Tag Archives: zombies

Andrew Lincoln to Leave the Walking Dead

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Sad news for “Walking Dead” fans, 3.5 readers.

My thoughts:

#1 – My initial hot take is you suck, Andrew Lincoln.  I hope this isn’t a ploy where you want more time to do movies because seriously, there is no movie that you could be in that people want to see more than a kick ass series finale to the show that made you a star.  Bryan Cranston realized that he had to juggle movies around his main bread and butter, namely sticking with “Breaking Bad” until the end.

#2 – But after calming down for a minute, maybe he doesn’t suck.  Lincoln is from England and he points out that the show has kept him from seeing his family for a long time.  AMC may be the network that a show about a meth cooking teacher built, but it is also the network that zombies kept afloat and in sticky cash.  AMC does not want to ditch those zombies any time soon.  It’s a great formula.  Hire dummies to run around the woods pretending to fight zombies.  Plot = humans need something in a place where zombies are.  Fight zombies.  Get sad a human dies.  Occasionally move to a new place that seems like it is run by nice people at first but then the people are bad.  Cut.  Print.  Repeat.

In that case, you can’t blame Andrew Lincoln for not wanting to stay FOREVER.  If AMC is going to keep the zombies coming until the end of time, then I suppose we can’t begrudge Andrew for not wanting to fight the zombies for the rest of his life.

“Law and Order” for example, found a winning formula and it has been on for decades now.  Sure, Mariska Hargitay stuck with it but that’s her choice.  Other actors haven’t stuck around.  I’m not even sure all the actors that were on it in the beginning are still alive.

I think we all have been waiting for that epic series finale that explains all but I have a feeling that AMC will keep “Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” and possible other spin offs going forever, just bands of humans fighting zombies until the end of time.

If they pull it off, more power to them.  My gut tells me they won’t and once Rick Grimes leaves, that will be it for the viewership.  Maybe not.  Maybe they’ll pull it off but that rarely happens when the main star leaves.

Examples I can think of – “That 70s Show” kept going without Topher Grace as his movie career kicked off.  I don’t blame the cast and crew for wanting to keep it going but I stopped watching after that and I think most people did because it was cancelled not long after Grace left.  Replacing him with a cousin didn’t help.

It’s not impossible to keep a show running without the main character, just unlikely.

#3 – So if Andrew doesn’t want to be Rick until the end of time and AMC wants the zombies forever, I can understand why he wants to exit but even so, we at least need a kickass ending arc to Rick’s character.  That will be like a finale for those of us who have stuck with the show from the beginning.  Maybe we’ll dump the show after Rick leaves.  Maybe we’ll stick around if the writers figure out a great Rick replacement.  But at least give us some closure with Rick.  I fear that won’t happen but we’ll see.

#4 – Andrew leaving should have been kept quiet.  We are now going into the new season with a spoiler.  We know Rick will either die or go off on his own or something.  If they could have kept Andrew’s leaving quiet, then an unexpected Rick death would have suprised the shit out of all of us.

#5 – We’ll see how it goes but I think Andrew and AMC owed us viewers a good resolution to Rick’s character and to the show itself, because I do have a hard time believing the show can carry on without Rick but we’ll see.  We viewers built your network with our support for your show, AMC.  We didn’t let you down when “Walking Dead” needed word of mouth and people hyping the show up on social media, so don’t let us down by giving us a lame ending to a show we’ve been watching nearly a decade now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Movie Review – Train to Busan (2016)

Zombies on a train!

BQB here with a review of “Train to Busan.”

As a zombie fan, I’ve been hearing mumblings about this movie in the nerd-o-sphere for awhile now.  It’s foreign, the characters speak Korean and it’s in subtitles, but foreign language films don’t necessarily stop me as long as the subject matter is something I’m interested in.  Personally, I prefer to read the subtitles and that combined with listening to the tone of voice and facial expressions I can get the gist of what’s going on even though I don’t speak the same language as the actors.  Funny how there are some things that transcend language barriers.

Anyway, in many ways, it’s a typical set-up.  Mom is divorced from Dad, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), ostensibly because he works too much in his job as a stock broker, and apparently no matter where you are in the world, wanting to work hard is considered a crime by the ladies but that’s ok.  My review doesn’t need to be spoiled by my personal baggage.

Young daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim) misses her mother, who lives in Busan, and wants to cut her visit to her father’s home short.  After much wrangling, Dad concedes and hops a train with his kiddo.

Yadda, yadda, yadda…zombies!  A virus breaks out and South Korea is overrun with brain biters.  Worse, they’ve overtaken most cars on the train, leaving human survivors with only a few cars to move around on.

What happens next is a heroic tale of survival.  It becomes a constant running test when survivors are faced with a constant, repetitive choice, namely whether to slam a door between cars shut, sacrificing the life of a survivor who hasn’t made it through yet in order to protect one’s self and loved ones from the incoming zombie horde that’s chasing the unlucky human.

What would you do in that position?  Risk saving a fellow passenger, or slam the door in their face to protect yourself?  It’s a choice that’s made again and again, and as the movie progresses, we are left with a hope that maybe Seok-woo’s cold, businessman mentality might give way to a more humane, caring side.

Daughter Soo-an foils her dad’s efforts to think only for himself and his daughter.  She often lends a hand to complete strangers, putting herself at risk and in doing so, involving her old man in situations he’d rather avoid.

Meanwhile, the noble Sang-hwa (Dong-seok Ma) serves as a more overt check on Seok-woo’s conscience, almost bullying the man half his size to do the right thing.  While Seok worries chiefly about his daughter, Sang is worried about his pregnant wife, Seong-kyeong (Yu-mi Jeong).  Yet, he believes he can save her, his unborn child, and everyone else he can.

No movie would be complete without a villain and that comes in the form of Yon-suk (Eui-sung Kim), a train company executive who, unluckily for everyone else, happens to be riding on the train and is willing to sacrifice just about anyone and everyone just to save his oily hide from the gray matter chompers.

Overall, it’s a great film, a real thinker, with special effects that rival a Hollywood blockbuster.  Perhaps one of the more harrowing scenes comes when Seok, Sang and high school student, Yong Guk (Woo-sik Choi) form a three man phalanx and narrowly scrape through a tight car full of brain chewers in order to rescue their respective loved ones.

