Zombie Perspectives (with bonus Zombie Sex)

Had to get your attention somehow. I have no regrets! Anyway, my friend started it:

Someone wants to go there with me! Excellent XD

So this blog will be an overview of books that include books from a zombie’s perspective, or has a zombie-human romance (some books classed as zombie romances are human-human relations during a zombie apocalypse. If you want that, go look at Kylie Scott!). These summaries will be spoiler-free – it takes info from either the first chapter or the blurb. If we want to be technical, these are not all really capital-R Romances (as in genre), but rather contain romantic elements. If you have any suggestions for other books I should add here (or buy!), let me know!

Flesh (Flesh, #1)Skin (Flesh, #2)

Zombie Perspectives

There is a bit of overlap, so these are the non-relationship ones.
DustDust is centred around Jessie, a zombie. She has a nice little zombie gang and society going on. Their world starts to change when they notice new creatures in the woods, ones that blur the boundaries between living and dead even more than before.
Keywords: First Person POV, Zombie Perspective, Known in society, Apocalyptic, Infectious, Series

Dead Mann Walking (Hessius Mann #1)

This is sort of a noir story with a PI down on his luck – except the PI is a zombie. In this world, there is a ‘cure’ for death. In Mann’s case he was executed for his wife’s murder and later found to be innocent of the crime, so he was resurrected. There’s still a barrier between zombies and ‘livebloods’ in society, so he doesn’t get hired much.
Keywords: First Person POV, Zombie Perspective, Known in society, Series

Pay Me in Flesh (Mallory Caine, Zombie-at-Law, #1)Mallory Caine is an attorney and a zombie. She still needs flesh (especially brains) to survive after she died and was mysteriously resurrected by someone a year ago. Zombies and vampires aren’t known in society, so her dietary requirements, the true nature has to be hidden from everyone, including a certain persistent ex-boyfriend.
Keywords: First POV, Zombie Perspective, Urban Fantasy, Not known in society, Zombie Master, Series
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Zombie Romance &/Or Sex
Nightshifted (Edie Spence, #1)Edie is a nurse in County Hospital on the special shift – the one with vampires, weres, zombies. These creatures live under the radar of normal society, but they deserve proper medical attention too! And in the case of one handsome zombie, a bit of a different type of attention…
Keywords: First Person POV, Urban Fantasy, Not known in society, Series

Reaper's TouchThis one comes out Feb 10 from Carina Press. It is a post-apocalyptic steampunk Western with zombies … and some luvvins! It’s been much recommended to me by friends, but since I haven’t read it, here’s the blurb from GoodReads: Abby is a Ranger, part of an elite group who defend the border against Reapers—humans infected with a parasite that turns them into mindless cannibals. Rangers are immune to Reaper infection, and as one of the only female Rangers, Abby is expected to settle down and breed more Rangers—a fate she’s keen to avoid. When she’s ambushed on the plains, she’s ready to go out with guns blazing—until a mysterious, handsome cowboy rides to her rescue.

Keywords: Third Person POV, Zombie perspective, Zombie-human relationship, Paranormal Romance, Known in Society, Series, Infectious, Apocalyptic

Generation Dead (Generation Dead, #1)Teens across the country start waking up from their death. They are a bit fuzzy around the edges, but so is society – teens have always been seen as difficult, but the entire culture needs to adapt to these resurrected kids. Challenging the suspicions of society, Phoebe falls in love with a zombie (“differently biotic”) boy.
Keywords: Third Person POV, Zombie perspective, Zombie-human relationship, YA, Paranormal romance, Known in society, Series

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)R is a zombie, who spends most of his days aimlessly walking around an airport or in his plane. One trip to town will change his life as he falls in love with a girl just trying to survive in the apocalypse. This book is different from the movie, and I’d argue it’s much better!
Keywords: First Person POV, Zombie perspective, YA, Paranormal romance, Known in society, Infectious, Apocalyptic, Zombie-human relationship

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Set in post-apocalyptic neo-Victorian world, Nora Dearly is captured by the living dead. But these are the good guys, a military unit of zombies protecting her from the real monsters. She is determined to find out the truth of what is going on, and not even the handsome Bram can stop her from discovering the secrets of the dead.
Keywords: First Person POV, Zombie perspective, YA, Paranormal romance, Infectious, Zombie-human relationship, Series

I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked ItAlley lives in a world of post-humans; vampires, werewolves, zombies and really isn’t impressed by their brooding emo attitude. She didn’t realise he was a zombie when she fell head over heels for Doug. How does one date the undead?
Keywords: First Person POV, YA, Paranormal romance, Zombie-human relationship,
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Extras

Breathers: A Zombie's LamentAndy wakes up from a tragic car accident that killed his wife … and himself. It’s hard to find anything to live for or do, he just lives in his parent’s basement (to the disgust of his father), and attends (useless) therapy and Undead Anonymous meetings where he meets the sexy Rita – a recent suicide.
Keywords: First POV, Zombie perspective, Known in society, Zombie-zombie relationship

