Friday, 21 September 2012

Too many zombies?

I used to love reading 'The Daily Mash' on my lunch break (well, a little bit more than just my lunch break actually...) and I've been trawling through it, again just recently, as I could do with a bit of a laugh to be honest...

Anyway, this article made me laugh but it also reminded about how I've been feeling about the whole 'zombie thing' at the moment. I used to jump right onto anything with zombies in it but these days I'm finding that I'll only pick up a zombie book if it's by a writer that I know, and trust, already. The odds are that by the time you read this I will have picked up a copy of Joe McKinney's 'Mutated' (and I'm waiting to put Brian Keene's 'Entombed' on my phone) but that's about it really. I couldn't really care less about the rest.

There are just too many zombie books out there now and it feels like people will do anything to jump on a bandwagon that's already groaning under the weight of an overloaded genre (I mean, 'My Life as a White Trash Zombie', seriously?) Even established writers are having to do more and more now just to stay afloat; I stopped reading 'The Walking Dead' when spectacle became more important than plot. I don't think it's any coincidence that I haven't seen a 'Tomes of the Dead' book from Abaddon in a while; I reckon the more savvy publishers are staying ahead of the game and quietly looking for what could be the next big thing. The quality is still there but it's being drowned under the weight of the rest; just like those plucky survivors in the mall with thousands of zombies trying to get in...

What will that be though? Vampires were quietly moved to one side for zombies, there are already a few books about angels and werewolves have been around for what seems like forever. Are there any monsters left that would sell books in the same way as the big hitters? I don't know...

I guess then that my questions are...

1) Do you think the whole zombie thing has been done to (un)death?
2) If it has, what monster would you like to see take its place as the 'next big scary thing'?
3) I'm clearly having a little rant as I've run out of good zombie fiction to read (I'm big enough to admit it), any recommendations?

Comments in the usual place please :o)

6 comments:

Jamie Gibbs said...

I hear you; the genre has become saturated with the groans of less-than-amazing zombie fiction. It's the way of things, but I wouldn't give up hope.

As for the next big thing, I think angels could be it. I know they've been a staple of YA fiction for a while, but with the success of Tad Williams' new offering it's a possibility.

Go back and reread The Reapers Are The Angels so you get reacquainted with the genre :)

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

James B said...

I think perhaps it has - as for the next thing; mummies? Worked for Boris Karloff!

bibliotropic said...

I was never a big fan of zombies to start with, so personally, I'm pleased as punch to see the whole craze dying down. I definitely agree that it was done not just to death, but beyond. It was very much like the dystopia and vampire bandwagons: got to hop on, even if you have no idea where it's going. Everyone was talking about zombies. I couldn't even go to work without hearing people talk about a zombie apocalypse. I once was cornered on a bus by a stranger who REALLY wanted to talk about why the info in "World War Z" was going to save our lives in the future. Even if I liked zombies, the omnipresent zombie mania would have just annoyed me.

So yeah, done to death, and glad it's gone.

What would I love to see replace it as the next scary thing? Gods. Ancient or forgotten gods deciding, "Screw this noise, I'm going to MAKE them remember me!" and raining down terror on humanity. Not the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god, eiher. I'm talking old gods, ones that people think of only as myth and pretty stories, ones that aren't even mentioned in contemporary mythology books. It's been done, sure, but not as much as zombies.

Dave Walker said...

I'm pretty much done with zombies, too. I'd love to see a really good Gelatinous Cube story.

stewart middleton said...

1. Graham, I agree - there's been a bit of overload on the zombie front, and the quality has suffered (though I will carry on reading Walking Dead - still need to find out who survives, and for how long...).
2. Not sure what the "next big thing" will be - maybe aliens again, like the '90s?
3. "Entombed" by Brian Keene - just out in paperback! He rarely, if ever, disappoints.

big_cheddars said...

Tbh I don't really see what the problem is with completely normal, completely alive people tbh... Although in the whole urban fantasy thing, I haven't seen many books about elves? Not a huge fan of elves as a whole, but it's a thought.