Recommended reading – Survivors

I think perhaps the main reason I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction is the way it strips away all the divisions of society and (generally) puts us all in the same boat. It doesn’t matter what your background or beliefs are, how smart or rich or loud or quiet or well-connected you might be, when the shit really hits the fan, we’ll all likely have as good (or as bad) a chance of survival as the person next to us.

This is something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently, not least because we’re in the middle (or possibly the tail end, or maybe still the opening act) of a global pandemic which has had a profound and long-lasting impact on the entire planet, even those who continue to claim it’s a hoax. Far more trivially, I’ve also been thinking about the same themes as I’ve been working on the new AUTUMN books. Book one, AUTUMN: DAWN, was very much a straight-forward survival horror story in the style of the previous books in the series. AUTUMN: INFERNO and AUTUMN: EXODUS, however, will be altogether different. It’s not so much about picking up the pieces after an apocalypse; more about seeing if there are any pieces left to be picked up.

I’ve been catching up with some post-apocalyptic reading, and the novel I’ve just finished – SURVIVORS by TERRY NATION – makes this point very effectively. Unfortunately, it also drives home my earlier assertion that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, in the event of a global catastrophe, we’re all equally fucked. Grim, eh?!

I’m sure many of you will have heard of SURVIVORS – the two BBC TV series, if not the novel. The story, first published in the 1970’s, deals with the aftermath of a global pandemic. A disease with a 95% mortality rate spreads around the world in a matter of days, and the book documents the struggles of some of the remaining 5%. It’s sobering stuff.

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

When I started work on the new AUTUMN trilogy, and particularly throughout the writing of the recently released AUTUMN: DAWN, I gorged on zombie movies. Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but given the fact I’ve been writing about the undead for a long time, I think I probably watch these films through a slightly different filter than most folks.

If you’ve read my comments on ARMY OF THE DEAD from last weekend, you’ll no doubt have picked up on the fact that I hated pretty much every second of it. In hindsight that may have been, in part, because the zombie movie I’d watched prior to ARMY had a very similar set up and premise, but was infinitely more enjoyable. That film was TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA. Crappy title – passable film.

I wrote about TRAIN TO BUSAN here in 2017, commenting that it was a ‘top quality action flick that just happened to feature zombies’. This second movie is not a sequel as such, but another standalone story set in the same world as TRAIN TO BUSAN, albeit four years later. Here’s the synopsis and trailer.

It’s four years since the outbreak of a zombie virus in South Korea. The infection has spread throughout the country and it has been sealed off from the rest of the world. On the promise of a better life, four Korean refugees in Hong Kong agree to sail through the blockade to the port of Incheon to recover $20 million US dollars sitting in the back of a truck.

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AUTUMN: DAWN – out today

Today sees the release of the first new AUTUMN novel since 2012. AUTUMN: DAWN – book one of the London trilogy – is available from all the usual locations (links below). I’m thrilled with how the book turned out, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s a great blurb from the brilliant CRAIG DILOUIE:

David Moody’s AUTUMN: DAWN breathes new life into my favourite undead series. Moody brings his trademark approach to a zombie world: interesting and realistic characters, organic conflict, and always, always, the dramatic and horrifying struggle to survive in a world overrun by the dead.” –Craig DiLouie, author of THE CHILDREN OF RED PEAK

I wanted to thank everyone who ordered the limited edition of the book. All orders have now been despatched around the world. I’d hoped to have got them out sooner, but last minute delays with the printers scuppered that. Hopefully they should start being received in the next couple of days.

If you missed out, there are a handful of copies remaining, as well as signed paperbacks. Order them from www.infectedbooks.co.uk.

AUTUMN: DAWN is available in print (Amazon, Book Depository, Book Shop, Indiebound), and as an ebook (Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google, B&N). An audiobook version and German translation will be released shortly.

Look what I’ve got!

A week and a half until release, and print copies of AUTUMN: DAWN have started to arrive for signing. They’ll start shipping around the world shortly. Huge thanks to all those who’ve pre-ordered. If you’re interested, there are still a few limited edition hardcovers left, and signed paperbacks are also now available from Infected Books.

You can also pre-order print copies from Amazon, Book Depository, Book Shop, Indiebound and other retailers. eBooks can be pre-ordered from Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google and B&N. An audiobook version is currently in production, as is a German translation – I’ll share more news about release dates as soon as I can.

Thrilled to see reviews appearing too. BookNest said: “AUTUMN: DAWN is an unabated, unforgiving onslaught of intensity that takes aim at both the light and dark side of humanity. Like a punch to the gut, it knocks the wind out of you on the opening page and keeps you gasping for air until the very end.

Very happy with that! I can’t wait for AUTUMN: DAWN – and the rest of the LONDON TRILOGY – to stagger and lurch out into the open soon.

 

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

UPDATE – LESS THAN 25 COPIES REMAINING!

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.

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.

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.

New Year Update

How’s everyone doing? I hope you’re staying safe and sane during these astonishing days, weeks, and months. As inconsequential as my writing feels at such a tumultuous time, I thought I’d give you a quick update and let you know what I’m up to.

As anyone familiar with my frequent radio silences will know, if I’m not posting on here, it usually means I’m busy writing. My main focus over the last few months has been AUTUMN: DAWN, the first novel in the new AUTUMN trilogy. I’m still on target to have book one wrapped in the next month or so, and I’m planning for a late April release. It’s been so refreshing to have had the space to plan the whole trilogy as a single project beforehand, and I can honestly say the book’s been a joy to write so far. I do have a nagging concern at the back of my mind, though… are people really going to want to read my grim, germ-infected, post-apocalyptic zombie stories after everything we’ve been through? I hope so. You can decide for yourself as I’ll be sharing more details very soon.

Also coming up is the second book in the series I’ve been writing with MARK TUFO and CHRIS PHILBROOK. THE BLEED: RAPTURE hits the shelves and the ears (it’s another AUDIBLE exclusive) on 16 March, and you can pre-order it here. Book two is an absolutely full-on, non-stop ride which sets up the mother of all apocalypses. THE BLEED: ARMAGEDDON will bring the series to an end in September.

Like many other people, the last year was one of huge changes for me personally, and the ramifications of those changes are still unfolding. It’s almost a year since my heart attack now, and I turned 50 last November. Those milestones, combined with the impact of the ongoing pandemic alongside other personal and professional developments, have made me want to review my priorities, ambitions and aspirations.

Almost 7 years ago, I’d had a gutful. I fell out of love with writing in a big way and re-joined the real world to try and re-establish my connection with reality. It’s now time to head back in the opposite direction, with a return to full-time writing looming and a stack of new projects on the horizon.

For now, though, it’s back to AUTUMN: DAWN (big action scene to write tonight – one person corralling about 10,000 dead bodies singlehanded). I will be back with regular news, updates and recommendations in the coming weeks. Until then, I’d like to belatedly wish you a Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2021 is infinitely better than 2020 was!