These days there is a lot to worry about: global warming, financial collapse, terrorism—you name it. For writer Max Brooks, the threat that trumps them all is zombies. He sounded a warning call about these walking dead in 2003 with The Zombie Survival Guide, followed three years later by World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, an immensely popular account of a massive zombie outbreak (the movie version, starring Brad Pitt, is due out in December 2012).

Brooks joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry on the podcast to discuss the perils of dressing up like a zombie on Halloween, the particular horrors that a zombie infestation represents to Jews, and the origins of his own zombie fears—traced to one fateful night circa 1985 when Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft opted not to hire a babysitter. [Running time: 14:40.]