The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Kickstarter for Napoleonic Age Zombie Adventure?

I have to admit to a general ignorance of the historical fiction genre. There have been quite a few period Zombie stories of late, but most are copying the ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ trend and consist of mashups of varying amounts of original writing splashed in amongst public-domain classics.

Which was an original idea.. once.

Contrast with this innovative and potentially Zombie Tolerant (or potentially not-at-all-Zombie Tolerant) work of serial fiction, ‘The World to Come’, now fundraising on Kickstarter:

Port of Gibraltar, 1805. When French forces steal Admiral Nelson’s body shortly after the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Spectre is tasked with it’s recovery. Among her crew, rumors and superstitions are traded freely that Napoleon is in league with the devil and is raising an unholy army of undead. Fearing that the Emperor has designs to reanimate Admiral Nelson and gain naval superiority over England, the Spectre makes pursuit to turn the tide of war. Kipling, a convicted crewman pressed into service, embarks on the Spectre as penance for his criminal past, risking discovery that his own life is unnatural as he has twice cheated death.

I know what you’re thinking, ZRC readers: ‘unholy army of undead’? That sounds ghastly (no pun intended). But there’s something a bit more complex going on here:

The zombies in The World to Come won’t resemble the typical brain hungry, mindless hordes depicted elsewhere in the genre. That is to say, not all of them do. The undead in our world are merely amplified reflections of the people they were in life, and the attitudes and appetites they most indulged.

So, if a zombie had been a bloodthirsty war-monger in life, he might more closely resemble the flesh-eating monsters we’re all used to seeing in typical zombie fare. Yet our protagonist (still a zombie) is an introspective, reluctantly undead, properly British chap who puts his pantaloons on one leg at a time.

Apologies for the large quotes from Kickstarter but they’re here to illustrate a very interesting dynamic: Zombies as individuals with thoughts, feelings and drives!

On the other hand, apparently the majority of them are driven to act like ugly stereotypes. And our protagonist may be most special for fighting his own kind, as it were. Hmm.

Not an uncommon theme for the Undead and other ‘monsters’, actually. Vampires have Alucard, Demons get Hellboy, and Zombies have had a few candidates. Bub, Fido, certain characters from the ‘Monster Island’ series.

Yet, at least tentatively, we hold out hope. Putting aside the potential for what the ZRC sometimes terms a ‘Magic Zombie’ scenario (where a single Zombie individual exists to be the Good Undead and help the Living characters out of a bind), ‘The World to Come’ seems to be trying harder than most (almost all) fiction to see things from the Zombie perspective.

Bonus: it’s not another ‘Apocalypse’ story full of guns and unwashed everyman survivors. Thank your higher power of choice.


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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