Writing for Publishers Weekly, Stefan Dziemianowicz examines the lurching and lumbering rise of zombie fiction, from World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies.
Time magazine has even gone so far as to declare that “Zombies Are the New Vampires,” which probably leaves fans of True Blood/The Southern Vampire Mysteries and Twilight scratching their heads (or sharpening their fangs).
So what’s to blame for this most recent resurgence of the walking dead (lower-case)? As with so many cultural trends of the past several years, the bony finger points to 9/11 which, Dziemianowicz writes, transformed the zombie into “a monster for our time.”
Of course, it’s not all zombies, zombies, zombies (although some days it does seem that way). Quirk Books, the publisher behind the hit Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — the Jane Austen mashup — already have moved on to a new menace: sea monsters.
Yesterday the company announced it will release Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters in September. Co-authored by Ben H. Winters, the next book in the series will include “a giant rampaging mutant lobster,” “octopi with glittering tentacles” and, of course, pirates. (You can view a trailer for the book here.)
“I loved the idea of sea monsters,” Winters tells EW.com. “I’d hate to say our culture is oversaturated with vampires and zombies, but it was fun to do something different.”
Poor, poor zombies: from “the New Vampires” to yesterday’s news, just like that?
“A couple of publishers are crashing Jane Austen vampire novels that will no doubt capitalise on the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and there were certainly plenty of people who urged me to do the same,” Jason Rekulak, Quirk’s editorial director, tells The Guardian. “But I think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies fans are counting on us to deliver something original, and I don’t think they will be disappointed.”
However, don’t expect the undead to slink quietly into the night — at least not anytime soon.
The next Marvel Zombies miniseries debuts in September, with contributions from authors Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Jonathan Maberry (Patient Zero) and David Wellington (the Monster trilogy). The following month will see the release of The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, a graphic novel by Max Brooks, author of the best-selling World War Z.
Then there are the novels Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter — “She Loved Her Country; She Hated Demons” — by the pseudonymous A E Moorat (October), I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story For Christmas — “Marley was dead. Again.” — by Adam Roberts (October), Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest (October), and Grahame-Smith’s follow-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
And those, for good or bad, barely scratch the dirt-covered surface.