I got onto a strange twitter thread yesterday called #zombieproverbs, in which we took various cliches and made them applicable to zombies, like “A brain in the hand is worth two in the skull” and whatnot.
I was toodling along with things like, “Two’s company and three’s lunch,” and “When the going gets tough, the tough get tasty.” Suddenly, I thought of this: “‘Zombies and more zombies,’ cried Alice.”
After I typed it, my skin went cold, and I almost regretted it. Have you ever done that? Had an idea that hit you so hard that it literally shook you, and you were a little afraid of it? I knew that I would, eventually, have to write a zombie-Alice book at that moment. It really doesn’t matter that it’s not a terribly good idea–the whole zombie-classic novel crossover has been done, eh?–because I will revolve around that idea until it gets done.
The Alice books revolve around regret, death, and madness–both the crazy kind and the nonsense that was the modern world at the time. Zombie books also revolve around those themes. And I’ve always been fascinated by the story surrounding the books–a crazy don of Christchurch who loved little girls so much he photographed them nude, but never touched them, as far as we can tell. A man who might have been an opium addict (as so many people were). And the way that the real Alice grew up, went away, and lived her life after being immortalized in a book.
Well, I don’t live and die by the muse, but when I react so strongly to an idea, I know that either I give in to it, or I die a little. I had the same reaction, incidentally, when I found out about the idea for Choose Your Doom: Zombie Apocalypse. The cold hands, the euphoric dizziness, the twitching, the jumping around and yelling. I think if League hadn’t given me the book, I would have had to write one anyway, and then I would have had to hide it because I’d signed an NDA, which would have been sad.
There’s already an Alice crossover book called Alice in Zombieland, by Nickolas Cook. I checked out the sample; it’s definitely not what I would write. I’m not going to read it until I’m done with my version. Fortunately, it’s only their version that’s protected by copyright; the idea itself is open to anyone. You could write an Alice-zombie crossover book, if you liked, as long as you didn’t copy someone else’s crossover book.
And so I’ll write it, eventually. I’m not sure what to do with it, though. Try to sell it? Try to self-publish? Thinking about self-publishing this makes me groan, because Alice books need illustrations. And I’m no artist.
If everybody minded their own brains, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then eat everyone.
‘But I don’t want to go among zombies,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all zombies here.’
“It’s a poor sort of brain that only works when it’s alive,” the Queen remarked.
The baby moaned again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it.
“If you’re going to turn into a zombie, my dear,” said Alice, seriously, “I’ll have nothing more to do with you!”
“Have some brains,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but empty skulls. “I don’t see any brains,” she remarked.
“Your throat wants cutting,” said the Hatter.