V for Vendetta

Now that I’m sitting back behind this desk full-time again, I hope to catch up on the backlog of stuff I’ve built up to share. I have a whole heap of book and film recommendations that I want to add to the already substantial page of book and film recommendations that you can find here.

This week, a post that’s been sitting on my desktop unfinished for 6 months and 1 week. How can I be so precise about the date? Because I watched the 4k restoration of the movie on the day UK cinemas closed back in November last year – masked up for literally the final showing before the multiplexes shut their doors. Roll on next week when, hopefully, they’ll be opening up again.

If you’ve read any of my recent posts about AUTUMN: DAWN (and if you read the bonus material that’ll accompany the limited-edition hardcover), then you’ll know that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how our appreciation of things we’ve watched and read can change according to our current circumstances. I seem to be making a lot of STAR WARS comparisons at the moment, and this reminds me of my reaction to THE PHANTOM MENACE. Back on opening night in 1999, I was blown away. A new STAR WARS movie! It didn’t seem real, and I loved every second of it. But as time went by and I watched the film a few more times, I started to think that, actually, it wasn’t that good. Fast-forward to 2015 when I did a complete re-watch of the films in anticipation of THE FORCE AWAKENS, and I absolutely HATED the prequels. And now here we are, post-Disney, and yet again they’re being reappraised.

I guess my point is this: your engagement with a film or book is inevitably shaped by your life at that moment in time. Case in point, V FOR VENDETTA. I enjoyed the film a lot when I first saw it in 2005. Fifteen years later, it blew me away.

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of “V”, plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

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What makes the new AUTUMN trilogy different?

In the weeks leading up to the release of AUTUMN: DAWN on 31 May, I’ll be sharing more details about the new books. Today I wanted to whet your appetite by talking about two of the major differences between THE LONDON TRILOGY and the original series. The new books are still unequivocally AUTUMN, but I don’t want you to think this is just a ‘money for old rope’ rehash of the same things I was writing a decade ago, or a trendy new reboot/reimagining. Sure, there are plenty of similarities, but there are some major shifts too.

Before I go on, I need to plug the limited-edition hardcover again because it’s selling fast. Three-quarters of the print run have sold already, so if you’re thinking about ordering, please get in quick. As a reminder, if you pre-order the hardcover you also get:

  • Access to the eBook version of AUTUMN: DAWN TODAY!
  • A bonus essay about AUTUMN – 25 YEARS SINCE THE END OF THE WORLD
  • Priority access to pre-orders for the limited editions which will accompany AUTUMN: INFERNO (later this year), and AUTUMN: EXODUS (early 2022).

The limited-edition pre-order link is here.

So, what’s changed since the original novels?

Well, we have. That might sound like an empty comment, but in the decades since I began writing the AUTUMN books, society has changed dramatically. Don’t worry – the new novels aren’t a heavy-going sociological deconstruction of the last twenty-or-so years, they’re a dystopian adventure with a cast of typical Moody characters: ordinary folks like us, who just happen to find themselves in godawful situations. But there are a couple of differences the books touch on.

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Autumn: Dawn – pre-orders now open

I’m very excited to announce that pre-orders for the limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: DAWN are now open. I think it’s a beautiful looking book, and I’m very happy with the way the story turned out, but I have a few other very good reasons why it’s a good idea to order a copy of this strictly limited edition:

Here’s the link. I’ll share much more information about my return to AUTUMN in the coming weeks before the official release date on 31 May.

Thanks again to Craig Paton for the exceptional cover art. Visit the AUTUMN website – www.lastoftheliving.net – to find out more. The ebook version of new book is also available to pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Google, and Apple. Paperback links will be available shortly.

This accelerating rate of change

The title of this post is part of a line from an old PETER GABRIEL song, and the fact I’m thinking of it as an old song just highlights the point I wanted to make. The song’s called ‘Downside Up’, if you’re interested, and the full line is “The only constant I am sure of, is this accelerating rate of change”. It was released over 20 years ago, but it doesn’t seem 5 minutes. All of a sudden, time seems to have sped up rapidly in my little corner of the world.

I’m telling you this for writing-related reasons, so bear with me.

A couple of weeks ago was the one year anniversary of my heart attack. Last November I turned 50. In March I became a grandfather for the first time. Now, I don’t feel any older or any different than I did at the beginning of 2020, but clearly time is marching on!

Long story short, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reassessing; working out what I want from life for me and my family, and what I’m hoping to achieve. The first step happens this week, when I return to full-time writing for the first time since 2014. Those of you who’ve been following me for a while might remember that I had a bit of a ‘falling out’ with writing back in 2014 and I got myself a real job because I was in desperate need of a) human contact, and b) a reality check. I happened to find a job that I really enjoyed and that was suited to my skills, and in what felt like the blinking of an eye, the 12 months I’d planned to spend in employment somehow became 6 and a half years. I continued to write throughout, but the time I had to promote and talk about my work dried up. I love what I write, and I’m very proud of the body of work I’ve so far produced, but I regret not being able to make more of a noise about it recently.

That all changes with AUTUMN: DAWN. The book is going to be released on 31 May 2021 as a paperback, ebook and limited edition hardcover. Limited edition pre-orders will be opening within the next week, and ANYONE WHO PRE-ORDERS THE HARDCOVER WILL BE ABLE TO DOWNLOAD AND READ THE EBOOK VERSION OF THE NOVEL STRAIGHT AWAY!

