Monday, October 1, 2012

Guest post: Karina Fabian on Zombies

So, when Karina Fabian offered to write a guest post for the blog, I figured I'd take her up on it. After all, I was slowing down after all of the DragonCon posts.

The topic I gave her? I wanted to know why the heck anyone wanted to be bothered with zombies.

She sent me the following.

Keep in mind, I think the following includes the best scene in her latest novel, Neeta Lyffe 2: I Left My Brains In San Francisco.

Why Zombies? Using the absurd in fiction to show the absurd in life.

Survival Hardware hadn’t seen such a rush of customers since the last Armageddon prediction coincided with Black Friday.
Manager Clint Sanders rubbed his hands with glee. Oh, Marley, if only you hadn’t gotten drunk and decided to go zombie hunting. Was it only last Christmas?
He hurried to Customer Service, crafting an announcement in his mind. “You want to live! We want to live! That’s why you are going to file calmly to the back if you need a suit.”
Yeah. Sense of urgency, plus that “We’re in this together” crap.
He got to the counter and nodded at Bitsy, who had rung up a chainsaw and a half-crate of bleach.
God bless survivors. Clint continued to the back. Out of habit, he checked the exit door, even though it was always locked from the outside. He needed to delete Marley's old code from it.
He cleared his throat. “Listen up! You want to live! We want to live!”
The exit door clicked.
“That’s impossible!” he declared. The store fell silent.
“Boss?” Bitsy’s voice ended in a squeak.
“That’s not what I meant! Security team to customer service!”
He reached under the counter for a shotgun. Bitsy grabbed the chainsaw. They had filled them that morning—another example of the excellent service at Survival Hardware.
The door swung open, and the zombiefied remains of his late business partner, Marley, staggered through.
Clint to blasted him with the shotgun. The impact knocked the Marley out the door.
Clint used the gunsight to scan the parking lot. “He brought friends! Call Nine-One-One. I’m putting this place on shutdown.”
“Screw that! I’ve been prepping all my life for this!” With a howl of challenge, Bitsy dashed out the door. She swung low and decapitated her former boss before moving on.
Thundering footsteps signaled the customers following in her wake.
He gaped at the carnage while Dirk called 9-1-1. It’d be too late by the time they got there. All that’d be left was to clean up the zombie parts and get the customers back in to pay.
God bless survivors.
---From I Left My Brains in San Francisco, by Karina Fabian

In the 2040s, zombies have become a reality. They rise from the grave, intent on eating brains or sometimes completing something that they didn't finish in life--even if it's a beer and a TV show. And, true to so many phenomenon in life, we are caught unprepared and unaware. That's how I started the world premise, and I let the story take me from there: People want to understand them, defend them, study them, use them--but above all, they want those vermin out of their yard! Thus, the hero of the story--Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

It's an age-old science fiction writers' trick--use the future to discuss an issue of today. In my case, the zombies are just part of a world gone a little loopier than it is now. You’ll find a great example of government waste and bureaucratic infighting in the Broken Bridge, started as a cooperative effort and halted with 120 feet to finish—and one side 60 feet lower than the other—because neither side communicated with the other. Video blog sites have exclusives on banned videos of a gruesome carnage—but only for members. California has subsidized protesting; and everyone gets an Adult Starter Allowance until they’re 25, as long as they aren’t working, of course. The newest environmental theory is Global Fattening, and the hot new protestors, the undead!

All of this makes a delightful mishmash of insanity into which to drop one woman who just wants to protect people by rekilling the undead--and hopefully making a little money and having some kind of social life while she's at it.

I hope you’ll enjoy I Left My Brains in San Francisco. It’s all in good fun, but if any of it comes true, I’ll be back in 30 years to say “I told you so!”

Bio On The Author

If there’s such a thing as ADD of the imagination, Karina Fabian has it—in spades. Craft books, devotionals, serious science fiction, comedic horror and chilling fantasy—she follows her interests and the characters that tell her their stories. 

Even before she could write, Karina strung tall tales about everything from making human pyramids in Kindergarten to visiting alien worlds. Her first attempt at novel writing was in fourth grade; she completed her first novel in college. However, her first published work was an anthology of Christian science fiction, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist for best anthology in 2006. Her next anthology, Infinite Space, Infinite God, featured Catholic characters and themes and won the EPPIE for science fiction. The second Infinite Space, Infinite God anthology came out in 2010. 

Watching the comedy improv show, Whose Line Is It, Anyway, inspired her noir-style dragon detective, Vern. Vern and his partner, Sister Grace, have solved mysteries and saved the Faerie and Mundane worlds numerous numerous times in the DragonEye, PI stories and novels. Their serial story, World Gathering, won a Mensa Owl; and the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Fabian’s first published novel), won the INDIE for best fantasy in 2010. The second DragonEye book, Live and Let Fly, came out in April 2012. 

At a friend’s request, Karina wrote a funny story about a zombie exterminator, which grew into the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator novels. The first, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, won the 2011 Global E-Book award for best horror, and was runner-up in the eFestival of Words for best YA. 

She also writes serious science fiction. Her SF novels, Discovery and The Old Man and the Void, are currently under consideration, and she’s working on the next DragonEye novel, a superhero spoof, Gapman. 

Karina has a strong faith, which she explored in her devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life, which she wrote with her father Steve Lumbert, and which won the 2011 Christian Small Press Publisher Award. She also writes Catholic school calendars and has written three craft books for the Little Flowers/Blue Knights clubs. 

Fabian is married to Colonel Robert A. Fabian of the USAF, and they are currently enjoying a long distance relationship while he’s stationed in Iraq. They have four children, an overgrown pup, and a harried cat. When not writing, teaching writing, or chatting about writing, she’s hanging out with her kids or swinging a sword in haidong gumbdo. 

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