Tuesday, 22 December 2009

"A Very Abaddon Christmas" Part 5: Christmas Past

Hi all,

Okay, here it is. As promised, you will be baked and there will be Christmas cake.

Yep, it's the fifth and final "A Very Abaddon Christmas"! I was gonna save this until Christmas Eve, but it was suggested that people might have turned off their computers and focused on family and stuff by then - as if you would abandon me - so it's going up a few days early. To get the full experience, go away and come back on Thursday.

And we're giving you something a little bit special. Because the final piece, Jonathan Green's "Christmas Past," is a full-length short story, we're giving it to you in PDF form or as a free eBook! The eBook comes with a signed christmas card just for you good boys and girls.

The story itself, fair warning, appeared in the back of Jon Green's Pax Britannia: Human Nature. If you've already read it and are naturally aggrieved to be given the same thing again, email me and I'll, I dunno, send you a picture of a Christmas robot or something.

To introduce the eBook, here is the Abaddon eBooks 'bot, &e7:
The eBook ‘bot has been festooned with tinsel and tiny USB powered coloured lights for the festive season although a stray piece of tinsel must have caused a short because it’s started making an odd burning smell now.

If you go to www.abaddonbooks.com/download you’ll find a seasonal gift from the eBooks team in the form of a FREE Pax Britannia short story. This little edition’s got a couple of extras tucked away in it and some news of upcoming titles.

We’ve been having a fiddle about with some new formatting and graphics – let us know what you think of the new styling, especially on iPhone or iPod Touch.

To get your free gift, follow the following links:
For the eBook: http://www.abaddonbooks.com/download

For the PDF: http://www.abaddonbooks.com/downloads/sample/christmas_past.pdf
If you somehow don't have an eReader and want the Christmas Card, you can download Adobe Digital Editions and read the .epub version of the book right on your computer.

Enjoy and have a safe and happy Christmas, with an acceptable minimum of zombies.


David and the Abaddon Team

Monday, 21 December 2009

"A Very Abaddon Christmas" Part 4: 'Twas the Night Before Giftfest

Hey all,

Right, we're not quite onto brandy and mince pies yet, so let's call this... the cheese course. Yeah, that's right. The cheese course.

Actually, it's pretty appropriate.

For the fourth instalment in that noted, ground-breaking guest-blogging event, A Very Abaddon Christmas, Mike Wild has given us a little ditty from Twilight of Kerberos.

"What's that?" I hear you cry. "Surely there's no Christmas on Twilight! It's, like, a fantasy world! David, what can you be saying?"

Think again, my good man. Think again.

’Twas the Night Before Giftfest

A Twilight of Kerberos: The Crucible of the Dragon God Story

By Mike Wild

’Twas the night before Giftfest, when through Kali’s pub
Not a worgle was stirring, nor Horse for his grub
Hooper’s stockings were slung by the fireplace, oh yeah
Where Slowhand caressed them, his body all bare

Dolorosa, meanwhile, was high up on the roof
There confronting a man and strange creatures on hoof
What’s that you say, fat boy, about goodwill and peace?
You go near that chimney I stabba you like theees!

Kali, through all this, lay betwattled in bed
While visions of Old Races whirled in her head
She hated the holidays, she thought they were crap
And the dwarves and elves called her, from the old map

Suddenly down in her belly there rumbled a groan
She sprang from her blankets and uttered a moan
Away to the window she flew with a “gack!”
Tore open the shutters and threw up her Thwack

Below in the courtyard a man dressed in red
Wiped away vomit from the top of his head
He sighed, all he’d wanted was to empty his sack
But after this, fark ‘em, he’d take it all back

Come the next morning not a present was seen
Once more it seemed the Laughing Lord hadn’t been
From pirates and Slowhand, Kali, Moon and the dragons
A Very Happy Giftfest from the Here There Be Flagons.

Today in the Office

Ben: Has anyone got a rubber? Why hasn't anyone got a rubber?
Editors: Sorry, Not me, etc.
Ben: You editors! honestly!
Jenni: All we have are our red pens. Our red pens of doom.
David: They're not pens of doom. They're our only defense against an unpredictable and uncaring world.
Jenni: And bad grammar.
David: Exactly. Red pens are how we rage against the dying of the light.
Thank you.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

"A Very Abaddon Christmas" Part 3: Perfect Presents

Hi all,

You didn't think I'd forgotten, did you?

It is, of course, time for the third instalment in our mouth-watering guest-blogging event of the century, "A Very Abaddon Christmas."

Filling today's little-plastic-chocolate-mould on your 99p ASDA advent calendar of the mind is this offering by Paul Kane, author of The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead and The Afterblight Chronicles: Broken Arrow. Offering us a glimpse of Christmas in post-Blight Nottingham Castle, he sets this tale some time after the events of Broken Arrow...

