The Omega Man

omega-manI’ve been looking back at Richard Matheson’s seminal I AM LEGEND and the various movie adaptations the book has spawned. This week, Charlton Heston in 1971’s THE OMEGA MAN.

My horror movie education began with double bills of Hammer classics and Universal monster movies which used to be shown late Saturday nights on the BBC. When my parents bought our first VCR, a whole world of possibilities was opened. For the first time I was able to record and watch films I’d otherwise miss because they were on too late on a school night or because my parents didn’t think they were appropriate (please remember – I was very young, and this was the height of the Video Nasties craziness which outlawed 99.9% of the films I wanted to watch).

I remember recording mainstream horror movies such as ALIEN and THE OMEN and watching them endlessly for as long as I was able (usually until Dad needed the tape to record something else – tapes were damn expensive back in the day, and we had the sum total of four of them).

THE OMEGA MAN was another film I watched again and again until I could pretty much recite the script, and until re-watching it for this feature, I hadn’t seen it in a long time. I expected it to have dated badly, but Charlton Heston’s post-apocalyptic antics really took me by surprise. I knew I’d watched the movie through the rose-tinted spectacles of innocence and youth, but there’s no escaping the fact that this is a clunky and horrendously dated film.

Chuck plays Robert Neville who, in this version of the story, lives an isolated life of relative comfort in a funky pad which, for some inexplicable reason, reminded me of Batman’s cave (and I’m talking Adam West Batman here, not Christian Bale or that Affleck person). More than any other I AM LEGEND adaptation, this film is a product of its time. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean, then click the link for my thoughts.

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Year of the Zombie: NOCK

nockIt’s the first of the month, and time for the launch of the tenth novella in the Infected Books YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE series. This month, I’m really pleased to introduce Scott McGlasson, the winner of our Pitch and Page competition, and his story, NOCK.

Ten years After civilization collapsed, a walled city is the only world Stace Tomlinson has ever known. Undead ferals and living marauders still prowl the wilderness outside, but the people of Shawnee Lodge have adapted as best they can. Ammunition, electronics, and gasoline are now distant memories from Before, and they have once again taken up the bow. When almost all the horses and cattle were slaughtered, they learned how to turn ferals into dociles, pulling their ploughs and wagons, turning the wheels of their mills.

It’s a simple life of crops and crafts, but Stace doesn’t want to end up stuck on a farm. She wants to follow in her father’s footsteps, outside the walls. Rob Tomlinson is a Ranger – one of the best, a master of fieldcraft and feral hunting – and living in the shadow of such a fearsome, well-respected figure comes with its own problems. The pressure Stace feels to match up to her father’s expectations can be unbearable. Sometimes, though, life has a habit of showing you one path, then leading you down another.

Stace has struggled to prove to her father that she’s up to the job. Today, though, she’s going to have to step up. Both of their lives depend on it.

NOCK is available now from AMAZON.COMAMAZON.CO.UK and AMAZON.DE

STRAIGHT TO YOU – 20 years old today and available free to read at Wattpad

On the very day that I celebrate twenty years since STRAIGHT TO YOU was first published, I’m pleased to announce that the entire novel (the far superior 2014 version) is available to read at WATTPAD. Please read, review and share to your heart’s content.

Straight to You cover

Want a signed print version of the book at a reasonable price? Visit where you can pick up heavily discounted copies of the 1996 original hardcover and the 2014 paperback.

And to mark the book’s 20th anniversary, enter code sty20 at checkout and help yourself to another 20% off STRAIGHT TO YOU.

Straight to You – the journey is almost over

Right, we’re very nearly there. Just a few chapters left to go in the serialisation of STRAIGHT TO YOU on WATTPAD to mark the twentieth anniversary of the book’s original release.

In today’s chapter, Steven’s almost reached the end of his journey, but he has one last unexpected hurdle to clear.

For those of you who are late to the party, STRAIGHT TO YOU turns twenty on Monday 26 September. I’ll be posting the next chapter this coming Thursday, then the final four chapters on Monday, meaning the entire novel will be available free to read online.

Stay tuned. The ending of the story is definitely worth waiting around for.


UPDATE 22 September – the second of this week’s chapters is now online.

Year of the Zombie – Pitch and Page winner announcement

It’s with great pleasure that I’m able to announce the winner of the Infected Books Year of the Zombie Pitch and Page competition. It’s taken a while for the judging process to be completed, and I’m sorry to have kept folks waiting for the result. We had a good number of entries, but there was a clear favourite which judges Michael Preissl, Gina Panettieri and I unanimously picked.

Congratulations to SCOTT MCGLASSON. Scott’s novella NOCK will be October’s Year of the Zombie release.

Huge thanks to EVERYONE who entered the competition. I’d like to particularly mention a number of other great writers who were highly commended by the judges: Dan Howarth, Matthew Gilman, Angela Bodine and Mouse-Diver Dudfield.