August 18, 2008

Weird Moments in Horror: the Glorious Girl Army of the Free Women's Republic of Somaliland

I've just been rereading the Monster series of zombie horror novels - Monster Island, Monster Nation, Monster Planet - and I re-encountered one of the most unusual things I've ever found in a horror piece: the Glorious Girl Army of the Free Women's Republic of Somaliland.

There are several things that make the Glorious Girl Army of the Free Women's Republic of Somaliland unique. First, the book notes that the places with the most per capita gun possession would best survive a zombie holocaust. This means Somalia, which hasn't had a government in 20 years, would essentially shake off zombies like they never rose from the dead while the First World nations just get eaten.

Second, the plot is put into motion because the leader of the Glorious Girl Army of the Free Women's Republic of Somaliland, "Mama Halima", needs HIV drugs. Third, Mama Halima's group is an Islamic group formed to protect women from rape, murder and mutilation. One woman comments that she'd wade into post-Apocalyptic New York City - home to 10 million cannibalistic corpses - just to help Mama Halima because the eminent shaikhah protected girls from suffering infibulation like she had.

It's not earthshaking, but I thought that it was unusual for people of colour to surface in horror, never mind non-English-speakers. The main character is a white American male former UN employee whose (half-Kenyan) daughter was taken and protected by Mama Halima and in return has to fetch her HIV meds.

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