OK, I get it. I do. People like zombies. Lots and lots of people. Enough people that they can get zombie fiction nominated for the Hugo? Apparently. Mira Grant’s debut novel is set a generation after the zombie apocalypse happens in our near future. Most survivors are shut-ins, who rely on the internet for almost all their interpersonal needs. In Feed we are given the story of Georgia and Shaun, adoptive siblings raised by parents who are the equivalent of Reality TV stars, and who are trying to make a name for themselves in the highly competitive world of blogging. The crux of the story occurs when they are picked from the many applicants to be the only bloggers accompanying the likely frontrunner in the next presidential election on his campaign.
Because blogging is soooo controversial, 35 years from now, that having bloggers accompany you instead of “mainstream media” types is a huge deal. Yeah, sure.
OK, fine, it’s zombie fiction, and zombies don’t make sense, so it’s hard to be too surprised when something based on that as a central premise doesn’t make sense…but I just can’t help myself. I was completely unable to maintain a functional Suspension of Disbelief while reading this book. It was fine as long as there was action going on; Ms. Grant has a knack for writing action narrative, and I enjoyed it when things were moving. But the massive, awkward info-dumps were a pain, and the implied “are they or aren’t they” between the two siblings was way too squicky for me. The combination of a strange variety of short-sightedness regarding the future and all too frequent call-backs to the fiction and events of our recent past was just way too jarring. I can’t recommend this book, and I would rather no Hugo be presented than for this to win.