Are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?


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Authors Holly Black (‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’) and Justine Larbalestier (‘Magic or Madness’ trilogy) announced yesterday, with no small degree of glee, that they will be editing a zombies versus unicorns anthology for young adults. Simon & Schuster is publishing, and it should hit shelves in 2010. On her blog, Larbalestier makes clear that she’s on TEAM ZOMBIE:

Yes, there will be lots of different kinds of zombies. Not just your regular Romero types. I have no idea about the uni***n side of things. I doubt there’s more than one kind. And if there is, who cares?


Oh, them’s fighting words. Black tries to take the high road — almost.

Through the power of storytelling, it will soon be obvious which makes for better fiction. Unicorns will finally have their day of victory.Or zombies. I guess.

Science fiction website io9 has doubts about the narrative possibilities of both genres. I think the real difference is that unicorn fans take their ethereal creature quite seriously, while zombie fans hold very little holy, which makes them seem like more fun.

For example, the above Zombie Pope was photographed at Calgary’s Third Annual Zombie Walk last year, attended by hundreds who lurched about in ripped and bloodied clothing, mouths agape, startling passersby (fun!). On the other hand, the elusive unicorn — here, in a Second Life sim — is rarely depicted without mystic mist or a glowing rainbow (serious).

But maybe the myth of the unicorn, because it’s been so narrowly defined, will have more room to grow. In the end, it’ll be how well the stories are told that make all the difference. For now, that’s still a mystery — the (closed) contributor list is under wraps — oh shoot, that’s a mummy reference.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Zombie photo by Robert Thivierge and unicorn picture by lacie babenco via Flickr.