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Zombies of the Gene Pool (Jay Omega #2)

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  890 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In the 1950s, eight young men, dreaming of literary immortality, buried a time capsule with their science fiction stories and cultural relics from the time. Now the capsule is being dredged up because a few of those men have in fact become very famous. As a result, the excavation turns into a multimedia event. Everything goes off without a hitch until a surprise guest make ...more
224 pages
Published (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,273)
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Mike (the Paladin)
If you read my review of Bimbos of the Death Sun by McCrumb you know that so far as I can tell she has a very inaccurate....and low opinion of science fiction/fantasy fans. This book while possibly not as "cruel" in it's tone as the aforementioned one it is still condescending and insulting to fans of the two genres mentioned above. In this case we not only manage to insult and belittle fans of Science fiction and fantasy, but the writers as well.

I have little use for either of these books as th
Bridgette Redman
"Zombies of the Gene Pool" is the second in the series. While it lacks the side-splitting humor and the cruel satire of the first ("Bimbos of the Death Sun), it is still quite humorous and worthy of a read.

Zombies, like Bimbos, does poke fun at the ever out-of-step subculture of sci-fi and fantasy writers and fandom. But this time the teasing is a bit more gentle and there is almost a lingering sadness and pity for the characters who have all found different ways to escape or embrace their adole
To properly title this book I would remove the "l" from pool. No one would be interested in the reunion of science fiction writers in this story. Not the writers themselves, and certainly not the reader. The book labors on and on about how interesting it would be for uninteresting writers to get together and relive their uninteresting histories. Then it does an about face and becomes a "mystery" concerning someone's death. I wished for my own death before the book was done. J Omega may have come ...more
The sequel to Bimbos of the Death Sun, though not any better. McCrumb has invented her own science fiction fandom--the same basics (zines, conventions, BNFs) but with made-up authors and terms. Her characters are uninteresting, her humor is forced, and the fictional fandom is painful to read. Also, sadly dated. It's an ok read, but I'd hardly recommend it.
2.5 Stars. I must really be in a funk because this was the 3rd book in a row I had a hard time staying focused on. I think in this case the age of the book was a factor.

"Zombies of the Gene Pool" is the follow up to "Bimbos of the Death Sun." In this book, engineering professor and sci-fi author Jay and his girlfriend English professor Marion are asked to attend a reunion of the Lanthanides, a group of early science fiction writers, one of whom is a colleague of Marion's in the English departmen
Barbara ★
The book premise sounded intriguing but don't let that fool you. Who knew science fiction authors were such boring nerds? McCrumb couldn't have made these guys more boring if she tried. It's no wonder they didn't last as friends...they probably bored each other to tears. Up to page 58 is detailed background on each "member" and what he/she remembers from that time period. Around page 125 (of 208) the story finally picks up and was sort of interesting. Though certainly not worth the 6 hours it to ...more
Like its predecessor, Bimbos of the Death Sun, this book's most salient feature is its love/hate relationship with fandom. McCrumb wields what seems to be thorough knowledge of the fanzine/ fan culture and builds a story around a reunion of 1950s fans who've mostly hit it big. As before, the story follows Jay O. Mega, a physics prof who also writes SF novels. He gathers a number of suspects, a single vile character who subsequently dies, and then follows the clues to the murderer. A few addition ...more
Sarah Sammis
Zombies of the Gene Pool is the sequel to Bimbos of the Death Sun. This book satirizes fandom and has a mystery set during a reunion of 1950s authors.

Author and engineer Jay Omega pals along with his colleague to the reunion of the "Lanthanides" so named because they first joined together in 1957. They have come together thirty years later to dig up a time capsule long buried at the bottom of a man made lake (currently being drained for repairs).

Mostly this book, as its predecessor, Bimbos of th
This has to be the dullest murder mystery I've ever read. The murder doesn't occur until 181 pages in, and the "investigation" doesn't start until around 25 pages after that. The crime is solved in the space of a couple of pages, and the tacked on "surprise" ending is just plain criminal. The real mystery for me is why did I keep reading this after slogging through chapters of the characters name-dropping just about every science fiction legend (except Gene Roddenberry) who ever lived, unlikable ...more
Mediocre effort lacking in the charm of the first book. The technology is badly dated, which is problematic mostly because it's written as if things are cutting edge, so it ages poorly. The attitudes towards fandom are also a little too far on the snotty side, giving the characters an unlikeable edge.

The mystery itself is rather pedestrian which is also disappointing. The reader is certainly given no real chance to sleuth it out for themselves, which hurts in such a thin volume. While it was nic
Mark Oppenlander
In the sequel to "Bimbos of the Death Sun," Jay Omega and Marion Farley discover that one of their faculty colleagues is a member of the Lanthanides, a group of science fiction writers who lived together for a time in the 1950's on a farm in Tennessee. Before they left the farm to go their separate ways, they buried a time capsule with unpublished short stories written by each of them. Years later, now that some of their members have become famous, they intend to unearth the time capsule and sel ...more
Jay Daze
In the end this book and its companion 'Bimbos of the Death Sun' is a counter voice to the ascendancy of fandom. These are books that are deeply ambivalent about an engaged audience. Fan is fanatical. Personally I find the narrator's voice too caustic, like that friend that rips everyone else down when you are talking with them - but the second you leave you know they'll be doing the same to you. Not person you really want to hang out with, but interesting to have encountered.

I enjoyed this book
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I was disappointed. It had so much potential and fell flat. Plus it was horribly sexist. I'm surprised this woman is an award winning author.
Pat Cummings
Layered and nuanced, this Sharon McCrumb tale combines the Appalachian flavor of her Ballad series with her character-driven MacPherson mysteries to present a vision of life after youthful dreams have died. The "zombies" of the title are one-time science fiction Fans - that is with a capital "F" - whose juvenile attempts at deathless prose were buried in a pickle-jar time capsule in 1954. Since then, the Fan Farm where they wrote their earliest stories, and the time capsule in which they burie ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in January 2002.

