A Zombie Chronicle

A tale of the end of the world as we know it

State Of The Nation

I usually try very hard not to get too political in my blog. Everyone has an opinion, or a political angle. They see the incumbent powers as good, bad, or indifferent. I won’t be party to arguing against anyone’s beliefs.

Having said that…

Photo courtesy of David K Roberts

Photo courtesy of David K Roberts

I read in the paper this morning of the drinking culture in the Commons. Hmmm. We are bludgeoned over the head with programmes on Freeview (apparently they count as gripping entertainment – but that’s for another day, and another blog) that depict town centres at night as if they are sewers of absolute degradation. People, it seems mostly in their late teens and early twenties frequently get off their faces with booze and/or drugs on a night out. The police managing, or trying to manage the scene are portrayed as fun-loving and mostly tolerant. Frankly I would not be able to do their job, I simply couldn’t take the kind of crap they do. I take my hat off to them.

I am eagerly awaiting the fly-on-the-wall TV programme that looks inside the Houses of Parliament, watching the abuse and drunken and/or drug-fuelled behaviour of the over-forties.  And by that I mean a good number of MPs – I am not castigating all MPs, there are many who actually work on our behalf. If you go to this URL, you will see the open disclosure of public spending on their good time chambers, sorry, I mean bars. Well, open disclosure for 2009/2010 at any rate. If reporting on nearly five years ago is classed as open, then I will have to apply to the Oxford English Dictionary for a redefinition of the word.

Okay, let’s take those figures – methinks it’s only larger now anyway. £5.7 million to run the House of Commons Catering and Retail Service, a great pseudonym for something that could be funded out of the pockets of the MPs themselves – they  expense it anyway so at the moment we pay double for their pleasure. They could just go to the pub or McDonalds, like the rest of us schlubs.

So what alternative activities could be funded for the same money as their bilious ways? Here are two examples:

248 nurses - proper staffing, especially at weekends

1,786 home carers - people are being sent home early from hospital, full time employees to manage them in their own houses are thin on the ground, so the government has set up a system that traps a relative at home 24/7 on about £61 a week. I am sure the relative loves the person for whom they care, but there is little respite for that carer, no weekends off, nothing. The government gets a lot of bang for its buck in this case.

I am getting sick and tired of the crap that keeps on being exposed regarding some of our glorious members of Parliament. I thought a list would make things a little clearer:

The big question is, did you vote for this seedy approach to politics and the overseeing of our country? I received an email this week to support a petition, “Stop MPs policing their own expenses”. This petition was brought to the public by a young person. I understand the emotion behind it and fully support this initiative. The biggest and most worrying question that comes from all this is whether or not all the corruption is driving young people away from interest in politics, instead believing they cannot make a difference because corruption wins.

I remember the first time I voted. I truly believed I could make a difference, and it was a wonderful sensation. These days I think there is altogether too much focus on the wrongdoings of the young and a total lack of focus on the unsatisfactory repercussions for the so-called ‘upper echelons’ of our society. They steal, cheat and lie – and yet, unlike us ordinary folk, they keep their jobs and their freedom. If you want to ‘change’ the outlook of the young, first you have to address the outlook of the elders.

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

If you’re still reading this, do you remember John Profumo MP? Back in 1964 he had sex with a 19 year old, denied it and then resigned a couple of weeks ago. The worst part was that she had been having an alleged ‘liaison’ with a Soviet Naval Attaché. Now I quote directly from Wikipedia:- Profumo disappeared from public view. In April 1964 he began working as a volunteer at the Toynbee Hall settlement, a charitable organisation based in Spitalfields which supports the most deprived residents in the East End of London. Profumo continued his association with the settlement for the remainder of his life, at first in a menial capacity, then as administrator, fund-raiser, council member, chairman and finally president. His charitable work was recognised when he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1975. The man made a genuine mistake and resigned with dignity.

Do you think Maria Miller, our now ex-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and MP for Basingstoke, will behave with such dignity? And she did commit an actual crime. Or maybe she will be prosecuted for theft and serve time in prison.

Now that you’ve got up from the floor and stopped laughing, I have one thing left to say, to quote Citizen Smith – “Power to the People!”

Maybe this is why I write apocalyptic books.

Zombie Woman, Stay Away From Me!

Some stories are just too good to resist! I have done several articles on the possibility that zombies have existed for centuries before we realised what they were. I have even written two books on the subject, Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle, and its sequel, Z Factor – check out http://www.david-k-roberts.com.

King and crown Z-Factor 3Why, oh, why should zombies be a modern phenomenon? If that’s the case, and they are ancient, then surely there is some sort of handed down dogma or rhetoric on the subject, if we could but find it. Or would there be? If, over time, an Order had been created to combat its presence, then perhaps such ancient knowledge is stored somewhere inaccessible to mortal man not in the know.

Take this article as a case in point. A woman has been found buried, (don’t worry, it’s Iron Age, not today J )her feet severed probably post-mortem, and animal corpses were laid upon her head. With her were also buried a child and two men, clearly put to death by sword or other sharp weapon. Was it overkill, or would she have become the walking dead? The article postulates this is part of a cemetery for dead whose demise was hard to explain. What if, as an alternative explanation, the locals actually knew the manner of death, and the potential results of inaction regarding the corpse?

