Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
Eugenics is, or was, a social movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that pushed for the betterment of the human race through selective breeding and sterilization. It was envisioned as a progressive movement that would prevent poverty, overcrowding, and mental retardation. Proponents insisted that eugenics would lead to a superior human race. Most Americans today would associate the ideology with Germany, however, the movement had its origins in the United States before being adopted by the Nazi party.
In Population Zero, Wrath James White takes this left wing movement, reimagines it for the 21st century, and adds his own hardcore spin. The result is among the most extreme novellas ever written. Filled with scenes of forced vasectomies and abortions, Population Zero delivers a narrative that is both disgusting and compelling. The gore in many ways masks the more subtle historic horrors and modern day truths.
Todd Heimlich works at a welfare office. Every day he deals with those down on their luck. Many are the dregs of society, such as pregnant junky hookers and lazy dead beat dads. Meanwhile, the world slowly dies as the human population continues to multiply. Someone needs to do something about it and that somebody is veggie burrito eating Todd Heimlich. Armed with a taser, a scalpel, and some medical pages printed off the internet, he is ready to sterilize the world one victim at a time.
The author’s delivery is brilliant. He manages to balance the horror of the situation with a witty banter and social commentary that will have the reader questioning his or her personal life decisions. The story never stumbles. White interjects enough twists and turns to keep it unexpected and interesting.
Wrath James White can be compared to an early Joe R. Lansdale or Poppy Z. Brite. His writing is raw. He pulls no punches. Population Zero is among his best works to date and is a must read for fans of extreme horror. Pick it up now.