I feel particularly bad about this, but it’s illustrative of how busy the last year has been: this post is horrendously overdue. I met Remy Porter back in March 2010 and I was sent a copy of DEAD BEAT in June last year. I promised to give the book some exposure here but, unfortunately, it took me until this January to get to read it, and another few months have now passed before I’ve finally been able to sit down and write this. Apologies to Remy for the delay!
By now I guess many visitors to this site will have already read DEAD BEAT or at least will have heard something about it. I hope Remy won’t mind me describing it as a ‘typical’ zombie novel to an extent. It has pretty much everything you would expect: a mysterious outbreak, a flawed hero with a beautiful girlfriend, a no-good waster who smartens up and proves himself when the sh*t hits the fan, a family of foul villains who’s depravity knows no bounds, and as much blood, gore and zombie action as you could want. Set in a quiet, rural area, the distinctly British tone and atmosphere makes a refreshing change from many other stories in the genre today.
Yes, I know I’m late with this – I should really have written about it being ‘Read an ebook week’ on Monday, not Friday, but it’s been one of those weeks (one of those months, actually). It’s an initiative which was originally designed to get people to try ebooks, but it seems slightly less relevant now given the advent of the Kindle and iPad etc. and the rapid increase in ebook consumption. Nevertheless, I think it’s a good (and long overdue) opportunity to mention a few ebooks I read and enjoyed recently, and to help promote a few indie authors.
The Apex Book Company is a small press that’s well known for its Apex magazine. This ebook collection was designed as a cut-price introduction to its impressive range of authors, and you get a lot of bang for your buck here. The past, the present, the future, Nazis, Werewolves, Vampires, body snatchers, deformed creatures, twisted realities, obsession, lust, sex… the scope of the collection is very broad and, to its credit, it succeeds on many levels. There’s huge variety between the stories, with something to satisfy even the most ardent horror fan. Okay, so some tales invariably encroach into familiar genre territory from time to time, but they’re all handled with real skill and enthusiasm. I defy anyone to read this collection and not be haunted by at least one of the stories. Personally, quite a few of them got to me, in particular Jennifer Pelland’s grotesque (but never sensationalist) story of sibling envy and hatred, Big Sister/Little Sister, and Guy Hasson’s spiralling mind-f**k, The Dark Side. From Cthulu to Dracula, from the surreal to the downright disturbing, from the ends of the Earth to the cold depths of space, this is an excellent collection and a fascinating introduction to the many worlds of the Apex Book Company. Click here to get the book.