S.G. Browne

Ask Andy

(This is a feature from Undead Anonymous where Andy, the main protagonist of Breathers, answers your questions.)

Sique, from the United Kingdom, asks:

Would a living person be welcome (as a guest, not a snack) at a UA meeting? Would they be welcomed with open arms, or open jaws?

At least once a month, the Breather liaison from the County Department of Resurrection stops by to check in on us and make sure we’re behaving and decomposing like good little zombies.  While we resent the fact that the county sends a Breather to monitor our meetings and behavior, we still do our best to make them feel welcome.  But for some reason, the living seem to be more uncomfortable around us than we are around them.  It doesn’t help when Naomi puts her cigarette out in her empty eye socket or when Tom constantly fingers the loose flaps of skin on his face.

But to answer your question more directly, yes, they would be welcome.  All we ask is for the opportunity to have a dialogue with Breathers so that they can understand who we are and what we desire.  The liaison is simply there to observe, not listen, so there’s not a whole lot of give and take with them.  But if we could get a reporter or a police officer or a member of the PTA to attend our meetings so that we could have an honest conversation with them, they would be welcome with open arms.

Of course, most Breathers tend to run away screaming when a zombie comes walking toward them with a big smile on his face and his arms open for a hug.  Oh well.

Thanks for the question!

Filed under: Ask Andy,Breathers — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 10:33 am

Zombie Protest & Breathers Signing – San Francisco

On Friday July 10th, starting at 5:45PM, zombies of the world will rise up and demand their civil rights on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

Zombies have been treated like third class citizens for too long, so come support equal rights for zombies. All zombies and zombie supporters welcome.

At 7pm we will hobble a few blocks over to Books, Inc. at Opera Plaza to hear un-undead Scott G. Browne read from his new book, Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament. After that it’s any zombie’s guess.

Come for the protest.

Stay for the reading and signing of Breathers.

Free “Zombies Are People Too” swag while supplies last.

Bring Signs to show your support. Use your imagination, but here are some ideas.

– Zombies are people Too
– We Are Recruiting
– Brains. The Other White Meat
– ZombieMatch.com
– We’re Hear. We’re Dead. Get Used To It.
– Benefits for Zombie Vets
– Stop Trying to Bury Us

See all you zombies there!

Filed under: Breathers — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 12:45 pm

S is for STIFF

The digestive organs and the lungs disintegrate first, for they are home to the greatest number of bacteria…The brain is another early-departure organ.  “Because all the bacteria in the mouth chew through the palate,” explains Arpad.  And because brains are soft and easy to eat.  “The brain liquefies very quickly.  It just pours out the ears and bubbles out the mouth.”

The previous kernel of post-mortem knowledge comes from Chapter 3 of Mary Roach’s STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, a wonderful little book about what happens to the human body after it stops walking around and starts to smell.
STIFF was instrumental in my research into what Andy and the other zombies in Breathers might have to contend with as they confronted the reality of their decomposing existence – sloughage, bloat, maggots feasting on their subcutaneous fat.  All of the everyday things zombies worry about.  In addition, STIFF also provided some insight into the consequences they might face should they get a little too uppity:

Over the past sixty years, the dead have helped the living work out human tolerance limits for skull slammings and chest skewerings, knee crammings and gut mashings; all the ugly, violent things that happen to a human being in a car crash.

From STIFF I learned that when maggots feast on subcutaneous fat it sounds like Rice Krispies, that when the internal organs liquefy they turn to chicken soup, and that up until 1965, necrophilia wasn’t a crime in any U.S. state.  Not really sure what made everyone change their mind then, but since I was born in 1965, I’m sure there’s some cosmic connection.
What made STIFF such a pleasure to read, rather than simply pouring through a bunch of facts about putrefaction and rigor mortis and forensic science, was the funny, matter-of-fact style of Mary Roach.  Her humor and light-hearted irreverence toward the dead makes reading about impact testing and anal leakage a lot of fun.  No, really.

If you like a good non-fiction read with a touch of morbid fascination, then I recommend you pick up a copy of STIFF.  As Entertainment Weekly says, it’s “Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting.”

(Next entry:  T is for Tom)

Filed under: Breathers,The Writing Life — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 4:17 pm

Red, White, & Dead Zombie Party

Calling all zombies!  Calling all zombies!

Put on your best funeral clothes, apply that liquid latex, stock up on stage blood, and shuffle, shamble, and stagger your way to the Pacific Northwest for a pre-Independence Day party of the undead.
On Friday, July 3, 2009, Fremont Outdoor Movies in Seattle is hosting the Red, White, & Dead Zombie Party – a zombie bash to end all zombie bashes that includes a screening of Shaun of the Dead, a Zombie Fashion Show where you can strut your decomposing self to the delight of your fellow zombies, a group “Thriller” dance for those zombies stuck in the 80s, and a Zombie Walk to break the Guinness World Record.

And to kick everything off, I’ll be reading from and signing copies of Breathers at 4:00PM at Fremont Place Books and then later at the event.  I’ll even have some free zombie schwag I’ll be giving away, though supplies are limited.

You can find all the details and times and other good zombie info by checking out the official blog for Fremont Outdoor Movies.

Spread the word and the contagion!

And remember, zombies are people, too.

Filed under: Breathers,Zombies — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 8:50 am

Ask Andy

(This is a feature from Undead Anonymous where Andy, the main protagonist of Breathers, answers your questions.)

This week’s question comes courtesy of Eleni, who asks:

Hannibal Lecter enjoyed human kidneys w/ a side of lima beans and a glass of Chianti. Do you enjoy a similar dish?

Actually, I’ve never been much of a fan of legumes, though they are a good source of fiber.  Give me a good arugula salad with sliced pears and asiago cheese.  And I’m more of a rib man myself.  Personally, I would pair a nice Bordeaux when serving internal organs.  And although I believe Hanibal liked his liver with fava beans, Chianti goes better with Breather bolognese, but to each his own.

Thanks for the question.

Filed under: Ask Andy,Breathers — S.G. Browne @ 10:11 pm