I know I’ve been banging on about it for weeks, but LAST OF THE LIVING is officially released today. Containing two novellas and a host of zombie short stories, it’s my last word (for a while, anyway) on the living dead.
Way ahead of schedule (a first for me!) I’ve taken delivery of a massive pile of copies of LAST OF THE LIVING. Pre-orders will start shipping this weekend. You can still pre-order and enter the competition to win a few incredibly rare pieces of AUTUMN history (see this post), as long as your order is placed via the Infected Books website before 20 October. All the details you need can be found by clicking here or on the image below.
Hope you enjoy the book. Have a great weekend.
I’m pleased to announce that pre-orders for LAST OF THE LIVING are now open. The book will be officially released on 27 October, but these signed, pre-ordered copies will ship in advance of that date.
All pre-orders received before 20 October will be entered into a competition to win a rare copy of the original Infected Books edition of AUTUMN, along with a genuine (and ever rarer) AUTUMN manuscript from my archives.
One more thing… in keeping with the Infected Books philosophy of not wanting folks to pay for the same thing twice, if you’ve already purchased the COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION ebooks, you can get a £2 discount on your pre-order. Simply use the name of Keith’s (from Isolation) manager as a coupon code at checkout (not case sensitive), and your discount will automatically be applied.
I hope you enjoy LAST OF THE LIVING. As always, don’t hesitate to shout if you have any questions or if you experience any problems placing your order.
I’m really pleased to be able to announce the imminent launch of LAST OF THE LIVING – a paperback collection bringing together the two novellas and associated short stories (i.e. the short story and flash fiction versions of THE COST OF LIVING, as well as WHO WE USED TO BE, TIGHTROPES, MURIEL and WISH I WAS HERE).
Pre-orders will open next week.
I’ve talked a lot about ISOLATION recently, but I’m conscious I haven’t told you very much about the four additional zombie stories which come bundled with the new novella. I’m going to put that right today.
THE COST OF LIVING and ISOLATION ebook releases represent all of my non-AUTUMN zombie output. If you remember, THE COST OF LIVING includes two previous versions of the story. With ISOLATION, I’ve included two previously published shorts, and two which were written specifically to close out this collection.
WHO WE USED TO BE
Originally appeared in John Joseph Adams’ excellent THE LIVING DEAD 2 anthology, and I’ve grown to think of it as the antithesis to THE COST OF LIVING. One minute, everyone in the world dies unexpectedly. A minute later, they all reanimate. The story focuses on a small family unit as they try to prolong their increasingly precarious existence for as long as possible…
Was written for an SFX magazine zombie special. I make no apologies for it being a more mainstream zombie tale than anything else I’ve written, as I was writing for a specific audience. It’s a quick, gory and fun tale of a lone survivor living on his nerves in his parents’ house.
A brand new story set in a world which has just about managed to pull itself back from the brink of the zombie apocalypse. So when we’re used to living alongside the threat of the undead, how long will it be before we slip back into our old ways again…?
WISH I WAS HERE
I’ll say little about this final story, other than it was inspired by a thought that’s regularly struck me… No matter what the reason we’re given for the dead beginning to rise, at the outset there’s a stark difference between us and them. But the longer the situation goes on, the less noticeable those differences become. When the dead walk the Earth, can there be any winners?
I hope you enjoy ISOLATION – early reviews have been great (the ever-reliable BookBloke said: “I was once again blown away by the recognisable settings and relatable yet engrossing characters. A gripping read. Treated to four more short stories within this book, all with different takes on zombie fiction, it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation. It’s one that’s not to be missed”). And finally, for those who’ve been asking, in the coming weeks I’ll be formally announcing LAST OF THE LIVING – a new paperback release which will include ISOLATION, THE COST OF LIVING, and all the other stories I’ve talked about today.
And now for something completely different…
I made a decision early in 2014 to push myself out of my comfort zone more often this year, and the result of one such excursion is released today. THE BLACK FANG BETRAYAL is a collaborative novel produced by J Thorn and written by Thorn, TW Brown, Michaelbrent Collings, Mainak Dhar, J.C. Eggleton, Glynn James, Stephen Knight, T.W. Piperbrook, J.R. Rain, and myself.
Levi Phillips is a warlock living in the woods of rural Ohio. With his apprentice, Matthew, Levi operates one of the most ferocious covens in the world, known as The Black Fang. Managing the coven like an international corporation, Levi controls its enormous wealth while running a moonshine operation as a front. But when a plot to assassinate Levi is exposed, the warlock decides it’s time to destroy The Black Fang and the destruction could create a new beginning.
The Black Fang Betrayal features today’s best horror, dark fantasy and thriller writers collaborating on a unique and fascinating novel. Armed with nothing but a prompt and a character name, each author became a warlock of The Black Fang and wrote a first-person account as a member of the coven. Using themes and sequences woven throughout the complete narrative, a cohesive page-turner emerges.
