Monday 25 October 2010

Flesh eaters win favour in the City

I can only say that I'm absolutely chuffed to bits to see this review of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, which appeared in the FINANCIAL TIMES:

"Clever, gruesome, poignant and pacy . . . creator and editor Stephen Jones marshals the talents of a score of noted genre authors, eliciting contributions that play to the strengths of each . . . it’s hard to avoid this book’s clutches – much like the shambling corpses that fill its pages."
—James Lovegrove
FINANCIAL TIMES: LIFE & ARTS, October 23/October 24, 2010

I think it's safe to say that we all enjoyed writing our respective chunks of this undead epic, but I doubt any of us - probably not even editor Steve Jones - expected to receive a thumbs-up from the staid pages of the FT. Or am I missing a certain post-modern irony? The periodical most concerned with the financial state of Britain today shows interest in a tome about death, destruction, mayhem and decay. Hmmm ...

Friday 22 October 2010

Rivers of blood to flow in 'Stronghold the movie'

Startled to be able to report that STRONGHOLD has attracted a movie option even though it's only been on the bookshelves since the middle of August.

It's nice to see that the period element hasn't put anyone off, but I'm still a bit surprised.

Negotiations have only just commenced of course, so it's far too early to give the nitty-gritty, but one thing's for sure - those of you who've read the book will surely agree that it's impossible to see this one being released under anything less than an 18 certificate.

In the meantime, I'm chuffed to bits by the very entertaining review the book has received on Black Abyss:

Stronghold takes us far back into late 13th Century Wales where those pesky English are cutting a swathe of violence through the indigenous population. The taking of Grogen Castle and the subsequent physical and sexual abuse of the lady of the Castle, Countess Madalyn and her daughter Gwendolyn are the final straws. With her daughter held prisoner Madalyn seeks help from the practitioners of the old magic, the fabled Welsh Druids, and it’s not long before armies of the dead are rising up to reclaim the castle.

What follows is a gruesome account of the battle for Grogen Castle between the English defenders and the newly risen Welsh zombie army. It’s a veritable dictionary of anatomical terms as body parts are skewered, severed, chewed and burnt in increasingly bizarre ways.

Paul Finch utilises his excellent skill to weave historical detail into a horrific storyline. So not only do you get a full biology lesson but a thorough understanding of 13th century siege methods. It’s all excellent fun delivered in the worst possible taste fitting the series mentality perfectly.

My only criticism is that with such a broad canvas of the Welsh/English conflict the possibilities of extending the zombie battle onto a larger battlefield existed. Instead we are faced with a fairly small and claustrophobic encounter that feels like it should be part of a bigger campaign. I would also have liked to focus more on the druids and the “old magic” as this felt like it only skimmed the surface of what Finch could be capable of in that area. The mystical druidic tradition of Wales has huge potential in the hands of a writer of Paul Finch’s ability but maybe he is saving that for another day.

None of which matters at all of course as this series is about excitement, the thrill of the chase and zombies and on those fronts the book delivers perfectly. So for history lovers with a thirst for some zombie carnage this is highly recommended.

The full review can be found at:

I too would like to see this tale evolve into something a lot bigger picture. All I'd say about that is anything can happen at any time. You never know.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

A festive feast to chill the blood

Mice, cockroaches and other vermin scuttled amid the odious relics: a goose that was now carrion; steamed vegetables that were cobwebbed husks; an ornate Christmas cake thick with fungal fur …

I don't suppose that quote is likely to whet your appetites for dinner, but with luck it will whet your appetites for my new long novella, SPARROWHAWK, which will be published by Pendragon Press in time for Christmas.

As you may have gathered, it's a seasonsal horror tale, very traditional in some ways, but veering far from the norm in others.

In a nutshell, it follows the fortunes of John Sparrowhawk, an embittered veteran of the Afghan War, who in the year 1843 is released from the debtor's prison by the beautiful and enigmatic Miss Evangeline.

Penniless, alone and haunted by the demons of his difficult past, Sparrowhawk accepts a commission from Miss Evangline to stand guard over a house in Bloomsbury for the duration of the Christmas period. The coldest winter in living memory now descends on London, but this won't be Sparrowhawk's only problem, for very sinister forces are gathering against him.

So ... if you like your Christmas yarns dabbled with frost and snow, wreathed in supernatural evil, and of course spattered with blood and ordure, then this one is for you.

I'm hoping that we can launch SPARROWHAWK at the BFS Open Night in early December. There's no guarantee of this, but it will be available for purchase in time for Christmas. Of course, I'm running a little bit before my horse to market here. It isn't ready yet, so no-one should be bothering Pendragon Press with enquiries at this stage.

Another bulletin very soon, and maybe, if we're lucky, a glimpse of the new book's cover