I’ve been reading the August issue of Realms of Fantasy, and I really liked Sara Genge’s story, “Seagull Girl’s Butterfly Tongue.” It’s a zombie story with an unusual take on zombies (they’re a little like a fantastical version of the Borg).
I might be reading too much into it, but I thought the story also hinted at a parallel with the way western culture often attempts to experience other cultures, stealing bits of the other cultures and incorporating them into their own in a misguided attempt to understand them, perhaps ruining or at least diminishing the original culture as part of the process. “… that was the zombie way. Forever to yearn for new things. Forever to absorb them and turn them into the same old McHuman.”
Of course, this tendency is hardly unique to American, Canadian and modern European culture. I think of the ancient Romans borrowing from Greek culture. Or the Mughal conquerers of northern India (especially Akbar) borrowing from Hindu culture. And I’d also question whether it’s entirely bad.
But I liked the thought-provoking way in which Genge’s story raised some of these questions. Also, the zombies were really creepy.