My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Angel Crawford’s life is nothing to envy, an alcoholic dad, a high school dropout, criminal record. Waking up after dying is a weird experience, and it only gets stranger when she finds a mysterious letter offering her a new job – at the county morgue. Complete with a new craving for brains, she has a second chance at life … sort of.
Keywords: First Person POV, Zombie perspective, Not known in society, Urban fantasy, Series

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)This book isn’t exactly zombies, but related – revenants (they use the term zombies as a joke). Kate has moved to Paris with her sister after the death of their parents, she is at a loss of how to deal with her life. Until she meets the handsome and mysterious Vincent, but being with him is not going to be easy. He has enemies, and being with him means that they are also now after Kate.
Keywords: First Person POV, Not known in society, YA, Paranormal romance, Series

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Tom and Nyssa Talk Zombies (with @Cacotopos and @VintageZombie)

<< Nyssa: As one does, I talk about zombies a lot on twitter. My mate Tom & I got into a discussion recently and we thought we’d explore the issue further! Click on the link above for more details as we explore their agency (or not), their biology, their powers and what actually makes a zombie film!  >>

Dark Sylvan Ungulate

When I talk zombies online, I inevitably talk zombies with my Twitter pal Nyssa Harkness, who is writing (and apparently finishing it before she dies) a Masters thesis on zombies in literature and film.

OY!

Oh hey! Today Nyssa joins me to talk about zombies in film and literature! I’ve marked my text in black and hers in indented, bloody red. I hope it’s enough!

Also I’d like to thank Gary Kemble for the banner picture – that’s from Brisbane Zombiewalk 2011, with me and my son there on the right! I think I zombie-kidnapped him.

I’m not really a zombie expert in terms of having watched every classic zombie movie, but it seems from our discussions that I have at least some contribution to make in this area, specifically by throwing a sabot into the finely tuned semantic engines used to frame a discussion on zombies.

View original post 3,196 more words

More on Monsters

I make no attempt to hide how much I love monsters. My collection of Daleks is bigger than my collection of Tardis’. I call myself Forsaken in Warcraft and am dedicated to the Dark Lady (crazy zombie lady wants to kill all of the living – the usual). Part of this blog post was an assignment I did for uni, where I had a lot of fun in reading all about how we create monsters. This will be primarily on books, but also a few movies and TV too. Some of this touches on what I want to write in my thesis next year too!Nosferatu

Nosferatu, my little fluffy buddy from Nebraska (protector of the coffee mug).

In fantasy* especially, the differences between good and evil are particularly stark and this binary is usually played out between hero and monster/monstrous entity.runty

What is a monster/monstrous?

What is a monster or is monstrous are fluid descriptors. In general, the monster/monstrous is Other and ‘unlike us’. It is made of difference. The monster is the physical form and not human. Humans, however, can have monstrous aspects, which could be cultural, political, racial, economic or sexual differences. The descriptor of ‘monstrous’ is a process of alterity. These are not strict boundaries – through the process of dehumanising the monstrous human, their deviance can be inscribed upon their body (e.g. historically, this would be something like saying an enemy had a deformed body). In some cases, the monster can be the hero of a text, but the villain is usually dehumanised by their evil actions, thoughts or beliefs.

onyxia

Narrative Techniques

Metaphoric mode

Fantasy is a metaphoric mode, using techniques like indirection, parallel and allegory to comment on contemporary social practice. The theories of monsters also usually focus on the representational aspect. The monster/monstrous can stand for something repressed, a specific social and historical anxiety, or fear of the unknown. Textually, there is usually an emphasis on physicality (as well as inscribing deviance, it can be even a glance, “eyes as unforgiving as a snake” etc). The monster/monstrous itself can be a form of authority, and representing a negative ideology (the opposite to the usual values, morals, beliefs of a society – e.g. the monster could say that it is okay to kill for one’s own pleasure or power gain). The goal of the monster/monstrous is usually to seduce the hero to the dark side or kill them. The hero cannot be ignored. Often, the main character has a special relationship to the monster – particularly if it is a singular monster/monstrous** – or the hero is somehow special to them (particularly in paranormal romance).

Recommended Fiction

  • of the dead movie series, Romero (very clearly metaphoric of many anxieties – Romero’s zombie movies have been analysed many times)
  • Many dystopias are metaphoric – the very nature of the genre is that it takes what we have in society now to the extremes and extrapolates the change in human nature. The meaning of the genre is also to be a warning.
  • Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth
  • The Belgariad & Malloreon series by David Eddings
  • Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris or True Blood tv series

molder

Focalisation/Point of View

While third person narration is more familiar in larger fantasy sagas, the monster/monstrous rarely gets a word in edgewise. Usually if they do get their own perspective, this is for dramatic effect so that you the reader can see something bad coming, but the good guys have no idea. However, in works such as dystopias and paranormal romances, limited first person is more typical. It can happen in these genres that the monsters (not monstrous entities) become heroes, romantic interests and sometimes even focalisers. It is often said that the role of limited first person narration is to get the reader on their side, so this narrative strategy at once defamiliarises the reader through having such a strange protagonist, at the same time as making them more sympathetic to the reader (Note: This is what I’m actually going to explore in my thesis).

