George Romero to Write His Definitive Guide to Zombies

Illustration for article titled George Romero to Write His Definitive Guide to Zombies

Filmmaker George Romero birthed the modern zombie, and now he's finally ready to reveal all the secrets of the walking dead. In his first novel, Romero will explain the full capabilities of the undead and how the zombie plague began.

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UK publisher Headline has signed Romero for a book delving into the mythology he helped create, simply titled The Living Dead. The book will explain what zombies can and cannot do, and will finally give us Romero's take on the origin of zombies and how the world at large reacts:

It starts in San Diego, where a corpse sits up and begins to walk during an autopsy, while a reporter from Atlanta shows viewers "glimpses of increasing chaos from around the globe."

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Headline will publish The Living Dead in July 2010.

[Guardian]

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DISCUSSION

I`m all for Romero writing a book that explicitly details the rules for his zombies, but I`m rather less keen on a book that explores too deeply the origins of the outbreak, other than covering the story of patient zero.

One of the key aspects of the Romero mythology, for me at least, is that there isn`t actually any explanation for why the dead have returned. As soon as you introduce a concrete explanation you have an identified cause, which also identifies a potential solution. If a virus is causing the outbreak then the key is to develop an anti-virus, if some sort of radiation is causing the outbreak then the solution is to either remove the source or some sort of shielding. I`m not necessarily suggesting that the solution is easily obtainable, or even possible at all, but the quest for the solution provides a definitive goal.

If you don`t know what has caused the outbreak you may have sufficient knowledge to survive (shoot them in the head) but that doesn`t mean you have a viable long-term solution. A goal gives the characters long-term hope, which I feel doesn`t make for the best zombie material.