10 years of AUTUMN

Hard to believe today is the 10 year anniversary of the mass market release of AUTUMN. It had been around for another 10 years prior to that, of course, first as a very basic free download, then as an independent release through Infected Books. I just happened to be on holiday in New York with the family at the time, and I’ll never forget the buzz of walking into Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue and finding copies on display in the wild (see picture below). It was the beginning of an unforgettable period in my career.

Fast forward a decade, and here I am writing AUTUMN novels again! I thought the series was done and dusted in 2013 with the release of AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION, but over the last couple of years I found myself thinking more and more about the world of AUTUMN, and I came across a new story I really wanted to tell.

Go back to 2001 when I started sharing AUTUMN online for the first time, and it was a very different world. The Internet was just starting to get its claws into everyday life (and that was part of the reason I started giving the book away for free at the time), but we were nowhere near as reliant on the web and our phones as we are today, and the idea of social media hadn’t yet raised its ugly head. The surviving characters in the first AUTUMN books were isolated from the rest of the world at the exact moment everyone else dropped dead, immediately unable to contact anyone else. No one to ask for help. No one to answer their thousands of questions. Nothing but absolute, unending, suffocating radio silence.

So, how would things be different today? Maybe the last few hours and days before the power dies and the networks fail will be enough time for those desperate survivors to communicate and coordinate? Maybe they’d be able to piece together what was happening from the global population’s dying digital remains?

And there’s another huge difference between the people who survived the AUTUMN epidemic back in 2001 and those who’d make it if the events of the book had taken place in 2020. Zombies! Back in the day, there was an unwritten rule that the people in zombie stories didn’t know what zombies were, but after a couple of decades filled with THE WALKING DEAD and its variations, 28 DAYS LATER, and countless other zombie books, TV series and movies, it seems unlikely that any survivors would now be that naive. They’re going to have more of an idea of what’s going on and how they’re going to have to deal with it, and they certainly wouldn’t be as green as Michael, Carl and the others were in the first scenes of AUTUMN. Maybe that’ll be their undoing, because the living dead in the AUTUMN books certainly don’t play by the same rules as other zombies. It would be wrong to assume and underestimate what they’re capable of…

But I guess the biggest immediate difference between the original series and the new trilogy, is scale. The groups of survivors in the original series were small in number – usually less than 30, hopelessly outnumbered. Not the case for my new characters, who have to deal with the zombie apocalypse in the middle of London. This means there will likely be hundreds of people left alive, but they’ll be surrounded by literally millions of zombies. In the original books you could go for hours without seeing one of the walking dead. This time around, there are hordes of them around every single corner. I’m having a blast writing these new books. The whole trilogy has been scoped out in detail, with the intention of writing and releasing the novels in quick-fire succession during 2021.

So happy birthday, AUTUMN. Here’s to a brand new chapter beginning early next year.

 

 

Free eBook

Just a quick reminder that when you sign up for my mailing list, you can download a free eBook sampler of my work. It’s just been updated to include SCRATCH – my novella from the Infected Books 2016 YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE project – as well as ANGEL, my favourite AUTUMN short story, and THE DEAL which is horrible little tale torn from the pages of THE LAST BIG THING.

Click here or on the cover below for more information. No junk, spam or nonsense, I promise. I generally only send newsletters when there’s a new release on the horizon. And I’m planning several of those for 2021.

Who is that handsome fellow? Why, that’s me on the set of the AUTUMN movie. What a stunner.

#ALIVE

If you’re in need of a quick zombie movie fix this Sunday afternoon (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), can I recommend #ALIVE, a South Korean movie which is available now on Netflix. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but I liked it quite a lot.

As a grisly virus rampages a city, a lone man stays locked inside his apartment, digitally cut off from seeking help and desperate to find a way out.

Here’s a very long trailer (actually the first five minutes of the film):

Continue reading

An AUTUMN update

Hi everyone. I wanted to give you a quick update on my progress with the new AUTUMN novels. They’re coming along nicely, but I’ve had a couple of major interruptions since I announced them earlier this year (namely the onset of a global pandemic swiftly followed by a heart attack), and it’s become clear that I’m not going to make the October release I’d originally scheduled for AUTUMN: DAWN. Apologies.

