Tag Archives: philosophical zombies

“Zombie, Ohio” praised in PW, ALA Booklist

My upcoming novel, Zombie, Ohio, got good reviews in today’s issues of Publisher’s Weekly and ALA Booklist.  Here they are: 

BOOKLIST
December 15, 2010
Zombie, Ohio: A Tale of the Undead.
Kenemore, Scott (Author)
Feb 2011. 304 p. Skyhorse, paperback,   $16.95. (9781616082062).
George Romero, director of the original Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, should snap up the rights to this novel. It has everything: zombies, gore, brain-eating, love, death, even a murder mystery. All of it revolves around Peter Mellor, who wakes up after a car accident a little discombobulated. Even though the country is in the midst of a “zombie apocalypse,” it takes Peter a while to figure out that he is now one of the “moving cadavers” because, unlike your typical zombie, he can talk, reason, and, well, pass for human. As he’s trying to come to terms with his new undead state, reunite with his girlfriend, and figure out who was responsible for his car accident, Peter winds up the leader of a zombie horde and the target of human rednecks and intense military scrutiny. Kenemore, author of the humor books The Zen of Zombie (2007) and Z.E.O. (2009), combines humor with horror in a way that is guaranteed to make any zombie fan stand up and shout, “Braaaaaains!”
— David Pitt

Publishers Weekly

Kenemore’s debut is a darkly humorous depiction of one zombie’s struggle for enlightenment and redemption. When college professor Peter Mellor recovers consciousness near the wreck of his car, he finds himself in an apocalyptic landscape populated by desperate survivors and the walking and hungry undead. Soon Peter discovers that he is a zombie himself, albeit an unusually intelligent one, and that the crash that killed him was orchestrated. Determined to track down his murderer while dodging resentful breathers, Mellor struggles against his yearning to eat the brains of the living. His lapses are epic, even for a zombie, but nothing compared to the excesses of the living who see the apocalypse as license to indulge their worst impulses. There’s plenty to satisfy zombie fans who’ve come to expect some philosophy with their gore. (Feb.)

Philosophical Zombies

z-phil2When I was taking philosophy courses in college, most of the thought experiments we learned were pretty “old school.”  Classical.  Unchanged in illustrative content since the 1700’s.  

  • We can conceive of a gold mountain or a unicorn, but does that make them any closer to existing than something of which we cannot conceive?
  • If you were a brain in a vat, would you, like, know it?
  • When you do something, what if, actually, God does it?  For some reason…
  •  If you wrote Being and Nothingness, does that make it okay to be a wife-swapping speed-freak?  (Answer: Yes.) 

Despite my exposure to these and a bevy of other ponderables, I never learned until recently that there is a modern school of body-mind philosophical thought that uses zombies.  Zombies, in philosophy, are things that look and act like humans, but are not human.  The posited existence of such a being seems to have applications from Descartes to Kripke.  What does the existence of philosophical zombies say about the quality of human-ness or being-ness?  If we can conceive of a zombie, does that mean it, on some level, exists?  Could a zombie eat enough brains that it would, like, actually get full?  (Okay, I made that last one up.)

Anyhow, if you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on philosophical zombies.  It’s pretty interesting.