I’ve not been around here for some time. I have been working hard though. I have lots to tell you about (just not quite yet… not long). One thing I can talk about is the latest release from CRAIG DILOUIE. THE FRONT: BERLIN OR BUST is the third part in the World War II zombie series written by Timothy W. Long, Craig and myself. It’s available now from Amazon, and I thoroughly recommend it.
An airborne operation of German, American, and British paratroopers drop on Berlin in this exciting new episode in the WW2 zombie series, THE FRONT!
While the Battle of the Bulge turns into a bloodbath due to the introduction of a serum designed to create super soldiers but creating flesh-eating zombies, a German paratrooper unit rests in Genoa, Italy after years of hard warfare. They celebrate an announced armistice hours before flying to England to learn the truth: Germany has collapsed due to the spread of these monsters, and they must work with their former enemies to drop on Berlin and recover a pure sample of the Overman serum.
What follows is an inside look at how the elite German paratroopers fought and their bloody homeward mission to recover the Overman serum before all Europe falls.
My friend CRAIG DILOUIE released a new book earlier this month. Craig and I go a long way back and I consider him one of the most interesting voices in genre fiction. You can read my thoughts on his earlier releases TOOTH AND NAIL and SUFFER THE CHILDREN in the archives of this site. What I love about his work is the way he’ll take an extraordinary premise and write about it in a detached yet personal way which pulls no punches. He takes world-changing events like the military response to a fast moving zombie infection or a virulent strain of vampirism which affects only children, and looks at them in a whole new light, often making them feel uncomfortably plausible. His latest release ONE OF US (out now from Orbit) is no exception. It takes the well-used set-up of mutant kids born with special powers, but instead of going down the tired and cliched X-Men superhero route, he instead tells a much darker and altogether more disturbing story of neglect, distrust and hatred.
THEY CALL IT THE PLAGUE – A generation of children born with extreme genetic mutations
THEY CALL IT A HOME – But it’s a place of neglect and forced labour
THEY CALL HIM A FREAK – But Dog is just a boy who wants to be treated as normal
THEY CALL THEM DANGEROUS – They might be right
The story of a lost generation, and a boy who just wants to be one of us.
I thoroughly enjoyed ONE OF US. Set in Georgia in an alternate 1984, it’s a fascinating read. As you’d expect, the grotesques aren’t the real monsters here, rather it’s DiLouie’s cast of prejudiced, cruel, moralistic non-mutants. For me, what sets this story apart is the masterstroke of having the deformed and mutated kids being born as the result of a new strain of sexually transmitted disease. Because this is a generational shift, it allows DiLouie to present us with a cast of ‘special’ kids who grow up together and who therefore both lose their innocence and mature/gain their powers at the same time. This effectively amplifies the problem facing the backward facing society from which the children have been ostracised, and you get the sense from the very beginning of the book that once these kids are fully in control of their destinies, things will never be the same again. Highly recommended.
But ONE OF US isn’t the only Craig DiLouie release I want to tell you about. I’m also very excited to announce that his entry in THE FRONT series – following SCREAMING EAGLES by Tim Long and my novel RED DEVILS – will be released on 31 August. I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of the book and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. BERLIN OR BUST is a cracking tale which takes us right into the rotting black heart of the undead Nazi war machine. You can pre-order it now.
The book’s a sequel to TIMOTHY W. LONG‘s book, SCREAMING EAGLES, and though it’s not necessary to have read Tim’s first book, I recommend you do (because it’s brilliant). Here’s the synopsis for RED DEVILS:
THE UNDEAD NAZI ARMY CONTINUES ITS MARCH ACROSS EUROPE IN THE THRILLING SEQUEL TO SCREAMING EAGLES!
The German stranglehold on the town of Bastogne has been released, only for the living dead to rise up and take their place. A ragtag group of men fight their way out of the chaos and make a frantic escape from the rubble and ruin. One of them, British soldier Lieutenant Robert Wilkins, uncovers crucial information about the source of the zombie scourge. Along with a crack team, Wilkins is dispatched to where the outbreak began – the ominously silent concentration camp at Polonezköy, Poland – to try and find a way to halt the undead advance.
The fate of the entire world rests on the shoulders of just a handful of men.
Happy New Year! I’ve been telling you for a while that you’ll hear much more from me in 2017, so it’s time to start making good that promise. Here’s my first release of the year – THE FRONT: RED DEVILS – which will hit shelves in paperback and ebook formats in February. I was thrilled to be asked to be involved in Craig DiLouie and Tim Long’sTHE FRONT series, and I’m delighted with how the book has turned out. Set during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, Tim’s first volume, SCREAMING EAGLES, introduced an undead Nazi army to the mix. In RED DEVILS a British officer uncovers crucial information about the undead threat and is dispatched as part of a task force to the source of the deadly infection. Can they find a way to stop the advance of the living dead before the whole of mainland Europe is overcome?
Many of you will know Tim, and many more will have read his books. He’s going through an extremely tough patch at the moment. I’ll let his girlfriend Katie explain: “On Wednesday, Tim woke up with what he thought was a sour stomach from drinking bad wine while watching the election or possibly a late con crud. By 3 pm, I was rushing him to the hospital after he passed out at home from what looked like to me as a massive GI bleed in process. He almost passed out in triage and was immediately rushed back to the ER. He appeared stable for several hours, but then had a bleed out in which he lost 1/3 of his total body fluid volume. He was literally one minute away from a full code. He’s been in critical care since then.
