Even though I research the use of monstrous protagonists in Canadian SF to express ideas of the outsider and socially oppressed groups, for some reason I haven’t done much work on the figure of the zombie…. largely because they just creep me out too much. I had been hearing so many amazing things about this book Husk by Canadian SF author Corey Redekop, so I knew I had to check it out even though it was about the dreadful, rotting, cannibalistic undead. I picked up a copy, read through it and ended up with a book full of notes and knew that I had to interview Corey Redekop and talk in more detail with him about his take on the zombie.
I hope that you enjoy our upcoming chat about zombies, myths, Canadian horror, the ability of characters to express themselves to their author, the visceral feel of body horror, and the power of horror for giving voice to the oppressed. I hope you are able to check out our interview on Thursday, March 14 and enjoy Mr. Redekop’s incredible insights and great sense of humour!!
Here are some teasers from our upcoming interview:
Corey Redekop: “It’s well known that people flock to monsters and horror in times of stress, which explains the popularity of giant radioactive monsters during the beginnings of the nuclear age. I don’t know why zombies in particular have taken off. I think it has to do with the fear that we are the ultimate monsters in our world.”
Corey Redekop: “I like stories about outsiders and loners, which all monsters are to some extent.”
Corey Redekop: “All horror is about coming across some form of evil; Canadian horror is about confronting such evil with unfailing politeness.”
Corey Redekop: “Horror authors are all of a similar breed, a sect of damaged individuals who yearn to explore the darker corners of the world. Some are darker than others, but all appreciate what confronting our demons can achieve.
Corey Redekop: “In our society, homosexuality is one of the last personal characteristics that some people feel very comfortable discriminating against because of their blatant fears and willful misreading of age-old texts that have very little bearing on the world of today (although this is lessening, thank God).”
Corey Redekop: “Like the best of any fiction, horror allows us to turn the mirror and see ourselves as others see us, as monsters in our own right. This isn’t meant to excuse the monstrous acts of others, of course, but is it right to condemn the monster (or the outsider) as evil simply for following its own instincts? A zombie isn’t intrinsically evil; it is simply following an impulse we do not share.”
Corey Redekop: “Storytelling can always be empowering, and using elements of horror in the medium is no different. Look at how many authors are imprisoned for their stories; there is great power in words and tales, which explains why some governments are so wary and distrustful of their artists.”
Corey Redekop: “When our body rebels, however, we have no one to blame, no one to confront, no one to fight back against. That body you took such good care of is now a prison you never escape from.”
Corey Redekop: “Speculative fiction can also act as a warning by providing glimpses at what may happen should science go awry.”
Like his fiction writing, you can expect the upcoming interview with Corey Redekop to be a mixture of serious pondering and hilarity. Check it out on Thursday, March 14.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can explore my review of Husk at https://speculatingcanada.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/five-stages-of-grieving-yourself/