3.5 readers, Asia has really embraced the action genre and I don’t know if this is a new thing or perhaps it’s just something I’ve been turned onto thanks to Netflix, where you can find a vast cornucopia of Asian action films in subtitles.  Some are dubbed with American voices, but I do prefer to just read the subtitles, so catch this one before it obtains a mainstream level of popularity and they ruin it with dubbing.

The Ip Man Series and almost anything with Donnie Yen are worth watching and while Hong Kong seems to be Asia’s Hollywood, South Korea is catching up with this flick.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Seriously, I know a lot of people are like, “Ugh, I have to read subtitles?  No thanks.  Too much work.  It’s worth it and there’s plenty of action on screen to make up for it.  It’s currently available on Netflix.

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#FridaysWithBQB – Interview #7 – Sean P. Carlin – A Couple of Gen Xers Talk About Movies, Screenwriting and Zombie Prison Breaks

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Author Website

I first virtually met Sean P. Carlin in 2015. Wow, has it been that long? I was surrounded by hideous undead brain biters during the infamous East Randomtown zombie apocalypse which, if you’re one of the 3.5 readers of my blog, then you know that was a thing that actually happened. Check out #31ZombieAuthors on Twitter for more information.  I was interviewing authors of zombie fiction, getting their advice on how to keep my brains safe and low and behold, Sean reached out on Twitter to offer what assistance he could.

By the way, the rest of you people reading this offered me no assistance against the zombie hordes whatsoever, so you’ll all have to live with that guilt and shame for the rest of your lives. Sean, on the other hand, can go on with a clear conscience.

My God, 3.5 readers. Look at that smile Sean is flashing. What reason could anyone possibly have to be that happy? Did he just win the lottery? Did someone give him a cookie? Has he concocted a maniacal, supervillain plot to hold the world for ransom?
Perhaps all those reasons and more are in play, or maybe he’s just pleased that his novel, “Escape From Rikers Island” will be out soon. Maybe he’s happy he’s a screenwriter during a new golden age of television and cinema, where streaming technology is making it possible for more projects to be greenlit than ever.

Maybe it’s just gas? I don’t know. Let’s ask him.

BOLD = BQB; ITALICS=Sean

QUESTION #1 – Sean, I’m utterly miserable 24/7. I’ve tried yoga. I’ve tried meditation. I’ve tried tai chi and chai tea (at the same time.) Nothing ever works. I’m stuck being a mopey prick. So I must ask, why do you look so happy in the picture above? Is it due to any of the reasons I listed above?

And while we’re at it, are we really in a new golden age of TV and movies thanks to streaming or is that just something I made up in a fever dream? I did eat some bad taco salad earlier so hallucinations on my part are entirely possible.

RESPONSE #1: Well, that particular photo was taken in Badlands National Park in South Dakota in 2016, during a three-week road trip my wife and I took through the western United States, so I was in a pretty good mood! (I think I’m also somewhat smiling in goofy disbelief at the sheer force of the wind blowing against my face, as evidenced by the Ace Ventura–style sweep of my hair!)

But, regardless, I consider myself a pretty happy guy! I’ve got a wonderful wife, the best friends a man could ask for, and I get to “traffic in my own daydreams” for a living, to borrow the phraseology of UCLA screenwriting chair Richard Walter. Not too shabby.

When I get gloomy, and God knows we’re living in some strange days, I try to remember something my late father once said: Each of scored an invite to the Big Party — life itself. When you stop to consider the astronomical odds against simply being alive, and the finiteness of that life (however long it may last), it’s hard to justify wasting such a miraculous opportunity on perpetual cynicism and negativity.

On the subject of wasting time (just kidding — sort of): Are we in a Golden Age of Television? In terms of both an abundance of quality material and creative opportunities for writers of all different stripes and backgrounds, yes, I would say so. Television has certainly eclipsed cinema with respect to the narrative and thematic complexity of its storytelling. Movies simply don’t matter the way they once did; they don’t drive the cultural conversation like they did in the twentieth century. Television — if one can even identify the medium by that antiquated designation anymore — has assumed the mantle of cultural conversation-starter.

That said, though, there’s too much of it. There are something like five hundred scripted shows in production at present across the various platforms, and most of them are structured in this ongoing, serialized format, which requires you to watch every episode, in sequential order, for years on end. You know what I’m saying? If you’re going to commit to a show like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, you are required to start from the beginning, follow every episode, and stick with it for however many seasons its open-ended, ever-expanding narrative can continue to run. Sometimes that’s fun, but more often than not, I’m starting to find it exhausting. It’s such a breath of fresh air, in a way, when a show like Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville comes along, a series in which each episode tells a closed-ended, perfectly self-contained story with a resolution and — anyone remember these? — a point. You can watch any episode of The Orville, in any order, and follow the story of that particular installment without confusion. Unlike virtually every other drama on TV right now, it doesn’t demand to be watched week in and week out. Good for MacFarlane for daring to be square. Who would’ve imagined, back when we were growing up, that old-fashioned, standalone storytelling would one day be subversive?

QUESTION #2 – I’ve got to be honest. I interview a lot of authors on this fine blog, but I’ve never read any of their works. I’d like to, but I don’t have the time. (FYI if you’re reading this and you’re an author I interviewed, please know I’m not talking about you. I read all of your stuff and it was great. I’m talking about all those other chumps who aren’t you.)

All that being said, “Escape from Rikers Island” sounds like something I’d actually be interested in plunking my hard earned money down for. In fact, in January, I made 12 cents off of a book I self-published on Amazon, so I’ll probably put that towards a copy of your book.

The description you give on your blog intrigues me. A detective has to work with gangbangers he put behind bars to escape a zombie infestation that has broken out on Rikers Island, the infamous New York prison. I can see it now. Backstabbing, intrigue, revenge, and brain biters. Surely, if one of the zombies doesn’t eat the detective’s brains, one of the criminals with a grudge against him will try to bash them in.

Not gonna lie. I can see this as a movie. I’d go see that and eat lots of popcorn to it. Tell my 3.5 readers more about this. What inspired you to write what will surely turn out to be a masterpiece? More importantly, when this book becomes a bestseller, will you remember the little people, like me and my 3.5 readers, or will you go all Hollywood and forget us all?

RESPONSE #2: Far from my ensuring my seat at the table in the halls of Hollywood power, I’m actually hoping Escape from Rikers Island will signify my long-desired escape from L.A.! The concept was originally devised as a spec screenplay in 2011; we even had Ice Cube attached to star and produce for a Los Angeles minute. But as is so often the case in the movie biz, the project didn’t move forward, and I moved on to other things (that also didn’t move forward!) with other producers.