It was great to be a part of such a unique project, and folks who’ve read the book so far seem to have really enjoyed it. It’s available at the astonishingly low introductory price of $0.99 for a limited time, so please do check it out. Visit www.theblackfangbetrayal.com for more information and an opportunity to enter an exclusive competition. Can you match the authors to their stories?
I hope by now you’ve had chance to read ISOLATION, and I hope you enjoyed it. Early reviews certainly have been reassuringly positive. Shadowlocked said “Isolation is a taut piece of character driven writing“, and BookBloke said “it’s a must have for zombie lovers, people who love gore and violence and people who love stories with exceptional characterisation“.
One thing you probably didn’t know, is that the park-keepers bungalow – the location where most of the action in ISOLATION takes place – actually exists. When we were planning the original short movie, I did a little location filming which you can see embedded below. It’s only a minute long, and it was filmed at completely the wrong time of year, but hopefully seeing where Keith and Anna make their last stand will enhance your enjoyment of the book.
This footage was, in fact, taken in a park near my parents’ house in Birmingham where I grew up. Like Keith, as a child I spent many days mucking around in the streams and fields in the park, building dens and hiding from imaginary monsters and aliens and the like. Fortunately for me, unlike Keith, all my monsters were make-believe.
Cast your minds back a few years, and some of you might remember ISOLATION – a short film project I announced along with Will Wright but which, for various reasons, never made it to screen (though I hope it still might). I’m pleased to announce the release of an adaptation of my original screenplay. You can pre-order it now, and it’ll be available to download from tomorrow (20th).
ISOLATION (which also includes four additional zombie short stories – two of which were previously unpublished) is a companion novella to THE COST OF LIVING. There are no connections between the stories, but they’ll appear together in a combined print edition later this year. Here’s the ISOLATION blurb:
Keith’s in his early twenties. No girlfriend, no hobbies, no future. He spends his days working in an office and his evenings, weekends and just about all his free time looking after his alcoholic dad.
And then the zombie apocalypse changes everything.
Suddenly Keith’s free. For the first time in a long time, he’s got nothing to worry about (apart from several hundred thousand reanimated corpses heading his way).
But then he meets Anna, and everything changes again. Cocky, cool, confident… she’s everything Keith isn’t. Holed-up together in an isolated bungalow, besieged by the living dead, will they survive, or will they tear each other apart before the dead can get anywhere near?
Cover art is again by the brilliant David Shires and, as with THE COST OF LIVING, I’m experimenting with Amazon exclusivity for now. If you want the ePub version of the book, simply buy the Kindle edition, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.
I’m very proud of this one. I hope you enjoy it.
Sometimes things just click into place. Here’s an example: a while back I had an idea for a short story which was inspired, in part, by the steel works at Port Talbot, Wales. You can see a photograph below. I’d always loved the idea of a place like this, perched on the very edge of the land, being one of the last enclaves of the human race after some unspecified apocalyptic event.
And then I was contacted by a friend of mine, Dan Boucher, who is one of the minds behind www.thenovelblog.com (and who has helped me out on a number of occasions in the past… remind yourself of his incredible work here). Dan’s partner in crime on the blog, Peter Mark May, runs Hersham Horror Books and releases regular PentAnths – themed anthologies featuring stories from five invited authors. So I landed myself an invite to contribute to DEAD WATER, and my Port Talbot-inspired story seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
We all need water to live, but what if that life giving body was not so friendly after all?
The book is available now (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Book Depository / Kindle US / Kindle UK – more links to follow) and features my story THE LUCKY ONES alongside tales from Dan, Maynard Sims, Alan Spencer and Simon Bestwick.
Click the link below the steelworks picture for a brief snippet.
First of all, thanks to everyone who already downloaded a copy of THE COST OF LIVING. I’ve been blown away by the book’s popularity. It’s been sitting at number #3 on the Amazon.co.uk Survival Horror charts pretty much since release, and that’s amazing.
I’m regularly being asked the same couple of questions about the availability of the book, so I thought I should post the answers here.
First, can I get an ePub version (Nook, iBook etc.)?
Technically, no – I’ve restricted this release to Amazon to take advantage of their promotional tools. But… if you desperately want an alternative version, please buy the Kindle book, then send me a copy of your receipt and I’ll email an ePub version back to you asap.
Second, can I get THE COST OF LIVING in print?
Not yet, but here’s my plan. TCOL is about half the length of one of my novels, and I don’t think a print edition would be economical. My plan, however, is to repeat this later in the year with the release of another similar-length novella, then to bundle the two stories together in a single paperback.
I hope this all makes sense. As always, get in touch if you need more information.
Just one last bit of clarification. I’m only closing the Infected Bookstore, not the Infected Books publishing business. Apologies if I confused/alarmed anyone. If you were thinking of making a purchase from the rare book sale I’ve been holding this week, I’d get in fast. There’s not a lot left! Click here for more information.