There are many sites like this across the UK, and I’m sure Europe as well. Commonly they are put down to ritual or superstition, probably because there is no associated documentation. Documentation of your world makes you sophisticated and knowing, apparently. Before the written word there was plenty of sophistication in the spoken word, recitation of history and the reverence for knowledge. It was practiced all around the world, and still is in parts.

I would say that with the massive overload of information in modern times, all because of the benefits of documentation, we have, for the most part become less sophisticated and insular. Maybe our ancestors knew more than we give them credit for.

If you want to know more, check out my newest book:

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor

Now available on Amazon Kindle

UKUSAAustraliaCanada

 

The article that spawned this Blog: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2599913/Feet-Iron-Age-burial-woman-chopped-prevent-coming-dead.html

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor is out!

I am very pleased to announce that the sequel to the mayhem in Leicester is now available on Amazon Kindle!

King and crown Z-Factor 3It takes the ‘minor’ problem in the UK to the USA with an Aussie travelling bum, Nick Amhurst. It’s a typical story of boy loses girlfriend, boy gets new, hot, sexy girlfriend, boy and girl travel to the USA, takes with them lethal, world-changing contagion. That sort of story.

Anyway, for more details on the plot and to purchase it, check out Amazon, some of the regional links are as follows:

America: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JJ3F76Q

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00JJ3F76Q?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

 

Canada:http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00JJ3F76Q?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

 

Australia:https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JJ3F76Q

 

I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Reading,

David

Firstly We Had Brains’ Faggots, Now We Have Brains Beer – After You!

I am at a loss for words – which doesn’t happen very often, I’m sure you’ll agree! Check out this new article:

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dining/index.ssf/2014/03/on_tap_phillys_dock_street_brewing_brews_brain_beer_for_the_walking_dead.html

Walker Brains BeerI think I’ll let someone else do the tasting in this instance. I prefer mine with hops!

 

  

  

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK          USA       Canada Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

Writing And Reviews – The Path To Self-Awareness

Here is the latest review for The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever.

Common Cold Cabin Fever cover 1-12-13“Zombie fiction could get boring if new elements aren’t occasionally added.  Fast zombies are terrifying and, realistically, would probably eradicate humans rather quickly.  Thinking zombies – meaning those who could work out hunting strategies – would be another nightmare. And zombies who can telepathically communicate with each other would be beyond imagining. (SPOILER ALERT)  Roberts gives us a taste of each of these scenarios, thereby keeping even a seasoned zombie apocalypse fan eagerly turning the pages.  Only an extremely creative writer would dare write himself into such a corner. To find out how Roberts extricates himself from that corner, you’ll just have to read the book yourself.”

I like it not because it is excellent (although I have to admit it made me feel good – thanks Kathryn B!) but because this reader understands my drive to create something different in a very over-subscribed genre. If you can’t experiment with your writing, there is little point in continuing. Writing the same old gore fest time and time again would not only be dull to read but dull to write – a completely self-defeating enterprise.

Zombie EasterI have downloaded zombie books in the past only to find them unreadable because they mistake gore for a story line. I have also read some very creative works which were in themselves quite a simple affair (Zombie Easter – Devin Coldwell) but I still remember them because their theme or content were original and didn’t take themselves too seriously – fun to read. The other thing to recognise is that the best books are those where the author recognises his or her limits and writes about what they know. A good example of this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by W J Lundy. He is a serving US soldier based out in the Middle East somewhere and his book content is plausible and even better, credible. Try him.

WTFI encourage anyone I meet that wants to talk books to have a go at writing one. Even if it only remains a Word document on your laptop, it can be a quite cathartic exercise, getting your feelings out of your head and onto paper, so to speak. Having written 5 books with a 6th about to be published, my ability to express myself and observe what is around me has increased dramatically. I would also say that I notice days as they pass now, previously one week was pretty much like the last, the 5 day work cycle had become mesmeric and a little stultifying.

As for reviews, if you do get past the ‘I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read it’ mentality and publish your work, be prepared for the cruel reviewer. There are plenty of people out there quite ready to tear up other’s good works. They are usually sad, small minded individuals who have never created anything in their lives. The other sort is the pedant. Never get into an argument with one; if ever anything was self-defeating, it’s trying that one on for size. I have been fortunate with my reviews; I’ve received the odd low one but I have been more than ratified by those people who genuinely appreciate what we writers try to do – entertain. Of course, there is also a realisation that if you have bad review after bad review, it is just possible that your book needs some more work. Never just ignore a criticism, they help you grow.

Above all, next time you think something interesting, put it on paper, don’t lose it! It makes a great starting point for something that might benefit us all.

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK          USA       Canada Australia

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (sequel due in a couple of weeks)

UK          USA       Canada Australia

What’s The World Coming To?