Eventually I grew frustrated with the inability to get new materials sold and/or produced in Hollywood, and I’d been privately entertaining the notion of writing a novel, anyway. This was in 2014, when the riots in Ferguson were making headlines, and that, along with the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner (among, unfortunately, many others), were catalyzing this uncomfortable (but overdue) national conversation about the militarization of the police, and their strained relationship with underprivileged communities. At the same time, the stop-and-frisk program of racial profiling was coming under intense critical scrutiny in my hometown of New York, and I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll revisit Escape from Rikers Island, but this time do it as a novel where I’ll really have the canvas to explore some of those sociopolitical issues with depth and nuance.” Because the real-estate limitations of a screenplay just don’t allow for that kind of philosophical digression or thematic complexity.

So, yes, EFRI is about a white NYPD detective and a black gangbanger — men on different sides of the law who also happen to share a complicated, contentious history with one another — who are forced to set aside their considerable differences and work together to escape New York’s sprawling, 415-acre detention center during a sudden zombie-like outbreak among the 15,000 inmates there! It’s a mashup of two popular subgenres I’ve never really seen combined: the “prison break” and “zombie outbreak” narratives. That was an exciting place to start, because I could immediately see all these very familiar tropes and conventions “remixed” and presented in a new way.

And I could’ve set the story in any old prison — one of my own invention, even — but Rikers Island is such a fascinating, labyrinthine place with a bizarrely sordid history, and what makes it all the more compelling is how little most people really know of it. And I’m talking about New Yorkers, mind you: Most lifelong residents couldn’t even find Rikers on a map! And I thought, “Yep — that’s my setting.” And when you put two men who really don’t like each other in a place that’s dark and dangerous under normal circumstances, and then throw the undead into the mix, all the tensions simmering between them are exacerbated, and you don’t know if these guys are going to survive each other, let alone the zombie outbreak in this inescapable fortress.

So, I took the premise, plot, and set pieces from the screenplay I’d developed a few years earlier, and then I used the breadth the prose format afforded to really dig deep into the psychologies and characterizations of these two native New Yorkers: to learn their backstories, to portray the complexity of their lawman-and-outlaw dynamic, and to use their perspectives as guys who grew up as lower-class kids in the outer boroughs to say something about the world as it is right now. I think good horror has always done that; certainly Night of the Living Dead, the first contemporary zombie tale, operates on two levels beautifully: It’s a chilling monster story with a profound sociocultural conscience.

Question #3 – Is the zombie genre dying? Is it dead…er, or undead? Personally, I love “The Walking Dead” but I do think the “survivors banding together to traverse the zombie infested landscape” bit is jumping the shark. Perhaps that’s why authors are turning to new ways to put humans amidst zombies, i.e. in your case, a prison full of brain chompers. It’s not that people are tired of zombies but just that authors need to find new ways to put brains into peril. Thoughts?

RESPONSE #3: I don’t think any genre is ever dead. Sometimes they become creatively depleted for a time, until someone comes along with a new spin. I remember a few years ago, when Twilight was all the rage, and people were saying, “Vampires are in vogue again!” When weren’t they, exactly? I mean, at what point during the twentieth century alone did vampires fall out of fashion? During the silent-film era, we had Vampyr and Nosferatu. Then Bela Lugosi reinterpreted the archetype in formalwear. Hammer came along and brought vampires out of the shadows of expressionism and into living Technicolor. Then Anne Rice took the genre and reimagined it as a domestic drama — Ordinary People with vampires. The Hunger gave us lesbian vampires, which was kind of a big deal in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The Lost Boys was, incredibly, the first to do teenage vampires, which became its own subgenre with Buffy and Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Every time the genre starts to slip into self-parody — and we’re certainly there now with the whole emo-vampire thing — somebody comes along again with a fresh take on it, and everything old becomes relevant anew.

Zombies are no different, really. Max Brooks repurposed them for the post-9/11 era, as an allegory for bioterrorism and so forth. What Kirkman did so brilliantly was that he took this zombie-apocalypse narrative we love — notably Dawn of the Dead, but pretty much any of them adhered to the same basic template — and said, “But now what happens?” In the closed-ended structure of the Dead movies, Romero used the metaphor of the zombie apocalypse to comment on some sociological concern, be it civil rights or conspicuous consumption or what have you. With The Walking Dead, it’s the structure itself — the open-ended, nonlinear, What now…? format — that is the social commentary, such as it is, of the show: In a Digital Age that has completely upended our traditional understanding of beginnings, middles, and ends — of linear narrative arcs — The Walking Dead becomes a reflection of a worldview in which there is no resolution, no helicopter that’s going to show up in the final reel to airlift us away from the existential intractability of our problems. And that’s exciting… for a while. But it can become tedious, too. And I think the viewer fatigue with the show you point out indicates a longing for a conclusion — Where’s the damn helicopter already? — or some kind of point to it all, like we get each week from The Orville. But to those waiting for that, I would refer you to Lost: It ain’t gonna happen because the entire point of the show is that it’s simply meant to keep expanding until, like the well walker from season two, it finally collapses under its own bloated weight.

And then perhaps the genre will go into remission for a while, until someone figures out a way to reinvent it. Certainly with Escape from Rikers Island, I made a very conscious choice to subvert popular convention and tell the story of a contained outbreak, not an apocalyptic one. In that sense, structurally, EFRI is much closer to Jurassic Park than it is to The Walking Dead. One way isn’t better than the other; you just have to make a creative decision that best serves the story you’re trying to tell.

Question #4 – On your blog, you discuss how every villain has a backstory. Villains aren’t born. They’re made. They all have some reason why they turned bad. As you point out, Jason Voorhees was left to die by incompetent camp counselors, while the ghosts in “Poltergeist” weren’t happy that suburban homes sprouted up on their burial grounds.

I find myself in agreement. Let’s face it. Darth Vader carries “Star Wars.” In any given story, is the villain more interesting than the hero? Should any aspiring writers who happen to be reading this put extra effort into crafting their baddies?

