How do you get teenagers interested in sustainability? Answer: ZOMBIES!

Guest Post with Sean T Page
Author – The Official Zombie Handbook UK (Severed Press 2010) and War against the Walking Dead (Severed Press 2011)

You know the quote – zombies, zombies everywhere and not a drop to…. you get the idea.

They’re on the big screen, TV screen, book shelves – everywhere. So, what does it all mean?
Is this just a fad or is something deeper happening here? And, what the hell have they got to do with sustainability?

Well, as a zombie-author, that is an author who writes horror and zombie stories, not someone from the realms of the undead, my short guest blog is about putting some perspective around the vast number of zombies who seem to be dribbling across library shelves as we speak.

My first point is about zombie fans. The people who buy these books are much younger than you think. At a recent book signing I was at in Sheffield, fans as young as 11 or 12 were buying my UK zombie survival handbook. Saying that, there was also quite a range of folks interested in the genre – you really couldn’t stereotype it. Don’t equate zombie fans with comic book guy from The Simpsons.

Secondly, zombies have always been around – there has been a steady stream of stories and if anything, at least in book shops, they have more recently been trounced, as romantic-vampire knows dominate them in an endless battle for shelf space.

So, I don’t really think there is anything wider at work here. Readers have always been intrigued by zombies and for the writer; they are really a blank canvas on which to work. They always say that a good zombie novel is more about the human survivors than the monsters – zombies are not good or evil, they don’t have a plan, they just are and also have an uncanny ability to reveal us in our true form….

Sure, the wave of mash ups could get tiresome, with every classic being attacked by authors who you may think should be coming up with new stuff but for every ten readers who picks up one of these mash ups, I’m sure at least one of them goes on to look at the real thing….

Anyway, back to the opening question.

Just like Quaker oats, there’s some goodness in them there zombie books.
I look at mine, The Official Zombie Handbook UK, course the ghouls are there, but then so is sustainability and wider green issues – to survive, you need to start thinking about the energy you use, where your water comes from, how far your apples have flown to get to you… get the picture.

I’m not going to pretend there is any deep meaning in my or other zombie books but if it gets people thinking about these kinds of issues, as well as the menace of the walking dead, it can’t be all bad…

3 Thoughts on “How do you get teenagers interested in sustainability? Answer: ZOMBIES!

  1. I know this would go down really well in the library with the pupils but not so sure the staff would be happy

  2. Kevin Patrick on March 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm said:

    At least you could compost the zombies!….looks good…I think fine for 15 yrs plus..

  3. Pingback: Links Round-Up: New Blogs, Old Zombies, Training, and a Case Study for Read-A-Thon « YA Library UK

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