Prefect Presents

A The Afterblight Chronicles: Arrowhead Story

By Paul Kane

  Robert had to admit, they’d done a fine job with the decorations.
  He’d barely noticed when he arrived back from patrol the day before – perhaps because he was tired and all he really wanted to do was get to bed, and get to sleep. Mary was still away from the castle; along with Jack and a clutch of Rangers she was delivering much needed care packages to villages on the outskirts of Nottingham, to the people struggling at this time of year. (He wasn’t worried about her safety – she’d shown him time and again she could take care of herself, and over the past year had been out on any number of missions with him.) Mary was also out spreading the word about their big event.
  They’d all missed out on a summer fĂȘte that year, the work that had gone into rebuilding the castle – and their lives – after what had happened with the Tsar had put them off any kind of big celebration. Even Robert and Mary’s wedding had been a low key affair (and deliberately so). Just the people closest attending, the people who mattered most, and Reverend Tate doing the honours, of course.
  But by the time the end of the year was drawing closer, residents at the castle were starting to talk about the possibility of a ‘Winter Festival’. Dale especially had been bending Robert’s ear about it.
  “I think he just wants the chance to show off again in front of an audience,” Mark had joked, referring to Dale’s previous life as a guitarist in the band One Simple Truth. “That and the chance to pull some groupies.”
  Sophie had punched the lad’s arm. “Mark, you’re terrible.”
  “You know it’s true.” He laughed and then put his arm around her shoulders. It was nice for Robert to see his adopted son so happy; it reminded him of the love he felt for the special woman in his life.
  So, catching him at a particularly vulnerable moment, Dale had finally persuaded him. “Okay, okay. You’re in charge of the entertainment, then.”
  “You bet!” Dale had said, grinning all over his face.
  It was Tate who’d organised the decorations, though – getting Bill to tap a few contacts from his market routes, and drafting in a few of the Rangers to help set them up. Robert hadn’t noticed these much when he got back, but now night-time was falling and the candles were being lit, he’d wandered out into the grounds to be confronted by something out of an old Christmas movie. Tinsel adorned the trees, gold and silver streamers ran the length of the castle walls. Even Robert had to admit, it was a beautiful sight.
  “You approve, then?” Tate asked, joining him at the top of the slope running down from the Middle Bailey.
  Robert nodded. “It’ll be just the boost the men need.”
  “Not to mention the people of Nottingham, and beyond,” Tate reminded him. “Looking forward to seeing Mary again?”
  “Do I even need to answer that?” Robert said with a smile.
  “I suppose you’ve got her something nice for Christmas – your first as a married couple and everything,” the holy man mused.
  Robert’s face fell. “Oh sh…” he began and then saw Tate’s raised eyebrow. “Sugar… I’ve been so busy with work and everything. I guess I just hadn’t really thought about it... Damn. Do you know if she’s got anything for me?”
  Tate would say nothing, simply advised him that he’d better get his thinking cap on.
  “And what about you?” Robert asked. “What would you like?”
  Tate sighed. “What I want, my son, I don’t think even you can arrange.”

