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 series rounds out in September with ARMAGEDDON. For now, though, here’s a taste of what to expect from RAPTURE…
Hello! Long time no speak. I’ve had my head down writing AUTUMN: DAWN for the last couple of months, and haven’t had much chance to come up for air. If you’re interested, I’m having a total blast diving deep into the world of AUTUMN again. I needed the long(ish) break from zombies, but I don’t think I’ll ever really stop writing about them.
Back in 2014, though, I thought the undead and I were going to part company forever. I wanted to move onto something new, and I decided to release a couple of zombie novellas to celebrate. The first was THE COST OF LIVING, which was quickly followed by ISOLATION (and both stories were collected in the LAST OF THE LIVING paperback).
Keith’s in his early twenties. No girlfriend, no hobbies, no future. He spends his days working in an office and his evenings, weekends and just about all his free time looking after his alcoholic dad.
And then the zombie apocalypse changes everything.
Suddenly Keith’s free. For the first time in a long time, he’s got nothing to worry about (apart from several hundred thousand reanimated corpses heading his way).
But then he meets Anna, and everything changes again. Cocky, cool, confident… she’s everything Keith isn’t. Holed-up together in an isolated bungalow, besieged by the living dead, will they survive, or will they tear each other apart before the dead get anywhere near?
I’m pleased to announce that, at long last, ISOLATION is available as an audiobook from AUDIBLE and APPLE. Chris Lawson (follow him on Twitter at @ChrisMLawson) did a fine job of narrating Keith and Anna’s tragic decline in a municipal park surrounded by tens of thousands of zombies.
I have a few promo codes to share. If you’d like a copy of the book, please complete the form below. Numbers are limited, and I’m afraid the offer is restricted to UK and US only (Audible’s restriction, not mine).
Your details will ONLY be used for the purposes of sending an Audible promotion code to you. The codes will be issued over the next few days. Feel free to claim a couple of books. All I ask in return is an honest review once you’re done listening.
Less than a week to go until THE BLEED: RUPTURE is released. Here’s a glimpse into the third and final story strand…
When the grandfathers to the grandfathers were young, the race of gods stepped through time and space, appearing in the North. Fleeing an ancient, world-eating evil they called the Bleed, they came to build anew, in peace. Other than strange hair and eye colors, they appeared similar to normal human beings—but they were taller, stronger, and smarter, and were ripe with powers from their home world. They brought unheard of learning and experience with them; they built their Endless City from one edge of the North to the other, with its mile-high walls and towers of stone, steel and wood soaring above that. They ruled the world from afar, without war, or even effort, ever watchful for the signs of the Bleed, their unending, ever-hungry foe.
They took husbands and wives and left thousands of half-breed children behind when the enemy they fled bled through the fabric of the worlds. Deep in their city, servants of the evil ate at their new home, one bloody soul at a time. They made their stand at the edge of the world, almost a score ago, and not one god has been seen since.
As I mentioned last week, the first book in THE BLEED trilogy – RUPTURE – is released on 14 July. Written by CHRIS PHILBROOK, MARK TUFO and myself, we’ve each created a specific world that we’re going to introduce you to over the remaining weeks leading up to publication. This week, present day London (although bear in mind that present day London looked a lot different to today’s actual present day London when this book was written!).
Somehow, everything in this complex sprawl of a city feels like it’s interconnected. More than seven million people live here and work and play and learn here, and despite the fact most of them stay happily within their own little bubbles, doing all they can to avoid talking to anyone else, the day-to-day runs pretty much like clockwork. The masses are together, yet isolated. People weave around each other along the clogged pavements, side-stepping without even looking up from their phones, skillfully avoiding collisions. The traffic stops and starts along heavily congested roads in bad tempered order. Deep underground, tube trains race from station to station at speed, dumping hundreds of people at a time onto platforms already crowded with hundreds more waiting to get on and be whisked away elsewhere.
It’s an incredibly complicated but largely well-oiled machine. It copes with occasional accidents and interruptions, compensating to keep everything moving. It would take something catastrophic to stop the whole damn thing in its tracks. Something way out of the control of Transport for London or the Metropolitan Police. Something bigger than anything ever seen here before. Something inexplicable and indisputably huge. Something mind-bending, world changing, even perception altering.
Something like what’s going to happen next Thursday.
It began as a barely perceptible greenish glow illuminating the underbelly of a disconcertingly specific section of the overcast gray sky above the heart of the city. Hardly anyone noticed it at first, preoccupied as they were, as usual, with the Thursday morning commute. At just before seven o’clock, few people were in the mood to be interrupted or diverted. The daily race to their weekday destinations had begun.
But the glow remained and slowly increased in brightness, the bile-green hue growing brighter, more and more noticeable. There was something of the Northern Lights about it, but the possibility was so remote, and anyway…surely not with this much cloud overhead? In any case, whatever it was, it wasn’t as important as the meeting at the offices near Westminster at nine sharp, or catching the connecting train to Milton Keynes at eight-twenty-three, or making that appointment with the casting director of that show and not looking like a complete hungover mess, or getting a decent place in the queue for tickets for the—
Everything changed when the cloud cover was breached.
It looked like a comet—a luminous nucleus with a sickly green-tinged tail—but its movement was all wrong. Instead of racing across the London skyline, it was instead bearing down. And actually, as crowds of people now gazing skyward began to realize, it wasn’t racing at all. The impossible mass seemed to be drifting down with control, sinking slowly as if coming in to land. As the comet-thing descended, its speed almost so slow now as to be imperceptible, people began to react.
Most stopped dead in their tracks.
There were collisions on pavements and bumps in the road as people spotted it. Those who hadn’t yet looked up followed fingers pointing skyward and all began to sense the early morning light changing. The subtle green tinge which had been barely noticeable now covered the city. It made everything and everyone look unwell.
Folks who normally completed their morning commute without saying a word to anyone they didn’t know began to look to each other for explanations, though none were forthcoming. In an atmosphere of anxious uncertainty, strangers quickly became allies. Pointless questions were posed, pointless because even though no one had any answers, it didn’t stop them asking. It was a nervous thing. As the bright mass continued its painfully slow descent towards the heart of the city, people nudged those next to them and cocked their heads in the vain hope this was just a publicity stunt they’d not heard about or a scheduled light display their fellow commuters might have seen mentioned on the TV news.
It wasn’t long before panic set in. Despite the absolute lack of detail or information, one thing was clear as crystal: whatever it was up there, it was heading directly for the center of London on an unstoppable collision course. The true size of the comet—if that was what it really was—had been hard to discern, but when an Emirates Airbus 380 flew past and was dwarfed, and then a phalanx of military helicopters crawled in front of it like tiny but well-coordinated spiders, it became painfully apparent to everyone watching that this thing was huge. As in capable of wiping out the whole of London huge.
As in…capable of ending all life on Earth.
Subdued British politeness turned to absolute fucking terror.
In contrast to the well-rehearsed order of just a few minutes ago, the pavements and streets were now chaotic in the extreme. And the faster people tried to walk or run or drive to safety, the slower everything became as one collision became two, two became four, and four became many more. It didn’t take a genius to work out that if—when—the comet hit, the area for miles around this place would cease to exist in seconds. Of course, that didn’t stop most people trying to get away.
Jennifer Allsopp wasn’t like most people.
She knew that it probably wasn’t worth running. She instead looked up at the glowing orb in the sky overhead, watching it tumbling over and over towards her. Although she’d have given anything to be somewhere—anywhere—else right now, she knew she was stuck. She could run at full speed for as long as she could manage, but it wouldn’t make any difference. She could catch the fastest bullet train (if they even had them here), but she knew she wouldn’t get far enough to escape the inevitable impact and blast wave.
Best not to bother trying, she decided. Save your energy.
As I hope you already know, the first book in THE BLEED trilogy – RUPTURE – is released next month. Co-authored by CHRIS PHILBROOK, MARK TUFO and myself, it’s a wild and epic horror/science-fiction/fantasy story that spans worlds and universes. It’s like nothing I’ve been involved in before, and I can’t wait for you to read it. Due for release on 14 July, it’ll also be available to listen to on the day as an AUDIBLE exclusive release. Chris, Mark and I wanted to build your anticipation so, every week between now and release, we’ll be sharing an excerpt with you. This week, allow us to set the scene with an introduction…
The planet was so old that it didn’t have a name. The people who lived there were nameless too. They had evolved and grown over countless generations and had become a strong and complex society. The needs of all individuals were considered; the collective was everything; the past, the present and the future were always in mind.
In this utopian society, the rule of law was sacred. People understood that, for them to remain strong and prosper, their friends, families, and neighbors needed to be strong and prosperous too. And for generation after generation, those principles held true and people worked with each other for collective reward. But the multiverse is a whirlwind of chaos, and sometimes no matter how hard people try to plan for it, chance and circumstance conspire to devastating effect.
A massive spinning, rolling lump of rock hurtled through the void of space and hit the planet, and though the initial damage of the impact was limited, the long-term implications were stark. Clouds of noxious dust and ash were spewed into the atmosphere, plunging the planet into a brutal ice age. Oceans froze. Crops failed. Millions died. And the millions more who survived now faced the most uncertain of futures.
When there’s not enough food to keep everyone alive, how do we decide who lives and who dies?
The ancient society collapsed with terrifying ease and speed.
With the world’s equilibrium now out of balance, it became a fight for survival. The society was torn in two. On one side, those who still believed in the values of their elders and the past did all that they could to help as many people as possible. Those on the other side of the divide, however, said fuck you to the rest of their world. Base and carnal, they spilled the blood of their brothers and sisters without a second thought. The roads and rivers ran red.
This was the genesis of the Bleed.
Those who still believed in the values and structures of their ancient society used their collective wisdom to find a way of escaping the hell their planet had become. Able to travel between different worlds, universes, and dimensions, they became gods and sowed the seeds of all civilizations throughout the multiverse.
Those left behind, consumed by anger, jealously, and rage, became demons.
The abandoned people of the Bleed stole the technology of the gods and set out for revenge. And wherever they found the children of the gods, they attacked. They mutated and killed. They turned natural worlds against their indigenous inhabitants; insects became giant monsters, life-giving water turned to blood and was filled with disease….
Blinded by its anger, the Bleed won’t rest until the gods and all other living things are dead and it is the only thing that remains.
THE BLEED: RUPTURE is released on 14 July. THE BLEED: RAPTURE follows next March, with THE BLEED: ARMAGEDDON to follow in September 2021.
Hello everyone. Hope you’re all doing as well as you can be in the circumstances. I wanted to let you know that, at long last, the audiobook version of TRUST is available. Click here for more details. If you want to get hold of a free copy, read on.
TRUST is one of my personal favourites, and I know it’s a book that’s affected a lot of folks over the years. I’ve always loved that CRAIG PATON, the designer of the beautifully otherworldly cover art, described it as an ‘anti-science-fiction novel’. To me, that description has always felt spot on. My other favourite quote came from a reader who said the final chapters of the book were ‘like dozens of pages of falling down the stairs.’ This adaptation has turned out brilliantly. Narrator STEVE WAWMAN has done a magnificent job.
We’re all going through a pretty shitty time at the moment. There’s not a lot I can do to help, but I’m keen to offer a distraction from the pandemic (with a heart-warming tale of alien invasions… or not). I have 50 copies of the TRUST audiobook to giveaway, as well as copies of the audio editions of STRAIGHT TO YOU, STRANGERS and THE COST OF LIVING (probably best to give that one a miss for now!). Fill out the form below and I’ll get copies sent out. It’s first come, first serve, and I’m afraid the codes are only redeemable in the UK and US.
As you may know, I’ve been working hard over the last few months with some very talented narrators to make my Infected Books back catalogue available as audiobooks. I have a load of free download codes available which I’d like to give away. Want one? Fill in the form below.
All I ask in return is that you listen to the books and help me spread the word, ideally by sharing on social media or writing a review. There are three titles available – STRANGERS, THE COST OF LIVINGand STRAIGHT TO YOU. Enjoy!
UPDATE – 7 JUNE 06:00 – DUE TO OVERWHELMING DEMAND I’VE HAD TO SUSPEND THIS OFFER. ALL CODES HAVE BEEN TAKEN. THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST!
My mission to get audiobook versions of all my novels published is a little closer to completion as STRAIGHT TO YOU has just been released. It’s superbly narrated by Matthew Jackson, and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. You can listen to a sample here, or grab a copy from Audible, Amazon or iTunes.
The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. At this rate the planet will soon become uninhabitable; all life extinguished. It might be weeks away, it might be days…we may only have hours remaining. Society is crumbling. The burning world is descending into chaos.
Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.
“Straight To You deserves to be ranked alongside such classics as The Stand and Swan Song.” –Ginger Nuts of Horror
“A truly breath-taking and awe-inspiring read from an undeniable master of this sub-genre.” –DLS Reviews
The magnificent Gerard Doyle has narrated the audiobook adaptation of ALL ROADS END HERE, and it’s out now from Macmillan Audio. You can get it from Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Here’s a sample:
I’m getting a lot of queries from folks at the moment about audio versions of the first three HATER books. They are available, but only in the US at present. I’m currently asking questions to see if anything can be done to make them available elsewhere. Please bare with me.
My ongoing mission to make my entire back catalogue available as audiobooks continues with the release of THE COST OF LIVING. This is an absolutely phenomenal production by Brian Portsmouth, and even if you’ve read the book I’d recommend giving it a listen. Written in first person, Brian’s added a whole new layer of characterisation to the story with his narration, and that makes that bittersweet ending so much harder to swallow. I’m really pleased with how this one’s turned out, and I hope you enjoy it. THE COST OF LIVING is available now from Amazon, Audible and iTunes.