Friday, July 14, 2017

Zombies, Ghouls, and Gods 
July 14, 2017
Guest Blogger: David Gerrold

Duane Jones, the Tragic Hero

Thinking about 
"Night of the Living Dead"

by David Gerrold

This was the film that started the modern zombie genre.

The film can be seen as a parable -- at the end, the rescuers shoot the one survivor, the black guy. They don't see him as human either. They see him as another zombie.

And that's the parable -- that we are dividing ourselves into us and them. Zombie stories are a justification for killing those we no longer regard as human. And in the first of the genre, it was the black guy who was considered less than human. It couldn't be more obvious than that.

We spend ninety minutes seeing this guy as a hero -- and the fat white rednecks take him out with the same dispassionate glee as if they were shooting rabbits.

The Window: Where Hero & Victim Blur

But since then, the zombie story has become a substantial part of our culture, spawning enough sequels, imitations, rip-offs, and franchise-squatters, that the whole zombie thing has become its own subgenre of horror.

Okay, fine. So far.

But our entertainment choices reveal not only who we are, but also who we want to be, what we expect and what we aspire to.

Where films used to end on an upbeat note -- "Oh, fiddle-dee-dee, I'll get him back. Tomorrow is another day." -- today, most modern SF films tend toward dystopia.

We we used to have Destination Moon and Conquest of Space and 2001 and all the other outward-pointed adventures that said we can do better, now every time we go out there, we end up getting eaten or beaten -- or we bring something awful back with us. Species and Life and Green Slime and The Stuff.

Instead of Tomorrowland the vision, we get Tomorrowland, the broken promise. We get Maze Runner and Hunger Games and Divergent and Resident Evil and all the other stories where we have been divided into Eloi and Morlocks -- and a few brave heroes who will shoot the Morlocks to save the frightened Eloi (so they can fuck them later on.)

What it is -- once you get past the actual movies -- is the creation of a terrible terrifying context: that we must divide the human race into us v. them, and once we do that, we the US are justified in shooting THEM. Because they're not human. They're zombies. They're undead. They're vampires and ghouls and untermenschen. They are a threat to us and we are justified in shooting them.

Like the black guy at the end of Night of the Living Dead.

George Kosana (actor with bullets) leads a mob of US
to hunt down THEM.

And like it or not -- that is one of the ways we are unconsciously justifying the polarization of our society. We are training ourselves to think of ourselves as "the good guy" -- and the mob that opposes us aren't humans, they're zombies, and that's why we should militarize our police to use deadly force on all those zombies that want to rip our flesh and eat our brains and mooch off our taxes.

Have you ever noticed though -- that when the so-called good guys are holed up in a mall or a supermarket or even a fortress, they start fighting among themselves -- and too often, they reveal themselves as anything but "the good guys?"

But that's the point that we tend to miss. We think we're the ones who are going to survive whatever chaos is coming. We never consider that we might end up as one of the shabby shambling horde of undead things, do we?

We never consider that we might be the targets.


David Gerrold was barely out of his teens when he wrote the script "The Trouble With Tribbles" for the classic television series "Star Trek". Nominated for a Hugo Award, it was listed by "Playboy" magazine as one of the 50 Greatest Television Episodes of All Time. And in a 1997 FOX TV special it ranked as the most popular science fiction episode on television of all time. He has written dozens of novels and twice has been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards. His novelette "The Martian Child" won the SF triple crown: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Locus Readers Poll as Best Novelette. In addition to novel writing, he has written television scripts for "Babylon 5", "Tales from the Darkside", and "The Twilight Zone". He served as a story editor/producer for the first season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation". A frequent guest at SF conventions here and in Europe, he began a charity in 1988 in which money earned from charging one dollar for autographs -- plus profits from the sale of other SF memorabilia -- is donated to AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Amazon Catalog:

Available on Facebook: Click Here to Order

Three and a half gigabytes of science fiction goodies!

