Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sean Cummings Guest Post: Zombie Month

Shade Fright (Valerie Stevens, #1)

Groupthink Zombies
I want to thank Caitlin for inviting me to do a guest post for her month long celebration of all things shuffling, moaning, decomposing and of course, flesh eating. Where would we be with out zombies these days? You know, while voodoo has been around for centuries, we all know it took George A. Romero’s terrifying vision of walking corpses bent turning humanity into a buffet to introduce horror lovers to the best two legged monster since Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein way back in 1817.
I love zombies and clearly, popular culture is in love with them too. From scores of movies ranging from the gold standard of zombie movies, Night of the Living Dead in 1968, to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s tongue-in-cheek look at the creatures in 2004, the entertainment industry knows that zombies sell. Big time.
How big?
How about this?
Or this?
Or even this? (Seriously … I am SOOOOO buying this game!!!)
Madison Avenue (or wherever the ad guys hang these days) knows full well that zombies sell, and why shouldn’t they? They’re a seemingly unstoppable mindless mass of human-destroying power. You can’t reason with them, they don’t feel anything other than a constant hunger for people sandwiches and they just keep on coming.
We all know about the recent zombie trend in publishing, so I’m going to step back for a second and talk about my personal favorite kind of zombie. They don’t eat human flesh, but they’re slow moving, incapable of independent thought and oh, did I mention, they’re armed to the teeth?
You guessed it. My favorite zombies the Borg. I know what you’re saying: yes they’re technically alive, but really, how alive can you truly be if you’re not even sentient and you live in a floating cube in outer space. Since they first emerged on the scene on May 8, 1989 in an episode of TNG entitled “Q Who”, I’ve been a huge Borg fan boy. (I secretly wish the reboot of the Star Trek franchise on the big screen will include the Borg because I’d be interested in seeing how Captain Kirk would get himself out of that one.)
I love the Borg so much, that while I don’t have any cybernetic organisms in my Valerie Stevens series, (SPOILER WARNING) I’ve introduced the concept of a zombie hive mind which is going to feature prominently in a future book. (No, I’m not going to spill the beans, suffice to say that zombies can have a queen, nuff said.)
So this begs the question: if I like the Borg so much, why didn’t I write about them? The easy answer is they influence my work along with a host of other mindless killing machines. That, andI can’t write science fiction if my life depended on it (that and romance… I suck at romance.) so I decided to bring some of their characteristics into Valerie Stevens’ world.
Go out and order FUNERAL PALLOR if you’re into a kick-ass apprentice mage, a talking zombie who might be the cause of an outbreak, a pair of head-banging zombie assassins and a character I’m pleased to announce will be very shortly getting his own book: Tim Reaper.
I’ll close by saying that I admire authors like Nancy Holzner, whose Deadtown has a fantastic character in Tina, a teenage zombie sidekick. Max Brooks World War Z is a great read and if we ever do experience a zombie apocalypse, his Zombie Survival Guide is a must have.
Well, happy zombie month everyone! Go grab a book about the living dead and gorge yourself of these fantastic and utterly terrifying creatures!

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