Empire is a zombie novel by David Dunwoody. It was first published online in 2006 as a web serial before seeing print in 2008 through Permuted Press. In 2010, a deal between Permuted Press and Simon & Schuster resulted in a reissue of Empire under Simon & Schuster's new Gallery Books imprint.


The cover for Gallery's 2010 edition of Empire.

It was followed in 2011 by the sequel Empire's End.


The year is 2112.

The crippled U.S. government and its military forces are giving up the century-long fight against an undead plague. Born of an otherworldly energy fused with a deadly virus, the ravaging hordes of zombified humans and animals have no natural enemies. But they do have one supernatural enemy: Death himself.

Descending upon the ghost town of Jefferson Harbor, Louisiana, the Grim Reaper embarks on a bloody campaign to put down the legions that have defied his touch for so long. He will find allies in the city’s last survivors, and a nemesis in a man who wants to harness the force driving the zombies—a man who seeks to rebuild America into an empire of the dead.



The cover for the 2008 Permuted edition of Empire. Art by Michael Brack.

  • In October 2006, when Empire was an unfolding web serial, a poll was held in which readers voted on a character to be killed off in the Halloween installment. Poll options included major characters. The "winner" dies in the chapter "Jack-O'-Lantern."
  • The "Hand of God" and "Before the Empire" segments were written exclusively for the print version, "Hand of God" using characters created for and subsequently featured in Empire's End.
  • There are numerous short stories set in the Empire universe - see a complete list here.

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