Recommended reading – The Panama Laugh

It’s been a while since I recommended any books (hell, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to¬†read any!) so here’s an interesting one for you…

Over the summer I blurbed Thomas Roche’s THE PANAMA LAUGH. It’s safe to say I hadn’t read anything like Roche’s book before. It defies categorisation, so it’s probably best to leave it to the author to describe. He calls it a “a gonzo pulp action zombie thriller”, and here’s the synopsis:

Ex-mercenary, pirate, and gun-runner Dante Bogart knows he’s screwed the pooch after he hands one of his shady employers a biological weapon that made the dead rise from their graves, laugh like hyenas, and feast upon the living. Dante tried to blow the whistle via a tell-all video that went viral – but that was before the black ops boys deep-sixed him at a secret interrogation site on the Panama-Colombia border. When Dante wakes up in the jungle with the five intervening years missing from his memory, he knows he’s got to do something about the laughing sickness that has caused a world-wide slaughter. The resulting journey leads him across the nightmare that was the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn in a hijacked nuclear warship, to San Francisco’s mission district, where a crew of survivalist hackers have holed up in the pseudo-Moorish-castle turned porn-studio known as The Armory. This mixed band of anti-social rejects has taken Dante’s whistle blowing video as an underground gospel, leading the fight against the laughing corpses and the corporate stooges who’ve tried to profit from the slaughter. Can Dante find redemption and save civilization?

Fast-paced, smart and never predictable, The Panama Laugh is well worth checking out. And perhaps even more intriguing is the great ‘semi-hoaxed group storytelling campaign’ which Roche and his publishers, Night Shade Books, have just announced:

“Night Shade Books and Thomas Roche are launching a social media disinformation campaign under the title “The Dante Bogart Project,” in the hopes of creating a large mythology of shared, semi-hoaxed group storytelling.

“The author’s intent is not to convince anyone that zombies are real, but to satirize the ways in which the democratic nature of the web (and particularly of social media) can make it disturbingly vulnerable both to corporate and governmental “spin” and to the promulgation of fringe beliefs that may be utterly at odds with the facts. The real story, however outrageous, may get lost in the white noise.”

Awesome.

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.