When I was a child, the things in fiction and films that most terrified children and adults alike were giant bugs, aliens, and possession or replacement by a demonic spirit, ghost or some other type of “body-snatcher.” However, Zombies have always been there too, lurking in the shadows, at times replacing one of the top three.

Today, Zombies may not be the most feared things in fiction and film, but they are certainly one of the most popular, especially with children, who are not afraid of zombies like back when I was young.

Zombies are flesh-eating undead people – usually with bloated or decaying gray bodies who will stop at nothing to locate and eat the flesh of living human beings. Not something I would have ever thought children would like.

But times are changing.

Zombies are now seen everywhere – on children’s TV channels, as heroes in PG and PG-13 movies, and in books and graphic novels. Zombies have become more mainstream than ever before.

So what makes them so appealing to children these days?

I asked my son, Oluade, who is 14 years old that question. He said “I can’t really speak for children (oops, momentarily forgot he’s 14 – “a young man,” he quickly points out), but a lot of teens are into zombies because they aren’t really THAT scary. They walk slowly and are dumb. They are more funny than anything! The really scary stuff in zombie shows like Z-Nation and The Walking Dead are the people.”

“What about fast zombies, like in World War Z?” I asked.

He shook his head as his eyes widened. “Now, those mugs are scary!”

When I was a child, zombies were portrayed as unstoppable forces of unnatural death. People in zombie movies always died. It wasn’t until I saw Dawn of the Dead that I was exposed to the concept of people beating the zombies through ingenuity and luck.

Today though, zombies are little more than walking targets. Movies and video games of the 21st Century relish in showing people come out on top of the zombies.

I know some folks might think zombies are inappropriate for children. I’d argue that I am much happier that my children aren’t afraid of zombies. I don’t want my children to be afraid of anything.

Zombies are here to stay. And not just for grownups. Paranorman, Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice… there are so many movies out there with the undead presented in a way not to give your children nightmares.

If you have a child that’s afraid of zombies, I highly recommend you cure them. Let them read – and play –  Siafu vs. The Horde, the action-packed, fun and exciting 2nd volume in the Black Power: The Superhero Gamebook series in which YOU are a superhero!

Just like in the bestselling gamebook, Siafu Saves the World, in Book 2:

YOU choose how the story unfolds.

YOU choose how the story ends.

YOU have 4 Superpower Archetypes to choose from!

And YOU have new Mega-Powers to choose from and develop!

In this gamebook YOU must face, The Horde, superheroes turned walking dead, bent on “Making America Great” by turning all super-powered beings into zombies… or eating them.

Solve puzzles, gather clues, bring evil to justice and stop the rampaging Horde with your superpowers, the help of your 1st cousin, Big ‘Lo and cameos from characters from Siafu Saves the World!

Siafu vs. The Horde is available in e:book and paperback formats.

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

2 responses »

  1. Fujimoto says:

    When I was a kid I was utterly terrified by zombies, more so than any other monster. I remember looking at the back of the Day of the Dead VHS box in a video store and seeing a screaming bloody face covered in rotting hands. It’s now one of my favorite horror movies, but it took me years before I could watch it. Many of my favorite horror films are older zombie pictures in fact.

    Glad to see another gamebook!

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