Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Journal of the Crazy Year Goes Coast to Coast!

If ever there were a good place to talk about zombies, the apocalypse, lost civilizations, and science fiction, Coast to Coast AM is it.  And that is exactly what I got a chance to do Friday night (Feb 27).  What a treat!  Coast to Coast AM airs on more than 600 radio stations and is the nation’s premiere destination for late-night radio.  Host George Noory was smooth, polished and professional.  We spent the better part of two hours talking about the walking undead.  The central question was this:  As fun as it is to contemplate a zombie apocalypse, it’s just make-believe, right?  Nothing more than fodder for some harmless escapist entertainment in novels, TV shows, and movies, right?  Just an opportunity to use creative makeup and dress up on Halloween, right? 

Actually, no.  A real-life zombie apocalypse is not beyond the realm of possibility, if you allow one basic rule that departs from some (but not all) zombie tales:  your zombies can out of their minds and hyperviolent, but they must be sick, not dead.  With that rule in place, you can proceed secure in the knowledge that crazed, infected zombies really could kill us all.

Okay, maybe we’re having too much fun here.

I make this statement that the zombie apocalypse really could take place based on two things.  One, real-life news events that I have witnessed over many years as a news professional made me want to trade my journalist hat for a sci-fi author hat, and write a novel pondering what the future might look like if those very real trends were to continue.  (And, chillingly, some of what I wrote about is already happening.)  Second, I kept the journalist hat on long enough to go to do some research in a major university’s medical library in hopes of finding a disease causing at least some patients to act in ways that you expect zombies to behave at the end of days.  I found it.  If you allow me the leeway to suggest that a mysterious, never-cured disease that’s struck twice before in human history, affecting a small percentage of patients in the manner described, could come back in a much, much more virulent form (and who’s to say it couldn’t, given that the second outbreak was exponentially worse than the first) then yes, such an event could take place.

The disease is described in the prologue to the novel, and that part of the story is non-fiction.  You can download that prologue as part of a free sample, find out what the buzz is about, read reviews from critics and readers, and find purchase options for several on line retailers, all at this link.  Find out why Publishers Weekly called A Journal of the Crazy Year “A fascinating read all the way to its chilly, barely hopeful conclusion.”

We also hit on some other interesting topics, such as:  Will current violent trends get worse (I think so, but I hope not).  Is current social media technology turning the world into a hive mind, and if so, should we be concerned (the answers are “maybe” and “definitely.)  Should we fear the advent of artificial intelligence?  What are the implications of the zombie subculture for Christians (live but sick zombies present less of a problem).  And perhaps most importantly—would a compassionate, just, and loving God really allow a world-ending apocalypse?

The official show summary page, including audio links, for my Coast to Coast AM appearance here.

Many thanks to George Noory and the show producers for this wonderful discussion.  And I cannot let this blog entry end without a shout-out to my publicist, Rachel Anderson.  Nicely done!


©2015 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

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