Ordinary Jack

FIC REVEAL: Bagthorpes v. Zombies (Gen/Ensemble, PG-13)

This year I wrote Bagthorpes v. Zombies for adaptationdecay!

The Bagthorpe Saga has been bruited about in Yuletide nominations before (I even requested it one year, without having previously thought about it at all, and I think my optional details were something completely unhelpful like "Anything at all!!!! You could crossover with Doctor Who?"), but I wound up being the first person to actually write it. This was kind of awesome, because I got readers who had forgotten and/or thought they had hallucinated these books until they came across my story, and anything that raises the profile of the Bagthorpes is awesome in my book.

The books are shamefully out of print; even the reissues of the first four books that Oxford University Press did in 2005 when Helen Cresswell died seem to have fallen back out of print, although the excellent audiobooks persist on Audible. You can look for them at your local library, or, if they have discarded their copies, pick up ex-library copies in good condition cheaply on Abebooks or similar.

I adore these books; they relate the saga of an English family comprised nearly entirely of eccentrics and mostly of self-proclaimed geniuses, who are at least quite bright and distinctly self-absorbed. Life at the Bagthorpe house largely takes place on the continuum bounded by "barely controlled chaos" and "utter chaos", all omnisciently narrated with a comedic touch that I would not hesitate to compare with the Master himself (P. G. Wodehouse). So naturally I couldn't resist adding some zombies to the mix.

For this I can only partly blame my lovely recipient, who wrote me delightful, discursive prompts that could be held up as a model to all Yuletiders everywhere. As soon as the assignment landed in my inbox, though, the Bagthorpes promptly crossed with a suggestion from a prompt Gyo Fujikawa's A to Z Picture Book, wherein Z is for Zombie (and Y is for Yuletide!) and thus this hybrid plot bunny was born.

It grew into a brain-devouring monster, overran my estimates several times, and finally swelled to 7,000 words before the approaching deadline prompted me to forcibly put a cap on it (which is almost twice as long as my next-longest Yuletide story!).

If you like zombies, but aren't certain how you feel about Bagthorpes, it is the sort of story I think can be read by any interested parties, due to extensive pastiche of character and narrative asides that are hopefully both amusing and informative.
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