Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Again, sorry for the delay. I was terminally ill for a very long time and am now just starting to recover. I knew the consequences of having a pulmonary embolism which produced multiple clots in both lungs. But, s***, nobody warned me about being crippled or nearly bed-ridden. I even have memory loss and have to re-learn the keyboard. I'm making godawful mistakes with words and key positions. So, I'm typing this real slow.
Since 2001 the amount of Zombie books and films has doubled. It's still going incredibly strong with no letup. I can't help thinking that this trend will continue or morph into something very similar. Plagues, bugs, viruses, strains, more of the same--pandemics. I guess we owe it all to Romero, although it was alive in culture thousands of years before that. I know some of the self-publishers who got on this trope years ago and are still profiting from it. Me? never wrote one. I just can't ascribe a thorough characterization to a foe/protag that either is fast or slow and eats flesh. Oh, and many of them need head-shots, fire or complete dismemberment.
Zombies are so ill-struck, deteriorated, limited in agility and function, it's a wonder they're alive at all. They attack in shear numbers and are usually brought down by gunfire or other instruments of mayhem and destruction. For the life of me I can't see a complex plot in any of these movies. I'm sure some of the books (I haven't read yet) have a semblance of motivation and diversity--but I wonder what, other than wiping the hoard out, surviving or finding a cure, is the statement or solution to this. I mean, how much better could one Z flick be from the next? Do we add sparkles or really smart zombies who can mask their identities? Shape-shifting zombies--really pretty or handsome ones. We've got them on ships/boats, grocery stores, in the forest and in desolate cities and townships. Just keep changing the environments and locations?
I'm agog at running through the TV listings and finding Z movies in the droves. The science and nature channels are running series and special programs. I think the only Z movie that made me laugh and pay attention was Zombieland. That one had some personality.
What say you? Is this Zombie thing a tiresome, worked over trope or trend, or are we headed for more of this for the next couple years? I wish I had a crystal ball--As far as trends go--this one's got me stymied and a little bit fed up.
I had two editors tell me that Michael Crichtonish type strain and plague books were as dead as ever. This was four years ago. I'd like to ask them about that now and see what they're buying.