Tuesday, April 5, 2011

J.L. Bourne's "Day By Day Armageddon" (Steak Knives)

*Nobody* doesn't like a good post-apocalyptic Zombie tale.  Bourne's takes the form of a journal kept by an unnamed marine, chronicling the emergence of a Zombie doomsday and his often very ingenious strategies to stay alive (or at least 'not undead') in the resulting wasteland.  Good times, good times!

Day By Day Armageddon was just a hell of a fun read - a real 'head shot', if you will.  Despite a slow start, the scenarios, struggles and strategies Bourne develops further in rewarded my early patience.

Initially, I found the protagonist/premise a little 'stacked' - that is, the fictional author (unnamed) has all the skills you'd need (army training, able to pilot small aircraft, mechanical skills, incredible foresight, etc.) - but it's a fair point that this is exactly the kind of person you'd expect to keep one step ahead of the Zombie hoard, living to journal the tale.

Bourne is an active military man himself, which makes for an interesting perspective, and lends some authority to the strategies the survivor takes along the way.

This technically bypassed 'the stack' as it's been living on my toilet basin.  Without providing too much unnecessary detail, I read this pretty much journal entry to journal entry.  [Not sure what Freud would say about that.] It was a gift from my brother-in-law, along with the 2nd volume, 'Beyond Exile', which I'll start when next I hear the call of nature.  A third volume is apparently pending...

There's been a great deal of action in the Zombie genre over the past decade or so.  Historically, this humble undead critter is an incredible container for social meaning (e.g. 1978's 'Dawn of the Dead' has been read by many as a veiled commentary on our mindless consumer culture).  

Like any other form of science fiction, the Zombie canon tells us more about ourselves, today, than some fantastic place remote in space and time.  I'd love to see more theory and interpretation from the halls of Cultural Studies on what the resurgence of Zombie lore tells us about our latest sublimated or repressed anxieties...

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