Saturday, October 21, 2017

What Am I Re-Reading

Yep, I typed that correctly. I'm not reading new stuff right now...I'm cramming.

See, I've pretty much over-committed myself for submitting stories to anthologies and such, with two short deadlines looming on me. One for a short-n-smutty bunch of stories through Shameless Book Press (for which I've also created the e-book, 3D box set and print covers).

The other one, though, will be my second story to release through the lovely Milly Taiden's Sassy Ever After Kindle World.

So I'm running myself a tad ragged with re-reading the stories in her series, as well as re-reading my own already-released story in that Kindle World, Sassy Healing. My story will be a follow-on from that one, though the focus has shifted (heh) from the two main characters therein, across to a secondary character and a brand new character.

Up until I jumped onto that particular pony, I had been reading yet another zombie/post-apocalypse story, This Is The Way The World Ends: An Oral History Of The Zombie War by Keith Taylor.

I know Keith in passing, which is to say we're both on a particular writers' forum. Through that forum, I was interested in the way he gradually shaped this work, which I saw only in little bursts of comments on particular threads.

The book itself uses the same style of mock journalism which I'm told World War Z uses. I haven't managed to read Max Brooks's book so far, though I've tried a couple of times, so I can't compare truly.

What I will say about Taylor's book (which I've not yet finished) is that it's definitely not the kind of book you should read if you're after cheap action-based thrills with gore a-plenty. This is the thinking person's post-apocalypse story. The action, when it comes, is meted out skilfully, and not a single stroke of it is gratuitous. Indeed, it's the rarity of violence which helps to give it more power. Every moment of horror hits like a nail rather than a bus, and it pierces the reader far more strongly for that very reason.

Taylor's research is amazing, too. The book truly takes a global view of the world ending. All continents and many countries are represented (perhaps excluding Antarctica, but I haven't finished the story yet as I say...)

There's one moment in particular which has resonated with me, even a few weeks after I read it. I won't go into details, just so I don't hit you all with spoilers. But it's a moment of suburban life which starts out calmly and actually descends into lethal violence in exactly as calm a manner. It truly served as a demonstration of how quickly all societal normality could be stripped away when faced with the end of the world.

I look forward to finishing this one. But it'll be a while. As I said, I have those pesky deadlines. But the other thing is...this book is loooong!


  1. Violence is far more effective when judiciously controlled. I'm not at all a fan of zombie books, unfortunately, but this one sounds like it might be worth reading.

    And good luck with your deadlines!

  2. I'll second Lisabet's sentiments here. I don't usually go for apocalyptic or post-A, but this sounds like it may have the range of perspective that would put it out of the ordinary. I like realistic depictions of the threads of societal norms unraveling. Stephen King's "Under the Dome" (though not properly "apocalyptic") is a great example of that happening.

  3. I haven't read it, or even heard of it, but it sounds good. End of the world Done Right. It reminds me of what I felt about "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. This kind of subject matter, might bore readers looking for the gross out, but its fear is a thinking person's fear, like This Could Happen.

    1. I *love* The Road. And this book evokes similar feelings from me as I read it, though it's far more lush in its language and construction (let's face it, that wouldn't be hard!).
      Taylor's book is, like some of the others mentioned here, much more about the humans than the zombies. For me, the best zombie and post-apoc books treat the danger (flesh-eaters, disease, nuclear war) as the catalyst, rather than the plot.


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