From the title alone it is quite clear that this is going to be a sequel to the hilarious Bimbos of the Death Sun. Once again, James Mega gets involved in SF fandom, when he and his partner Marion discover that one of the English professors at the university where they both teach is actually one of the Lanthanides, a group of fifties fans who turned out to include several now famous authors. (He wrote under a pseudonym, which is why this is no
"In the 1950s, eight young men, dreaming of literary immortality, buried a time capsule with their science fiction stories and cultural relics from the time. Now the capsule is being dredged up because a few of those men have in fact become very famous. As a result, the excavation turns into a multimedia event.

Everything goes off without a hitch until a surprise guest makes an appearance -- a writer who was supposed to have died thirty years ago. Still cynical and angry, he is threatening to exp
In the 1950s, eight young men, dreaming of literary immortality, buried a time capsule with their science fiction stories and cultural relics from the time. Now the capsule is being dredged up because a few of those men have in fact become very famous. As a result, the excavation turns into a multimedia event.

Everything goes off without a hitch until a surprise guest makes an appearance -- a writer who was supposed to have died thirty years ago. Still cynical and angry, he is threatening to expo
I was a bit surprised by this. I was expecting the campy style and setting of the first book in this series, but instead, it's set in a Tennessee town during a reunion of old sci-fi writers. Instead of the over-the-top zanieness of a convention, it's a rather sad, depressing drained lake, complete with an analysis of the TVA and how they didn't truly pay the families they'd displaced a fair value. The setting is more something that I would have expected from one of her other series (especially t ...more
This looked and sounded a little strange but it was a bargain at my local used book store. It's by Sharyn McCrumb and I've liked her books before so I pick it up. She has a zany side that I enjoy and it comes through in this book but there are moments of depth and insight. This is a mystery that centers around a group of science fiction fans/writers and what happens when they meet up late in life after having gone in many different directions. One even seems to have come back from the grave. Int ...more
B. Ross Ashley
Fun sequel to BIMBOS OF THE DEATH SUN. The denouement of the mystery is not quite what one would expect. Some of the characters are rather overdrawn, but then one suspects they would be overblown in Real Life (c) and in fandom.
Maybe not as good as Bimbos of the Death Sun, but an exciting page-turner. It's too bad that she later repudiated these books and refused to write any more.
Michael Hanscom
A light but enjoyable sequel to Bimbos of the Death Sun, picking up a few years later as Jay Omega and girlfriend Marion join a professor friend and former SF author on a trip to a reunion of a storied group of Golden Age SF authors. Where Bimbos used a SF/F con as its setting, Zombies uses the reunion to evoke much of early SF fandom and how it changed over the next few decades. More sedate than Bimbos, Zombies has less of the fandom snark and less humor, but is certainly not without occasional ...more
I really enjoyed McCrumb's Sci-fi fandom movels. I'm one of those dumb fans that wished she'd make it a trilogy.
Jules Jones
[2010-12-01] Mystery set amongst science fiction fandom, and a sequel to Bimbos of the Death Sun, although you don't need to have read the latter first. The mystery isn't too bad, but McCrumb's attitude to fandom makes me wonder who ran over her puppy. Yes, the sort of people she's talking about did and do exist (I've met some of them), but she's presenting the extreme as the norm. I also prefer mysteries where in theory at least you could work out the answer from clues along the way, and I'm no ...more
Cynthia Naval
Enjoyable read. Sorry there weren't more books with these characters.
Like "Bimbos of the Death Sun," "Zombies of the Gene Pool" is more about the characters than an actual complex mystery. Finding out whodunit is secondary to the science fiction shout-outs and jokes. Also like "Bimbos," this books really digs a knuckle into the side of sci-fi fandom, which needs a good dig every once and a while, for it takes itself waaaaaay too seriously. What really got to me about this novel is the bleak lives of aging sci-fi fans. You really can't go home again, because there ...more
Peregrine 12
I am not a fan of books that give life stories of multiple characters at the expense of an actual plot. In my opinion, this was such a book. Trying to get through this was like listening to a stranger tell you the last 40 years of his family history, randomly, with little or no connection between the people. There seem to be a lot of books like this out there these days, and I don't like them either, so maybe I'm just a bad reader. Whatever, I got halfway through and quit out of sheer boredom an ...more
When a group of sci fi writers who started out together as teens in a small town have a reunion, death, identity and a time capsule complicate things. Very funny, with great references to sci fi, RPGs, cons, and fandom.
Dec 07, 2014 Rhonda rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I love Sharyn McCrumb, I liked the first Jay Omega book but this one....very slow moving and I just could not get into it.
I'm still asking myself "Why did you even finish this?"
The writing was choppy and uneven with flashbacks and side stories that was all about nothing. Someone is dead but there was no point to it all. I read nothing that was humorous or laugh out loud, just a tired plot that didn't know where it was going.
I seriously need to learn that titles are misleading. And that perhaps, I just am not a fan of Sharyn McCrumb.
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Sharyn McCrumb is an American writer whose books celebrate the history and folklore of Appalachia. Educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech, she has also taught Appalachian studies. She is married to David McCrumb, a corporate environmental director, and has two children, Laura and Spencer.
More about Sharyn McCrumb...

Other Books in the Series

Jay Omega (2 books)
  • Bimbos of the Death Sun (Jay Omega, #1)
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, #2) She Walks These Hills (Ballad, #3) The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5) If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (Ballad, #1) The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4)

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