on a podcast that has possibly the best combination of subject matter ever: craft beer and running. Brew / Drink / Run is a must listen if you you like either of those things, and we’re super glad to have featured.
Alright, that’s enough about us! Let’s get on with the main show: all you amazing fans. There’s a ton of great stuff this month, so hit the read more to unleash the wonder.
Valentine’s Day at Abel Township
Say what you like about the holiday itself, if there’s one thing Valentine’s Day is great for, it’s inspiring an absolute Runner-Five’s-backpack-full of amazing art, stories and discussions from our wonderful fandom.
First up, runn3rfive went above and beyond the call of duty to spread love and good wishes to the fandom at large with their “Abel Township Valentines”. Just another sign that we do have the nicest most wonderful fandom in history. I’m going to pretend it didn’t break my heart not to receive one. SOB.
There was also plenty of chat in the lead-up to the holiday about favourite pairings and ships. I’m going to my grave with “Phil / Lem” tattooed on my chest and there’s nothing you can do about it. They would absolutely destroy the Guardian cryptic every day and you know it.
Next, what discussion of love would be complete without an in-depth examination of our favourite radio operator mr Sam Yao? Thankfully, the excellent folks at Podcast Detected have us covered with their very special 20th episode. Go listen!
Fantastic artwork and being completely excellent to one another aren’t the only things that define the ZR fandom, of course. You’re all also bloody fantastic writers, and this selection of fic makes that point loud and clear. There is, as always, far too much great stuff to cover all of it, but here are just a few I’ve picked out.
SoullessDaze has begun a really exciting serialised work over on their wordpress. I love this because it takes the form of diaries from a number of original characters, all of whom have really vivid voices. There’s a lot of imagination and dedication here, and it’s regularly updated which means you’ll never run out of great stuff to read! Start reading from the first update and make plans to get hooked!
Over at ArchiveOfOurOwn, debtdoctor has written this fabulous fic which is really insightful about a big part of why we all might love Sam Yao so much. I’ll let you go read the piece in full yourselves, but I loved this quote especially:
Sam is there when you feel too young for this too.
So true. Really great stuff.
If these pieces haven’t tugged at your heartstrings enough, Zalia’s got you covered this month. True to form, the writing is evocative, powerful and really gets to the emotional core of the relationship between the characters. Massive warning: it’s a Janine / Simon fic, so there are spoilers right the way up to the current day, and there is some “disturbing imagery and general weirdness” (Zalia’s words). Here it is. Go read it!
Finally in our fic round up for the month, MaryFlanner has released the final chapter in the now-complete and totally amazing story of how Jack and Eugene came to be at Abel. It’s really great to read fiction that expands the world of ZR outside the canon timeline and yet feels so true to the characters. Great work!
Phew! That’s a lot of excellent writing this month, everyone! If there’s anything I’ve missed that you think I should be reading, please do drop me a line: matt at sixtostart.com.
I said this would be a doozy and boy, has it proved to be. I hope you’ve enjoyed all this as much as I have. But I couldn’t leave without highlighting a few of the other amazing pieces of fan art we’ve seen this month. As usual, there’s just way way way too much to highlight everything, but here’s a small taste. Just look at these:
Alright, there we go! Another mammoth community update post. We love seeing all the great work you guys make, so please do drop us a line if there’s anything we’re missing, or anything you want to point out to us especially. We’ve had some trouble picking up these suggestions in the past, so we’re now asking that you send any recommendations for the community roundup to matt at sixtostart.com. I can’t wait to see what you guys send in!
It’s December! Which means it’s time to don your cheesiest christmas jumper, make yourself a nice hot cup of cocoa and settle in for the final Zombies, Run! Community roundup of 2014.
Click the readmore for awesome art, wonderful writing, S3 spoilers and pictures of cider
In fact, hold fire on that cocoa for just a second there. I think I’ve got something you might like more. WTFRJK has only gone and made some of Phil Cheeseman’s “Truth Or Dare” Cider (better known as “Captain Phil’s Ol’ Lumberjack Blinder”, “Tuesday Night Mayhem” and “Dear god, what have I done to deserve this, why is Jack wearing Zoe’s boots on his arms again?!”). I think this stuff looks absolutely amazing and I’m frankly gutted by the fact that I’ll never get to taste it.
My spider-sense is tingling so I think it’s really important to mention that alcoholic beverages should be enjoyed responsibly and only when it is legal for you to do so at your current age in your current location. Stay safe out there, everybody. Cider is tasty, but safety is tastier.
OK, now that we all have something delicious to enjoy, how about some lovely wintery listening? And what better for that than the latest episode of the Zombies, Run! fandom’s very own unofficial podcast, Podcast Detected? This time Devin and Lindley are discussing all their favourite fanworks – something we have in common today!
That’s the scene setting done. Now let’s get on with the fun. Here’s a round-up of our favourite fanworks / blog posts / comments / miscellaneous material from around the Zombies, Run! fandom this month.
Art and Stuff!
OK you guys just look at this. Look at it! Look at this and then go away and think about what you, collectively, have done as a fandom. Just look at his face. Thaumivore, you are a danger to society and my heart.
I always love it when we get to see art of characters that aren’t drawn so often, and this bonkers amazing pairing of Zoe and Louise is pretty much the bestworst thing. I can’t decide if I love the tattoos, the headgear or the Van-Ark-May-Care attitude on their faces more. The Wondersmith is, as always, a goddamn heartbreaker.
From face-squishingly-great character portraits to “changing my desktop wallpaper right now holy poops take a look at this”: Decrescendo has made some truly stunning Runner Five themed designs this month. We’re all huge fans of these in the office. Amazing work.
There’s obviously far too much amazing fan art out there to call attention to every piece, but I couldn’t leave this month’s community roundup without mentioning Ask Abel Runner Five. They’re currently on their tenth day straight of posting adorable comics based on prompts from the fandom. If you haven’t seen it yet, I have only four words for you: Sam In Animal Ears.
As always, there’s been a tonne of great fics this month, but I wanted to draw attention to Cocytus by Sam Yaoza and Sports Bras, which is a moving piece on grief and love, and Empty by Tumblyorro, which does a fantastic job of getting inside Janine’s head towards the end of Season Two. Great work from both.
One of the best things about watching the ZR fandom grow over the past three years has been seeing the beginning of some truly wonderful community initiatives. This month we have Don’t Die December, in which members of the fandom commit to their fitness goals for December. It’s great to see the community coming together to encourage each other. Keep it up, Runners Five! We’ve also got Zombies, Run! Secret Santa, in which members of the fandom swap art, stories and other works as christmas presents. It’s too late to sign up now, I’m afraid, but I can’t wait to see all the great stuff you guys turn out!
Thanks to all of our amazing fans, and everyone out there running to keep Abel Township safe. You guys rock. Happy holidays!