Why not get into the real Christmas spirit with a post-apocalyptic action story? My new novella, A Most Apocalyptic Christmas, is a fast, frantic and violent ride through the Court of Chrimbo, a wasteland community that’s found all the wrong ways to embrace the holiday season.
Available now on Kindle and for free to members of my mailing list, it features fantastic cover art from Bob Wright (illustrator of The English Tenses and the wonderful Gun City Bohemian cover).
Get the novella here or pick it up for a pittance on Kindle.
A Most Apocalyptic Christmas
On the night before Christmas, mercenary Scullion’s ride home is ambushed halfway between the last surviving cities in America. Concerned only with getting drunk for the holiday, his attempts to abandon his fellow passengers to bandits lead him on a collision course with a barbaric community who have utterly distorted the seasonal spirit. This is one madcap night he cannot survive alone, challenging his perceptions of the meaning of Christmas.
A Most Apocalyptic Christmas is a near-future dystopian novella, set in a war-ravaged land where chaotic city states are all that are left of once powerful countries. Born fighters like the thug Scullion are the predominant survivors in this desolate world devoid of resources, comforts and hope.
This Faergrowe Free State novella takes place in the same world of the screenplay The Faergrowe Principle.
Read this novella free
A Most Apocalyptic Christmas is available at a nominal price on Amazon, or you can get it absolutely free in PDF form by joining my mailing list here.
I’d urge anyone who’s looking for an example of how to build a world without describing it to read this classic novel and take notes. I only recently read John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, a dystopian tale about a group of children in a world where deviations are being bred out of society. It’s not a long novel, at 200 pages, and that’s very much to its credit. Given the vastly different society the characters inhabit, and a world with a widely unexplained history, one of its many merits is a very limited use of exposition. Continue reading
Every day, people are inspired to do heroic things. They save children from fires. They stand up to bullies. They perform selfless acts. Some are inspired by a sense of personal purpose. As members of a wider society, though, huge numbers are inspired by the actions of others. You do great things because it’s what those you look up to would do. It’s when people forget this that we find a dangerous disconnect in the idea of funding arts, sports, or anything else that doesn’t necessarily have a direct financial outcome. Continue reading
Looking for something different to read this Christmas period? Then get ready for A Most Apocalyptic Christmas – a post-apocalyptic novella in eBook format, available from December 8th. Based in the same dystopian world of The Faergrowe Principle, it’s a short, sharp adventure in the pulp-fiction style. And, because there’s already enough suffering in the world right now, I’m giving it away for free to my subscribers. Continue reading
With the negative trajectories of the world all over the media now, this is a good time to urge everyone to think about swings. The simple pleasure of the park’s finest offering. The rush of the rise and fall without ever having to go anywhere. The thrill of the jump from the highest point, if you dared. The achievement of moving ever higher, all coming from you. The freedom to brave a swing without restrictions, regulations or judgement.
When you were young, wasn’t that one of life’s greatest pleasures? So why don’t you use swings now. Too childish? Not fun anymore? Not enough time? People would laugh at you? I defy you to give a swing another chance and not enjoy it. Continue reading
Somewhat the opposite of The Land of Laughs, reading The Resurrectionist, as a contemporary fantasy from an author whose reputation preceded him, was an experience that quickly satisfied my expectations. The two books are very different in tone and theme but they’re well worth a comparison as both set out to essentially do the same thing – the goal of most contemporary fantasy – to merge the real and believable with the magical. Only this one does it well. Continue reading
Jonathan Carroll has developed an almost cult status as a slipstream author, and it was with his contemporary fantasy reputation in mind that I picked up a copy of The Land of Laughs, part of the Fantasy Masterworks collection. It had incredibly high praise from a number of reputable critics and authors, including Neil Gaiman, and comes with claims that if you’re new to Jonathan Carroll then his debut is a great place to start. Such build up can go two ways with a book; it can give it an advantage making you love it before you’ve even begun, or it can set you up for great disappointment. Continue reading
I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this massive spider on the wall, about six inches across the legs and a sort of pale grey in colour. I reached for my glasses, but then it was gone. My first instinct was that as I hadn’t kept in sight it had escaped into the shadows, jumped to the floor, gone where that I couldn’t find it. Now I was doomed to lie awake with the knowledge that a monstrously big spider was somewhere in the room. My second instinct, a moment later, was that this was another hypnagogic hallucination, that spiders that big did not exit (at least not around here), and it was just a trick of the mind. With that in mind, I proceeded to get up and search the room, just to be sure. Continue reading
Are you struggling to create focused characters in your writing? There’s a gem of advice in Syd Field’s classic screenwriting guide, Screenplay, that I feel is really worth dwelling on. It’s introduced mid-paragraph, almost an aside, but I think it’s something that can really help a lot of writers quickly and solidly create a character background. In its simplest form, the point is to ask what and not why when you’re exploring your character.
Matthew Xia’s latest production of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange at the Young Vic is an immersive experience from the start, opening with high energy and running through a full gauntlet of heightened emotions before it’s out. Three excellent actors and a difficult subject matter make it a gripping performance from start to finish. Continue reading