Origins: Zombie pulp fiction

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 9 - 2009

weird_4603In my ongoing research into the origins and history of the zombie in fiction, I came across this interesting article on the earliest zombie stories in pulp magazines such as Weird Tales. It turns out some pretty well-known pulp authors, including Robert E. Howard (of Conan fame)  and  Clark Ashton Smith, contributed some early ink to the zombie mythos. As far back as 1939 descriptions such as, “Above the man’s left temple, amid the grey-flecked hair, jagged splinters of bone gleamed through torn and discoloured flesh! And a grayish ribbon of brain-stuff hung down beside the man’s left ear!” (from a Thorp McCluskey story called “While Zombies Walked”), which would ring true to any modern zombie fan, were appearing in pulps. It’a an interesting read and it managed to add a stack of odds and ends to my ever-growing reading list. Hopefully I can track some of this stuff down…

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