The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Fangoria, Adolescent Literacy and ‘No Flesh May Be Spared’

Fangoria recently posted a fairly extensive review of a new Anti-Zombie book that, quite frankly, we hadn’t heard of here at the ZRC just yet called ‘No Flesh May Be Spared’. Said book apparently depicts a cruel world where Zombies are used as fodder for gladiatorial contests hearkening in style to the current ultimate fighting phenomena.

From the way they describe the book itself it seems to be thoroughly unpleasant and very, very Anti-Zombie:

If you no longer nurture an inner fourteen-year-old boy (or are female), your enthusiasm for NO FLESH MAY BE SPARED may be dampened, since Carnell’s effort is bolstered by the pillars of male adolescent interest: martial arts, girls, pro sports and messy undead mastication.

NO FLESH’s central conceit of zombie prize fighting is not exactly original (A similar sequence in Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD leaps immediately to mind) and the story follows a mostly predictable sports/action movie formula, but the steady pacing, friendly prose and tense fight passages combine to work smashingly well. The inevitable moments of zombie carnage are satisfyingly wet, the height of which is reached in the opening chapter and features a breastfeeding mother and a baby who is very, very, hungry.

What a savage and tragic story. Poor hungry Zombaby! Honestly, we’re reduced to abusing Zombie babies in literature now? Have these authors no shame?

What’s perhaps even worse than the book itself, however, is Fangoria’s attempt to peddle it to minors and masking that attempt as some perverse and monstrous literacy campaign:

Even with its flaws, NO FLESH SHALL BE SPARED trumps pretty much every summer action movie released over the past few years in terms of providing muscular, rambunctious fun. A peek into a lesser-explored dimension of the zombie mythos is always welcome, and if you perhaps know of any real fourteen-year-old-boys that you’d like to see put down the game controller and dig into an actual book, buy them NO FLESH SHALL BE SPARED now and thank FANGORIA later.

You know, when I was fourteen I mostly read high brow science fiction. I know I wasn’t entirely typical, and it’s true that I watched pro-wrestling with my friends in a largely ironic way, but I wouldn’t have found this pandering, blood-soaked exploitative display at all appealing. I wish people wouldn’t write off the next generation quite so quickly. If you don’t debase yourself to cater to what you perceive as their primitive needs, perhaps you’d find they never had them in the first place.

Worse, here you’re trying to sell them not just on a primitive and immature, testosterone-soaked bloodbath of a book, but one that defames an entire minority population in the name of ‘entertainment’! Instead of edifying and educating, Fangoria thinks it’s acceptable to push Zombie hate on kids, so long as it gets them away from the Xbox.

Admittedly, given what sells on the Xbox these days, that might be more of a lateral move, Zombie Rights wise.

Still, while The Zombie Rights Campaign has unwillingly come to expect Anti-Zombie savagery from America’s mercenary publishers and many of its authors, we were taken aback to see this attempt to repackage the hate as part of a healthy childhood’s learning.

What’s next, I wonder? Will Sesame Street teach its even younger audiences to dislike people without pulses in between counting segments and whatever it is Elmo does?

Shame on Thom Carnell for writing this book, and even more shame on Fangoria for their slick and slimy new technique to promote Anti-Zombie fiction to America’s kids.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

Comments

4 Responses to “Fangoria, Adolescent Literacy and ‘No Flesh May Be Spared’”

  1. brian says:

    you guys have way too much free time on your hands.

  2. John Sears says:

    Actually we’re quite busy, though there is somewhat more free time for the ZRC in the winter, outside of convention season.

  3. Aubrey says:

    I TOTALLY agree with you, John. Those poor zombies deserve rights, too! Mr. Carnell’s zombie racism should be abolished post haste! Down with Carnell! Up with zombie-rights!

  4. John Sears says:

    Yes indeed, up with Zombie Rights! We here at the ZRC long for a day when Anti-Zombie exploitation works are seen as throwbacks to a far less tolerant and diverse past, much the same way that many early Zombie movies are now viewed in terms of race relations. Progress is possible, and we work toward it every day here.

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