Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zombies Wanted! No Queers May Apply

Okay, this is just so crazy I had to share it. So this small micro press, "Library of the Living Dead Press" put out this call recently for submissions to a new anthology they were putting together - Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Zombie Short Stories.

Then, last week, they canceled the planned anthology.

Why? In the words of Doc, from Library of the Living Dead Press:

"I was the one who gave the go ahead for the Anthology. But with all the things that are going on in my life right now I didn't think it all the way through. I became afraid I would upset people by publishing the book."

Evidently the Press received a lot of homophobic reaction from their other authors at the idea of their coming out with a Queer anthology.

What!?! So the Undead and eating brains is fine, but Gay stuff? Oh no, that's too much.

I can't even begin to articulate how crazy this seems to me!

There is talk of "resurrecting" the anthology among some authors who had written stories for it (which would make it a "true" back-from-the-dead anthology, I guess) but there's also been discussion of de-gaying Zombies in stories already written, hoping it will make those undead tales more publication-worthy.

There's a strange parallel between yesterday's post and today's - in both cases, an effort was made to be inclusive of the Queer Community, and then it was like the very people who started those efforts suddenly got cold feet (or maybe I should say "homophobic feet.")

One minute we seem to be making progress, combating homophobia in sports and amongst the readers of undead literature, and the next minute Queer-positive voices are silenced.

For me, the bottom line is that the silencing of Queer voices, even undead ones, is what's really scary.

What do you think is going on? And maybe more important, what can we do about it?


2/16/10 12:44pm

Looks like the Queer Zombie anthology is back on!

Thanks to Jim for the heads-up.

Thanks to the-outer-alliance@googlegroups.com (the listserve of The Outer Alliance), and among many others, Jim Hines for leading the discussion on No Queer Zombies Wanted!


Kathleen Bradean said...

This is not at all the story I'm seeing on OuterAlliance. What I read - which may be absolutely wrong too - is that GLBT writers protested over the inclusion of nonGLBT identified writers in the anthology. You may want to fact check on this, althoug the one person who knows the truth is probably whimpering in a fetal psotion about now.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hi Kathleen - I saw the thread of discussion on whether part of the blow-back was regarding the numbers of non queer writers being included, but I think the main point still stands - no matter the source of pressure on the publisher, the fact that they caved and canceled the publication is troubling to me.
Thanks for sharing your take, I'm glad this is sparking discussion, here and elsewhere.

Daniel Teeter said...

As a point to ponder: Aren't zombies kind of post-sexual? (Assuming there's such a thing as zombie standards.) Isn't a zombie driven only to consume living flesh? (And as their decaying body parts tend to fall off one can see how any amatory adventures might be troublesome.)

Adding sex to the plight of the dead brings up the add'l issue of necrophilism; Maybe the priggish "blowback" has something to do with this? (The religionists could have an orgy with that one.) This, then, would make the gay aspect beside the point. But I agree with you, Lee; Once you eat the brains of another, who cares what happens next?

If the issue is more the "inappropriate" orientation of the writers, well, maybe the publisher is simply choosing to take a pass on a potential intra-communal firestorm. Cowardly, maybe, but choosing the lesser of two evils usually is.

Lawral the Librarian said...

I was going to say that this whole thing is ridiculous and disheartening, which it still is, but after reading Daniel's comment, I have to say that he has some good points. Can you have gay or straight zombies? Now I'm mostly disappointed because I want to read the stories and find the answer to that question. Maybe queer zombies like to eat the brains of their own sex? And if that's the case, we've had queer zombies for a while now, without the anti-queers noticing. :)

Also, while I hope the phrase "homophobic feet" isn't needed in everyday conversation in the near future, it is a pretty awesome description of these actions.

Jim C. Hines said...

Based on the last update I saw from the publisher at the end of last week, he had now decided to go ahead with the anthology after all, and intends to accept submissions from all writers regardless of orientation.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Jim - it would seem you're right - the anthology is one again announced at the publisher's site:


It is interesting that they pulled the previous discussion threads that said they weren't going to do it (that I had linked to above) and don't make much mention of their back and forth on this...

However, they did place the deadline for submissions on June 27 - hinting at the Queer significance of the day. (Pride month, Stonewall riots...)

I'd like to think the noise made in the blogosphere and online had something to do with the decision to have the undead be gay once again... (but certainly not my posting here, which was late to the party...)

Having said that, I'm glad to know it's coming to a good resolution, and happy to have shared the process, zombie warts and all, with you all.


Barbara Shoup said...

Right on,GLBT Zombies everywhere!

Anonymous said...

hey sounds sorta weird ''gay zombies'' i hope they do pull through with it because i didn't know zombies had a sexual drive for anything. - Kyoshi Minoru