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Genre-Zombie says: I can has critic? - Nothing New Under The Sun
(the ARX acta diurna)
bellatrys
bellatrys
Genre-Zombie says: I can has critic?
Because once these things get stuck in your head, the only thing to do is let them work themselves out, like a mild fever:




(Inspired by Ursula Le Guin's vignette in Ansible 240)

Who will save Serious Literature from the corrupting touch of Genre Fiction? Not Philip Roth - he writes AUs and knockoffs of Kafka fantasy!

(Blame it on the heat and the lack of full-time jobs for people with no more credentials than a liberal arts B.A. - the more stressed out I get, the weirder I get, which is admittedly not a terribly helpful response...)

Note: as of 11:30 EST this morning there is a new & improved version, with only a slightly-foxed cover, and you can click here for the hires pdf chapbook edition.(4MB)

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Comments
From: deiseach Date: July 6th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

*applauds wildly*

From the friends of the neighbours of the writers for the cousins of the directors whose workmates used to go out with the producers of the infamous

"ATTACK OF THE MAN-HATING FEMINAZIS!"

and the fearsome

"FAT, UGLY LESBIANS COMPLAIN ABOUT SEXY FEMALES ON COMIC BOOK COVERS!
(- But if they're lesbians, wouldn't they *like* sexy females on comic book covers? - Shut up, man, do you want people to think you're gay?)"

and the notorious

"WE'RE AMATEURS AND WE'RE STEALING YOUR READERSHIP, BWAHAHAHA!"

comes the latest in spine-tingling terror:

No-one is safe in their bed!

No-one is safe in their library!

No-one is safe in their bcokshop!

Out of the mist it shambled, mewling and oozing - it's hungry for brains (and good taste, a place in the Canon of Western Literature, a couple of paragraphs in, say, The Times Literary Supplement or The Modern Review, and hey, a bursary from the Arts Council or a week at Annamakerig would be nice, too) and it wants to eat yours!!!!!

Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretches are proud to present:

THE RETURN OF THE GENRE-ZOMBIE

Do YOU dare examine your bookshelves tonight?
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 7th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *applauds wildly*

Mewling? Wouldn't that be Return of the Genre-Zombie-Lolcatz?

That's just wonderful!!!
From: deiseach Date: July 7th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Okay, Mr. Smartypants

*You* tell me what an undead cyborg alien warrior princess zombie with robotic vocal chords and a rotting tongue would sound like as she lurches towards you, chainmail bikini askew, seeking to brand you with the mark of genre infamy!

Zombie lolcatz - now there's a notion to strike fear into the bravest heart...
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 7th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Okay, Mr. Smartypants

Ex-ter-min-nate-z. Ex-ter-mi-nate-z.

bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 7th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Awright, you two, knock it off!

After all, we don't want TEH MAINSTR33M to think we're Unserious, do we?
From: deiseach Date: July 7th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Aw, rats, you're no fun

And we could have worked it up into a nice little feud, too, with cliques and factions and experts on zombies/linguistics/zombie linguistics throwing in their tuppence worth...
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 7th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Aw, rats, you're no fun

Feud? And I was after hoping I'd be invited for tea and scones..... (after all, I do live just off Waterford St)... I can has brains?
From: deiseach Date: July 8th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Wars have started over less

I'm practically nearly certain it is obligatory (for the sake of our fannish credentials) to swear undying enmity and duel to the death (lightsabres optional) over the finer points of minutiae such as the exact phrasing an undead cyborg bionic alien warrior princess genre zombie would use as it lurched stiff-legged and decomposing towards its terrified victim.

And you were the one mentioned Daleks - dude! no!

*Has* to be the Cybermen, what else in this context?

(Cyberman? Cyberwoman? Damn it, has political correctness reached this far and should I be saying Cyberperson?)
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 8th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wars have started over less

Does that mean no tea and scones? Drat!

You're right, it should be the Cyberfolk.... Only they never said EX-TER-MI-NATE.

From: deiseach Date: July 8th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Not really a scone person

But knock yourself out - here's some virtual strawberry jam (the Wexford strawberries are in season right now) and some cream, and a nice strong cup of Barry's tea.

Milk? How many sugars?

"Only they never said EX-TER-MI-NATE"

And we're back where we started: just what would a zombie utter if it didn't mewl as it tottered grimly onwards? And that's "mewl (cry weakly or softly)", not "mew/meow/miaow (sound zombielolcatz make)" Sure, there's the ever-popular low, guttural moaning, but still - and besides, I don't think they want to exterminate, more assimilate (oh great, now I've dragged the Borg in.)

Hey, the Borg! Cyborg bionic alien warrior princess - that's covered, save for the undead bit. Zombie Borg? Whaddya think? *Is* it possible for Borg to be zombies, what with the nanotech and all? The way Seven resurrected Neelix after he was well dead? And as a digression - why? Neelix was finally dead and gone and well and truly an ex-annoyance, and they brought him back! Noooo!!!!

I'm telling you, this discussion could run and run!
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 8th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

brain...broken...divide by cucumber--

The way Seven resurrected Neelix after he was well dead? And as a digression - why? Neelix was finally dead and gone and well and truly an ex-annoyance, and they brought him back! Noooo!!!!

You're kidding, right?

I didn't see a whole lot of that show, but - WTF? They killed off Neelix [Yay! Most annoying comic relief pre-Jar-Jar EVAR] and then they brought him back again?!?!?!

Why? For the love of Murphy, WHY?????
From: deiseach Date: July 8th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: brain...broken...divide by cucumber--

It was in "Mortal Coil", the 12th episode of the 4th season. Details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_Coil_(Voyager_episode)

As to why they did it, no idea other than to (1) show off the awesomeness of the Borg and Seven of Nine (2) to make some cutesy point about family and all that jazz with that Talaxian festival (yes, yet another Talaxian festival, I'm afraid); also maybe about religion, though I'm danged if I know what it was - religion is false, we're all gone when we die since the soul does not survive, there's no such thing as the soul, there's no afterlife, but never mind, we can still pretend and believe in those fairytales because they give us a warm, fuzzy feeling? (3) er, um, they thought Neelix was popular? Yes, they got rid of Kes and kept Neelix. Yet more proof that whoever was in charge of "Voyager" had no idea what they were doing; the dog's dinner they made of that series, which could have been half-decent... but I digress.

Ooh - Neelix could have been a zombie! Brought back without a soul by Borg nanoprobes - sounds close enough to me!

nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 20th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: brain...broken...divide by cucumber--

they got rid of Kes and kept Neelix

You know, I never really minded Neelix. But this puts a different spin on it--I so wanted them to keep Kes! (We do not speak of her returning as evil superpowered smasher of ships later.)

And Seven was fascinating from the angle of what *would* it be like to come back from being Borg--I just wish a) more time in a Starfleet uniform or regular clothes, instead of catsuit, and b) that Picard didn't get all the sympathy for having been Locutus. Yeah, it was hard being Borg for three days--try eighteen years!

Loving the idea of Borg-as-space-zombies, though... :P
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 8th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not really a scone person

Resistance is futile. Must have braaaaaaaaaaaains. (Actually, the more interesting question is whether the Borg are alive as we understand the term, given that they are a blend of organic and inorganic components).

Actually, I thought the resurrection of Neelix was an interesting trope (afterwards, he loses his religion).

Strawberry jam sounds lovely. I never take milk in my tea.
From: deiseach Date: July 8th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not really a scone person

Are the Borg alive as we understand it? Depends upon the proportion of inorganic to organic in their systems, I guess, and since Seven demonstrates that the organic life can exist after removal of most of the modifications, I would take it that they are alive.

The 'religion has been disproven because Neelix came back and saw nothing' - eh. Maybe, maybe not. The objections to that are (1) his soul is gone; the nanoprobes merely re-animated the corpse (zombieNeelix!) and so that does not prove the falsity of Talaxian beliefs; (2) his soul did come back but in his mortal state he forgot all he had witnessed in the spiritual realm; (3) he wasn't really all that dead (just a bit dead ;-)) since he was capable of being resuscitated and so he wasn't dead enough to have the Talaxian death experience; (4) not all Talaxians get the whole mystic experience, same as only some humans have mystic experiences.

Seeing as how we had no mention beforehand of Neelix being religious, or of his religion meaning anything to him, I am less than moved by this episode than the writers might have hoped. Mainly I was just "Nooo! He was dead, dead, deddly-dead, and they brought him back! Why? Why???"
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 8th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Not really a scone person

But Seven of Nine may be a special case (after all, she's also responsible for Barack Obama).

But Neelix did not come back with a hunger for brains (or a lessened ability to annoy).

On the third hand, if I remember correctly, that episode was written by Brannon Braga and his entry on Wikipedia lists him as an atheist.

I can understand your feelings about Neelix, I went through a very long 'Wesley must die' period until he sort of grew on me. And Neelix was even more annoying than Wesley.
From: deiseach Date: July 9th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Ah, but consider

Prolonged exposure to Neelix resulted in the viewer being rendered a slackjawed, drooling idiot.

I maintain that the deleterious affect upon the viewer's brain is, indeed, proof of the traditional zombie hunger for brains - just slightly rejigged as befits an alien spacezombie from the 24th century.
From: deiseach Date: July 9th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Leola root!

A traditonal Talaxian dish, my foot.

Where the heck were they getting fresh leola roots from, hmmm? Talaxia was parsecs away, and don't tell me hydroponics - where would a Federation hydroponic garden get Talaxian vegetables to grow?

No, it was actually brains he was cooking, which is why everyone else found the recipes so disgusting, but he was clever enough to disguise his hideous appetite as 'oh it's a traditional Talaxian dish made from leola roots, don't mind if it's all grey and lumpy and mushy, that's how it's supposed to look'.

Yeah, right, Mr. SpaceZombie!
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Leola root!

So that's why Kes rejected him...
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah, but consider

Somehow, I can't see you as a slackjawed, drooling idiot.

But your argument is interesting. Neelix as alien space-zombie. Of course, since he was resurrected by Seven of Nine* using Borg technology he could be counted as an alien cyborg zombie...


* I had to look this up.
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah, but consider

Somehow, I can't see you as a slackjawed, drooling idiot.

But your argument is interesting. Neelix as alien space-zombie. Of course, since he was resurrected by Seven of Nine* using Borg technology he could be counted as an alien cyborg zombie...


* I had to look this up.
From: deiseach Date: July 9th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ah, you say the sweetest things

But you haven't seen me first thing in the morning (which for me, means up to twelve noon).

Well, I always knew Kes was sensible - and I know she had a built-in expiry date, but y'know, by the power of technobabble, they *could* have knocked Neelix off and kept Kes - say in some big sacrifical scene where he gives up his life for her (and somehow by hand-wavium extends her livespan) something like, I dunno, the Magic Box in Babylon 5 that cured Ivanova at the expense of Marcus's life.

After all, seeing as how she donated one of her lungs to him, it was the least he could do. Besides, he's an alien cyborg space-zombie - it's not like he was anything more than a re-animated corpse that shouldn't have been walking around in the first place ;-)
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah, you say the sweetest things

You have a point there. And Kes was a more interesting character. But they needed to get rid of her to bring in Seven of Nine, since Jeri Ryan seemed more likely to bring in the teenage male audience.
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 9th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

and of course, everyone knows

we can't have equal numbers of male and female main characters on a show, that would totally unbalance it!
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: and of course, everyone knows

Oh, of course. Especially since, as we all know, the audience for television science fiction is made up exclusively of pre-teen and teen WASP and Jewish boys, and no non-white males and no females of any kind are actually interested. (The fact that Martin Luther King famously encouraged Nichelle Nichols to stay on The Original Series, of course, being swept under the table to lurk with all the non-white, non-male fen of all ages.)
From: deiseach Date: July 9th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, because of course...

... more than one possible Lust Object would cause their little pointy heads to explode.

Er, on second thoughts...

That was one of the problems with "Voyager"; it veered wildly from character to character as whichever one seemed more popular at the time, hence we got loads of Chatokay, then loads of B'Elanna, then loads of Kes, then loads of the Doctor, then loads upon loads of Seven.

Instead of giving everyone a fair go (e.g. why didn't we see more of Vorik and the other Vulcans? Or a bit more of how the other Maquis characters were getting on? Or - a personal sore point - how come poor Harry Kim started and ended as an Ensign, when Tom Paris got all the promotion?)
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ah, you say the sweetest things

You're a lucky lass if your job doesn't require that you're up before the cock. Mine does most of the year, alas. Then my wife berates me because I can stay in bed while she has to head to work!
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 7th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Awright, you two, knock it off!

Oh noes!!
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 8th, 2007 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)

a Zombie-catz sighting?

here at caribou's place.
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 8th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: a Zombie-catz sighting?