Autumn by David Moody - original cover art by Dave Joseph 2005

I’m hoping that AUTUMN: DAWN will now be released in April 2021, with the other books in the new trilogy – INFERNO and EXODUS – following in quick succession. It’s been an absolute blast returning to the world of AUTUMN after nearly a decade away, and though the new books will be very different on a number of levels, the same bleak tone and the overwhelming scale of the apocalypse feels just as it did when I started writing the first book back in 1997. If you’ve not read the original books, you can find a huge amount of information and stacks of free AUTUMN short stories at www.lastoftheliving.net.

Bloody Good Reads

I had a bloody good time talking to bloody Mark Goddard about some bloody good books on the BLOODY GOOD READS podcast. My choices won’t surprise anyone who’s read any interviews with me previously – I AM LEGEND, DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and DOMAIN. I also got to chat about my past, current and future work – from AUTUMN to HATER to STRANGERS to THE BLEED (taking a brief detour along the way to discuss the merits of the AUTUMN movie).

You can listen to the podcast here. Please support Mark and BLOODY GOOD READS by subscribing to the podcast or following them on Twitter.

Joe and Me

I’ll admit, when I first started writing the original AUTUMN novel back in 1996 (I think), I wasn’t too bothered about trying to work out what caused the horrific infection that wiped out most of the human race (then made millions of them them get up again). As I’ve always said, the books are more about the human stories that followed than anything else. But by the time I got to AUTUMN: PURIFICATION in 2004, I’d spent quite a bit of time thinking about what might have happened. You sort of get a hint of an explanation in that book.

It was much, much later when I decided to come clean and write about the chain of events that triggered the AUTUMN apocalypse. The story – JOE AND ME – was written, but as far as I was concerned the AUTUMN series was done and dusted and I had no immediate plans to publish it. Enter my friend MICHAEL WILSON of THIS IS HORROR. Michael asked me to write the first THIS IS HORROR chapbook, and I saw an opportunity to release JOE AND ME into the wild. I was thrilled with the reception the story received, and that inspired me to re-write and expand the companion collection, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION. JOE AND ME also features in that book.

I’ve thought a lot about JOE AND ME since the coronavirus pandemic began (you’ll understand why if you read it), and I decided to share it again. I thought the best way of doing that was to link to the episode of the THIS IS HORROR podcast when I narrated an audiobook version. Forgive my rough around the edges Brummie delivery – I’m very much an amateur when it comes to audio – but here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

La Cabina (The Phone Box)

I hope you and your loved ones are well wherever you are. I’m in lockdown at home with the family and am trying to write my way through the pandemic. My next project is to start the first book in the new AUTUMN trilogy, but inspiration for that is proving elusive given what’s going on right now.

We all need a distraction in times like this, so I have one for you. It’s been a while since I recommended a movie here, and I’m going to put that right today. It’s a classic short film which, at the moment, is available in its entirety on YouTube, so this post is really just to point you in the right direction.

A little bit of background to begin with. My office window looks out onto our back garden, and one feature in particular. My wife Lisa has – how can I put this? – an eclectic taste in outdoor ornaments, and her prize possession is a genuine K6 telephone box. It was lovingly restored and now takes pride of place in the garden. I’ve joked with a few folks about using it as an isolation pod during lockdown, and the thought of being trapped in the phone box reminded me of the 1972 Spanish movie, LA CABINA (THE PHONE BOX).

If you’re as old as me and remember the horror double bills which used to be shown on Saturday nights on the BBC in the 1980s, you might remember seeing this one. It starts as a gentle, almost comedic short about a man trapped in a box, but over the course of its 30-odd minute duration, the tone shifts completely.

LA CABINA is highly recommended, even in these worrying times when we’re all feeling as isolated as the man in the box. Take care, stay safe, and enjoy the film.

Remain Calm! (it’s probably going to be okay)

Hello everyone. Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. It’s actually only a few weeks, but it feels like a lifetime. In my 20+ years of writing apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, I never believed we’d ever collectively experience anything like Covid-19. Before you stop reading, don’t worry – this isn’t me using this nightmare situation to try and sell a few books.

