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I Zombie, You Zombie, We All Zombie

When I was in college, I signed up for a popular lit and culture class. Not because I wanted to or I thought it sounded interesting. Because I needed more English credits and I’d already taken Comp 1 and 2. In reality, I thought it was going to be a big waste of my time.

I was strongly opinioned back then.

I thought it was going to be a ‘cake’ class where we read whatever was popular at the time and talked about it. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. The professor posed a different approach to how we look at pop culture – which was that it tended to reflect our biggest fears and misgivings about the progress of any one generation.

BladeRunner
AI that indulges in a human vice. Weird!

We watched Blade Runner, for instance, and talked about the fear of AI. We watched and read sci-fi movies and stories from the 50s that seemed to clearly reflect fears about radiation and nuclear technology. We read Vampire stories from the 70s that paralleled drug culture and how it seemed to be all-consuming. We read short stories from African authors that explored magic that was supposed to represent the darkness or purity in all of us.

Ants
Ooh no..! Radioactive ants!

I ended up thoroughly enjoying the class and it’s helped me look at popular culture and media in a different way. Fast forward to the end of last year when I was having a casual conversation with a colleague of mine – I was telling him about my book, Colony One, and how it explores overpopulation’s impact on our future.

And my colleague, who has roots and family in the South, informs me that his uncle always used to say when a squirrel population became too large, they would all go insane. This intrigued me, and when I inquired into what, exactly, he meant by ‘insane’ he explained that they’d kill and eat each other. I found this fascinating, if not a little traumatizing. It was the first I’d heard of it, and being the kind of person I am, I went home and Googled – trying to understand if there was any known science around this, or if it was just an observation of rural living.

I couldn’t find anything substantial about squirrels, but I did find this concept of Behavioral Sink, which describes the collapse in behavior in overcrowding situations as observed in rats through experiments. When a population of rats was purposefully overcrowded, maternal behaviors plummeted – mothers were not taking care of their young (if their young survived birth), while males displayed sexual deviancy and cannibalism.

CalhounJ - Rat Experiment
A photo from the experiment that brought about the concept of Behavioral Sink.

Now, my Popular Lit and Culture class predated the zombie craze that was most recently popularized by The Walking Dead. So this discovery of Behavioral Sink got me thinking about the implications of speculative writing where overpopulation is a huge factor. And while many zombie stories do not always speak to the element of overpopulation, the ‘zombie craze’ feels like a direct ripple of the innate fears of overpopulation. We use mice and rats in experiments because we can parallel many of the behaviors between theirs and ours. If we take the overcrowding experiments on rats as reflective of what could happen in the same situation with humans, zombies make a lot more sense.

This is the part where I admit that I am not all about the zombie craze. Zombies have always been 100% terrifying and unappealing to me. It’s one of those story tropes that really get under my skin – I always used to assume it was because having a bunch of mindless, brain-obsessed people-shaped things that had no hope for redemption running around was terrifying enough. But now I’m beginning to think it speaks to a deeper psychological fear that reflects the natural inclination to go insane in overcrowding situations.

TheWalkingDead
Seriously, this is terrifying.

And while I can promise that the subsequent sequels to Colony One will not feature zombies, there will be plenty of evidence of insanity – when populations are pushed to the brink, terrible things can happen. Group think, combined with discontented desperation and competition for resources will always be a recipe for disaster. As I write this, and as I’ve had these revelations, I find it increasingly ironic that a class I so resisted at first, I am now possibly contributing to future iterations of. My books could easily be toted as cautionary tales, a clear indication of present-day speculative fears and underlying unease.

Most zombie lore involves some kind of virus and a ‘Patient Zero’. I pose a more horrifying supposition; which is there will be no virus. Nothing that strips us of our agency – rather a tipping point of psychology and circumstance.

Those zombie books, TV shows and movies may never be the same again…


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

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23 Nerd Babble – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

I have seen ‘the glaze’ more times than I care to admit when I break out the nerd analogies. Too bad – there could be a lot of short-hand conversation elements out there. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!

Check out all the SNGCs here and join us every Monday for a new original SNG Webcomic!


AlexAlex is our resident Webcomic creator. He grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

Colony One is On Sale for the New Year!

Happy New Year Everybody!!

I wanted to ring in the New Year with a deal on my latest book Colony One! You can download this first-of-three novel at Amazon for $1.99 (normally priced at $4.99).

Kindle Fire Mock Up New Years.png

The special offer will last from December 31st – January 4th. If one of your resolutions is to read more, here’s your chance to get started on the cheap!


Eve2

Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

I am not your Slave Leia

You see it at every comic book convention; multitudes of women (and a few lovely men!) dressed as ‘slave Leia.’ And when I look at them I think: Good for them!

People have the right to wear whatever the hell they want. But I personally will not wear that outfit. Because I am not slave Leia.

Slave-Leia-star-wars-33821458-3190-2540
Only Carrie Fisher can somehow make this classy.

I think Leia is a great character. She’s a strong woman. She fights with the Rebel Alliance despite being an actual princess (compare her to most of the Disney princesses). She risks her life to get the plans for the Death Star. She withstands torture at the hands of Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces. She watches her home planet of Alderaan get destroyed. And STILL doesn’t give up the information they want while continuing to maintain her strength and dignity.

LeiaandBlaster
She will wreck you.

In short, she is a BAMF. And this is all still in the very first movie. Nevermind that she grabs a gun and tries to escape from the Death Star as soon as she gets the first opportunity. Nevermind that she has a sarcastic attitude and a comeback to every one liner thrown at her by Han Solo. And also nevermind that she somehow resisted jumping that dude’s bones for three movies.

HanWithBlaster
Alternate version of how Han managed to score with Leia?

She rocks.

But seriously, slave Leia? That is Leia at her weakest. She has again been captured. She is forced into a humiliating outfit that represents her captivity. She is wearing a literal chain around her neck like some kind of animal. She is forced to serve Jabba the Hutt who is repulsive in every sense of the word.

Now I am not trying to take away from her. She kills Jabba with that fucking chain. She breaks free of those chains and operates a cannon in that outfit. She helps Luke and Han escape. But still….slave Leia?

Slave-Leia-Fights
I’d be pissed too if someone made me wear that.

I am not slave Leia. If I were to cosplay Leia I would go as some other version of her. Almost all of them are better than her as a slave.

endor001
Even sexy mechanic Leia.

I am Boushh Leia. I am the Leia that willingly enters Jabba the Hutt’s den, risking my life to help my love. I am the Leia that convinces my enemies that I could, single-handedly, capture Chewbacca. I am the Leia that pulls a thermal detonator on a room full of people to settle my negotiations. I am the Leia that unfreezes Han from his carbonite prison.

Boushh-06222015
If princessing didn’t work out for her, being a bounty hunter probably would have!

If I am going to dress up as Leia, I am not going to be slave Leia.


MaurnasMaurnas is the barely anonymous alias of a reclusive Floridian fangirl. She has an alleged humor blog at cursitivity.WordPress.com and can also be found at maurnas@cursitivity on Twitter. She writes almost as much as she reads but has done nothing with her debatable talents thus far other than all the blogging and tweeting and writing.

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