Just one week to go until CHOKEHOLD hits the shelves. Here’s the first chapter for you…
Fifteen Miles East of Cambridge
The first few enemy figures appear on the horizon, and the fighters lying in wait for them are desperate to engage, starved of conflict. It’s been too long. These fuckers have had it coming. These fuckers will be shown no mercy.
It’s taken weeks to get to this point. Every meter of mud has been fought for; every reclaimed centimeter of concrete and tarmac has been won at a cost. They’re not going to give it up now, not after all those sacrifices, all those lives lost. There’s no going back. It’s them or us.
Word of the approaching attackers spreads quickly along the front line, accompanied by a nervous tension that borders on excitement. Some of these men and women dare to dream that the bulk of the bloodshed is behind them now, that this is the last push of the final war. There’s an unspoken belief that each new bloom of violence will bring them closer to restoring some semblance of normality to what’s left of their lives.
The service station is accessed by a single road that splinters off what used to be one of the major routes into Cambridge. The main road had been midway through a massive, years-long rebuild-and-regeneration program when the war began, and here, alongside the services, lies the abandoned remains of a construction base the size of a small town. The fighters used the roadworks equipment to strengthen and fortify their position while secreting their armored vehicles and heavy weapons among the highway maintenance vans and flatbeds. Diggers were used to carve deep trenches at a distance from the main buildings, and the ballast, soil, and scree they excavated now protects the service station itself—great drifts of the stuff used to block access, strengthen walls, and camouflage metal and glass from view. Inside the building, the familiar plastic façades of long-gone restaurant chains and fast-food outlets remain, reminding people what they’ve lost. But the rawness of their pain is eased knowing that what they have here is more than almost everyone else.
Remember these little beauties? If you’ve been following my work since the early days, you might remember these bloody HATER t-shirts which were popular when the novel was originally released in 2009. Now, because lots of you have been asking, they’re back. Click here or on the image below for more details.
I was sorry to hear about the death of Amazon’s Matchbook today. Matchbook allowed readers to get heavily discounted or free versions of the print books they bought from the site.
As a writer and a publisher, I believe in fairness and in not ripping off my readers. I think if you buy a print version of an Infected Books title, you should automatically get an eBook version too. Matchbook helped me to do that. But there is an alternative solution. Buy a signed copy of one of my Infected Books releases and you’ll be able to download an eBook version immediately. Conversely, if you’ve bought a digital version and you’d like a signed print version as well, you can let me know and I’ll discount the print book by the cost of the eBook you’ve already bought*.
Your six-year-old daughter has been bitten by a zombie and now hungers for human flesh. What do you do? Do you double tap her in the brain? Or do you become the ultimate enabler and feed her human flesh? And where do you get human flesh from? This is the dilemma that Gareth and Jen face with their beautiful daughter Ana. What will they do? And how far will it go?
I do love a good disaster movie. Trouble is, they don’t make them like they used to. These days they tend to be bombastic and CGI-heavy and usually a). don’t make a lot of sense, and b). star ex-wrestlers.
My wife and I went on holiday to Norway last month, and while we were away I was reminded of a fairly recent disaster movie that I actually enjoyed. I thought it would be a good recommendation for this site. And why was I reminded of this particular film? Because our cruise ship docked in Geiranger, the beautiful and idyllic little village which is wiped out by THE WAVE (Bølgen). Here’s a photo of Lisa soaking up the sun and looking down on the village, just after telling me she hadn’t enjoyed the bus ride up the mountain, so we were going to have to walk back down…
Although anticipated, no one is really ready when the mountain pass above the scenic, narrow Norwegian fjord Geiranger collapses and creates an 85-meter high violent tsunami. A geologist is one of those caught in the middle of it.
As regular readers will know, author CRAIG DILOUIE and I go back a long way. A glance through the archives of this site will show that I’m not just a friend of his I’m also a fan, and I was thrilled when he sent me a copy of his latest novel, OUR WAR.
Since finding huge success with zombie and apocalyptic novels like TOOTH AND NAIL and THE INFECTION, DiLouie’s also found an audience for his meticulously researched war novels, the CRASH DIVE series. In case you’d forgotten, DiLouie, Tim Long and I also co-wrote THE FRONT series, a World War II zombie mash-up which a lot of folks seemed to enjoy.
