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Zombies of the Gene Pool (Jay Omega #2)

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  940 Ratings  ·  78 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 1,378)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 15, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it
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
...more
Jenn
Dec 04, 2012 Jenn rated it did not like it
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
Wealhtheow
Jul 02, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, humor
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.
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
Bridgette Redman
Feb 08, 2012 Bridgette Redman rated it really liked it
"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
...more
Catherine
Jan 05, 2011 Catherine rated it did not like it
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
Josh
Dec 24, 2011 Josh rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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
...more
Pat Cummings
Mar 16, 2015 Pat Cummings rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Heather
Apr 30, 2014 Heather rated it it was ok
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
...more
Simon Mcleish
Aug 27, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it
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
...more
Brendan
Jan 13, 2010 Brendan rated it it was ok
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
Nov 03, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
Shelves: released
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
...more
Shazza Maddog
A couple of decades ago, I read a delightful murder mystery, Bimbos of the Death Sun. My copy vanished when my boyfriend laid it down at work but I remember enjoying it.

When I spotted the title and the author, I snatched up the book and ran cackling.

Zombies starts out slow. The premise is, a group of SF fans in the 50s were living in Wall Hollow, Tennessee, when the government decided to dam up the river. This wiped out the town of Wall Hollow and the slan shack of the fen. However, before tha
...more
Mark Oppenlander
Jan 03, 2015 Mark Oppenlander rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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
Feb 11, 2015 Jay Daze rated it it was ok
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
...more
D.M. Dutcher
Feb 26, 2016 D.M. Dutcher rated it did not like it
Rather boring murder mystery centered around Science Fiction fandom. Novels about that are usually horrid-see Niven's Fallen Angels for a good example why-and this is no different. Aging lothario/unlikable authors snipe at each other, and oh by the way someone dies.

To Crumbs's credit she gets the 80's SF fandom well, but SF authors in general tend to be five flavors of nuts, and not in the good ways. In the petty, backbiting, sleep with each other's wives way. You sour on the characters before y
...more
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.
Kate
Nov 22, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
"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
...more
Angela
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
...more
Melanti
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
Rhonda Newton
I listened to the audiobook version which was well done. I'm not sure how to classify this but it doesn't really feel like a mystery - in the audio version, the death is not until disc 6 of 7.

Fascinating as a study of perceptions of sci-fi fandom.

Since it was written just over 20 years ago, I did want to smack Jay for not seeming to fully appreciate Marion!
Sharla
Jan 06, 2014 Sharla rated it really liked it
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
Jan 14, 2015 B. Ross Ashley rated it really liked it
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.
Jay Wright
This was a witty little tale, and frankly it did have its moments. Do not expect literary genius but a nice little weekend read. She does do a good job of potraying nerds.
Aaron
Jul 18, 2015 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris
Mar 04, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
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
Lesley Arrowsmith
Dec 30, 2015 Lesley Arrowsmith rated it liked it
Not quite as funny as Bimbos of the Death Sun, but still an interesting look at 1950s SF fandom.
Philip Christman
Dec 17, 2015 Philip Christman rated it liked it
A fun read, with some interesting observations on sci-fi fandom.
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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.
-Wikipedia
More about Sharyn McCrumb...

Other Books in the Series

Jay Omega (2 books)
  • Bimbos of the Death Sun (Jay Omega, #1)

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