RESPONSE #4: I think every character in a story should be as interesting as possible! The theme of a good story is reflected in the protagonist’s arc: If you look at Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane is a man who rejects faith in favor of science; he lives exclusively in the quirky intellect of his own head (hence his surname). And then the Headless Horseman comes along, whose very existence challenges Crane’s worldview, because this is a supernatural creature, unexplainable by science, without a head! Protagonist and antagonist are perfect physical and spiritual opposites, and through that opposition, the story’s thematics are fully and richly explored. That’s an extreme, almost on-the-nose example, but I think it illustrates why a hero and villain should be designed to work like counterparts in a Swiss watch, each one indispensably integral to the story’s conflict and, ultimately, its meaning.

Some story models, like the superhero genre (of which The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are a part), require a more defined or overt villain than others. (There’s no villain, after all, in When Harry Met Sally…, or Forgetting Sarah Marshall, or even Star Trek IV.) But a good villain should definitely have a logical point of view and corresponding agenda, and should always be designed with an eye toward how he affects the protagonist externally (the story’s major plot conflict) as well as internally (the hero’s transformational arc). Darth Vader is certainly one of the all-time greats, because in addition to being visually striking and psychologically layered (we learn a bit more about him in each movie), he serves as a stark example for the idealistic, sometimes overeager Luke of what can happen when great power isn’t tempered with moral discipline. Being the Chosen One comes with a terrible burden of responsibility, and true heroism is often far from a Romantic ideal; the Luke of Return of the Jedi understands that in a way he simply didn’t before his harrowing confrontation with Vader at the climax of Empire.

Right now, the high-water mark in cinematic villainy has probably yet to be surpassed by Heath Ledger’s Joker. And it’s an amazing performance, for sure, but absent Ledger’s captivating interpretation, you still have a very dynamic characterization right there on the page: The way he challenges Batman ideologically gives The Dark Knight a depth it wouldn’t otherwise have — that the original Burton movie certainly doesn’t have — if he was merely a physical threat. Batman, like Luke Skywalker, is made wiser for his contest with the nemesis; there’s no story without either one of them, so both are equally important.

Question #5 – Can we talk about “The Last Jedi?” You wrote an extensive post about it, focusing on Gen-Xers’ feelings towards it. I’ll get to Gen X in the next question, but I’d like your overall thoughts on the film. Or rather, I’ll tell you what I thought and then you can tell me if I’m right or wrong.

I thought this movie sucked with the gale force wind of a thousand hoover vacuum cleaners. That’s not a charge I toss out easily, as my 3.5 readers will attest, I’m fairly kind to most movies I review.  I mean, hell, any movie that has been made is better than mine, because I haven’t made one, so who am I to judge?  But I stand by my claim here.  It really sucked.

Ironically, I enjoyed “The Force Awakens.” However, (SPOILER ALERT), the ending of that movie gives us this broad, sweeping scene where Rey meets the long-lost Luke Skywalker. The two lock eyes and you’re like, “Oh my God! Rey has found the master who can teach her the ways of the Force!”

So, I went into “The Last Jedi” expecting a lot of awesome training montages where Luke would become the Mr. Miyagi to Rey’s Daniel-san, but instead, all I got was an old man whining about his misspent life. At no time ever does he offer Rey anything in the way of practical advice and I just felt like if I wanted to see an older person bitch and moan about lost youth, I’d just record myself, but no one wants to listen to that, so I’m not sure why anyone thought people would want to hear such ennui from Luke Skywalker.

In short, I came in the hopes of Luke teaching Rey awesome light saber tricks and instead, I got to watch an old man turn a young girl into his discount psychiatrist, telling her all his problems, that frankly, she probably didn’t want to here.

Am I right? Wrong? What say you?

RESPONSE #5: Boy, it’s so hard to know where to start with The Last Jedi. I thought — and there are many who disagree — it was a very sloppy, indulgent, tonally uneven piece of filmmaking. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blockbuster movie that displayed such open contempt for its own fan base. It’s hard to guess what Rian Johnson was thinking when he made it, and I certainly can’t find logic in the decision to hire a nostalgic director for the first one, then pass the baton to an iconoclastic director for the second one. I think Disney needed from the outset to pick a creative direction, one way or the other but not both, and see that vision through. Trying to have it both ways has been, it would seem, a mistake.

But that actually goes to a much bigger challenge Disney is now facing with this franchise. They paid through the nose for one of the very few branded IPs that everyone adores: Star Wars is the holy grail of four-quadrant appeal. But what I don’t think they took into account was how the very history of the series complicates its relationship with the different generations of fans, right? On the one hand, you’ve got the first-generation audience who grew up with this series in real time, and thusly feels very proprietary about it; they’ve also spent the last thirty-five years both waiting to see Luke Skywalker back in action, and wondering if that would in fact ever even happen. So, for them, The Last Jedi is the culmination of literally a lifetime of hopes and dreams, a reunion with a childhood hero they didn’t know for certain they’d ever see again.

On the other hand, you’ve got the third-generation fans, for whom forty years of history is binge-experienced — compressed and consumed in short order, like a season of television that streams on Netflix — so what a ten-year-old expects from Star Wars isn’t what a forty-year-old does. The “return of Luke Skywalker” doesn’t carry the same emotional weight or sense of expectation for them, therefore they aren’t disappointed with his controversial depiction in The Last Jedi, or Anakin’s in The Phantom Menace, for that matter; to their eyes, it’s all just one more episode in the never-ending continuum of the saga. And they’re not wrong to feel that way — it’s simply the perspective they have on the narrative, having made no temporal investment in it. It’s the difference between showing up for the harvest versus having sown the seeds and tended the crops.

Consequently, Disney finds itself trying to service two incompatible and irreconcilable demographics. And I suspect what you’re going to start to see moving forward is a Star Wars that exclusively caters to younger and newer viewers. Even the nostalgic-to-a-fault J. J. Abrams is limited now in how much fan service he can indulge in Episode IX, what with the onscreen deaths of Luke and Han, and the off-screen death of Carrie Fisher. For better or worse, Star Wars is going to be a new thing now, for a new audience, and my generation is going to have to learn to accept that and, if they don’t like it, move on from it, because, if we don’t, Star Wars will only continue to disappoint us — that much is undeniable now.

We all wanted these new movies to put us back in touch with the child within. I’m honestly not sure that would’ve been possible even if this sequel trilogy hadn’t been so ill-conceived from Day One. Some very questionable choices got made — from signing the original troika to the project and then not giving them any storylines together, to teeing up a big backstory for Rey only to tell us, “No, there isn’t one, actually, and you were idiots for expecting otherwise” — and there’s no reversing that now. But the good news, such as it is, is this: We are finally free to let go of Star Wars. We don’t have to keep retuning to this franchise with Pavlovian fealty, because the thing we wanted so desperately from it is never coming to us. But there can be solace in acceptance, though acceptance by nature is bittersweet, because we only have to learn to accept things we wish weren’t so.

