“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Friday, January 21, 2011

Zombies Vs. Unicorns




http://www.blackholly.com/zombiesvsunicorns.html Holly Black

http://justinelarbalestier.com/ JustineLarbalestier

This past October at Chester County Books & Music as you may have read in an earlier post, I finally met the incredible Scott Westerfeld. I had the opportunity to chat with him for a bit after his talk as he was signing my stack of books. I was telling him how much I loved the amazing number of quality YA authors out there today and how funny it is that so many of them seem to be friends with each other; it’s almost like a YA author club. He laughed and said that he too was part of “the club.” He continued with a story about a debate he had just finished a few days before to promote a book several of the authors had written called Zombies Vs. Unicorns. The title alone was enough for me to buy a copy and Scott signed the short story he had written for team Zombie.

The book is a collection of short stories compiled and edited by authors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. I love Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier as well as Zombie and Unicorn stories, so I figured the whole book was going to be a good read for me – and it was! Justine Larbalestier is Australian and married to Scott Westerfeld. She lives half the year in New York and half the year in Sydney. She has been writing about science fiction for quite a while, but only recently been published in this country as a YA author. She is best known for her novels Liar, How To Ditch Your Fairy, and the Magic or Madness trilogy. Holly Black is a well know American YA author who lives in Massachusetts. Her first book Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale was published in 2002. She reached superstar status with her series The Spiderwick Chronicles. She also wrote successful sequels to Tithe: Ironside and Valiant. She also has numerous other winning titles published, including her recent highly entertaining Curse Workers series.


The banter of Justine and Holly in the editorials prefacing the collection as well as each story is hilarious in Zombies Vs. Unicorns. I could just imagine hanging out at Starbucks with these two and watching them going back and forth as to the merits of zombies and unicorns. At the end of all of the stories, I have to say that I really enjoyed the entire book. It was just plain fun. As to the whole argument of zombies vs. unicorns? Well Justine, I’m afraid I have to come out on Holly’s side. I mean, let’s face it, zombies are just not really all that pleasant. And they’re stupid to boot. I’d much rather be around a powerful pretty killer horse that farts rainbows and flowers. If it’s a question of what is going to survive, then it doesn’t really seem all that difficult to trick zombies into killing themselves off. Again, they’re stupid. Admittedly, unicorns do seem to be in short supply, but legend does give them superpowers. Zombies don’t have superpowers; they just have the whole life after death and ability to live without eating (other than human flesh) thing worked out. Then again, we could always call it a draw and go for the zombie unicorn!

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