I mentioned last year that I’d been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone… with this commission I couldn’t have been much further from the kind of stories I usually write: different genre, different era, different setting, different pace. Daunting, yet very rewarding.
Edited by the great Simon Clark, the book contains stories by Andrew Darlington; Paul Finch; Nev Fountain; Carole Johnstone; Paul Kane; Alison Littlewood; Johnny Mains; William Meikle; David Moody; Mark Morris; Cavan Scott; Denis O. Smith; Sam Stone and Stephen Volk.
In this wonderful anthology of ‘hitherto lost’ tales, the Great Detective travels to the far ends of the earth in pursuit of truth and justice.
A host of singularly talented writers present a thrilling new dimension to Holmes’s career whilst superbly capturing the spirit, style, suspense and atmosphere of Conan Doyle’s best work.
NIGHT OF THE TRIFFIDS is a book I avoided reading for a very long time. As many of you might know, whenever I’m asked to cite my favourite book or the book that’s had the biggest influence on me, I always talk about John Wyndham’s seminal DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, and the idea of a non-Wyndham sequel never appealed to me in the slightest. But then I got to know the author, Simon Clark. I’d heard a lot about Simon when HATER was first released, with people mentioning my book alongside his BLOOD CRAZY (a great read which I must feature here in the near future). Simon and I both had stories appear in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF BODY HORROR and we met at an event to launch the book a few years back. I caught up with him again at a convention a while later, and was able to talk to him about all things triffid-related. It was immediately clear that this was no cash-in: he wrote a sequel because of his love of Wyndham’s original.
First published in 1991 and given a long-overdue re-release this month, the book takes place some twenty-five years after the events of DAY. Here’s the synopsis. Click the link below for my thoughts.
“In John Wyndham’s classic bestseller The Day of the Triffids, the world has been overwhelmed by killer plants that have blinded almost the entire population. As the novel ends, Wyndham’s narrator scientist Bill Masen is escaping, with his wife and four-year-old son, to the Isle of Wight where a small colony of survivors is holding out. Simon Clark’s sequel picks up the story twenty-five years on.
The survivors are safe, for the time being at least, on their island, where they have continued efforts to combat the triffids, while also striving in various ways to build a new civilization – in a Mother House, for example, women spend their lives endlessly giving birth. Elsewhere in the world, similar colonies cling to survival, while the triffids persist in their attempts to destroy humanity.
One morning Bill Masen’s son, David, now grown up, wakes to a world plunged into darkness. Now, the triffids have an advantage over even sighted humanity.”
Well that was good. Actually, that was more than good. That was a bloody brilliant weekend.
Wayne meets a couple of friends (fans?)
Wayne Simmons and I often spend a lot of time chatting about what makes an event a success. It’s different for everyone, I guess, but for me it’s all about engaging with people. It’s good to meet other writers, publishers and media folks, but it’s absolutely incredible when you get the chance to meet with people who’ve either read your books or want to. At this years Sci-Fi Weekender I got to hang out with 3,500 fellow geeks, and I loved it.
Highlights? Talking horror and writing with a constant stream of very cool people. Selling loads of books. Meeting other authors including Hugh Howey (Wool) – an incredibly nice guy – and Sean Jeffery (Deadfall) at long last. Catching up with Sean Page (Ministry of Zombies head honcho). Sitting on panels with a host of folks including Hugh, Wayne, Peter Brett, Simon Clarke, Sam Stone, Steve Lockley and many others (even though we couldn’t hear the audience or each other most the time). Experiencing the majesty of MANBORG with Wayne, JD Gillam, David VG Davis, Robin and Stephen Pierce, Gary Main and Roy Young… The list goes on. Here are a few photos:
The It’s the End! panel with (l-r) Peter Brett, Emma Newman, Hugh Howey, Gareth Powell and me (photo: Gary Main)
Writing Horror panel with (l-r) Simon Clark, Christopher Brookmyre, me, Gordon Roxborough, Theresa Derwin, Wayne and Steve Lockley (photo: Gary Main)
Wayne, Gary, Roy and me
Wayne, Shaun Jeffrey and me
Huge thanks to everyone involved in organising the Weekender, and to all those who came along to the event. And if you’ve not come across the mighty MANBORG yet, watch this…
A quick post to comment on one excellent event and for some last minute publicity for another. Last weekend I was at alt.fiction – a great writing event held in Leicester. On Saturday I took part in a panel discussing adaptations of books, films, comics, games etc. into different formats, and on Sunday I was there for another Mammoth Book of Body Horror panel along with the book’s editors Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan, and fellow contributorsSimon Clark and Conrad Williams.
