What We’re Really Writing about when we Write about Zekes
I’m not saying you shouldn’t read Zombie Novels and think we’re not just writing zombie novels for fun. We are. We’re having fun doing it. What I’m saying is there might be a little more going on than meets the eye. Go ahead, read all the zombie novels you can get your hands on. They’re great. From JL Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon Series to any of Maestro Armand Rosamila’s horro-romps. Even that cat everybody like, what’s his name… Max Brooks.
Zombies are hot and they’re only getting hotter. Which is ironic. (They should be cool, when you think about it.)
But let’s step back for a moment. Zombie Stories. What’re they really all about? Are they really about Zombies? No. There actually about two other things. There about us, and, they’re about survival. I’m absolutely convinced that people who read zombie books, and watch shows like The Walking Dead, are playing the home game all along, inside their heads. At home, or wherever it is they’re reading that book. No, zombie books are sort of a sweet little training simulation for what we’re all coming to believe might be some sort of societal collapse heading toward us on the interstate like a crazed trucker hopped up on Meth and Monster. The need to take our health, welfare and security into our own hands is becoming apparent with each passing horror show some call the nightly news. The problem is we get dangerously close to unwanted extra attention from Big Brother when we write/read directly about those things. So, instead we use the zombie scenarios. I don’t mean “we” the writers. I mean a lot of readers are the “we” and in their own way their sim-ing the Meltdown by reading Zeke-Books. This is nothing new. It was actually one of the first accusations leveled at the Zombie Genre way back in the sixties. That is was mere cover for the coming “Race War” we were all s’posed to throw on each other’s behalf.
So, there’s that.
The other thing we’re writing about is ourselves. Not the mindless monsters chasing us through the halls of the mall, or banging on our boarded up front door. No, we’re writing about the monster who’s sharing our space, our rations and running and gunning alongside of us. Because, isn’t that the real monster you should be afraid of. The one that really scares you. To death. After all, who have you thrown in with, exactly? The zekes, well… their just mindless. But the sociopath next to you, watching your back, watching you while you sleep, what kind monster is that freak. When police and government services have gone down and there’s no one to restrain them from all the booze and unlimited ammo they can do, well, you’re about to find out who, exactly, has your six. And that’s what we’re writing about when we write zombie PA fiction. We’re writing out our survival fantasy and the obstacles we’re going to encounter just to make it through the night. Some of us may even be writing our own personal Day at Disneyland. Watch out for those, it’s probably going to get a little dark. Zombie novels are about a lot more than just chills and thrills. A lot more.
Nick Cole is the author of The End of the World as We Knew It.
‘In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the Pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a Dark Tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society’s collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.’