World War Z author Max Brooks explains zombie outbreaks, and why hippies won't survive them

There's a great interview with World War Z author Max Brooks in the student newspaper of UNC Asheville, where Brooks is going to be giving a talk and teaching a creative writing class. Brooks talks about how he wrote his Zombie Survival Guide for fun, and never intended to publish it, and how he spent years and years rewriting World War Z and doing research to test his theories about a global zombie outbreak. And he talks about growing up dyslexic, and how he learned a lot from science fiction:

I read and read and read science fiction. That's how I taught myself and that's all you need. Guess what, there are also really great science fiction writers who have a lot to say about our society. If you can't learn it yourself, books are out there, just read them and be influenced as I did.

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And he has some advice on surviving the coming zombie apocalypse — including don't believe the media's misrepresentations of zombies. He also says that Asheville may have trouble when the zombies come: there are too many hippies, who just aren't conducive to zombie survival. [The Blue Banner]

DISCUSSION

By
Jon W.

One of the things that bugged me about WWZ was the lack of Internet use. What's the first thing you'd do if you had pictures of real-life zombies? Post it on YouTube and Facebook, is what. Yet blogs are mentioned, what, once in the whole book?

And then there's the timeline; we know roughly in what order events took place in, but not how long between them. In-universe, it's supposed to be because everyone knows it already or has access to the info, like if someone started talking about the major battles of WW2. Out-of universe, it looks suspiciously like Brooks didn't want to give a concrete timeline so he wouldn't have to work out the rate the virus spread.

Also also, why would the media suppress the news about the virus? I can't turn on CNN without hearing about the crappy economy, and that's terrifying enough. A zombie apocalypse really means one thing; ratings. I also believe that there would be plenty of traditional news sources who wouldn't knuckle under, and tell the people anyway.

No, I actually liked the book. I just have to ignore a few plot niggles to do so.