Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zombies of Baffin

So I've been thinking about zombies a bit lately.

Yes, I'm odd.

I don't normally think too much about zombies. I think the last zombie movies I saw was Shaun of the Dead and maybe a few zombie comic books. But honestly, the comic book industry is pumping out so many of them lately that they're hard to avoid. The most infamous being Marvel Zombies in which some of your favourite super heroes become zombies and eat, well, pretty much everything.

But the zombie thought come from a book I finished reading a week or so ago - World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. I've already said I enjoyed the book. For one thing, it has a refreshingly international view. It's not just all about how America would deal with an outbreak. There's an international flavour to the story. There are characters from China, South Africa, Israel, India and many other countries. And Canada is mentioned several times. I laughed out loud when a character was rescued in India by a boat sent there for scrap. It was the former Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir Wildfred Grenfell. How can you not love that kind of detail?

But there's a line towards the end of the book, purely a throwaway line. One character talks about someone who managed to finally clean out Baffin Island. And let's face it, when you live on Baffin Island, that kind of thing catches your eye.

I joked awhile back that Iqaluit would be safe from the zombie apocalypse because it would be too cold and there would be too many guns here. So I was kind of curious how a place that has sub-zero temperatures for at least seven months of the year could be infested with zombies. Especially since one of the main premises of the book is that zombies can't move when it goes below zero. That fact actually causes millions of deaths as people fled north to escape zombies, but weren't properly supplied to handle the cold for long periods. There's actually a subtly horrible scene of people walking through a frozen waste land of human bones - with the marrow sucked out. And not because of zombies.

Anyway, the thing that's occupied my brain a bit lately has been how did a frozen place like Baffin Island get infested with zombies? Yeah, it's a throw away line in a zombie book, but Brooks, the author, has done some fairly impressive research with the book. Really, just remove the word "zombies" and throw in "airbourne ebola" and a lot of the chaos that he writes about in the book still would have happened. So when he says there was a zombie infestation here, I know he's thought out why that would be the case.

The only thing that comes close to a reason why is Iceland. In the book he mentions it's still completely infested with zombies, 10 years after the end of the war. The reason was that so many refugees on boats thought an island that far north would be safe. So hundreds of thousands of people fled there, but some were already infected and brought the illness with them. And once it was there, there were few places to run.

Anyway, this is just some idle ramblings because this has actually been sticking in my brain since I finished reading the book and I figured if I put it up on the blog, maybe it will finally go away.. So what do you think. How does Baffin Island become infested with zombies?

Last Five
1. U.I.C. - The Wonderful Grand Band*
2. Six-fingered man - Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
3. Stars and planets - Liz Phair
4. Nosferatu - Sean Panting
5. Christmas eve - Spirit of the West


Kate Nova said...

I think you should write the author a letter. And ask.

Clare said...

Curling. It had to be through curling.

Geoff Meeker said...

Because so many if its inhabitants are transient; they work for a while, save some money, then fly off to Florida, New York, Italy and other such random places, where they catch the e-zombola bug and bring it on home.

towniebastard said...

You guys are a big help...;)