No updates from me in quite a while… Very sorry. I’ve been working flat out to get AUTUMN: AFTERMATH delivered, and this week I’m actually sat in a caravan in Wales with the family, so my time online has been massively reduced. We’re taking a short break around the locations which originally inspired the first AUTUMN book and STRAIGHT TO YOU. I’ll share some holiday pictures when I get back.
In the meantime, I’ve been planning to put together a series of features about the artists who’ve contributed to www.lastoftheliving.net. Craig Paton, who you’ll know from his magnificent Amy Steadman artwork as well as the covers for Iain McKinnons Domain and Remains of the Dead, has put together a fascinating piece on his blog about how Amy came into being. Head over to his site here and read it.
I’ll be back up to speed shortly and will catch up on my outstanding emails etc. as soon as I’m home. Oh, and I’ll have an AUTUMN: PURIFICATION giveaway for you next week.
The final instalment of the late Amy Steadman’s story is now available at www.lastoftheliving.net, accompanied as usual by another beautiful illustration from Craig Paton (check out Craig’s new blog, by the way).
Amy makes an uncredited appearance in AUTUMN: PURIFICATION – finally hitting shelves in the US on 16 August. Watch out for an introduction to KILGORE – another new character – coming shortly.
Not long now until AUTUMN: PURIFICATION is out in the US. The book’s released on 16 August and in the run-up to publication I’ll be posting more stories on www.lastoftheliving.net to introduce some of the new characters from the book. I’ve just added two more to the site: Gary ‘Tuggie’ Keele and Jackie Soames. Both of these folks play a major part in the third AUTUMN novel.
Watch out for a PURIFICATION related competition in the next couple of weeks.
There are three sets of signed books up for grabs on Babel Clash – one copy of HATER and one AUTUMN for each winner. Simply comment on the item on the Babel Clash blog (click here) and tell me ‘What scares you the most?’. Winners will be announced on Tuesday 5th July, and this giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!
As promised, OFFICE POLITICS is now available to read on www.lastoftheliving.net. Of all the 40+ shorts I’ve written based in the AUTUMN world, this is one of my favourites, if not my favourite of all. During the writing of the AUTUMN novels, I’d often come up with interesting scenarios which didn’t quite fit into any of the main books and this was one of them.
We often hear inspiring stories about the survivors of catastrophic events – both real and fictional. These are people who’ve hit rock bottom and picked themselves back up again. People who’ve survived against all the odds. People who’ve stared into the abyss and been dragged back from the very edge to live another day. OFFICE POLITICS is definitely NOT about that kind of survivor.
Simon Walters, the ‘hero’ of the piece, can’t cope with any of what’s happening around him. His solution – his strategy for survival, I guess – is simply to carry on as if nothing’s changed.
Special thanks again to David Naughton-Shires (www.knightwatchpress.info). David originally produced this illustration for me with another story in mind, but I think it suits OFFICE POLITICS perfectly. I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve just posted my first entry over at Babel Clash – the Borders Scifi blog. It’s about zombies (wouldn’t you know) and why they scare me as much today as they did 25+ years ago when I first watched Night of the Living Dead. Please click here to check it out, and feel free to add to the conversation – it would be great to hear what you think it is about zombies that scares the heck out of so many of us. While you’re there, check out Jonathan Maberry’s post from yesterday about the horror books and movies which have inspired him.
It’s been a busy day today. I’m working flat out on AUTUMN: AFTERMATH right now, but I took time out this afternoon to speak to Ian Berriman from SFX magazine. Ian interviewed me for their forthcoming zombie special (on sale in September). I’ll tell you more about that nearer the time. I think you’ll like what they’ve got planned…
And in other news, the postman delivered issue #5 of SCREAM magazine (with some great features including interviews with Doug Bradley – Pin Head from Hellraiser, and Frank Henenlotter – director of Basket Case, Frankenhooker and various other cult movies I loved watching on VHS back in the day).
And finally, this morning I was asked to blurb the final volume in a hugely popular trilogy of zombie novels. It’s a book many of us thought might never see the light of day, and one I know many of you are looking forward to. Can’t wait to get into that!
Please check out the Babel Clash blog, and come back here tomorrow when another free AUTUMN short will be going online.
Two more brief stories have just been added to www.lastoftheliving.net. That brings the current total to 24 shorts, and there’s still much more to come. More about that in a minute.
Today’s first story concerns Robert Woolgrave – a young man who makes a few rash decisions in his fight to survive. Read his story first, because Robert also makes an uncredited appearance in today’s second short, the fifth part of the tale of Amy Steadman. She’s been dead for 17 days now, and as you can see from Craig Paton’s excellent illustration, she’s not looking too good! Robert’s story, by the way, is illustrated by a beautiful photograph by Antony White. You’ll see more of Antony’s pictures in the coming weeks, and later in the year I’ll be featuring interviews with all the artists involved with the project on this site.
I thought it would be good to give you a little more detail about what’s planned for www.lastoftheliving.net and the AUTUMN series in general…
The first part of another new story has just been added to www.lastoftheliving.net.
Jacob Flynn is not a particularly nice person, but even he doesn’t deserve what’s about to happen to him. You see, because of certain things Jacob did recently, he’s found himself in absolutely the worst place to be when the world ends.
Thanks to David Naughton-Shires for beautifully illustrating Jacob’s plight. Head over to www.lastoftheliving.net to read more.
If (like me) you’re keen to find a distraction from things happening here in the UK today, you could do far worse than heading over to www.lastoftheliving.net to read DUCK AND COVER, a free 10,000 word AUTUMN novella. I hope you enjoy it. Tell your friends.
Before you read the story, please take a few moments to watch the beautiful and incredibly atmospheric accompanying animation, which was put together for me by the very talented Daniel Boucher (of www.thenovelblog.com). A huge public thank you to Dan. Centrepiece of this artwork is the original 1950’s public safety movie from the US which gave this story its title and inspiration. Leave it playing in the background while you’re reading… it adds to the effect!
The new UK hardcover edition of AUTUMN: PURIFICATION is out now!
One day in September a virulent plague spread throughout the world, killing billions. Even now the full horror of the plague is just beginning, for the dead are not just dead…
One small group of survivors is imprisoned in an underground base, trapped between the door to the outside world and the sealed entrance to an airtight cocoon where hundreds of soldiers sit and wait for rescue.
On the surface the crowd of bodies is growing in size every day, drawn there by the heat and the noise of the people hiding underground beneath their rotting feet. The sheer mass of decaying flesh above begins to cause problems for the military when vents become blocked, but a mission to clear the dead starts a vicious battle. And there are far more of the dead…
The book is available from all usual outlets (Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository etc.), and signed copies can be ordered from www.infectedbooks.co.uk. Enjoy!