Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Stories We Never Write

This morning's Washington Post contained a book review that was somewhat painful.  It was for a book entitled Zone One, by MacArthur Foundation "genius" Colson Whitehead.  It's a book about...well...it's about zombies.  More interestingly, it's about someone charged with eliminating the nonviolent zombies, the ones that just go about their mindless, day-to-day lives, oblivious to the fact that they are no longer alive.  It's an existential commentary on the sad pointlessness of most human existence, writ in the reanimated flesh of zombie-chic.

It looks to be a good book.  It'll sell well, and is winning accolades for it's already well-regarded author.

And I had pretty much the same core idea...with some minor variances...a couple of years ago.  But there was no time to write it.  I'm not a certified genius, of course, and I'm also occupied with other things.  But it's always funny seeing an idea you've never seen before and seems to have sprung freely from your mind surfacing in the mind of another. 

One could get resentful, of course.  You could be filled with accusations, as Newton was with Leibnitz over who came up with the ideas behind calculus.  Or you could be filled with regret.

There's no point in that.  Things are as they are, and I wasn't planning on writing that book anyway.  It's kind of fun seeing the concept surface elsewhere.

And fortunately, I had a much better idea for a chilling, groundbreaking, redolent-with-human-meaning zombie script yesterday afternoon.   And no, Colson, I'm not sharing this one yet.

Gotta love that zombie muse.  She just keeps moaning incoherently in my ear.

1 comment:

  1. The zombie muses have plagued me as well. ;o)

    My zombie from back in '06. I never finished posting the remainder of what I'd written. Life gets in the way.

    Seems they truly are the 'new vampire'. I saw a graphic novel published last year at ye local comics shoppe, retelling the plight of a conscious, thinking zombie with certain Lovecraftian elements intertwined within it's story structure. Someone beat me to the punch.

    One way or another, one author or another, the story always gets told.

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