The German language edition of THE COST OF LIVING – LEBENSHALTUNGSKOSTEN – is now available from Amazon. If you’ve not read THE COST OF LIVING before, allow me to recommend it to you. It’s a nasty little tale about a particularly horrible infection doing the rounds. I wrote it back in 2014 when I was at a low ebb, and the ending in particular reflects my grim state of mind at the time.
Watching the news today it feels kind of inappropriate to be talking about my forthcoming return to AUTUMN – stories about a virus which wipes out 99% of the population might be a little too close to home for some folks. Anyway, because this site has been devoid of news for far too long, I thought it would be interesting to tell you a bit more about the new books I’m working on.
Why write more AUTUMN books?
Because I had a great idea for a new zombie series, and the idea seemed to fit perfectly within the world of AUTUMN. Plus, if I’m honest, I’d like to put the series back on people’s radar again. There’s an ever-increasing number of WALKING DEAD spin-offs and other zombie shows on TV right now. AUTUMN was one of the first serious zombie sagas, and I’d love for someone to see the potential of a big-budget TV adaptation. 20 years since the first book was released online, I believe the series remains unique in the zombie sub-genre.
Are the new books connected to the old ones?
Nope. They exist in the same universe, that’s all. No crossovers. No recurring characters.
Where will they be set?
Initially in London. Why? Because it’s an incredibly densely populated city. More people will mean more survivors, more action, more threats, and many, many, many, many more zombies.
Does the world need another zombie series?
Probably not, but I do. I’ve a genuine desire to write these new books, not least because the world has changed so much since the early 2000s when the bulk of the original series was written. Back then I could get away with survivors acting dumb and not knowing what zombies are… not anymore! Thanks again to THE WALKING DEAD and others, we’re all far too savvy to be so ignorant. Also, so much else has changed. The high-speed, interconnected, polarised, technology reliant world of 2020 will present many new challenges for my unlucky survivors to have to deal with!
How many books, and when?
It’s a new trilogy. I hope the first book, AUTUMN: DAWN, will hit the shelves before the end of the year (I’m aiming for late October – the 10th anniversary of the release of AUTUMN by St Martin’s Press and Gollancz). My plan is for books two and three to follow soon after. I’d like them all to be available by the end of 2021.
I’m looking forward to returning to the world of AUTUMN in the near future. It’s been five years since the release of AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION and in those years the zombie sub-genre has changed completely. No one was talking about zombies when the first book hit the shelves in 2001, but now they’re everywhere!
Not read the AUTUMN series? This gives me a great opportunity to point you in the direction of www.lastoftheliving.net which will give you all the information you need, along with more than 40 short stories, including HOME. Many of the stories were illustrated by some very talented folks. A gentleman by the name of Michael Dick provided several sketches for HOME, such as this:
It’s about time I started posting a few more film and book recommendations here, and what better place to start than with a well-made, lo-fi, slow-burn apocalyptic movie. IT COMES AT NIGHT is a really good movie, which appeared to have been sold really badly (perhaps intentionally) by the marketing team behind it. I thought it was a great film, but it wasn’t the film I thought I was going to see. Here’s a synopsis and a trailer. Click the link below for my brief thoughts.
Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorises the world, the tenuous order a man (Joel Edgerton) has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within the man as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.
Happy New Year to you all. I thought I’d kick off 2015 with a quick look back at my 2014 releases (just in case you missed any), and a peek at my plans for 2015. Despite being a pig of a year for me on many levels, I was surprisingly productive, releasing two full-length novels (STRAIGHT TO YOU and STRANGERS), a zombie novella collection (LAST OF THE LIVING, which included ISOLATION and THE COST OF LIVING along with a number of other shorts), and the long-overdue limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH.
So what does 2015 hold? There’s a lot being planned behind the scenes, and I thought I’d pile the pressure on myself by announcing the major projects I’m working on this year. Notice there are no timescales quoted here (I never seem to keep to them anyway!) but this is the order I’m tackling these novels.
My first middle-grade novel. Think ET meets GODZILLA and you’re halfway there.
THE SPACES BETWEEN: ELYSIAN FIELDS
The first book in my long-teased horror/ science-fiction/ noir crime series. If you’ve not heard me talking about this one before, here’s a quick tease: Several years ago London was destroyed in a white-hot nuclear haze. Millions of people were displaced, and huge numbers ended up in rapidly constructed newcities like Elysian Fields. Designed to house around one hundred thousand, the population of Elysian Fields is several times that. It’s a dangerous, sprawling hell-hole of a place ruled by gangs, violence and fear. When a prominent business leader’s son disappears, social worker Greg Dawson becomes embroiled in the mission to snatch him back. But the more Dawson discovers about Elysian Fields, the more he comes to realise there’s a huge gulf between what we’re being told and reality. In the spaces between the two, absolutely everything changes.
Yes, I know… I’ve finished this book twice already, but I’ve still not got it quite right. I had a rollercoaster year last year, and in the midst of all the ups and downs, I’ve realised where I was going wrong. Mark Thane is a downtrodden and overlooked nobody. When he discovers he only has 17 days left to live, he’s forced to question everything. The country is on the verge of revolution, and Mark unwittingly finds himself at the eye of the storm. This time last week no one knew who Mark Thane was. By the time his number’s up, the entire world will be watching his every move.
A sick and twisted love story. Adam’s wife died last summer. He’s not going to let her die again.
So there you go. Plenty of work ahead. Add to this more signing events and the continued expansion of the Infected empire (Infected Films and Infected Audio, anyone?) and that’s more than enough to keep me busy. I hope you’ll stick around, because 2015 is going to be a cracker!
I’ve been saying for a long time how I believe ebooks should be free with the print edition of books. After all, if you’re anything like me, when you buy a CD the first thing you do is rip it to iTunes or similar. Since the relaunch of Infected Books in 2012, you’ve been able to download complementary ebook versions via Smashwords after completing a short form online. After a successful trial run with STRANGERS, I’m pleased to be taking this experiment one step further. From today, when you purchase a signed copy of one of the books shown below direct from www.infectedbooks.co.uk, you’ll automatically receive a download link and you’ll be able to immediately download the Kindle and ePub versions of the book.
I hope you like this. Please let me have your thoughts or feedback if you have chance. By the way, we won’t be getting any more stock in before the end of the year, so there are just 6 paperback copies of STRANGERS, 10 copies of LAST OF THE LIVING, and 6 copies of TRUST left!
I know I’ve been banging on about it for weeks, but LAST OF THE LIVING is officially released today. Containing two novellas and a host of zombie short stories, it’s my last word (for a while, anyway) on the living dead.
Pick up a signed copy direct from Infected Books, ebay, or Amazon.co.uk (free shipping for all UK orders from Infected Books and ebay).
Aaron Rayner and I pictured at (I think) the AUTUMN movie premier at the first Grimmfest, October 2009
I’m very pleased to announce that the winner of the LAST OF THE LIVING competition is the one and only Aaron Rayner. Aaron’s name was selected randomly from all the folks who’d ordered the new book over the last few weeks. Thanks to everyone who did.
I’m really pleased that Aaron won. Some of you will recognise the name (he’s one of Moody’s Survivors). He’s also one of the most vocal supporters of my work and has attended events in places as far apart as Manchester, Lowestoft, Leicester and London over the years. He’s a good man with a lovely family. Congratulations, Aaron, and thanks!