“This is not a book about fictional zombies. This is a book about what happens to the zombie when it crawls off the page and out of the screen and into our world,” writes SciencePunk founder Swain at the beginning of this thoughtful, colorful, slow poke through the world of zombiedom.
The slow pacing works both for and against the stories, alternately bringing a good and ominous feel and then letting things drift a bit. But no one will nod off during this grand tour of sorcerers, necromancers, secret societies, and people who mess with brains and the black market in body parts. By zombies, Swain is not specifically referring to the characters who traipse around in tattered clothing with their hands raised in front of them. Rather, he wonders about those of us with the glazed, undead look, sometimes doing others’ bidding in a violent manner, or especially, those who have been reanimated—brought back from the dead. To that end, Swain has a juicy cast of contenders responsible for such activities, and he presents them with point-by-point progress, leaving the facts to wow readers but providing both moody and electric atmosphere. The author explores the effects of keeping organisms—like humans—organically functioning after death (as eminent biologist J.B.S. Haldane said, “technique is everything”); the autojerker, which was more successful at delivering oxygenated blood than the teeter-totter, a seesaw device that tried to rock circulation back into action. Certainly, the unknowns are many, but the degree of scientific research into zombies will leave you agog—zombielike.
In this enjoyable and authoritative text, Swain will have readers wondering exactly how many zombies they brushed past today.