May 4, 2012

The Danger of a Zombie World (Guest Post)

What's so scary about zombies? More than you might conventionally think. James Marshall, author of Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, stops by The Zed Word to offer his thoughts on why we should fear a zombie world. 

Gives new meaning to the phrase "I'm dead inside."
Zombies are usually treated superficially in contemporary art, but they always speak to us in a primal way. They're emblematic of a horrifying disease that tortures us in this life and the next. The disease is actively out to get us. But, unless we're dealing with an infected friend or family member, any given human-flesh-eating monster is much like an opponent in a high-stakes game of tag. It doesn't really mean that much.

The zombie, however, can represent much more. Recently a great deal of damage has been done to us by zombie banks. In zombie institutions, highly intelligent people do things they know to be counterproductive, both to their business and country, because it's their job. They act mindlessly and, arguably, monstrously, just for a paycheck.

These zombies are “good,” “moral,” and “responsible” members of society. They're professionals who pay their taxes and follow the law. They're ardent supporters of the status quo and they single out and ostracize (or eat) anyone who isn't (dead) exactly like they are.

Some zombies consume money instead of flesh

Unpleasant side-effects accompany the zombie-ization of the world: these include, but are not limited to, severe rigidity, preventing one from adapting to changing circumstances, horrible injury, such as we've done to ourselves with pollution, putrefaction, which we see in those clinging to tradition and superstition, and a tendency to become unfortunately widespread, such as humankind has done in the absence of population planning, especially in areas where there's limited access to food, clean drinking water, and proper sanitation.

This zombie world is the backdrop for Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies and its sequel, Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos. The narrator of Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, Guy Boy Man, is the only living person who can see zombies everywhere, controlling everything. As he tries to rally his fellow high school classmates to boycott the upcoming Zombie Acceptance Test, which determines if students become zombies or zombie food, he encourages people everywhere to stop reproducing, and thereby starve the zombies. Some of Guy Boy Man's writings can be found at

If you're looking for something zany and different, I really hope you'll give Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies a chance! You can follow me on Twitter: @james_marshall

Author Bio 

James Marshall’s short fiction has appeared in numerous Canadian literary magazines: PRISM International, The Malahat Review, Exile, The Literary Quarterly, and Prairie Fire. One of his stories was nominated for the National Magazine Award for fiction, the M&S Journey Prize, and it was a finalist in the 22nd Annual Western Magazine Awards, 2004. A collection of his short stories, Let’s Not Let a Little Thing Like the End of the World Come Between Us, was published by Thistledown Press in 2004, and it was shortlisted for both the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Caribbean and Canada Region) in the ‘Best First Book’ category, and the ReLit Award for short fiction. James lives and writes in BC.

Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies is the first book in the How To End Human Suffering Series.