Now, that's a hungry cat!
From: deiseach Date: July 8th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: a Zombie-catz sighting?

That cat *does* look like it's going "Braaaaaaains!"
acaciaonnastik From: acaciaonnastik Date: July 6th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
~laughs self into coughing fit~
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 7th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh good, glad Icould help

clearing out your lungs!

[d&rlh]
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 7th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That is just perfect!!
nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 7th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Hah!
nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 7th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Totally OT, but...

I can't seem to find this anywhere and I want to show it to people at the Valmar Project so that we won't be duplicating effort. I seem to recall that you once did a detailed family tree of all the Elven families from the Silmarillion/LOTR, from the the first three Elves down to Aragorn & Arwen's family. I remember saving it to my computer and everything. But that was two computers and a cross-country move ago and now I can't find it (nor does my Google-fu seem strong today). Am I just imagining this or did you make it? If it still exists online, could you point me in the proper direction?

Thanks terribly much....
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 7th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Sure can!

nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 7th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sure can!

Thank you thank you thank you! *felicitous three bows*

PS Egad, I have a grasshopper in my living room! Crawling across my rug. At least I think it's a grasshopper, it's got big hind legs but a kinda weird body...hmm, this bugs-crawling-under-the-front-door thing is only going to get worse over a southern summer, innit? *sigh*

(The fireflies at night kinda make up for it, though! Never had those in Canada!)
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 7th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ooh, it might be a katydid!

Does the body look kind of like a leaf? lessee if google has any images - here's a small one and it says they are a kind of grasshopper. I don't recall finding any up here, but I know other people have. We do also have fireflies, but not nearly as many as down south either.
nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 8th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)

[repost with edit]

Ooh. It might be! Although hmm, it doesn't look green like most of the pictures Google supplies, but kind of more like somewhere between a Stevenson's shieldback and a Mormon cricket. It kind of looks more like the cicada killer wasp from the page you liked than like the cicada itself... Hmm!

It ran across my rug again this afternoon. I was going to catch it and set it free outside but it had disappeared under the couch by the time I got a cup and piece of paper. I'll keep an eye out and see if I can catch it, though. Soooo many weird bugs here that I have never seen before. I keep forgetting until I see them that actually we vertebrates are outnumbered on this planet.... *cute ominous music*

(I have heard of children smearing captured fireflies all over themselves to glow in the dark temporarily--which seems both cruel and irresistable to some children...I would have been in a great quandary about it myself!)
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: July 8th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hum, maybe it's a juvenile grasshopper?

might explain why it kind of looks like a grasshopper and kind of not.

The other explanation is, of course, Mutant!Crickets.
nenya_kanadka From: nenya_kanadka Date: July 9th, 2007 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hum, maybe it's a juvenile grasshopper?

Probably a zombie genre cricket!

(It has disappeared under the couch and not come out. Perhaps it has found someone else to bug. It didn't help that last night I watched a Farscape episode with the requisite Huge Bugs Take Over Ship and Evil Aliens Replicate Themselves In Form That Looks Just Like Your Buddies, either... :P The bugs only looked a little bit like my critter, but they were two feet long... :D)

(PS Farscape is awesome and Aeryn is HUMAN, and I see why you picked her for Luthien!)
sethg_prime From: sethg_prime Date: July 8th, 2007 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I am reminded of a T-shirt that a classmate of mine in Intro to Women's Studies wore, with a picture of women on the moon in 50's-style spacesuits and the title "RADICAL FEMINISTS IN SPACE". My classmate said this was a feminist/SF/political bookstore in Willamantic, CT.

The store appears to have gone out of business, which is a damn shame, because I would love to have one of those T-shirts.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 9th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

that is teh awsumness

Hope you don't mind my linking to it. I mean...

I can has picture? it be thousand werds. Srsly gr8 ;)

RfP (http://www.readforpleasure.com)
fledgist From: fledgist Date: July 9th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes, because of course...

Well, that last was an improvement over the WWII film cliche', the ethnic types all dying while the lantern-jawed wasp got the girls and glory. Not much of one, but still one.

You're right, there did tend to be a lot of shifting from character to character, and not enough development of most of them (even Janeway was wise mother from beginning to end, nothing else really).
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[deleted]

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[deleted]

Oups...
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