QUESTION #6 – You mention in your post you saw “Return of the Jedi” in the movie theater. I did too. Ergo, I’m going to venture a guess we are roughly within the same age range. (How do you stay well preserved? Are you a vampire or something? I wake up everyday looking like someone clocked my face with a brick, but I digress.)

In your post about fan reactions to “The Last Jedi,” you discuss how Gen-Xers love their 1980s pop culture and how they often are let down by modern day reboots. As you paraphrased Roy Batty, the villain from “Blade Runner,” all those feelings that Gen-Xers had about the pop culture from their youth are gone, “like tears in the rain.”

I agree. Whenever I watch a reboot of a franchise I enjoyed in the 1980s, I try to remember a) it’s about today’s kids. I had my time to be a kid. Now today’s movies must appeal to today’s kids and b) a reboot doesn’t take away the old movie. The new “Ghostbusters” didn’t remove the Bill Murray classic. I can still watch Murray and Akroyd clown around with proton packs on their backs any time.

Ultimately, if a franchise has to be changed in order to make today’s kids happy, I’m for it. Where I get critical is when the source material is tinkered with just for the sake of change, i.e. some Hollywood suit just wanted to do something different just to make it his/her own.

It’s a double-edged sword. In some respects, 1980s source material may not hold up for today’s youth. Then again, there’s a reason why the source material was so popular, so radical deviations from a tried and true formula may leave the filmmaker with egg on his/her face.

OK. I’ll stop rambling on and on and ask what you think about all that.

RESPONSE #6: In order to fully appreciate how we came to be stuck in this Era of the Endless Reboot, you have to look at Gen X’s place in history from a sociological standpoint. (I am an Xer myself.) Barring an actual zombie apocalypse, which I think many of us would welcome at this point, we are the last generation in the history of humanity — really consider this for a moment — that will retain any memory of the bygone analog world in which every moment we experienced as we experienced it wasn’t being recorded and posted online, and one could actually run down to the grocery store and be out of reach for twenty minutes without setting off a family-wide panic. In the span of a single generation, human civilization went from a linear sense of reality (as we’ve understood it for the past several millennia, and as reflected in our closed-looped fictions like Star Wars: A New Hope and Night of the Living Dead and TOS and TNG) to a hyperlinked one (as exemplified by Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot). Make no mistake: We are deeply traumatized by the passing of the analog world into the new, ever-on, always-interconnected Digital Era. Millennials don’t have this problem, because they were born into a digital world. (They have other issues as a result of that, but that’s a different matter.)

And that’s where all the incessant recapitulation of 1980s ephemera — Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Transformers, Lethal Weapon, Cobra Kai — comes in: It’s a coping mechanism. We’ve escaped into the bedtime stories of a less-complicated era — Star Wars serves as a reminder of the straight-line, analog pleasures of the lost world in which we came of age — and we’ve kind of gotten ourselves addicted to that nostalgia. Which would be bad enough in itself, but as the current custodians of pop culture, we’re force-feeding today’s kids the stories and heroes of a previous century, and I think that’s a pretty irresponsible abdication of our cultural obligation (and I’m calling out filmmakers like J. J. Abrams for it). They deserve their own heroes, their own legends, not our warmed-over second helpings. But, then, we’re not really making Star Wars or Transformers for them; we’re making it for ourselves. Which makes us a generation that’s submitted to willing infantilization, doesn’t it? So when we start finding ourselves prematurely put out to pasture by the Millennials — which is, to be clear, already happening — we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. We’re a generation about looking behind, not ahead. And our pop culture is a pitiable testament to that.

So all the reboots, therefore, act as a sort of Groundhog Day-like time warp in which we get to perennially relive the eighties — that fragile, fleeting, blissful moment right before our collective worldview was irreparably shattered. I mean, that’s the essence of Ready Player One, isn’t it? While the world is going to hell around us, we’ve retreated into this immersive, orgiastic virtual-reality simulation of an eighties pop-cultural time capsule. It’s The Goldbergs meets The Matrix. Ready Player One is just an exaggerated fable of what we’re actually doing, and we should be troubled by what it says about us.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  Yikes, you’ve convinced me.  I think I’m going to go lie down in the grass and let the moss grow over me, but first, let’s carry on with this interview.

QUESTION #7 – I think your use of the “tears in the rain” quote sums up Gen-X’s attempts to relive youth via reboots to no avail succinctly. My parents were baby boomers and all they had to offer me from their time was literally 90,343 cowboy movies. I can’t even imagine what watching TV from 1950-1970 was like. “Do you want to watch a cowboy movie? No thanks, I’m already watching another cowboy movie.”

All the cowboy movies were the same too. Stoic hero wants to save the town. Villain wants to destroy the town. Townsfolk turn on the hero, tell him to let the villain win or else things will get worse for the town. Hero displays great courage and has a shoot out with the villain in the end.

Somewhere around the 1970s, Hollywood retired all the six-shooters. We got “Star Wars.” We got “Aliens.” The 1980s gave us “Terminator,” “Goonies,” and a slew of Schwarzenegger and Stallone action flicks.

Ultimately, movies, at least when it comes to special effects, were just starting to become great when we were kids. I suppose there’s an argument that many old black and white films were good too, but I didn’t really appreciate those until I became an adult.

What I’m saying is children of the 1980s got to see things that were never seen on film before. It all even got better in the 1990s. “Jurassic Park” ushered in a whole new era of CGI.

It was fun, but now that the special effects have been around for so long, we’ll never be able to relive that simpler time when all of the stuff we were seeing on screen seemed like real life magic, will we?

