Saturday, 9 July 2011

When There's No More Room in Hell, the Dead Will Serve You Breakfast

I haven't exactly been quiet about how much I admire David James Keaton's work.  His story in the Comet Press Death Panel anthology was my personal highlight by a mile - yes, even more so that my own! - and I've liked everything he's done since.  But nothing more so than his magnum opus (so far), the epic and epically screwed up zombie novella Zee Bee & Bee, A.K.A Propeller Hats For the Dead, first published in Comet Press's follow up to The Death Panel, Deadcore.

So you can imagine how I'd be pretty chuffed when Keaton asked me to write the foreword for the new extended e-book edition he's been putting together.  Nobody's ever asked me to write a foreword before!  I may have raved a little.  I may have applied a degree of praise normally reserved for potential messiahs and people who save babies from fires.  I may, in fact, have used so many superlatives that it threatened to break the English language at some fundamental level.

That's okay, though, because Zee Bee & Bee really is great, Keaton's work is well worth shouting about, and the package he's put together here is an absurd bargain, not to mention exactly the kind of thing that the e-book as an emerging medium is well suited to.  Where print publishing has all but abandoned the novella, e-publishing fits it perfectly - not to mention leaving room for extras like Keaton's own characteristically eccentric introduction, a drinking game all but guaranteed to hospitalise all involved, and my own humble, humbled foreword.

Zee Bee & Bee the director's cut novella edition is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK for about the price of one of those big Mars bars that are really just too small Mars bars in an oversized wrapper.  Which is going to do more damage to your heart and intestinal tract?  I think we all know the answer to that one.

On the other hand, you can't buy Mars bars instantaneously on Amazon.

Now, because I have nothing else at all useful to say and this post is a teeny bit short and I may never get to write another foreword ever, here's an extract:

In the midst of death we are in life, and the best zombie fiction has nothing whatever to do with the deceased.  Who are these characters who shamble through the darkness spouting movie quotes and tearing strips - both literal and metaphorical - off of each other?  Who are these losers, these crazies, these no-hopers who can no longer tell life from death, game from reality, sex from violence?

As the spiritual godfather of this novella would no doubt point out ... "They're us."


  1. I love how you make this thing sound. Which is why it was no accident that you are in it, too. In fact, if I could find a way to have you stand behind anyone who reads it and explain its high-brow aspirations, I'd be all set! Sincerely though, your enthusiasm and your own work is essential to mine. So many thanks. - djk

  2. Perhaps some kind of backdoor hack snuck into the e-book that allowed me to proselytise while they read? That could definitely work.