[GUEST POST] James Marshall on How To End Human Suffering
A collection of James Marshall‘s short stories, Let’s Not Let A Little Thing Like The End Of The World Come Between Us, was published by Thistledown Press in 2004, and it was shortlisted for both the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Caribbean and Canada Region) in the “Best First Book” category, and the ReLit Award for short fiction. His first novel, Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, was published by ChiZine Publications in 2012; it is the first book in the How To End Human Suffering Series. The second book, Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos, is available now. To learn more, visit www.howtoendhumansuffering.com or follow James on Twitter @james_marshall or friend him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjamesmarshall.
The first two books in my How To End Human Suffering series both bring something new and interesting to the zombie subgenre. The first book, Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, is outrageously fun and darkly satirical. It’s narrated by a sixteen year old pirate and spiritual leader named Guy Boy Man. He’s the only living human being who can see zombies everywhere, controlling everything. In a series of online sermons, Guy tries to rally others to his cause, which is to end human suffering worldwide and in his high school.
Complicating matters are a cute, pink-haired girl named Baby Doll15 who has a unicorn that follows her everywhere, a handsome, African-American ninja named Sweetie Honey, and four genetically engineered and behaviorally modified Eastern European girls. Guy balances his epically odd relationships while endeavoring to bring down the one he blames for his high school’s deplorable condition: the Principal.
An impending standardized test-the ZAT or Zombie Acceptance Test-threatens to turn Guy’s fellow living classmates into zombies or zombie food so Guy tries to open their eyes to the horrible truth before it’s too late: passing the test results in getting turned into a zombie, failing the test results in getting eaten by a zombie. Guy is the only one who can see zombie students who’ve already passed the Zombie Acceptance Test: their outstretched arms are bound with rope; their gaping mouths are muzzled; and they’re forced by their zombie parents to wear helmets to avoid accidentally bashing out their own brains.
One of these zombies, unbound at least physically, becomes the narrator in the second book: Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos. Buck Burger is a depressed zombie. He’s tired of eating human flesh, destroying everything, and going through the motions of being undead. His marriage is deteriorating. When he takes a shower, with soap, his zombie wife insists that he see a doctor. After he’s prescribed an anti-depressant, Buck meets a beautiful green-haired pharmacist fairy named Fairy_26 and he quickly becomes a pawn in a cold war between zombies and supernatural creatures.
The Library Journal says that Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies “is the quirkiest take yet on the zombie genre.” Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos is equally unique. It features a zombie in turmoil in a world that’s constantly destroyed and rebuilt and filled with strange creatures like fairies, elves, centaurs, and people.
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