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Deep into week 2 of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015 and things are heating up. Today we feature author Dave Lund who tackles The State of Zombie Fiction Essay. He is quite wordy and observant. We like that, we like that a lot!
So we'll keep it short on our end and lent Mr. Lund do the rest of the talking.
The zombie phenomenon has been called “past” or “done” for the last ten years and yet here we are in 2015 and the genre is more popular than ever! How did this happen when did it start and what is the future?
When did it start? The majority of the fans from the genre will usually answer either in regards to filmmaker George Ramero and “Night of the Living Dead” or they will talk about voodoo myths and customs, but they would miss what I consider to the be true origins. To understand the true origins we have to discuss the first question: how did this happen?
The phenomenon happened from human nature. There is an unstoppable foe, one which will not tire, which will not stop and you can either defeat it or be doomed to its fate, a battle between an ultimate good and evil. Many of you will make the next leap of thought and say “oh yes, the Battle of Wolf 359” which is a nice geeky reference and I would agree with you. The Battle of Wolf 359, for those of you not steeped in Star Trek lore, is the major battle of the Federation against The Borg which aired in two parts as a season cliff hanger in 1990 in the episode “The Best of Both Worlds” of the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. The Borg are an unstoppable force, untiring, who will kill you or assimilate (convert) you to being a member of the Borg collective. The Borg is the Star Trek version of a zombie. You are also right in that “Night of the Living Dead” played long before 1990, but the movie was at that time still a bit of an underground or cult success. The Borg plotlines in the Star Trek universe brought zombies to the public consciousness more strongly than they realized and was a major step in planting the genre growth we’ve experienced since.
Long before twentieth century, long before a beat cop dreamed up a TV series about a starship and her crew, long before George Romero’s great-grandfather was born, the unstoppable enemy has lived in popular culture. Let us step into the Delorean and travel back to roughly 2500 BC and the first great work of literature, Epic of Gilgamesh. The great flood was one of the unstoppable enemies that Gilgamesh conquered and I won’t list all the feats but through the original tablets of the tale the demigod vanquished the unstoppable and continued his adventure, often Gilgamesh was the unstoppable force against the others.
Littered through the myths, legends and history of human culture, the unstoppable conquering enemy has existed. Wars fought, civilizations created and destroyed, from the Crusades of the Middle Ages to the World War Two and continuing to this day, the idea of ultimate good and evil percolates in our consciousness.
What does that mean for the future of the zombie genre? Is the phenomena over? We are far from over, a genre built from the first known pieces of literature from five thousand years ago, the core of the genre will continue long after our dead bodies reanimate and crumble to dust. For the current modern version of zombies the genre is just getting started. From unstoppably popular TV shows and movies to novels and short stories, the rest of the public simply can’t get enough. Part of the reason for the explosive growth in the indie and hybrid author arena is the accessibility of the author to the fans via social media. Instead of waiting for the PR machine for a Tom Clancy franchise to return a letter, daily people have the chance to interact, chat, message and discuss topics with their favorite authors. The big book stores are shrugging out of the genre, saying it is over, but I’m not sure how they can see that as their own swan song plays mournfully. To end the rambling discussion today, let me leave you with an idea of our future: we are watching “You’ve Got Mail” in reverse. Kathleen divorces Joe Fox, Fox Books goes out of business while she opens an indie niche book store around the corner from the big box bookstore. She lives out the rest of her life happily selling books and supporting indie authors with her adoring fans, readers and customers. I’m looking forward to the first horror only indie book store to open in my town!
|Zombie Author Dave Lund|
Author Dave Lund is at the helm of the popular Winchester Undead book series, with Winchester: Over and Winchester: Prey currently available. http://www.winchesterundead.com
This is Dave Lund's first year at Books, Beer and BLOGshit for the Summer of Zombie Tour and we think he knocked it out of the park. Way to go Dave. Check out more Dave Lund links below:
Dave Lund on Goodreads
Dave Lund on Amazon.com
Dave Lund at Barnes & Noble
Here is a picture of Laura Ingalls as portrayed by Melissa Gilbert for no particular reason.