The David Gerrold Megapack is a 4gb flash drive containing a half million words of short stories, novelettes, short novels, and even two novels that have never been available in bookstores. PLUS preview chapters of THE WAR AGAINST THE CHTORR, BOOKS FIVE and SIX!

Also included are a fascinating collection of audio and video interviews, two unproduced scripts. PLUS the video of Uncle Daddy Will Not Be Invited, a remarkable play written and directed by David Gerrold in 2013.

And every flash drive is individually autographed.

These were produced in a limited edition for the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, where David Gerrold was one of the Guests of Honor. Since then, they have only been available at conventions where David Gerrold has been a guest.

All of the stories are available in four different formats: mobi, epub, pdf, and rtf, so you can copy them to any e-reader you have, or read them on your laptop or desktop. As you can see from the photo, the tab unfolds to plug into any standard USB port so you can copy the files to a computer and from there to an e-reader.

A Method For Madness Preview Chapters (CHTORR!)
A Mild Case of Death (short story)
Actual Comments from Lunar Tourists (vignette)
Afternoon With a Dead Bus (short story)
Chester (novelette)
Crystallization (short story about the ultimate traffic gridlock)
Dancer In The Dark (novelette) (Sturgeon Award finalist)
Entanglements (autobiographical novelette)
Enterprise Fish (short story) (CHTORR!)
F&SF Mailbag (short story)
Finding Monstro (short story)
Franz Kafka, Superhero (short story)
Ganny Knits A Spaceship (novella, how to build a spaceship in free fall)
In The Quake Zone (short novel) (Included in 23rd Best of Year Collection)
It Needs Salt (short story) (CHTORR!)
Jumping Off The Planet (novella) (later expanded to an award-winning YA book.)
Night Train To Paris (short story) (Bram Stoker Award Winner)
Nowhere Man (novella) (high school revenge)
Pickled Mongoose (a Martian Child story)
Sales of a Deathman (short story)
Spiderweb (short story)
The 50-Cent Computer (short story)
The Bag Lady (stunning short story about a different kind of superhero)
The Case of the Green Carnation (short story) (Sherlock Holmes meets Oscar Wilde)
The Gathering (short story)
The Great Pan-American Airship Mystery or Why I Murdered Robert Benchley (short story) (Deco-Punk)
The Involuntary Human is Dragged Kicking and Screaming Into Consciousness by the Cosmic Badger (text of speech delivered to MENSA)
The Kennedy Enterprise (short story) (What if JFK had gone to Hollywood?)
The Martian Child (novelette) (Hugo, Nebula, Locus award winner) (Sturgeon award finalist)
The Old Science Fiction Writer (vignette)
The Quotebook of Solomon Short (2015 Collection)
The Seminar From Hell (short story) (It's all about the marketing)
The Spell (short story)
The Thing In The Back Yard (novelette)
Turtledome (novella) (lunar scouting outing)

Jacob (a different kind of vampire story)
thirteen, fourteen, fifteen o'clock (the most ambitious novel David Gerrold has ever written)

Blood And Fire (That famous unproduced script for STAR TREK: TNG)
Nightsiders (unproduced vampire script)
Uncle Daddy Will Not Be Invited (script of the play)

David Gerrold reads The Martian Chlid novelette
David Gerrold at Irvine Library, recorded live.

Gerrold on his next novel
Gerrold on road trips, food, and George R.R. Martin
Gerrold on writing
Gerrold on Worlds of Wonder
(and more)

Uncle Daddy Will Not Be Invited (video of the premiere performance)

If you have read this far, then you can see this is an extraordinary collection of some of the best of David Gerrold's work, spanning nearly half a century of success in the science fiction and fantasy genres.

This is a limited offer and may not be available again anytime soon.

Thanks for considering. Thanks in advance for buying.

This is a value easily worth $150 if you bought all these things separately, but we're making it available for only $45, plus $5 for shipping/handling. Pay by Paypal to Please include your shipping address, Paypal doesn't always do it automatically.

If you want to pay by check instead, write to

Thanks again!

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