Over the month I’ll be looking at a bunch of Aussie authors who write zombie fiction. Why? Well I do run Aussie Author Month myself, and while there are few Aussie names out there for zombies, they are damned good ones! Aussie Author Month also supports the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, so please help out if you can, whether by posting about it or donating.
Now up, my pun-loving buddy Jason Fischer
Why do zombies make good bad guys?
I don’t think that zombies are inherently evil, because they’re not malicious. So I don’t think they make great antogonists, because standard Romero zombies are more of a force of nature than anything else. Sentient zombie villains…sure, they’re as scary as hell! I think zombies make a great backdrop to other conflicts in fiction, but there’s something about the genre that can’t be found in any other disaster/post-apocalypse setting. It’s death, our own greatest fear, coming for us, pushing at the door, hungering for life with complete savagery.
What do zombies mean to you?
Zombies have a place near and dear to my pickled little heart, and even though I try other things in my writing, I find myself drawn back to the sub-genre over and over. I’ve always been fascinated with post-apocalyptic settings (Mad Max 2, et al) but my zombie love-affair began with Dawn of the Dead (remake), Resident Evil games, and then all of the Romero stuff. Land of the Dead is THE perfect zombie film, by the way. It just makes sense that we come back from death to eat ourselves – it’s such a left-of-centre cataclysm, works for me everytime.
What is your favourite/most influential zombie text and why?
Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide, hands down. I first approached this as a gag text, but it’s absolutely deadly serious (and plausible within the framework of Brook’s hypothetical biological zombies). Very well thought out, and I’ve used this as a reference text in my own work. He thinks of EVERYTHING. Genius.
Tell us about your latest/upcoming zombie story
I’ve just completed my fourth “After the World” zombie novella, titled “Better Red than Undead”. The entire set has been converted into a novel, titled “Quiver”, which will be available soon from Black House Comics (you heard it here first!). The zombies in this setting have a unique twist – they can be brought back to a wilful state, a cure of sorts. An active mind in a rotting body, these zombies are known as re-humans. This brings up all sorts of moral and ethical dillemas, and a brutal civil war is fought over zombie rights! Hilarity.
What are your plans for the zombie apocalypse?
Barricade myself into a book-store. Go looking for food when I realise I’m a dumb-arse. Get infected within the first day.