Why Vampires and Zombies?


I was in Chapters, our local bookstore this afternoon, and couldn’t help wondering at the proliferation of Vampire and Zombie related titles. Is it just me, or does anyone else out there find the whole living dead thing a bit old hat and rather tired?

From the salacious covers on display, I’d say there was some serious pseudo-erotic component in there. Particularly as there were a lot of sexy female vampire type covers. Fangs, fancy corsetry, high hemlines and plenty of voluptuous décolletage, that sort of thing. Oh well, if that’s what a section of the public wants, I’m glad there’s someone to cater for that particular low taste in literature.

As for Zombies. Well, the thing about zombies is that they’re dead and decomposing. After death, flesh rapidly loses its cohesion as bacteriological processes run their course. Connective tissue shrinks and binds, proteins dissolve and bits drop off. As for the whole brain eating meme, the digestive organs and mucosa are among the first things to rot on a corpse. So the suspension of witting disbelief has to be pretty strong for readers of the genre. Even if a zombie could get up enough of a lick of speed to catch you, its body is falling apart, and the wretched thing will have no digestive system to absorb your living grey and white matter as a protein source, even if it had sufficient strength to kill you, what with wasting flesh and disarticulation of joints. Smelly, yes, unhygienic certainly; but scary? Hmm. withholding judgement on that one.

All very macabre, but can’t compare to what living people are capable of inflicting on each other without supernatural intervention.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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One thought on “Why Vampires and Zombies?”

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