Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I don't get the current interest in the whole zombie apocalypse thing, although I did love Zombieland. So why would someone like that pick up a book called Feed, which was set in that very scenario? It's got a lot to do with the author. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire (author of the Toby Daye UF series). Seanan was in Australia for Aussiecon and while she was here she went into local SFF bookstore; Minotaur, and signed a number of copies of Feed. I managed to snag the last signed copy, she'd even drawn a little chainsaw in it!
Feed is set in 2040, 26 years after the Kellis-Amberlee virus has created a large population of zombies across North America (they may also be active elsewhere, but they seem to be most prominent in the US). A small band of zombie fighting bloggers accompany the Republican presidential candidate on his tour across the company. I know it sounds absolutely crazy, it did when I first heard it, but it really hangs together well. Two of Seanan's loves are zombies and deadly viruses, so Feed was a labour of love for her.
Since the zombie uprising, people tend to distrust the regular news agencies, and get most of their news from bloggers. Two of the best are adopted brother and sister Shawn and Georgia Mason and their associate Georgette 'Buffy' Meissonier. The three make a good team, Georgia, who tells the story from her point of view, is a Newsie, Shawn is an Irwin (in a nod to the Australian 'adventurer' and crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, Irwins are the crazies of the blogosphere and are most likely to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to get some good footage) and Buffy is a Fictional, as well as being a technical whiz.
As the story and the compaign unfold the coincidences pile up to often to be just bad luck and the group know that they and the candidate; Senator Peter Ryman, are in serious trouble and it's probably from within the Senator's own team.
I found myself getting wound up in the story and the lives of the participants. The dialogue is snappy and funny, the action well described and at times I found myself genuinely sad for what was happening in the story. Feed is a tight, well told tale full of zombie goodness and plenty of pop culture references. It's been given a number of accolades and totally deserves them all.
Feed is actually the first of the Newsflesh trilogy (Deadline is due out on May 2011), but it reads well as a standalone.
Feed. Buy it, read it and survive the Rising!