But DiLouie also writes books with far more personal themes. Of particular note is SUFFER THE CHILDREN, which looks at the lengths parents will go to in order to protect a child. His latest novel, OUR WAR, is set in the near future and, for me, it’s the most successful collision yet of the two strands of his fiction. OUR WAR is a prescient book, and a hard one to read, but it’s one I’d very much like to recommend you pick up.
When the president of the United States is impeached, but refuses to leave office, the country erupts into civil war.
10-year-old Hannah Miller, an orphan living in besieged Indianapolis, has joined a citizen’s militia. She had nowhere else to go. And after seeing the firsthand horrors of war, she’s determined to fight with the Free Women militia.
Hannah’s older brother, Alex, is a soldier too. But he’s loyal to the other side. After being separated from Hannah, he finds a home in a group calling themselves The Liberty Tree militia.
When a UNICEF worker and a reporter discover that both sides are using child soldiers, they set out to shine a light on something they thought could never happen in the United States. But it may be too late because even the most gentle children can find that they’re capable of horrific acts.
In many ways we live in an increasingly polarised society, with what can feel like irreparable divisions springing up between friends, families and communities. As you know, that’s a central theme of my HATER series, and having spent more than a decade studying and writing about intolerance, I’m worried that more than ever we’re spiralling towards the point of no return. You’ve only to look at the first line of the OUR WAR blurb to see how close to reality this piece of speculative fiction really is.
Huge thanks to everyone who has been helping spread the word about CHOKEHOLD. As promised in my last post, I’ll be sending out advance copies to a few randomly picked folks. I’m actually going to send more copies than I originally planned, so well done and thank you to Kerry, Bernie, Jess, Susan, Éric, Erika, Amanda and Suzanne – your books will be on the way shortly.
The release of CHOKEHOLD is just two months away. I have a few spare advance copies of the book that I’d like to do something useful with, so I thought a quick giveaway would be in order. The rules of entry are simple: make some noise online about the new book or the earlier novels in the series (ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING and ALL ROADS END HERE) and I’ll put your name in the hat for an advance copy of CHOKEHOLD. You can post a review, tweet something, post to Facebook or Instagram – anything that helps me get the word out.
Let me know what you’ve done by filling in the form below.
August is always a quiet time around here. For no other reason, I guess, than the fact I’m usually neck-deep in writing. This year has been no exception (hence no posts for three weeks…). I thought it was time to reappear and give you an update. But first, thanks to my friend RICHARD BANNISTER of RICHBRIX for immortalising me in Lego. I was genuinely thrilled when he sent me to me. Isn’t he (aren’t I) cool?! More about that in a moment.
So what have I been up to? I’ve been working on a new novel called WAS SHE EVER THERE? since March, and I’m about to head into what I think will be the final draft. This one is something of a departure for me, and I’ll tell you more when the next pass is complete. There’s also been a lot of planning going on, mainly getting ready for my part of THE BLEED which I’m writing alongside CHRIS PHILBROOK and MARK TUFO. I can’t wait to get going on my section of the book. It’ll feature a visit from God and several ocean’s worth of gore.
Much work is also being done in preparation for my expansion of the AUTUMN series in 2020. The German reissues of the original series have gone down a storm (Vielen Dank an alle, die eine Kopie abgeholt haben), and the AUTUMN website at www.lastoftheliving.net will be getting a fresh coat of paint in the coming weeks. I think I can say that it’ll now be a trilogy of new novels which will be more broader in scale than the original books. Put it this way – if you set an AUTUMN novel in the centre of London you’re going to have many more survivors who’ll have to contend with many, many, many, many more undead.
So back to RICHBRIX. I used to work with Richard and even back in 2006/7 I knew he had a fascination for turning famous film scenes into bespoke Lego kits. Fast-forward a decade, and his passion has given birth to an incredible business. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a Lego Snake Plissken from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (I genuinely have), or V from V FOR VENDETTA, then Rich is your man. Head over to www.richbrix.co.uk and get ready to part with your well-earned cash!