RESPONSE #7: We’ve mythologized the 1980s the way Boomers did the fifties. But even at that, our parents didn’t fetishize their childhood heroes and fantasies the way we do. That’s an idiopathic characteristic of Generation X. I will certainly agree, as someone who experienced it firsthand, that Lucas and Spielberg and their contemporaries, in the ’70s and ’80s, conjured a level of cinematic wonder and wizardry the likes of which had no precedent, and stories like Ready Player One are nothing if not a sincere and loving paean to that. (And now we’ve come full circle, with Spielberg directing the RP1 feature adaptation.) As you observe, those were magical movies. They were more than movies; they were visions. And when you couple that with the fact that they were the first movies we ever saw, it made for some very profound childhood impressions, but perhaps it also got us hooked on that special brand of astonishment to the point where we’ve spent our adult lives chasing that initial high. That’s what I mean when I say we have an addiction to nostalgia. We want those analog pleasures back — we would happily trade every convenience of the Digital Age for them — but they’re tears in rain, like you say. The analog world isn’t coming back. Our innocence isn’t coming back. Ever. It’s all gone. But it doesn’t mean we can’t find new pleasures and meaningful experiences yet, we just need to learn to live in the here and now. We’re still at the Big Party, after all! Let’s make the most of it. Let’s agree, collectively, that the Skywalkers had their day — those stories were indelible and cherished parts of our formative experiences — but this is a new day now. I’m reminded of that old Guns N’ Roses lyric: “Yesterday’s got nothin’ for me/ Old pictures that I’ll always see/ I ain’t got time to reminisce old novelties.”

QUESTION #8 – I thought the 2014 reboot of “Robocop” was actually pretty tight. It captured the spirit of the movie, the ennui of a man who sort of remembers his past but doesn’t really, how he’s this badass machine yet there’s not much of the human part of him left so he doesn’t feel very whole. There were updates for modern times yet I walked away thinking it was a reboot that did the original justice.

Have you seen any reboots out there that Gen X and Millennials can agree on?

RESPONSE #8: The one that springs to mind would be the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, though I confess I haven’t yet seen the third movie. That’s no easy feat they pulled off, operating as a faithful prologue to the Charlton Heston classic — and giving it a contextual backstory that’s enlightening rather than redundant (à la the Star Wars prequels) — but also existing as its own thing that doesn’t require franchise familiarity to enjoy. They also, like the original, have something directly relevant to say about the folkways of the era in which they were produced, which good sci-fi, like good horror, ought to do.

It also took tremendous courage on the part of the storytellers to make Caesar the protagonist, and not sideline him in favor of a human surrogate. Michael Bay’s Transformers movies made that mistake: Rather than letting the robots be the main, front-and-center heroes, as they were in the old cartoon series, they got skittish and told the story through the eyes of a human character — first Shia and later Mark Wahlberg. I bet they worried that audiences wouldn’t relate to a nonhuman protagonist (which is pretty ironic considering how emotionally vacuous Bay’s movies have always been). Planet of the Apes proved that audiences can empathize with an anthropomorphic hero even in a live-action movie. I mean, yes, they had the benefit of photorealistic CGI and Andy Serkis’ motion-capture mastery, but it was the artful characterization of Caesar that made us empathize with him. Those movies are very emotional, in complete contrast with Transformers.

QUESTION #9 – Suppose my 3.5 readers are aspiring screenwriters. What’s the first thing they should do to get started?

RESPONSE #9: I hold bachelor’s degrees in both cinema and English, and it was only when I became a working screenwriter that I realized how little I knew about storytelling craft. Why doesn’t college — or even high school — offer a basic Storytelling 101 course? Instead, they talk a lot of theory. And theory is interesting, and not without value, but someone who wants to learn the nuts and bolts of storytelling — for any medium — needs to learn, practice, and master three fundamentals: structure, genre, and characterization. And to do that, you need to study a codified methodology — a program of unified principles that can show you how you build a story from the ground up and create an emotionally engaging narrative experience. You can write a great script intuitively once, perhaps, but in order to know how to do it on command, you have to develop your toolbox. So, for that, I would recommend studying Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey for mythic structure, Blake Snyder’s three Save the Cat! books for an overview of the ten types of genres (or story models), and David Freeman’s Beyond Structure workshop to learn the techniques of effective characterization. That’s all you need to know to master the discipline, and it’ll only cost you about $300 total, versus what you’d spend on a degree to learn nothing especially useful. But you’ll need to reread and practice those materials often, for several years, before they become second nature.

Those three pillars of storytelling are what aspirants need to be worried about learning. Then, if you want to be a screenwriter, you can read Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, which will teach you the formatting requirements of that particular medium; if you want to be an author, which has its own syntactic demands, read David Morrell’s The Successful Novelist; Dennis O’Neil’s The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics can give you an overview of that specific form. But that all comes later; first and foremost you have to commit to learning the fundamentals of narratology.

The last point I would add is that, as my mentor David Freeman is so fond of saying, there are no rules, only tools. Aspiring screenwriters often cling to absolutes, and they look to industry-standard instructionals like Save the Cat! to provide those: If I do X and Y, I’ll get Z. If my inciting incident hits on page 12, and my first act break on 25, I’ll have a story that works. If only. Storytelling is about applied craft, for sure, but there’s no magic formula. A hammer is only as effective as the carpenter is skilled at using it.

QUESTION #10 – My condolences. You’ve been convicted of cutting that little tag off your mattress in the first degree and have been sentenced to life in prison without parole. Sorry, but mattress tag laws are very strict.

You’re just beginning to adjust to prisoner life when a zombie outbreak, similar to the one in your novel, occurs. You look inside a random cell, hoping to find items you can use to save your brains from the undead.

Alas, the only three items you find are a) a ukulele b) an origami unicorn and c) a 50-foot long licorice whip.

How will you use these items to defend yourself against the incoming zombie horde?

RESPONSE #10: Do you have any idea just how resourceful and inventive prison inmates are? There’s no telling what they could devise from those three items! I’m not nearly as imaginative as someone who’s been confined indefinitely to a six-by-eight concrete box, but I’d wager they could use the origami unicorn as a “kite” — a coded message passed under cell doors — to coordinate an escape. The ukulele? Hell, that’s an armory unto itself: the neck and headstock could be fashioned into a stake; the strings used as garrotes; the body could be splintered into shivs. As for a fifty-foot licorice whip… well, how else you gonna climb down the outer wall? But you’re gonna want to use a tough, rubbery brand, and not the soft, chewy kind. Stale Twizzlers, maybe; steer clear of Red Vines. You’d think the chances of encountering any one of those articles in jail is pretty slim, but you’d be surprised the kind of contraband that turns up. Licorice is the least of it.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: My BQB HQ supercomputer indicates this response has roughly a 93.49% chance of successfully warding off a zombie attack, so good show.  Thank you for stopping by, Sean, and let my 3.5 readers know when we can get our hands on a copy of “Escape from Rikers Island.”

