Recommended reading – Maberry’s Dead of Night

Something else I’m planning to do with increased regularity throughout 2012 is recommend more books. I have a massive ‘to read’ pile which I’m steadily working my way through (actually, make that a ‘to blurb’ pile*), and I thought it would be good feature here some of the books I’ve recently blurbed and genuinely enjoyed. No reviews as such, just the publisher’s blurb, my blurb and, occasionally, a few words from the author.

Okay, I’m several months late with this one, and most self-respecting zombie fans will already know about it or own it, but I’d like to recommend Jonathan Maberry’s DEAD OF NIGHT.

“A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave.  But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects.  Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up.  Hungry.  Infected.  Contagious.  This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang… but a bite.”

Great stuff as usual from Maberry. This is a fast-paced, by the numbers zombie story, written with confidence and style by a man who knows a thing or two about the living dead. I have a fascination with what goes on inside a zombie’s brain: do they remember anything? Are they trapped and helpless? Are they as evil as we frequently assume them to be, or are they victims too? One of the highlights of Dead of Night for me was the way Maberry handles this question, presenting a terrifying disconnection between the reanimated corpses and the conscience which once controlled them.

I said: “Dead of Night stands drooped head and lurching shoulders above most zombie novels. The nightmare increases exponentially – from minor outbreak to major crisis with unstoppable speed, building to a heart-stopping climax you won’t be able to put down.”

Highly recommended reading!

* On the subject of blurbs – I’ve committed to enough to last me about six months, and I’m steadily working my way through them. Please don’t send any more my way, because there’s just no way I’ll be able to read them for the foreseeable future. Sorry to be a pain. Thanks for understanding!

A few quick updates…

Got a few things to quickly tell you about today, and I thought adding them all to one blog post would be the best way to do it:

THE GOODREADS ZOMBIE GROUP

If you’re a Goodreads user and a zombie fan, why not join The Zombie Group? For one week from 24th October, Jonathan Maberry, Steven C Schlozman (author of The Zombie Autopsies) and I will be there talking about all things undead. By the way, I’m here on Goodreads if you want to add me as a friend.

ALL HALLOWS READ

Have you heard about this great initiative, brainchild of the great Neil Gaiman? Rather than me explain it, just click this link and listen to the man himself talking about his excellent idea for a new Halloween tradition.

EVENTS AND APPEARANCES

Just a reminder that I’m NOT now appearing at the Aliens to Zombies convention in LA this week – apologies to anyone who was heading there to say hello. However I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be signing at Cardiff Waterstone’s with Wayne Simmons on Friday 28th October from 12:30pm. Also, don’t forget to book your tickets for the Halloween Horror Night at Warwick Arts Centre where I’ll be reading and talking alongside Adam Nevill and Gary McMahon.

More nice press and more Babel Clashing…

If you haven’t been following the blogs Jonathan Maberry and I have been posting over at Babel Clash – the Borders Sci-fi blog – then please head on over and check them out. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve covered quite a lot:

  • So You Want to be a Writer? / So You Want to Write Horror?
  • Where was that Stormtrooper going?
  • Characters or Carnage?
  • Seriously… You Write About Zombies?

…and more.

On another note, there has been a lot about the impact of self-publishing in the press recently. As well as last Friday’s Guardian article, I was also really pleased to get a mention in the new edition of SFX as part of an interesting piece which asks ‘are we witnessing the death of the book?’. It’s well worth looking at, for both readers and writers alike.

5 reasons why zombies (still) scare the heck out of me

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…

Issue 5 of Scream MagazineAnd 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.

Blogging at Babel Clash – the Borders Sci-fi Blog

Just a quick post to let you know that Jonathan Maberry and I will be blogging over at Babel Clash – the Borders Sci-fi Blog – for two weeks from 21 June. I’m sure we’ll both find plenty to talk about – zombies, classic horror, our past and upcoming books… it should be a blast.

You can find the blog at bordersblog.com/scifi/ and you can follow Babel Clash on Twitter here. Please come and join us!

The Monster’s Corner

It’s a way off, but I’m really pleased to announce that BIG MAN – a brand new short story – will appear in this fascinating anthology of stories told from the monster’s perspective, coming in October from St Martin’s Press and editor Christopher Golden. Other authors include Jonathan Maberry, Tom Piccirilli, Jeff Strand and many more. More details to follow.

The Living Dead 2 – read my story for free!

Just a couple of weeks to go now before The Living Dead 2 hits the shelves. This (huge!) book is already getting some exceptional reviews around the net, and why wouldn’t it? 40+ new zombie stories from the likes of Max Brookes, Jonathan Maberry, David Wellington…

Editor John Joseph Adams has just launched the book’s official website which can be found by clicking here. Head on over to read about each of the individual stories and, starting today, interviews with each of the contributors.

As a bonus to whet your appetite even further, you can also read several full stories for free, direct from the website. And I’m really pleased to tell you that my story – Who We Used to Be – is one of them. Click here to read it and please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook etc.

Cross Pollination

As many of you know, I’m a keen advocate of viral marketing. I’m really proud of the fact that in the years I published my books myself through Infected Books, I spent less than £500 in total on publicity. I think I owe pretty much everything to the power of viral marketing.

So, as you can probably imagine, when I was asked by Jeremy Robinson (author of Pulse and Instinct amongst others) to take part in a new viral marketing experiment with a number of other authors, I was pretty keen!

Jeremy has put together a catalogue (which you can download here) which brings together new releases from, amongst others, myself, Scott Sigler, Jonathan Maberry and J A Konrath. The idea is that we each distribute it to our respective readers who, hopefully, will a). be introduced to new books they might not otherwise have come across and b). help spread the catalogue online via Twitter, Facebook etc. etc.

So, if I could ask for your help for a moment, please download a copy of the catalogue, pick a few good books for your summer reading, then pass it on to as many online (or offline) friends, book review blogs, social networking sites etc. as you’re happy to.

Huge thanks in advance from myself and all the other authors involved!

The Living Dead 2

Did any of you get to read The Living Dead? If you haven’t read it, maybe you should. Edited by John Joseph Adams, it’s 100,000+ words of zombie fiction and includes stories by the likes of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. I’m really excited to announce that The Living Dead 2 is set to be released in September, and I’m even more excited to announce that there’s a story of mine in it!

‘Who We Used To Be’ – a brand new, non-AUTUMN zombie tale, is amongst the 43 (43!!!) stories in the collection. And with authors including Max Brooks, David Wellington and Jonathan Maberry involved, this is something no serious zombie fan can afford to miss. Head over here to see the full table of contents.