Seriously, I can’t wait for you to be able to dive into the new trilogy. I’m planning on doing a Facebook Live thingy (or similar) shortly before release so that I can answer your questions about the new books.

Please follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to make sure you don’t miss any news. There’s a LOT of stuff on the way.

An AUTUMN update

A couple of bits of AUTUMN news to share. First, an update on the new books. The new trilogy is totally separate from the previous books – they just happen to take place in the same undead world. To make them easier to discern, I’m calling the new novels THE LONDON TRILOGY (you can’t fault the logic – three books, all based in London). The really important news is that book one is just about finished. The edits are being wrapped, and the cover art is in the process of being put together… it won’t be long before it’s unleashed. It’s looking like AUTUMN: DAWN will now hit the shelves in May. Pre-orders will be announced in April, including a strictly limited hardcover edition.

To bring new readers up to speed, and to give old-time AUTUMN readers a blast of nostalgia, I’ve relaunched the AUTUMN website – www.lastoftheliving.net. For now it’s focused on the previous books, but stacks of information about the new trilogy will be added over the course of the next 18 months.

I hope you enjoy all of this, and that my grim AUTUMN stories can still strike a chord in this strange old virus-riddled world of ours. After the events of the last 12 months, it’s been strangely cathartic diving back into AUTUMN. If you have any thoughts, images, or artwork you’d like to see added to www.lastoftheliving.net – AUTUMN or pandemic-related, I really don’t mind – then please drop me a line.

Read an eBook week

This week is the 12th annual READ AN EBOOK WEEK. I’ve talked previously about how important eBooks were to me when I began my career. In the early days there seemed to be an endless debate about which is best – print or digital. The answer is both! And audiobooks are equally grand. As long as people are reading (and authors and publishers are being properly compensated) who cares how they’re doing it!

As usual, here are a few shameless plugs to mark the occasion. Indie eBook firm SMASHWORDS are big supporters of Read an eBook Week. Here’s a link to their huge sale to mark the occasion. You can find a couple of my books on the site if you’re interested. I know it’s not released until next week, but if you want something fresh, new, and a little bit unhinged, THE BLEED: RAPTURE is out next Tuesday. And finally, if you’re new to my work and fancy loading up on some of my standalone novels, can I recommend the CHAOS THEORIES boxset?

 

Two weeks until the RAPTURE

It’s March. How did that happen? Hopefully everyone’s doing well and feeling a lot better about the world than we were this time last year. I’m happy to be able to confirm that THE BLEED: RAPTURE hits the shelves later this month. The second book in the BLEED trilogy by CHRIS PHILBROOK, MARK TUFO and myself is released on 16 March as an ebook, paperback (link to follow), and AUDIBLE EXCLUSIVE audiobook. So happy with the way book 2 has turned out. There’s only one letter difference between this and last year’s RUPTURE, but this volume is a whole different beast. A whole different load of beasts, actually. I think you’re going to enjoy it.

The Bleed: Rapture by David Moody, Chris Philbrook, and Mark Tufo

The series rounds out in September with ARMAGEDDON. For now, though, here’s a taste of what to expect from RAPTURE

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Stefan Cush (The Men They Couldn’t Hang)

Some sad news to share. STEFAN CUSH from THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG died suddenly last week from a heart attack. He was 60. As many of you may remember, TMTCH made a memorable appearance in the first HATER novel. While I was writing the book back in 2006, I was in touch with Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers from the band who’d enjoyed the AUTUMN books. We got chatting and he made an off-hand comment about adding him as a character in a future book. I’d just written the scene in HATER where Danny and Lizzie are at a rock concert and all hell breaks loose when one of the band members starts attacking the others, mid-set. Cut a long story short – the band in the book became TMTCH, and it was Swill who did the attacking, but the rest of the lads were very accommodating and they all made an appearance. I was lucky enough to see the band a few years later, and they were magnificent.

Stefan Cush performing live in 2017 CREDIT: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about how lucky I am to still be alive after my heart attack last April. Since my illness, I’ve been in contact with many people who’ve either had a heart attack themselves or who’ve lost loved ones. Very sadly, a member of my family passed away unexpectedly last weekend after suffering a massive heart attack. Without wishing to preach, I’d urge everyone to be aware of their own heart health. I know that health services around the world are under unprecedented strain right now, but please do seek advice if you have any concerns. If I’d not received such brilliant treatment from the NHS last April, I doubt I’d be here today.

My deepest condolences to go out to Cush’s family, friends, fellow band members and fans. A Crowdfunder drive is currently running to support his children with funeral costs. You can find the details here.

One Night Stand

Right, I’ve just finished another draft of AUTUMN: DAWN, so it’s time to catch up with a few posts. I thought I’d start with a film recommendation that I discovered over Christmas. Four years ago, back in the days when we were able to travel, my family and I saw in the new year in Australia. Here’s a pic of us outside Sydney Opera House welcoming in 2017.

Fast-forward to Christmas 2020, and I was searching for something to watch on Amazon Prime when I stumbled across an apocalyptic movie set in the Opera House on New Year’s Eve. I had to check it out, and I’m glad I did. ONE NIGHT STAND is by no means a great film, but the 1980’s Cold War setting, along with a wonderfully bleak ending, certainly make it worth a watch.

In Australia, four teenagers in a Sydney theatre are astounded to hear the news that a nuclear war has broken out in Eastern Europe. They try to figure out the best way they can survive the coming conflagration.

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