 

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The Walking Dead – Season So Far

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  I don’t have time for an in-depth review, but wanted to know what you all think about this season of “The Walking Dead” thus far.

I think it is one of the better seasons, I especially love the recent tension with Eugene.  I will say though the show has a tough decision.  The goal seems to be to kill Negan, the worst, most dastardly villain the show has ever seen and yet, he’s also the most interesting character the show has seen in a long time.

What say you, 3.5?

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Top Ten Ways to Pick Up Chicks During a Zombie Apocalypse

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It’s the end of the world…but that doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your love life.

Let’s face it.  Anyone could be eaten by a brain biting bastard any second.  So, I mean, even though you’re a total CHUD and weren’t able to pick up pussy with a handle in real life, you might be able to score with a chick during the end of days.  After all the fear of death around any corner is a total turn-on.

So, from BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten Ways to Pick Up Chicks During a Zombie Apocalypse:

#10 – Tell her you are sorry her husband was eaten by a zombie.

Maybe you are actually sorry her husband was chomped.  Maybe you liked the guy.  Maybe you thought he was a dick and cheered the zombie on.  Maybe you were jealous that such a big doofus had such a hot wife, so you pushed the prick right in the way of those undead choppers.  Doesn’t matter.  She’s sad her man is dead, so be a gentleman, give he some condolences and wait at least until sundown before you make a move.  Any earlier than that is disrespectful to the dead, unless her husband became a zombie after he gotten bitten.  In that case, fuck that guy, because he’s a damn zombie now and he deserves no human pussy.

#9 – Lie About Your Heroic Feats

Your mother told you not to lie?  Oh, that’s adorable.  :::slaps you::: Bitch, get real!  The newspapers are out of business and no one’s keeping score, so feel free to embellish your resume.

NO – “I have been hiding in my closet with a baseball bat for three years, leaving occasionally to pee.”

YES – “I single handedly saved 100 orphans by fending off 1,000 zombies with nothing but a bottle opener and a toothpick.  I then taught the orphans kung fu and trained them into  a vicious zombie army and together, we kicked the heads off of 10,000 zombies.  I then found a town that was being abused by a cruel dictator.  So, I told him to leave or I kick his face off with a roundhouse kick.  He refused to leave, so I indeed removed his face with a kick.  All the women of the village were so turned on that they allowed me to impregnate them. In short, I kill at least 500 zombies a day before breakfast and I have saved the lives of 500,000 people.”

#8 – Share your rations.

Bitches love rations.

#7 – Pay women to spread rumors of your sexual prowess.

Women will often ignore a guy until they hear another woman wants him.  It’s called having stank on your hang-low.   So, just give some extra rations to some ladies and tell them there’s more where that came from if they tell every woman they meet about the hot time you had together.

#6 – Punch the biggest guy in the survivor camp in the face.

Chicks dig manliness.

#5 – Be fashionable.

Free shopping in all clothing stores.  There is no excuse for your tired ass look now.

#4 – Grow some shit.

It’s the zombie apocalypse, bitch.  Po-po has more to worry about than your herb garden.  Get yourself a green thumb and become a weed farmer.  Bitches love weed, especially during a zompoc.  Helps them get their minds off of potentially being eaten by zombies.

#3 – Get some ringer zombies.

Like, don’t take on some strong ass zombies who were weightlifters in their previous lives.  Get a couple of slow, fat zombies, turn them lose and karate chop their heads off.  All the babe will see is that you saved her ass and won’t realize that these were ringer zombies.  Never be too proud to fix a human vs. zombie fight.

#2 – Lie about your past.

Remember #9?  Guess what?  There are no fact checkers in the zombie apocalypse, so feel free to lie about your past too.

NO:  Baby, I was a jizz mopper at a gentlemen’s club.

YES:  Baby, I was a NAVY seal.  I killed 10,000 men with my pinky finger.

RULE OF THUMB:  Smarter the babe, the more realistic the lie.  If you’re a flabby fat fuck, a smart babe will not believe you were a NAVY seal.  But that’s OK.  You can just tell her you had your own Silicon Valley startup company and made a fortune.  Hell, promise her if the government and economy are ever restored, you’ll share some of your dough with her.  (Don’t worry.  People are lazy as fuck.  It’ll take like thousands of years for the government to be restored, so you’re in the clear.)

#1 – Don’t tell her if the government and economy are restored.

You’ve whisked her away to a secluded shack.  One day, she goes out in search of berries. Suddenly, there’s a power surge.  The TV and lights turn on.  A news anchor says all the zombies are dead and the world has been restored.

I mean, yeah, you could tell her that shit’s fine now so she can go back to her old boyfriend or…dude, please, you know I’ll lose all respect for you if you don’t rip that fuckin’ TV cord out of the wall, find the fuse box and turn all that shit off and tell her she better get her ass back here where it’s safe and don’t even think about looking for no berries again.  But be cool, just let her know it’s safe in that cabin, and only in that cabin, and you’ll protect her.

DISCLAIMER:  This was all just a joke.  You should be nice to women and considerate of their feelings and do not trick them and so forth. Don’t call them bitches and so on.  They are more than just their vaginas.  You should also be nice to women during a zombie apocalypse.  Share rations because you worry they are hungry, not because you think it might get you laid.  Be honest about your past (though she won’t, let’s be real) and if the zompoc ends…tell her…

…seriously, if the zombie apocalypse ends, tell her…within 5-7 days.  OK, fine, immediately.

 

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Bookshelf Battle Log #1 – 10/28/17 – Zom-bo-ween

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Happy Halloween weekend, 3.5 readers.

Oh what a holiday.  Started by Puritans to ward off evil spirits and now grown ass adults use it as an excuse to have as much cheap, meaningless sex as possible.  How times have changed.

Alas, I won’t be at BQB HQ this ‘Ween to pass out treats but fear not for there will be no tricks.  My trusty security chief, Bookshelf Q. Battle Dog, will be left behind to dispense treats and his own brand of canine philosophy to any little miscreants who happen to stop by.

What could get me out of my compound on my favorite holiday?  Zombies.  Yes!  Zombies.  It seems there has been a zombie invasion in Pittsburgh so the good people of this fair city got together and asked yours truly to save them.  Gotta say that is literally the one and only reason I’d ever actually visit Pittsburgh because, let me tell you, this place is the pits.