Myself, Simon Clark, Conrad Williams, Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan (photo courtesy of Paul Kane)
It was great to meet Graham Joyce too, and to be there for the premier of Black Dust – an excellent short movie based on one of his stories. Thanks to everyone who supported the weekend and to the organisers for having me.
I know I’m leaving this next bit late, but don’t forget that I’ll be at Waterstones in Cardiff tomorrow, signing with Wayne Simmons. Wayne’s launching his new novel DOLL PARTS – the sequel to DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. Please come along if you’re in the area. We’ll be there from 12:30pm onwards.
I hope not to leave it another two weeks before posting again. With a little luck I’ll be back in a few days to let you know what I’m working on now that the HATER and AUTUMN books are done and dusted. There’s some good stuff coming…
Last Saturday I was in Chesterfield with editors Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan and fellow contributor Simon Clark for an event to mark the launch of the extremely well received MAMMOTH BOOK OF BODY HORROR anthology (see this 10/10 review here, and there have been plenty of other positive write-ups). The event was a lot of fun with both Simon and I reading from our stories before taking part in a Q&A session with the editors. Thanks to Paul and Marie for inviting me along, and to Trisha Hill for hosting the event.
Me signing at Chesterfield (picture courtesy Jennifer O’Regan)
Myself, Marie O’Regan, Paul Kane and Simon Clark(picture courtesy Amanda Thompson, BBR)
The Mammoth Book of Body Horror – which features my new short story, Almost Forever – is out today (the US edition follows in June). If you read my earlier post, you’ll know there are plenty of reasons for picking this one up… an introduction from Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator), the original shorts which inspired The Fly and The Thing, additional stories from Neil Gaiman, Richard Matheson and many more… Starburst Magazine certainly liked the book: click here to read their review (which begins with the headline ‘It really doesn’t get any better than this.‘)
I’m very pleased to announce my involvement in this new anthology, out March 1st in the UK from Constable & Robinson and June in the US through Running Press. The book’s been put together by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan, and it looks like being an absolute cracker. Just check out the stunning table of contents at the end of this post. I feel wholly inadequate being listed alongside King, Herbert, Matheson and Poe, as well as the original short stories that inspired two of my favourite films of all time (THE FLY and THE THING).
I’ll also be taking part in a couple of events to mark the release of the book. On Saturday 10th March I’ll be at Chesterfield Library for a reading followed by a Q&A with Simon Clark and the editors. On 14th and 15th April I’ll be at alt.fiction at Phoenix in Leicester. More details about that event shortly.
MAMMOTH BOOK OF BODY HORROR table of contents:
TRANSFORMATION by Mary Shelley; THE TELL-TALE HEART by Edgar Allan Poe; HERBERT WEST: RE-ANIMATOR by H.P. Lovecraft; WHO GOES THERE? John W. Campbell; THE FLY by George Langelaan; TIS THE SEASON TO BE JELLY by Richard Matheson; SURVIVOR TYPE by Stephen King; THE BODY POLITIC by Clive Barker; THE CHANEY LEGACY by Robert Bloch; THE OTHER SIDE by Ramsey Campbell; FRUITING BODIES by Brian Lumley; FREAKTENT by Nancy A. Collins; REGION OF THE FLESH by Richard Christian Matheson; WALKING WOUNDED by Michael Marshall Smith; CHANGES by Neil Gaiman; OTHERS by James Herbert; THE LOOK by Christopher Fowler; RESIDUE by Alice Henderson; DOG DAYS by Graham Masterton; BLACK BOX by Gemma Files; THE SOARING DEAD by Simon Clark; POLYP by Barbie Wilde; ALMOST FOREVER by David Moody; BUTTERFLY by Axelle Carolyn; STICKY EYE by Conrad Williams.
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