Could you give us some background on that setting? McGuire: The basic concept behind the Newsflesh trilogy is that in the Zombie Apocalypse happened, and it took us about three years, but around , , we actually managed to win. A lot of people died, a lot of land was permanently ceded, but we came out on top. They just are. And people go on, people do what they do.
The Newsflesh trilogy actually follows a pair of bloggers — primarily — Shaun and Georgia Mason. Feed follows the political campaign of Sen. Peter Ryman as he is running to be the Republican candidate for president of the United States, and Shaun and Georgia and their friend Buffy have been selected to be his campaign bloggers, to basically follow him through this process. So Feed is a political thriller with zombies, Deadline is a medical thriller with zombies, and Blackout is a conspiracy thriller with zombies.
Wired: So the zombie virus in your books is described in great detail. McGuire: In order to come up with the Kellis-Amberlee virus , I read enough books on viruses to qualify for some kind of horrible extra-credit program, audited a bunch of courses at UC Berkeley and at the California Academy of Sciences, and then started phoning the CDC persistently and asking them horrible questions.
The Marburg was designed to cure cancer, basically.
Well, when those two viruses met, they had babies, and what you got was a shifting-antigen flu that does not leave the body under any circumstances but is capable of turning into something that converts human tissue into more of the virus. McGuire: No one respects quarantine anymore! We have totally drug-resistant tuberculosis! And what do people with totally drug-resistant tuberculosis do? Do they lock themselves in their houses for the rest of their lives? Do they eat a bullet?
They get on airplanes. And then they get pissed off when the CDC yells at them. Quarantine exists so that we can continue as a species to exist. Had the totally drug-resistant tuberculosis, yo. Killing an elementary school because you went outside with your totally drug-resistant tuberculosis.
I think I may have been the only person in that theater that was rooting for the government. I liked our heroes. They were nice people. Wired: My dad just read Feed , and his reaction was that he could believe that a virus could reanimate the dead, but he had a harder time believing that anyone could make a living as a blogger. What do you think about that?
McGuire: There are already people that are essentially making a living as bloggers, that are already beginning to make a living in the new media. Buffy, who is one of the main characters in that first book, is essentially a romance writer who sells her work through their blog. Georgia is a political and factual reporter. She syndicates her articles, she sells advertising. She makes very little money, whereas her brother, who is an I-will-do-stupid-shit-if-you-would-just-give-me-more-page-hits-and-buy-more-T-shirts blogger, makes about everything the two of them bring home together.
So we actually did work on the economy of my blogosphere fairly intensively. It probably does not hold up to the internet as it is now, because when I was first writing Feed and setting up this world, Facebook was pretty small and there was no Twitter. But I think you could make it work if you had to.
Wired: As someone with a popular blog yourself, do you have any advice on how to go about creating a popular blog in the real world? You have to talk about who you are, and be who you are, or you risk becoming nothing more than a persona. And I think the internet is pretty clever, in terms of knowing when you are being a persona rather than being a person. McGuire: In March of this past year, the physical edition of my book Discount Armageddon was released almost a month early.
Except that the e-book was not released at the same time, and someone somewhere told some message board that I was being a horrible greedy cunt and withholding the e-book to try to force people to buy the physical edition, and the amount of hate mail I received in a hour period exceeded the previous 18 months. And that was the only way I could get through that process. Can you please monitor these e-mails for me for the next week? What was that story about? McGuire: Something that frustrates me a lot in zombie fiction is that everyone is instantly a hero.
That this has been a huge, huge disaster. What do you think of their plans?
And that is a lot of the motivation for having them. How are we going to do it?
Reclaiming Sci-Fi’s Lost History
But if you want some really good reading, pick up a copy of the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Manual. And the lady next to me commented that she had read that book, she liked it. So, here are a couple of quotes from the book to demonstrate it. Your average one armed pot growing hermit who just murdered two men might be thinking about a variety of things. I laugh every time I see it. So with all this love, why not five stars? Well, compound sentences tend to run on and on with no commas or semi-colons, which can be a bit frustrating to read.
Overall, though, the formatting and comma issues did not distract me from the wonderfully unique and humorous zombie trailer park story. Highly recommended to all zombie fans, provided you like the type of humor outlined above.
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Check out my full review. Apr 05, Greg Lindsay rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , zombie-books. Instant William Bedd fan! I read soooo many Zombie stories and while most are good more are average, very few are excellent. The story never slows once it get going, it just doesn't stop. There are a few "flashbacks" but they are never very long and complement the scenes.
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The characters are wonderful and well written.. William has a talent for interweaving a host of people new and old with out breaking stride or loosing the readers attention.
This was a very difficult book to put down. I'm looking forward to reading Zombies of All Hallows Evil! More Zombie books should be written this well.
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I couldn't get into it, and the author's flippant attitude during the author's note was a turn-off. This is not fanfic; people are paying for this. Hire an editor, or at least have a grammatically-inclined friend beta read. View all 4 comments.