While I’m away, why don’t you read some of the fabulous interviews I conducted of zombie authors in October of 2015?  Yes, people with actual successful writing careers were willing to talk to me.  31 zombie authors to be exact, one a day for 31 days. Plus, you’ll find the journal I kept while East Randomtown was being ransacked by hideous brain chompers.

Remember, 3.5 readers, wear your helmets because this zombie hunter can’t be everywhere.  Protect your gray matter because without it, you won’t be able to think and more importantly, you won’t be able to read my blog or my book and, well, come to think of it, critics have called my work pretty brainless so…sure, I guess if you want to give up your brains to a hungry zombie, be my guest.  Who am I to stand in your way?  I just don’t advise it from a medical standpoint.  I mean, I’m no doctor but I just can’t help that physically losing your brains would be good for you.

I don’t do.  Don’t take my word for it.  Don’t take a zombie’s word for it easier because, you know, they’re biased.  Also, the only word they can say is, “BRAINS!”  Just do your research.

Check out those interviews here.

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Vote for Your Favorite Cover – How the West Was Zombed

Hey 3.5 readers.

How the West Was Zombed was my first finished book draft, the one that started it all.

Finally, I’m getting it a cover.

So, vote for your favorite.

https://99designs.com/contests/poll/e821zg

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Zom Fu – Chapter 64

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The members of the Clan of the Mediocre Yet Effective Club Bonk struggled on the palace steps to hold back the zombie invaders. Several of them had fallen victim to the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite.

Junjie observed the carnage, then looked to the Staff of Ages. The ruby glowed red once more.

“The Staff of Ages has been freed of Dragonhand’s influence,” the Infallible Master said. “It belongs to its true master once again. Wield it freely and it will know exactly what you wish it to do.”

Junjie closed his eyes and raised the staff high into the air. Thunder claps sounded overhead. Multiple bolts of lightning tore through the sky and zapped their way into the staff, until the ancient device began to glow bright white.

Once more, the handsome hero pointed the staff toward the sky and a colossal lighting bolt of unfathomable size lit up the night sky. It pulsated in the heavens, dancing and flickering about until it separated into hundreds of smaller lighting bolts. Each bolt found a different zombie brain to pierce. Soon, every last brain biter in the Forbidden City was destroyed, while the remaining humans survived unscathed.

The clubbers cheered. Junjie cheered. “Master, I can’t believe that….Master?”

The Infallible Master was nowhere to be found, except in Junjie’s mind. “There is no more that I can teach you now, my son. It is time for you to become the master, and time for me to wile away many a year in Diyu.”

“Diyu?” Junjie asked out loud. Those in the handsome hero’s general vicinity might have thought the young man had gone mad had they not seen so many other frightening wonders that day. “I thought you said you would never be able to pass on to the other side.”

“A Master has his ways,” came the Infallible Master inside Junjie’s brain. “The older we get, the more realize what we once thought is impossible is, in fact, quite possible.”

“There’s something you aren’t telling me,” Junjie said.

“Perhaps,” the Infallible Master said. “But the task of rebuilding the devastated kung fu clans is ahead of you now. The last thing you need to do is to worry about me.”

“Wait,” Junjie said. “Will I ever see you again?”

The master’s voice laughed. “Yes. It will seem like an eternity but remember, time is but a trick of the mind. We shall have our reunion one day, if not in the gloomy abyss of Diyu, then surely in the warm embrace of Heaven.”

“Can I talk to you?” Junjie asked.
The master’s voice laughed again. “Oh my son. I spent so much time with my master that I hear him even when he does not speak to me. You will see me and hear me in everything you do, regardless of whether or not we actually speak again.”

“That’s very cryptic,” Junjie said.

“Meh,” the Infallible Master said. “I am a kung fu master. It is what I do.”

“Goodbye, Master,” Junjie said.

“No,” the Infallible Master said. “Not goodbye. Never goodbye. I will see you later.”

A tear streamed down Junjie’s cheek. “I will see you later, Master.”

And with that, the voice inside Junjie’s head was gone.

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Zom Fu – Chapter 63

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Junjie looked to the Infallible Master. “There is no more Bohai, is there?”

“There is not,” the Infallible Master replied. “There is only Rage Dog. Do not make the same mistake I did.”

Rage Dog held up the squirmy bag. “To eat the last brain of an imperial dynasty, to obtain the knowledge that comes with countless generations of leadership…all of China will be mine.”

Junjie picked up one of the golden swords and pointed it at Bohai. “Release the Emperor, monster. Do so now and I will clap you in chains and lock you away where you can’t hurt anyone anymore. I will then spend the rest of my days searching for a cure, for some method of restoring Bohai’s soul to his former body.”

Rage Dog’s eyes traveled to his missing hand, then to the various holes and marks that permeated his body. “What makes you think Bohai would even want it now?”

“You are repeating my mistake, my son,” the Infallible Master warned. “No more negotiations. Finish him.”

Junjie studied Rage Dog’s face. “I know my brother is in there, somewhere…I just can’t…”

Thunk! The tip of General Tsang’s sword pierced its way through Rage Dog’s eyeball. The creature uttered a few last gaps then dropped the bag, only for it to be caught just in time by the general’s hand.

Rage Dog collapsed to the floor. He was no more. Once he was out of the way, the full figure of the general was revealed. The veteran warrior was soaked in the blood and brains of the many zombies he defeated out in the rain.

“You kung fu fighters are a sentimental lot, aren’t you?” General Tsang asked as he looked down at Rage Dog’s corpse. “Good think I didn’t know him that well.”

Ever so gently, the general placed the bag on the floor and opened it up. A very scared little boy popped out and attached himself to his protector like a barnacle on the hull of a ship.

“Tsang!”

“Yes, your majesty,” General Tsang said as he ran his hands through the boy’s hair. “Tsang is here now.”

“Come,” the Infallible Master said to Junjie. “There is more work outside.”

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And Now Zom Fu Returns…

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Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Yeah, it’s unfortunate I ended up taking a little hiatus on Zom Fu.  Ironically, I did so right at the end.

When last we left our epic tale, Junjie had just defeated Dragonhand, the Master of the Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite.

It’s pretty much cleanup from now on, just the the final chapters where we learn what happens to our heroes after the story concludes.

Good news!  That means I should have another draft of a novel done within a month, perhaps sooner depending on how much time I can put into it.

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