Yesterday Margaret Atwood gave a talk in Vancouver B.C. I so wanted to attend until I read the blurb that she would be talking about how writing about the future was dead and zombies are where it’s at for the foreseeable future of Science Fiction.
I was crushed. I loved the Handmaids tale, and Oryx and Crake. I loved wondering if the narrator was completely bonkers or was the world in which they lived simply tipped upside down and continued topsy-turvy without anyone noticing. I loved the intricacy of the plot, the way she made me feel when I read her books, and the language, oh the language was sublime.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t in good conscience go listen to her talk about zombies. I was sick as a dog and couldn’t hold my head up yesterday and that may have contributed to my lack of willpower, but nonetheless zombies? Margaret! Please don’t forgo the political hotbed of futerama only to replace it with the ungrateful undead.
Sticky Gooey mummies would be preferable. Cloning Bush the younger would have been amusing, although he’d likely still fall off his bicycle. Plant mutations that inhabit only the male brain and make them into sponges might have been a novelty, although if they fell in front of the television how would we know?
I get it. Really where can we go next. We have terminator robots from the future, vampires on every street corner, and poor Will Smith capturing zombies to create the cure, while we jog off to prevent breast cancer with our pink ribbons flying. We have shock and awe warfare in the middle east, mass genocide in Africa, and hotspots popping up faster than you can proclaim “the wars over.”
We eat organic because we think it may stave off cancer of the adenoids, only to succumb to cancer of the fingernails which metastasizes into the liver and kills you. Didn’t your mother tell you not to chew your fingernails. Nasty dirty habit.
Maybe that’s what she means. The future is now. And it’s ugly in some places, and maybe we’ve tipped ourselves and haven’t noticed yet.
Maybe the old gals right. Guess I’m reading the Happy Zombie after all.