Read Richard Matheson‘s 1950s short story, ‘Long Distance Call’, in a 2007 Penguin anthology entitled American Supernatural Tales. I’m always struggle to find ghost stories that are genuinely chilling or unsettling, and I think that Matheson does a nice job. “Hello?”
Recent decades have brought an increasing preoccupation with the gothic figure of the vampire and the apocalyptic zombie. Rather than reading them in opposition to each other, Stacey Abbott traces the similar places they hold our collective imagination. Through a series of engaging and incisive readings encompassing film, television, literature, and pop culture of the 20th and early 21st century, Abbott examines our fascination with these monstrous creatures and the cultural anxieties that they reveal. Undead Apocalypse delineates a contemporary canon of vampire and zombie texts to shed new light on our present historical moment, and the ‘culture of apocalypse’ that surrounds us.
I caught up with Stacey Abbott to discuss her book, published by Edinburgh University Press in September 2016. She shares her personal interest in vampire and zombie texts; what she considers the classics of the genre; and her thoughts on the proliferation of apocalyptic narratives across graphic novels, video games, and cosplay. With critical precision and a fan’s enthusiasm for the subject, Abbott offers a guide to navigating the impending undead apocalypse. (more…)
“a reflective document of post-war American culture”
The plot revolves around Robert Neville, the ‘last living man on earth’. He navigates a post-apocalyptic landscape where every other man, woman, and child has been converted into zombie-like nocturnal vampires. It is a cautionary tale, negotiating the long-term impact of violence and exploitation in the atomic age. (more…)