Recommended Fiction

  • Dust by Joan Frances Turner
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • Generation Dead (book #1 in a series) by Daniel Waters
  • Dearly Departed (#1 in a series) by Lia Habel
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie (book #1 in a series)by Diana Rowland
  • Endless vampire books – but the good ones are Evernight (Book #1 in series) by Claudia Gray and Vampire Academy (book #1 in series) by Richelle Mead and Blue Blues (book #1 in series) by Melissa de la Cruz.

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jenny

A thought on disembodied monsters

Something this makes me consider is if something disembodied can be a monster or monstrous, for example, an extremely repressive society, or certain technologies. It becomes almost an entity in itself where it is not one person alone or one sub-human race alone that is the problem, but something incredibly integral to how life is lived. Often in science fiction and YA, a dystopia comes about because something was once seen as progressive. Humans strive for utopia, and that striving for progress in itself becomes the horrific dystopia. Technology and ideas become threatening to the very stability of the world. You hear it now, the internet is softening our minds, we are losing our inner humanity through the progress of wearable (or implantable) technology. That fear comes across in books as well. Does that mean it is a monster or monstrous?

Recommended Fiction

  • Feed by M T Anderson
  • Uglies (series) by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
  • Unwind by Neal Stephenson

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mouse

A blurring of boundaries – Hero or Villain?

Something which particularly strikes at me are ambiguous heroes/villains. It could be they were perceived one way before and now are the other, or they have changed over the series and become greater/worse than who they were. I think this is particularly stark in zombie stories such as The Walking Dead, where the enemy is not so much the zombies but other humans. The things the group needs to do to stay alive are utterly barbaric, but that is survival. In the Flesh is about how a cure was created for zombies, to bring them back to who they were before and how society deals with that. This is also dealt with in a lot of zombie romance texts. In fantasy, it could be that a blackhearted villain is not really evil, but coerced by others or convinced that it is the best thing because the alternatives are worse.

Recommended Fiction

  • The Walking Dead comics and tv show
  • Quiver by Jason Fischer
  • In the Flesh tv series
  • Go re-read the recommended fiction section under Focalisation/Point of View

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*For some reason, some works tend to use fantasy as an overall term that also extends to science fiction and horror – no idea why they don’t just use speculative fiction.

** Examples of archetypes: Singular Monster: The dark lord, the witch. Singular Monstrous: The tyrant, the evil step-mother. Monsters: Vampires, demons, zombies, werewolves. Monstrous many: aspects of society e.g. repression, technology etc.

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Recommended Reading

  • Applebaum, Noga. Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People. New York: Routledge. 2010. Print.
  • Bishop, Kyle W. American Zombie Gothic. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, 2010. Print.
  • Botting, Fred. Limits of Horror: Technology, bodies, Gothic. New York: Manchester University Press. 2008. Print.
  • Cohen, Jeffrey J. Monster Culture (Seven Theses). Monster Culture: Reading Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1996. Print.
  • Levina, Marina and Diem-My T. Bui, ed.s  Monster Culture in the 21st Century: A Reader New York: Bloomsbury. 2013. Print.
  • Riley, Brendan. “Zombie People”. Triumph of the Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic on page and screen. Ed James Lowder. Dallas: Banbella Books, 2011. 82-97. eBook.
  • Stephens, John. Language and Ideology in Children’s Fiction. New York: Longman. 1992. Print.
  • Trites, Roberta S. Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature. Iowa: University of Iowa Press. 2000. Print.

Trailers: World War Z and Warm Bodies

World War Z

Based on Max Brooks’s book

(Article here)

My opinion: I knew the format had to be changed from the book to the movie. but this is not love at first sight for me. I have a theory that really big celebrities can ruin immersion, it’s what made me feel distant from Contagion, and I’m feeling the same about Brad Pitt in this. I’m not going to be all dramatic and say I won’t watch this, because I’m a fan of the book. I will watch it with an open mind.


Warm Bodies

Based on Isaac Marion’s book

(Article here)

My opinion: It’s no secret I love this book, and the trailer looks like it has stayed close. It looks great! I can’t imagine what it must be like to act as a zombie with heart, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like they’ve done well. I was especially looking forward to what the Boneys looked like – they were quite different than in my head – but I’m not disappointed. You just know I’ll be running to the cinemas when this comes out!