I’ve not been around here for some time. I have been working hard though. I have lots to tell you about (just not quite yet… not long). One thing I can talk about is the latest release from CRAIG DILOUIE. THE FRONT: BERLIN OR BUST is the third part in the World War II zombie series written by Timothy W. Long, Craig and myself. It’s available now from Amazon, and I thoroughly recommend it.
An airborne operation of German, American, and British paratroopers drop on Berlin in this exciting new episode in the WW2 zombie series, THE FRONT!
While the Battle of the Bulge turns into a bloodbath due to the introduction of a serum designed to create super soldiers but creating flesh-eating zombies, a German paratrooper unit rests in Genoa, Italy after years of hard warfare. They celebrate an announced armistice hours before flying to England to learn the truth: Germany has collapsed due to the spread of these monsters, and they must work with their former enemies to drop on Berlin and recover a pure sample of the Overman serum.
What follows is an inside look at how the elite German paratroopers fought and their bloody homeward mission to recover the Overman serum before all Europe falls.
My friend CRAIG DILOUIE released a new book earlier this month. Craig and I go a long way back and I consider him one of the most interesting voices in genre fiction. You can read my thoughts on his earlier releases TOOTH AND NAIL and SUFFER THE CHILDREN in the archives of this site. What I love about his work is the way he’ll take an extraordinary premise and write about it in a detached yet personal way which pulls no punches. He takes world-changing events like the military response to a fast moving zombie infection or a virulent strain of vampirism which affects only children, and looks at them in a whole new light, often making them feel uncomfortably plausible. His latest release ONE OF US (out now from Orbit) is no exception. It takes the well-used set-up of mutant kids born with special powers, but instead of going down the tired and cliched X-Men superhero route, he instead tells a much darker and altogether more disturbing story of neglect, distrust and hatred.
THEY CALL IT THE PLAGUE – A generation of children born with extreme genetic mutations
THEY CALL IT A HOME – But it’s a place of neglect and forced labour
THEY CALL HIM A FREAK – But Dog is just a boy who wants to be treated as normal
THEY CALL THEM DANGEROUS – They might be right
The story of a lost generation, and a boy who just wants to be one of us.
I thoroughly enjoyed ONE OF US. Set in Georgia in an alternate 1984, it’s a fascinating read. As you’d expect, the grotesques aren’t the real monsters here, rather it’s DiLouie’s cast of prejudiced, cruel, moralistic non-mutants. For me, what sets this story apart is the masterstroke of having the deformed and mutated kids being born as the result of a new strain of sexually transmitted disease. Because this is a generational shift, it allows DiLouie to present us with a cast of ‘special’ kids who grow up together and who therefore both lose their innocence and mature/gain their powers at the same time. This effectively amplifies the problem facing the backward facing society from which the children have been ostracised, and you get the sense from the very beginning of the book that once these kids are fully in control of their destinies, things will never be the same again. Highly recommended.
But ONE OF US isn’t the only Craig DiLouie release I want to tell you about. I’m also very excited to announce that his entry in THE FRONT series – following SCREAMING EAGLES by Tim Long and my novel RED DEVILS – will be released on 31 August. I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of the book and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. BERLIN OR BUST is a cracking tale which takes us right into the rotting black heart of the undead Nazi war machine. You can pre-order it now.