Friday, 25 November 2011

What is it with zombies?

If I'm honest I'm not a great fan of zombie movies (I even found Sean of the Dead a little hard going). Partly it is because I find gore-based horror sickening and in no sense entertaining. (I have to look away in bits of Casuality.) For me a great horror film is one that can scare you without showing you anything gross. And then there's the usual problem with zombie movies of the slow moving predator that somehow the prey can never manage to run away from.

However, I can't deny the popularity of zombies, whether they're turning up in civil defence planning, variants of Jane Austen or in the government.

So I was very interested when 'Dr Austin' provided me a copy of his Zombie Science 1Z. This is rather a neat idea - Austin Low (the real name of Dr Austin) is a Scottish performer who specializes in comedy, working with children and science. He performs a spoof lecture on 'zombieology' and this is the book of the lecture. The idea is to take the idea of zombies seriously, try to explain them, getting in quite a lot of medical science (he suggests it's a prion-based infection) and to entertain as well.

The original version of the book was, frankly, rather poorly produced - in fact, I thought it was self-published - but it has now been significantly tidied up and though I find the content occasionally a little whimsical, it's an excellent way to get a young(ish) zombie fan interested in a bit of science. Take a look at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com (Kindle fans can find it here for the UK and here for the US).
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