Couldn’t resist sharing that video, though. My old pal Iain McKinnon and some of his colleagues made a series of short HATER promo videos back when DOG BLOOD was about to be released, only for us to be unable to use them because it looked like the movie was about to happen.

Anyway, back to the point.

It’s surreal and frightening to be sitting here in lockdown like this. If I’m honest, it does feel like something out of one of my books, and plenty of folks have been quick to point that out. I wrote THE COST OF LIVING when my family and I moved into our current house and set it on our development; now we’re genuinely isolated in our home from a viral pandemic. The AUTUMN series, of course, is all about a world ravaged by a virulent disease, and with the toilet roll panic buying hysteria in the supermarkets, I’ve seen things on the TV news which definitely remind me of HATER (chapter 20 in particular). But for all these similarities, I DON’T THINK THIS IS THE APOCALYPSE.

Terrifying though, isn’t it?

The books I write have always focused on the worst case scenario. You can bet the folks you meet in the first chapter will have been through absolute hell by the time they get to the last page (if they get that far). The infections they’re dealing with are just a MacGuffin designed to cause maximum chaos for my characters to sort out. We are not those characters, and though the disease we’re fighting today is an absolute fucker, I’m hopeful it will be beaten. Things feel so oppressive and grim right now that it’s easy to believe we’re all trapped without hope in a grim Moody dystopia, but we’re not. We can and we will get through this!

Stay safe, stay positive, stay sensible and stay healthy. My sincere best wishes to you and your families. I’m going to make a conscious effort to post here regularly in the coming weeks. I have some freebies and other things of interest I want to share with you (although my stories might be the absolute last thing you want to read right now!).

The new AUTUMN novels

Watching the news today it feels kind of inappropriate to be talking about my forthcoming return to AUTUMN – stories about a virus which wipes out 99% of the population might be a little too close to home for some folks. Anyway, because this site has been devoid of news for far too long, I thought it would be interesting to tell you a bit more about the new books I’m working on.

Why write more AUTUMN books?
Because I had a great idea for a new zombie series, and the idea seemed to fit perfectly within the world of AUTUMN. Plus, if I’m honest, I’d like to put the series back on people’s radar again. There’s an ever-increasing number of WALKING DEAD spin-offs and other zombie shows on TV right now. AUTUMN was one of the first serious zombie sagas, and I’d love for someone to see the potential of a big-budget TV adaptation. 20 years since the first book was released online, I believe the series remains unique in the zombie sub-genre.

Are the new books connected to the old ones?
Nope. They exist in the same universe, that’s all. No crossovers. No recurring characters.

Where will they be set?
Initially in London. Why? Because it’s an incredibly densely populated city. More people will mean more survivors, more action, more threats, and many, many, many, many more zombies.

Autumn: The City art by Antony White (www.blackpapersky.co.uk). Copyright © All rights reserved.

Does the world need another zombie series?
Probably not, but I do. I’ve a genuine desire to write these new books, not least because the world has changed so much since the early 2000s when the bulk of the original series was written. Back then I could get away with survivors acting dumb and not knowing what zombies are… not anymore! Thanks again to THE WALKING DEAD and others, we’re all far too savvy to be so ignorant. Also, so much else has changed. The high-speed, interconnected, polarised, technology reliant world of 2020 will present many new challenges for my unlucky survivors to have to deal with!

How many books, and when?
It’s a new trilogy. I hope the first book, AUTUMN: DAWN, will hit the shelves before the end of the year (I’m aiming for late October – the 10th anniversary of the release of AUTUMN by St Martin’s Press and Gollancz). My plan is for books two and three to follow soon after. I’d like them all to be available by the end of 2021.

Any unusual inspirations?
GAME OF THRONES.

Where can I find out more?
Keep an eye on this site and the (soon to be relaunched) AUTUMN website, www.lastoftheliving.net where you’ll find loads of artwork and free AUTUMN fiction. And please follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Art by Antony White (www.blackpapersky.co.uk).

Immortalised in Lego

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.

A Lego mini-figure of author David Moody

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!