THE LOVING DEAD is #1 on the San Francisco Chronicle‘s list of ten best SF & fantasy novels for 2010! (So what if it’s in alphabetical order by author?!)
“In Beamer’s first novel, the undead uprising finally comes to our own East Bay. When their house party in the Oakland Hills is interrupted by a couple of flesh-chomping zombies, Trader Joe’s co-workers Kate and Michael don’t really have the presence of mind to engage the threat effectively. “The Loving Dead” is funny, profane and more than a little bit squicky, a worthwhile and perceptive addition to a literary fad that won’t seem to lie down and stay dead.”
Listen to NPR’s Rick Kleffel ask me about my literary pretensions and how they brought me to write a zombie novel. I say things like “the sexuality of zombies has been in the background long enough.” Link to Agony Column podcast.
Rick Kleffel’s coverage of my reading at SF in SF is up, along with a charming writeup: ”Amelia Beamer knew exactly how to start off her reading at SF in SF in the August gig. She started with a reading from her book, wherein the character tells a sort of joke that you’ll never forget, indeed, one that will a) make you want to buy the book immediately, even before you get to the sex-zombies-in-the-zeppelin-bathroom scene; b) make you want to listen to the reading itself again immediately, because it’s just so cool.”
The reading starts about five minutes into the recording. SF in SF is a great venue, benefiting the Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California; next up, Claude Lalumière and Karen Joy Fowler, on October 16.
Check out Tor.com’s zombie goodness, including:
My guest post “Dead Sexy”, in which I answer the unholy question: Why do people want to fuck the dead?
A “name that zombie” photo caption contest for a goody bag filled with awesome. (My favorite so far: “This party is for Hugo nominees only!”)
A zombie art gallery including commentary about THE LOVING DEAD from cover artist Dave Palumbo: “The living girl in this painting spends most of the book fighting not only with zombies, but also with strong sexual feelings and questions. I wanted to show a moment which kind of walked halfway between: a struggle with a zombie where it could either lean towards a bite or a kiss.”
An excerpt from THE ZOMBIES OF LAKE WOEBEGOTTEN by Harrison Geillor.
I’ll be at the fab SF in SF reading on Saturday September 11, along with Mark L. Van Name, with Terry Bisson moderating. Cash bar! Zoot suit! Zombies on a Zeppelin!
Reception starts at 7:00 PM, talky-talking at 8:00 PM. Find us at The Variety Preview Room, 582 Market St. @ Montgomery, 1st floor of The Hobart Bldg.
I’ll also be at Litcrawl on Saturday October 9, 7:15 PM, along with Gail Carriger and S.G. Browne, at Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
From the Litquake website:
Borderlands Books Presents Zombies and Zeppelins
Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St.
S.G. Browne has zombies, Gail Carriger has zeppelins, and Amelia Beamer’s first novel has both. Join us!
Amelia Beamer’s first novel, The Loving Dead, with zombies and a zeppelin, has been praised by the likes of Christopher Moore and Peter Straub.
S.G. Browne is author of the dark zombie comedy Breathers and the upcoming supernatural dark comedy Fated. He lives in San Francisco.
Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author, writes steampunk paranormal comedies of manners. She traversed European cities subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag.
I hadn’t done an event at Dark Delicacies before, and I really like the format. Instead of just reading (I like reading, but I know how this story goes) or just speaking, a bunch of us pulled up chairs and chatted about random stuff — zombies, Clarion, Locus — and had a really nice time.
Paul Witcover did a charming review of THE LOVING DEAD in the October issue of Realms of Fantasy:
(This is one of those reviews where you know the reviewer got what you were trying to do.)
Beamer’s version of zombiehood is still about eating brains—and just about any other portion of the human anatomy—but she foregrounds what has, until now, mostly been the erotic subtext of the genre. This disease seems to make people hornier—it’s one of the recognizable symptoms, as the book goes on—yet in truth, the expressive displays of sexuality and lustful hunger triggered by the disease are not too far beyond what is already common in Mike and Kate’s world of casual hookups and voyeuristic teasing, where irony is a shield against experience, not the hard-earned result of it. Beamer’s zombies hunger for us—and we lust for them. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship…
Throughout, Beamer’s writing is sharp, funny, sexy, and appropriately gory. A whole lot of somethings happen . . . and fast. The main action takes place over the span of perhaps a full day. But it’s in an epilogue set ten years later that Beamer brings a less frantic and more reflective tone to her novel, taking the outrageous deadpan comedy of the book into a more somber and human—or is that post-human?—place.
An obligatory show-off post, in which I mention a few of the stellar reviews THE LOVING DEAD has been getting. Oh, may the zombie love never die!
“THE LOVING DEAD is funny, profane and more than a little bit squicky, a worthwhile and perceptive addition to a pop culture fad that won’t seem to lie down and stay dead.” — Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle
“In postulating zombiedom as a sexually transmitted disease – with a slow burn of compulsive and irrational horniness that’s not easy to distinguish from the regular kind, until it’s too late – Beamer has deliciously tweaked the zombie mythos just when it needed it most: at the height of its ubiquitous popularity. In the process, she has sliced through the great and horrible corpse-banging taboo with penetrating wit and astonishing verve, taking us intimately inside this weirdly emotional experience as no author before her. Horror writers, take note…. And for those literati who sorely doubt that any good can come from dancing with the tropes of genre fiction, prepare to have your transcendence gland fondled by Amelia Beamer’s dangerously knowing hands.” John Skipp, Horror Drive-In
“In Beamer’s world, Eros and Thanatos are a lot more than just Facebook buddies. And that raises some difficult relationship issues.” Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post
“This story is one of the best ‘Patient Zero’ – damn close to it – tales since NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Before you get your panties in a bunch, I’m not saying Ms. Beamer has unseated Romero…. I urge even the staunchest traditionalist (of which I tend to lean towards) to pick up this book.” — T.W. Brown, Buyzombie.com
“From start to finish, this novel is a true page-turner.” — Fangoria
For LA-area people, I’ll be signing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank CA on Saturday August 28 at 3PM. Come by and say hi!
I’m looking forward to appearing at the San Francisco reading series SF in SF, along with Mark L. Van Name and moderator Terry Bisson. Catch us on Saturday, September 11, at the Variety Preview Room, 582 Market St at Montgomery (first floor of the Hobart building, right off of BART), San Francisco. Doors at 6PM, readings at 7PM, then a break for drinks (cash bar proceeds go to Variety Children’s Charity), and a Q&A.
SF in SF is always fun — catch Cecelia Holland and Mary Robinette Kowal on August 21, or check out archives/interviews at Rick Kleffel’s Agony Column.
Amelia Beamer lives in Marin County, California. Her debut novel The Loving Dead (Night Shade Books) was called one of the top ten zombie novels of the past decade by Barnes and Noble, and is available at Google, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, IndieBound, and Amazon.
Her writing has been featured in venues including Gizmodo, Whatever, BoingBoing, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Locus Magazine, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Uncanny Magazine, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Women on War: A Zombies vs Robots Anthology, Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, Understanding Reiki, and Healing for People. She works as an independent book editor, helping writers establish or grow their careers in popular fiction, at Beaming Enterprises, and is a former editor at Locus Magazine.
If Chuck Palahniuk and Christopher Moore had a zombie love child, it would look like THE LOVING DEAD.
Read the first four chapters of THE LOVING DEAD, or click on the cover for more info.