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Just That Much from Being Dead

Zombies. Why? I just don't get it.

No, really. Why? After the initial shock and the pleasegodpleasegoddeadbirddon'tputitonme.... so what?


Need a story. From the zombie's POV.

A stalker. Obsessive. All sense of decorum, of propriety burned away, and just the overriding, overwhelming need. To feed. On brains. What could possibly establish that need?

Or maybe a Sampson and Delilah story about the zombie lured, lobotomized, and then taking revenge on his captors.

Focussing on the hunger, though, that comes close to vampire, but with way less elan, way less class and chakra-pounding lustfulness.

Or is it "armies of the road; salvation à la mode; and a cup of tea?" The barbarians are at the gates, and we sit here and powder our noses...

....No. Still boring.

Zombies are boring. Case closed. All modern horror movie tropes died with "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman". But like the zombie, they refuse to stop moving.

But what a challenge it would be to write: An interesting zombie story. With pathos, with character development.

Or not. Any suggestions?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
If you widen the idea of what qualifies, you can bring in personality and even agency--as with Joan Frances' Turner's Dust, in which the zombies are basically rotting liches with identity issues. (Wellington does this really well in his Monster Island trilogy, too, where some people choose to "convert" and retain their smarts, while others are revenants and even mummies [bog, Egyptian].) Otherwise, you're sort of stuck in a disaster-movie scenario in which other people and how they deal/don't deal with the social collapse will threaten you just as much, if not more, than the tidal hordes.
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you—Dust I should have remembered for obvious reasons, but I had not heard of Monster Island. BTW, I enjoyed your talk yesterday, despite the raucous goings-on. But think: how many people can say that when they spoke, some found it necessary to fire off an artillery-piece?
Oct. 25th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
Dunno how "necessary" it was, but I'm glad you liked it!
Oct. 20th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
It's not the (rotting) meat, it's the motion. Like any other rope or subject matter it's what the author does with it that matters. I've read terrible zombie fiction, and wonderful zombie fiction. In many of the best, zombies seen't even the point, just the means to explore a concept, like using spec fic to explore our everyday lives.
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Ironically, just a couple of hours from posting, I heard a recording of Neil Gaiman's charming little story about zombie coffee-sellers. Which sort of subverts the post, doesn't it?
Oct. 20th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I was supposed to be dead, but for some reason, I hadn't stopped moving yet.

At least I wasn't in pain anymore. That was the biggest thing I could remember -- the engulfing, overwhelming pain from the car accident.

I could also remember the EMTs pulling a sheet over my face as I lay on the ground at the side of the road. I remembered the feeling of being zipped into a body bag. And then nothing, until now.

Why was I still walking around? I looked down. Okay, maybe shambling was a better word for my current gait. I hadn't quite fallen over. Yet. But I'm pretty sure I'd fail a roadside sobriety test based on that alone.

Not that I was on a roadside. I was in the middle of a field. I stumbled again and nearly faceplanted. When I looked down to see what obstacle had almost caused my downfall, my heart chilled.

It was a gravestone.


Uh-oh. I think you may have started something here, Barry...
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Cue the Mad Scientist's fiendish laughter....

And a week is a long time in politics and short story writing.

Well, for some of us.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )