The pandemic has impacted pretty much every aspect of pretty much everyone’s lives. This has been a spiralling, disorientating year for everyone and I don’t know about you, but I think we’ve still got a long, long, long way to go to get back to anything like a semblance of normality.
I’m really missing live events. I watch films and TV shows now and feel a wave of sadness every time I see a crowd. It’s crazy, isn’t it – who’d have ever thought we’d have to spend so much time apart? I’d love to be part of a mass of people again; the collective anticipation of thousands of fans as their favourite band takes the stage, the tribal roar of the supporters when their team puts in a winning performance, hundreds laughing together at a comedian’s jokes, the shared panic as a handful of strangers race through an abandoned nuclear bunker with a pack of bloodthirsty zombies snapping at their heels…
My friends at THE LAST SURVIVORS have been running hugely popular zombie experiences in Essex for almost a decade, and like so many other groups working in the entertainment and creative industries, their business has been decimated as a result of coronavirus. If you’ve not come across them before, have a read of this article from 2012 when my pal Ryan Fleming was dispatched to try their zombie experience for himself.
With almost all of their 2020 events cancelled, THE LAST SURVIVORS are now taking bookings for 2021. You can find full details on their website. If you’re in the area and fancy spending a couple of hours being scared sh*tless in a terrifying Cold War relic, please sign up. The setting is perfect (see here, here and here), and the event is brilliant (don’t take my word for it – check out the Tripadvisor reviews and the stats below).
In the meantime, the team have produced an online experience to tide you through the pandemic. This ties in to the new story the team will be unveiling next year. It’s about an hour long, £9.95 to play, and a huge amount of fun. Play it like I did – lights off and headphones in – for full effect. Click here for more information.
Hi everyone. I wanted to give you a quick update on my progress with the new AUTUMN novels. They’re coming along nicely, but I’ve had a couple of major interruptions since I announced them earlier this year (namely the onset of a global pandemic swiftly followed by a heart attack), and it’s become clear that I’m not going to make the October release I’d originally scheduled for AUTUMN: DAWN. Apologies.
I’m hoping that AUTUMN: DAWN will now be released in April 2021, with the other books in the new trilogy – INFERNO and EXODUS – following in quick succession. It’s been an absolute blast returning to the world of AUTUMN after nearly a decade away, and though the new books will be very different on a number of levels, the same bleak tone and the overwhelming scale of the apocalypse feels just as it did when I started writing the first book back in 1997. If you’ve not read the original books, you can find a huge amount of information and stacks of free AUTUMN short stories at www.lastoftheliving.net.
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.
Strange title for a blog post I know, but I have a question and I’d appreciate some feedback.
My books typically deal with the end of the world in one way or another, but I’m generally more interested in how people deal with whatever’s happened to them than with the cause of ‘the event’ itself. If you were trying to survive through an apocalyptic scenario, let’s say (very topically) a pandemic, would it really make any difference to your struggle if the killer disease was man-made, a naturally occurring mutation or something of alien origin? This brief extract from AUTUMN summarises the point I’m trying to make:
‘So do you think it was a virus that did this to them?’ Carl asked. ‘Emma seems to think so. Or do you think it was…?’
‘Don’t know and I don’t care.’
‘What do you mean, you don’t care?’
‘What difference does it make? What’s happened has happened. It’s the old cliché, isn’t it? If you get knocked down by a car, does it matter what colour it is?’
‘It doesn’t matter what caused any of this. What’s done is done and I can’t see the point in wasting time coming up with bullshit theories and explanations when none of it will make the slightest bit of difference. The only thing that any of us have any influence and control over now is what we do tomorrow.’
My question to you, however, is this: as the reader of a post-apocalyptic story, how important is it for you to know what happened? Do you need to know what caused the virus in AUTUMN? Will it spoil your enjoyment of the HATER trilogy if you don’t find out why people are suddenly turning on each other?
Any feedback / comments / thoughts from anyone would be appreciated. Please use the comments function and the related forum discussion to let me know.