Review of Time-Travelling Zombies by Lance Snyde, CreateSpace, 2017
Time-Travelling Zombies is a post-apocalyptic tale about a staple of science fiction, the mass zombie ‘turning.’ The idea seems to be to find the most common themes of science fiction and mix them together, as it eventually emerges in the novel, that time-travel is also a theme, and there is a struggle to intervene temporally to stop the catastrophic zombie outbreak.
The ‘zombie’ is described in terms of an unfeeling creature. Also it turns out, zombies can be commanded with the right technology, and were developed by the Soviets. Thus the novel centers on an attempt to harness the Soviet technology in a post-Soviet era – and, of course, on this added dimension of using time travel to control the zombie technology. Sort of Stephen King meets Dr. Who. The work seems suitable for juveniles, but of course the line between juvenile adventure novels and ‘adult’ science fiction is a bit hard to draw.
The political backdrop for the novel involves several elements: an out of control Federal government; a newly seceded, Christian Texas; and a Russia that has been further divided after the fall of the Berlin Wall, along new North-South ethnic lines. Russia is basically toast in the novel, but then there are all those Russian zombies…. It does not go well for Texas. Some of the Christian folk there do volunteer for ‘zombification,’ as part of a process of going back in time as zombie information devices, but it is not clear how that turns out for them…. Or at least, I do not want to give away the plot. Anyway, the Christians, the Feds, and the Russians are all fighting.
The Russians apparently developed a complex system of ideological and technological controls, to keep the Revolution – and the zombies! – going long after the patriots of the Revolution died. Even Ukrainians and Poles are recruited to be zombie handlers, but this process of allowing humans to communicate with zombies through radio waves, has some unpleasant effects on the Warsaw Pact patriots. The account of the Soviet technological and ideological research, seemed the most interesting part of the novel, pointing to many lost Cold War issues and taking things a bit past the ‘generic,’ zombie meets Tardis setup.
L. Snyde has been known to me for some time as a fellow native of California, though now he has moved further east…. I think I have encouraged him to publish on CreateSpace, but in any case, the book is available for $8 on Amazon. Approx. 170 pages, 6 x 9 paperback. I found it a rather gripping narrative, but it is definitely something only for the fan of the SF genre.