The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

On Zombie Romance Novels and YA Fiction

I’ve seen quite a bit of Young Adult oriented Zombie fiction crop up over the last couple of years; mostly bad stuff, from a Zombie Rights perspective, about some heroic teen triumphing over the adversities of having to share a planet with Zombies.

You know, bigoted stuff.

Still, sometimes a bit of understanding can come from an unexpected source, and so I present to you, the Young Adult Zombie.. Romance novel?

More seriously, I’m an author with a young adult zombie romance novel dropping in
October entitled DEARLY, DEPARTED. I’m very honored to have been asked to write
a blog post for Bookish Brunette. I was especially excited when she said to me, in an
email, “I’m not a huge fan of zombie horror… I like it, but I like ‘nice’ zombies. Are we

Yes. We are strange. But although zombies have been used effectively for horror
for thousands of years, there’s still a strong argument to be made for the “softer”
zombie – for tragic, beautiful, and heroic undead characters. So, although we are
odd, we are not terribly alone.

Yes, yes, that is all very good so far. We here at the ZRC are also fans of ‘nice’ Zombies, as that’s the only sort we generally meet in public for one thing.

Tragic and beautiful, even heroic? Sure, Zombies can be, but that’s sort of the state of affairs for the overall human condition. Nice to see it affirmed by someone else however.

And boy, can I relate to some of what the author says in this column:

I have to admit, one worry that continually visits me in the night concerns the day I
stand toe-to-toe with an Evil/Amoral Zombie Purist at a book signing or con. It may
never happen, but the idea still terrifies me. I don’t get along well with Purists in
general – I prefer synthesis, blending together ideas and creating surreal, hilarious
mash-ups – but my fear runs a tad deeper than that, for it’s based on profound

Brace yourself, Ms. Lia Habel, because you *are* going to get this. A *lot*. There isn’t a convention the ZRC goes to or an interview we do where the topic doesn’t at least come up, and often the ‘Purists’ are more than willing to spend hours debating the topic with you, even returning again and again to do so. You must be committed to spreading the word about nice Zombies, and I mean deeply committed. There’s a great deal of ideological rigidity out there as regards the Undead.

A *lot*.

That having been said it is of course a very rewarding line of work to be in.

I do have to say, however, and I hope she won’t take this the wrong way, but Ms. Habel has a rather.. morbid view of Undeath:

Good-guy zombies personify a human lifetime, condensed. They come into the world
through no doing of their own, perhaps against their will; they struggle through
for a few years; eventually they drop. And, unlike the living, with all their powers
of denial, zombies actually embody the evidence of their daily wear and tear. They
wear their unhealing scars, their own unresponsive flesh, and they need only look at
themselves to realize how closely the Reaper is hovering.

I mean, it’s really all a matter of perspective, and Zombies vary widely. Some are, tragically, doomed to more rapid decomposition, but what is aging for the Living but a form of planned obsolescence? And after all, while we like to mentally plan out a good 70 years of lifespan, the truth is that the Reaper, as it were, can come at any time and with very little warning. Some physiological forms of Zombiism are actually far more rugged in this regard than the standard plan, oxygen metabolizing, cells-dividing-at-a-regular-pace form of humanity.

Not that we get hung up on those physical minutiae here at The ZRC. A person is a person, however long they’ve got left on the planet, after all.

Still, in balance, this is a very interesting perspective and a thoughtful post, and The ZRC is happy to see another published author with sympathy for our clients. Good show, Ms. Habel, good show.

About The Author

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


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