Today’s blog has not been predicated on any one news article. Today it’s about the slow decline in attitudes towards decency and respect (that’s ‘respect’ not ‘respek’). Are we sliding towards an apocalypse without knowing it? Will slow moral decline generate the final bug, like Rage in ‘28 Days Later’, turning us into slobs and anarchists? Read on.

moral-decencyLike most things it takes the drip, drip of gradually applied pressure to make me boil but the final straw was something I read in the papers the other day. A mother dared to make a complaint on a web page called Mumsnet. It was created by parents, for parents. A laudable endeavour, or so you might think. In this one instance the mother complained about a play her 14 year old was being forced to study in school. It’s called Mogadishu. I haven’t read it, nor am I likely to, but that’s not the point. In it there are something like 200 instances of the word f*** and the same number of c***s.

Anyone that has read any of my books know I’m not a prude but that number of profanities, even if they are illustrating a council estate in an English city, seems to suggest that the author ought to get a thesaurus. The complaining mum seemed to think, for some absurd reason, that it wasn’t suitable material for a 14 year old. I’m not a parent but I suspect she raises a good point. Anyway, the follow up abuse she received from people purporting to be teachers was quite unbelievable. Citing Shakespeare and Chaucer to justify the use of such language is absurd; I cannot remember a 4 letter profanity in either author’s work. Normally the words were much longer and highly descriptive and certainly not equivalent to the lowly F or C word – and were in context. If these rebels with a 4 letter cause were in fact teachers, then we at least get a hint of their pretty low level of moral attitude and why they might believe this book acceptable in the school curriculum. They probably support teacher-child affairs as well – they’re just expressing their sexuality, they’ll cry.

Courtesy of The New Yorker

Courtesy of The New Yorker

That’s another point, if it’s in the school curriculum, who the hell thought it was acceptable? Even if it has won an award, there are plenty of other ‘gritty’ (for ‘gritty’ read ‘poorly written’) novels out there winning awards but the line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere. What happens when these words, made acceptable by their studies, overflows into everyday life? How would these same teachers moderate the kid’s language? What if one or more of their children/pupils decide to let the teacher know what they think of him/her by calling them a c***? Would they accept it and give them a gold star for remembering their lessons – after all they lit the fuse – or would they be more likely to cry to the head teacher? They’d probably sue the school for mental cruelty.

All this leads to my primary point. Apparently, people who complain about low morals, including swearwords  don’t have a clue about life, should visit the real world, get a grip, get over themselves, or the worst accusation, and I know I shouldn’t put it down on paper – they are called ‘Middle Class’! How dreadful! What slander and libel!

Since when did being Middle Class turn into a swear word? Next it will be a hanging offence! Of course, those that throw that slur around are either Guardian reading lefties (sorry Guardian) or people who wouldn’t work in an iron lung. Let me tell you about the Middle Classes.

1. They pay most of the tax burden of any country in which they reside.

2. The tax they pay covers the cost of the schools and the salaries of the teachers they feel they have a right to be involved in (bad parents!), and complain when deemed necessary. Unchecked, the Leninist-Marxist attitudes of a significant number of teachers would become the norm. God help us then!

3. They are the upholders of standards of decency (mostly) because they strive for a better life.

4. Their willingness to complain acts as a watchdog on governmental behaviour, moderating ‘official’ activities through unofficial oversight.

5. They are the reason laws exist to protect the little man. Without them, the aristocracy or those in charge would not have evolved from the Divine Right of Kings Monarchy of the Middle Ages.

In summary, being Middle Class is not a swear word. As we’ve seen swearwords are usually much shorter in length with a single syllable so that simple minds can understand them.

So there!

Beware Ancient Ailments – Part 2

I thought I had reasonably well summarised the threat of old contagions coming back to bite us on the arse, possibly literally. It seems that with the latest discoveries I have significantly underplayed my hand here.

SmallpoxIt seems that Global Warming (sorry folks) – caused by mankind, butterflies, or Colonel Bogey – has a trick up its sleeve that scientists didn’t predict. It appears that as the ice retreats from one region previously frozen for very long periods of time, it uncovers ancient death. We are receiving reports of uncovered Smallpox in Siberia, ancient viruses and bacterium in the Arctic. What next? Strangely, considering the potential risks, they are even boring for it into ancient water under the ice caps. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

King and crown Z-FactorAmid reports of antibiotics becoming increasingly useless, where does this new potential enemy leave us? Up the Swanny it seems. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we are overcome as a species, leaving an unlucky/lucky few to eke out a living as best we/they can. Will you be a part of that, or as statistical averages suggest, will you be part of the rotting past? Much as I love the Zombie genre, I hope against all hope that somehow the human race muddles through and that zombies remain in books and on screens.

Until then, check out my efforts to describe the future in the books below. I am nearly finished the sequel to ‘Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle’. It should be available in a month or so and describes the continuance of the ‘infection’ as it reaches out and strikes New York and crawls across the USA.

Zombie books by David K Roberts:

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (Sequel)

UK          USA       Canada Australia

The news article that influenced this blog: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2551664/Will-climate-change-bring-SMALLPOX-Siberian-corpses-ooze-contagious-virus-graveyards-thaw-claim-scientists.html

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