However, he does not have a typical GI bleed like an ulcer in his stomach. He has a tumor that has developed an ulcer and will not stop bleeding even after two attempts to cauterize it via EGD. It was decided last night that even though he is very anemic that he will not be able to continue to lose so much blood and that there is potential for the tumor to bleed further. He is very weak and tired. It appears that it might have been bleeding for a couple weeks but not enough that he noticed. He has been complaining about being tired but he is always working super hard on something so we both dismissed it.
He’s had 5 units of blood, roughly 16 liters of fluid. and a lot of protonix.
I am writing this with Tim’s permission. Even though I’ve wanted to scream and cry to everyone that there was a problem, we decided not to release any information until today. He is currently in surgery to have a resection of his bowel and I hope to see him in about 3 hours. Everything looks good except for the fact he is so anemic.
Don’t get me wrong, Tim is very sick. He does not want visitors for local folks right now. Also, he is too weak to be on his phone or his computer. It would be really awesome if people left messages of support on his wall for him to see when he is stronger on Sunday or Monday.
Tim served in the navy as an engineer for four years during the first Iraq War which is why I mention Veteran’s Day.
I love him very much and I don’t know if I can understand a world without him. It was a rocky start here at the hospital, but after everyone saw how sick he is, they have done nothing but work hard to get him stable and try to fix this problem.
Once again, if you want to send support, post it on his wall. I will show him over the next couple of days and I have faith by Monday he will be back on social media wisecracking with everyone and writing books.
If you feel helpless and want to do anything else, financially, we would appreciate if you buy a book. As a full-time writer, he loses money every day he is not writing or promoting his work.
Katie updated yesterday to say that “Tim made it through surgery without any significant issues. His colour is coming back to his face, he is more alert (even talking about his books to his nurses), and everything looks good… he is still pretty weak but we think he has turned a corner.”
Please consider buying one (or more) of Tim’s books in support. Visit bit.ly/supportTimWLong. For my part, I’m knuckling down to finish the (horrendously overdue) second book in Tim and Craig DiLouie’s THE FRONT series. I’m a couple of weeks away from wrapping it up, and I look forward to sending it to Craig and Tim shortly.
Best wishes, Tim. We’re thinking of you. Get well soon.
SCREAMING EAGLES is available now, and I’m currently working on book two, RED DEVILS which will be out in early 2016. To celebrate the release, SCREAMING EAGLES is available for 99c for the next couple of days. To add to the fun, Craig and I have reduced the price of a couple of our books too. You can currently grab ISOLATION and Craig’s CRASH DIVE for pennies too!
I thought it was about time I posted a quick writing update. I’m balancing a number of projects at the moment that I hope will come to fruition in the near future. It’s been a busy twelve months and I’ve had to shelve or delay some projects to focus on others. Here’s a quick summary:
ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING
Is the first book in the second HATER trilogy, and I’m well into writing it. I’m scheduled to be done by April 2016, and I hope to be able to announce some exciting news about publication plans for the new series once negotiations are complete.
THE HATER MOVIE
Producer Ed Barratt is currently talking to a number of potentially interested partners about the movie. The script is in cracking shape. More news as soon as I can announce it.
My book in this World War II zombie series is due out in early 2016. Timothy Long’s first volume will be hitting the shelves shortly, with Craig DiLouie’s book following mine. Very exciting.
TOP SECRET MULTI-AUTHOR INFECTED BOOKS ZOMBIE PROJECT
I’m just tormenting you! Watch for an announcement about something special coming next week.
THE SPACES BETWEEN
Is proving to be a real bugger to write. I’ve spoken about this science-fiction/ horror series on numerous occasions previously (and I’ve a host of competition winners lined up to appear as characters). Thing is, it’s such a huge project set in a really expansive world, that I can’t quite settle on the format and structure. Right now it looks like it’s going to be six volumes long (I’d previously said four): OCTOBER 12, THE COLLECTOR, ELYSIAN FIELDS, MESSIANIC, THE LOW PLACES and ASCENSION DAY. This one will definitely be worth the wait… I’m just sorry that the wait’s proving to be so long.
By the way, I’ve been beavering away behind the scenes here, and I missed an anniversary. It’s five years last month since Thomas Dunne Books released AUTUMN. The picture above was taken by me in Barnes & Noble on E 17th Street, New York, on the day of release back in 2010. I still find it hard to believe that my little zombie story – which started out as a free pdf I used to email to folks in the pre-ebook days of the turn of the century – turned into such a monster. Five novels, a short story collection, a movie, a radio adaptation… there’s clearly still a lot of love for the undead.
When things are quiet here, it’s usually because I’m working hard on stuff in the background (honest). Right now I’m dividing my frustratingly limited writing time between a few major projects: ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (HATER book #4), a huge Infected Books initiative for 2016, THE SPACES BETWEEN and this one.
A short while ago, top writers and good pals TIM LONG and CRAIG DILOUIE invited me to contribute a book to a brand new three volume World War II zombie series called THE FRONT. How could I refuse? I can’t say too much about it right now, so I’ll just let the cover of volume one do the talking. Tim’s writing this one, and it should hit the shelves in December. My book will be next up in the early part of next year.
Exciting, eh? So I’m sorry if I’ve neglected the site a little recently, and I apologise if I’m taking far too long to reply to any emails or messages you’ve sent this way, but at least it means 2016 should be filled to capacity with apocalyptic horror. I can’t wait.
If you want to hear more about this and other projects, don’t forget to come and see WAYNE SIMMONS and I in conversation at Waterstones, New Street Birmingham on 30 October at 7pm. Full details are here.