As promised, OFFICE POLITICS is now available to read on www.lastoftheliving.net. Of all the 40+ shorts I’ve written based in the AUTUMN world, this is one of my favourites, if not my favourite of all. During the writing of the AUTUMN novels, I’d often come up with interesting scenarios which didn’t quite fit into any of the main books and this was one of them.
We often hear inspiring stories about the survivors of catastrophic events – both real and fictional. These are people who’ve hit rock bottom and picked themselves back up again. People who’ve survived against all the odds. People who’ve stared into the abyss and been dragged back from the very edge to live another day. OFFICE POLITICS is definitely NOT about that kind of survivor.
Simon Walters, the ‘hero’ of the piece, can’t cope with any of what’s happening around him. His solution – his strategy for survival, I guess – is simply to carry on as if nothing’s changed.
Special thanks again to David Naughton-Shires (www.knightwatchpress.info). David originally produced this illustration for me with another story in mind, but I think it suits OFFICE POLITICS perfectly. I hope you enjoy it!
Remember Jacob Flynn – the bitter, unrepentant bugger doing time for manslaughter? We last saw him trapped on the wrong side of his prison cell bars as the rest of the world dropped dead around him. He’s now been stuck in his cell without food for over two days. That’s bad enough, but now one of his dead cell-mates has just got up and started to move. Head over to www.lastoftheliving.net for more…
Coming next week – another day in the life (death) of Amy Steadman.
If you haven’t already gathered from my other posts this week, I’m off on holiday tomorrow. I’ve added next week’s free Last of the Living story to the website early, and I hope you enjoy it. It’s a brief introduction to Peter Guest – a character who sits in pretty much a catatonic daze throughout Autumn: The City, but who finally comes around from the shock of the apocalypse to play a important role in Autumn: Purification.
There’s loads more to come next month… new short stories (and at least one novella in amongst them) every week in the run-up to the US release of Purification, a very cool AUTUMN competition, and plenty more besides.
I’m thrilled with how the www.lastoftheliving.net project is developing. Wayne Simmons was kind enough to heap a little praise on it in his recent post over at Dark Central Station (thanks, Wayne!), and there’s still a load more content to come. I have a huge amount of fiction left to add, and a lot more great artwork. There are still a few stories requiring illustrations. You’ve seen what I’m after, so please drop me a line if you’re interested in contributing.
Jacob Flynn is not a particularly nice person, but even he doesn’t deserve what’s about to happen to him. You see, because of certain things Jacob did recently, he’s found himself in absolutely the worst place to be when the world ends.
Those of you who’ve read AUTUMN: PURIFICATION (out now in the UK, August 16 in the US) will have already been introduced to Harry Stayt. Harry plays a key role in the third AUTUMN book, and has a penchant for using a sword stolen from a museum to hack his way through what’s left of the dead population (good man – a sword will definitely be my weapon of choice come the zombie apocalypse!).
No-one can fail to have been moved by the events which happened (and which continue to happen) in Japan two weeks ago. Sitting here, it’s impossible to fully comprehend the scale of the devastation and the number of lives which have been either ended or affected.
GENRE FOR JAPAN has been formed to raise funds for the Red Cross Japanese Tsunami Appeal. It’s doing this by auctioning donations from people who work in the science-fiction, fantasy and horror community. Bidding starts on Monday, and I’d like to urge all of you to consider either bidding on an item(s) or making a direct donation to the appeal.
I’m sure you’ll be tempted by many of the lots which have been donated, but I’d like to draw your attention to my donation. If you’re a fan of AUTUMN (and I sincerely hope you are!), then you might want to put a bid in…
I’m offering an exclusive opportunity for the winning bidder to become part of the AUTUMN series. As well as receiving signed copies of all the UK hardcover editions (you’ll get books 1 and 2 straightaway, book 3 next month, book 4 in November and the final book on release in 2012), you’ll also appear as a character in the final book – AUTUMN: AFTERMATH. Not only that – you’ll be able to chose whether you appear as a survivor or a zombie. Not only that – your character will get their own, original, illustrated short story published on www.lastoftheliving.net.
I’ve added another quick story to www.lastoftheliving.net: an increasingly unpleasant morning in an already unpleasant job suddenly gets much worse for Karen Chase. Yet again, David Naughton-Shires has provided the excellent artwork.
That’s all for March, but there’s plenty of free fiction planned for April. More Amy Steadman, an extract or two from AUTUMN: PURIFICATION (which, of course, gets its UK release on April 21st), and a 10,000 word novella.
The official AUTUMN website is now open for business. As well as information about the five AUTUMN novels, by the end of 2011, the site will also be home to more than 100,000 words of free zombie fiction. The first batch of stories are now live, with more to follow at regular intervals from early March onwards.
You’ll notice that the site is also home to a lot of superb artwork like this: