Thursday, November 11, 2010

Books around the world

Riffing off my previous post about zombie movies, I've noticed that the current trend of zombie books has finally reached these shores with a handful of books on the bookshelves.

I suppose it's time for it, coming after Quirk Books' retroactive play of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith). After all, among the various monsters of pop culture, only the zombie genre (of the George Romero type) has been sorely underdeveloped.

Thankfully, these authors (with some I've heard about but not seen yet here) up to task. These range from:

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson sounds like a fun romp fanfic about a Star Trek convention that gets invaded by zombies. The book cover doesn't look much but I managed to watch the book trailer (a terrific one at that) and got sold on it. Here's the blurb:
Journey to the Final Frontier of Sci-Fi Zombie Horror!

Jim Pike was the world's biggest Star Trek fan—until two tours of duty in Afghanistan destroyed his faith in the human race. Now he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston.

But when hundreds of Trekkies arrive in his lobby for a science-fiction convention, Jim finds himself surrounded by costumed Klingons, Vulcans, and Ferengi—plus a strange virus that transforms its carriers into savage, flesh-eating zombies!

As bloody corpses stumble to life and the planet teeters on the brink of total apocalypse, Jim must deliver a ragtag crew of fanboys and fangirls to safety. Dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers, their prime directive is to survive. But how long can they last in the ultimate no-win scenario?
Granted, it doesn't look all that much but-- like I said-- the book trailer is the kicker!

Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Beeker is an interesting look at what happens to a person who becomes a zombie. Think John Gardner's Grendel by way of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. See the blurb:
College-professor-cum-zombie Jack Barnes is a different breed of undead—he can think. In fact, he can even write. And the story he has to tell is a truly disturbing—yet strangely heartwarming—one.

Convinced he'll bring about a peaceful coexistence between zombies and humans if he can demonstrate his unique condition to Howard Stein, the man responsible for the zombie virus, Barnes sets off on a grueling cross-country journey to meet his maker. Along the way he recruits a small army of "super" zombies that will stop at nothing to reach their goal. There's Guts, the dreadlocked boy who can run like the wind; Joan, the matronly nurse adept at reattaching decaying appendages; Annie, the young girl with a fierce quick-draw; and Ros, who can actually speak. United they embark on an epic quest to attain what all men, women—and, apparently, zombies—yearn for: equality.

On the other hand, Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen sounds like a rom-com amidst a zombie outbreak... which is a weird premise, I grant you that. See the blurb:
A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

Meet Sarah and David.

Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.

Meet the Zombies.

Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

On the other hand, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne sounds similar to Beek's book except that it deals with some interesting things like zombie rights. (Yes, now it sounds like a social satire in the vein of Fido. Yes, I know zombies are supposed to be social satire. Give over.) See the blurb:
Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.
More or else all four books diverge from the usual survivors-versus-zombies story in the sense that you either have the perspective of zombies or you have some very varied cast of survivors. Is that different enough? I think it is.

(And just in case you've missed these, the YA section also has a couple of zombie books worth sinking your teeth in: Feed by Mira Grant and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.)

What's more interesting is that there are a few more zombie books out there that are worth keeping an eye out. And these aren't your garden variety zombie apocalypses:

1. The Loving Dead by Amelia Beamer
2. One by Conrad Williams,
3. Pariah by Bob Fingerman
4. Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindquist
5. The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten, Harrison Geillor
6. The Reapers are Angels, Alden Bell

In particular, the Bell and Fingerman books look interesting because they promise a literary perspective on zombies. On the other hand, the Williams and Lindquist rate high in my list because I've read their previous works.

So... zombies much?


Anonymous said...

brains! must check that out : )

banzai cat said...

that you kmfdm? yeah, the other zombie books that i only cited look good. am waiting to check those out.