Start with a book that isn’t really science fiction, but has zombies in it. Why is this book intersting?
For starters, it’s about our world. Not because of the content (although I’ll get to that), but because it’s a mashup
Open source is partly about adoption, adaptation, and reuse. It also reflects an overarching attitude that we can use available raw materials to make our own things. This might just be recasting an existing item into a new medium, or telling it in a new context….
Or it might mean remaking something else entirely over into a new image…
Or it might mean reshaping information that you think is both important and inaccesible into more accessible, personalized, or whatever forms. The point is that we have this idea that
Victoriana and Viruses:mashups, esthetics, and anxious retrofuturism
Ok, sure, everyone loves zombies and viruses. But why Austen?
‘Should my next Arduino project have a steampunk or a Muji esthetic?’
Were building a lot of our worlds looking backward instead ofat the world now… We tend to be insular and self referential…it keeps us from making things for anyone else.--Raph Koster, on video games and retrofuturism
"I like the visual aestheticsof it, said Victor Sargeant,44, of Eatontown. "It harkensback to the Victorian andEdwardian styles, but it alsohas an understanding ofscience fiction when the ideaof technology was a wonderfulthing and it would benefit allof mankind, which kind ofdisappeared after World War I.It disappeared after 15 millionwere killed in World War I,thanks to all the new wonderfultechnology. But we digress.Chris Jordan, “Piscataway event celebratesthe Victorian era”, mycentraljersey,com
Anomie, which literally means “without law” … was defined by Durkheimto be a state of “normlessness.” Durkheim posited that in times of socialchange and upheaval, clear societal standards and expectations forindividuals vanish. Without “clear rules, norms, or standards of value”people feel anxious, rootless, confused, and even suicidal. Life in anage of anomie can often feel empty and meaningless.
if there is no absoluteright and wrong, thenwhat grounds is there forcriticism? …Now, this ledto a good deal of generalfrustration, for people arenaturally censorious andlove nothing better than tocriticise others’ shortcomings.And so it was that they seizedon hypocrisy and elevated itfrom a ubiquitous peccadillointo the monarch of all vices.
“Of course she herself issuspicious of that order, althoughshe also insisted upon it. Shelived in the midst of 20 years ofnearly constant war. Hercountryside was green and pretty,but it was also haunted, as werethe cities and the villages, byreturning soldiers dazed, someinsane, and often with amputatedlimbs.”As he speaks, I feel a chill in theotherwise warm, sunshiny day.Gendy Alimurung, “This Zombie Moment:Hunting for What Lies Beneath theUndead Zeitgeist,” LA Weekly, May 2009