  A few hours later people began to arrive for the celebration.
  An hour after that, it was in full swing. Beer and wine was flowing, there was enough food for all, and Dale played his guitar and sang to a packed audience of men, women and children – all of whom had been through some pretty traumatic times. It even had Bill, who’d arrived with a number of his marketer mates, tapping his toes to the beat.
  When he took his break, leaving a battery-operated CD player to blast out festive tracks, Dale grabbed hold of the tall American, Jack, by the arm. “Have you seen the talent that’s here tonight?”
  “Can’t say that I really noticed,” Jack replied.
  “Come on, you need to get back on the horse again,” said the younger man, referring to the business with Adele, when Jack had totally fallen for the wrong woman.
  Jack snorted. “I just got off one. Leave me be, kid.”
  Dale shrugged his shoulders. “Okay, but don’t complain when I’m unwrapping my presents and you get nothing.” He went off in the direction of a blonde and brunette who were about his age, putting an arm around each when he got there.
  Robert caught the display and chuckled, then realised that if Jack was around it meant that-
  A pair of hands covered his eyes. “Guess who,” he heard in his ear.
  “Er…got to be Mark, but I thought your voice had already broken, son?” He heard Mary laugh and turned, gathering her up in a tight embrace.
  “Miss me?” she asked when he put her down.
  “That depends – did you miss me?”
  Mary pretended to think about it, then broke into another smile. “What do you think?”
  “Brought some more people with you?” said Robert, looking around as more bodies filled the grounds.
  “I did indeed, and someone quite unexpected.”
  “Let me guess,” Robert said. “Santa Claus.”
  “Not really…look.” She pointed towards the gate and standing there was Gwen, holding little Clive Jr’s hand.
  “But…but how…? I thought she vowed never to come near this place again.”
  Mary shrugged. “Some of her ‘people’ wanted to come to the festival…Oh, wait…” Mary nodded across to Tate, who had now seen Gwen and was hobbling over to her, limping with his stick.
  Robert and Mary moved through the crowd so they could listen in.
  “Reverend,” said Gwen, eyeing up the man with what could only be classed as disdain. She still hadn’t forgiven him for luring her to the castle during the Tsar’s attack. Tate had only wanted to keep her safe, but that wasn’t how she’d seen it.
  “Gwen, I…”
  “Don’t get too excited, I’m just here to keep an eye on my lot.” She indicated a few of the residents of New Hope in the crowd.
  “I see…Look, Gwen. I know you-”
  Gwen turned her back on him, picking up her son and making to leave Tate’s presence – maybe even the party itself. She paused when he said, “Gwen…Gwen please stay. I haven’t seen you or Clive Jr in so long.”
  The willowy woman turned around slowly, then gave a small nod. They began to speak, but it was drowned out by a crowd of revellers going past. If nothing else it was maybe a start to healing past wounds. And perhaps that was just the present Tate had been talking about. As Robert watched them, though, he could have sworn he caught sight of someone lurking behind them in the gatehouse – someone wearing a crimson-coloured hood. Someone keeping an eye on Gwen, perhaps? But when he blinked and looked again, the figure was gone.
  “Robert,” said Mary, breaking into his thoughts, “I’ve got something for you.” She handed him a wrapped square, which he promptly undid, revealing a framed portrait of them both together – drawn by Mary herself.
  “I…I don’t know what to say…It’s…I’ve never…”
  “Shh, you don’t have to say anything, silly. Happy Christmas.” He kissed her and motioned for them to leave the party behind, stopping only briefly to note Sophie giving Mark a kiss under the mistletoe: his very own present.
  Robert led Mary outside the castle, to where his horse was waiting.
  “Where are we going?” she asked, as he climbed up and pulled her on behind him.
  “You’ll see.”
  The weather was much better than it had been this time last year, no snow in sight and a clear sky overhead. The journey took them a little while, but finally Robert guided his steed in through the gates of Sherwood.
  He heard Mary laugh, holding on tighter to him. Leaving the horse tethered, he led Mary into the heart of the forest, with a lit torch in front of him. There, in a clearing, was a make-shift camp, complete with a fire that just needed lighting and a lean-to tent cosy enough for two. Robert bent inside and brought out a bottle of champagne with two glasses.
  “Sorry it’s nothing much,” he told her. “I just thought, well, we don’t get that much privacy at the castle…”
  “Oh Robert, it’s absolutely brilliant! But won’t we be missed?”
  “Not for one night,” he promised, and drew her in close. Time alone was precious; the perfect gift they could give each other.
  They kissed under the stars, the leafless oaks allowing their light to shine through.
  “I love you, Mary,” Robert told her.
  “And I love you, too,” she replied, pulling up his hood and losing herself inside the folds…

Mass Movement: A Tale of Two Jonathans

Hi all,

Just to a quick shout out to Mass Movement magazine, who have flagged a couple more Abaddon features for us:

- Jonathan Oliver, whose book Twilight of Kerberos: The Call of Kerberos has just gone to press (and who is, incidentally, Editor-in-Chief of both Abaddon and Solaris) has been interviewed in Mass Movement #25, currently available for download.

- Jonathan Green's latest Ulysses Quicksilver book, Pax Britannia: Evolution Expects, has been reviewed on the site and is due to appear in MM #26.

Just you go and check 'em both out.




Tuesday, 15 December 2009

"A Very Abaddon Christmas" Part 2: Absent Friends

Hi all,

Well, we've whetted your appetite with the soup and pate. Time to push aside the sprouts, scrape off the gravy and tuck into some tasty dark meat.

Er, sorry. Metaphor kind of got away from me there.

Actually, I'm kinda hungry now. Is anyone else hungry? I'm hungry.

Anyway, the second instalment in our December 2009 guest-blogging event, A Very Abaddon Christmas, is a teaser for Al Ewing's upcoming Pax novel...

Absent Friends

A Pax Britannia Story

By Al Ewing

  His fingers were capable of bending steel, but they gripped the stem of the wine glass gently, precisely.
  “Here’s to absent friends,” said Doc Thunder, with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes - those eyes of dazzling, uncomfortable blue, that could see further and more clearly than any other human could ever hope to. They seemed clouded now, that unnatural blueness faded like a picture left in the sun. They seemed tired.
  Mona looked at him, concerned, and he shook his head, groping for the words. “Sorry. I just never thought… I always hoped I’d be able to reform him. Rehabilitate him.”
  Mona smiled slightly, looking down at her plate. “Well, you were the only one who did. The man was a mad dog, Doc, and dangerous enough to kill the whole world if he couldn’t take it. You had to know he’d rather die than be stopped.” She reached out a hand, resting it on his. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
  Thunder shook his head. “There should have been another way.”
  For a while, the only sound in the laboratory was the clicking of cutlery on china as he poked at the turkey in front of him, prodding it around the plate, making a pretence at eating.
  “If you’re not eating that, I will.” Mona said between mouthfuls. “This is good stuff, Doc. Even better than last year. Maybe you should drop all this ‘protector of the downtrodden’ business and become a chef.”
  Thunder smiled wryly, pushing his plate at her. “Cooking is a science, and you know how I am about science. I can’t rest until I’ve mastered it and put it to use.” He scratched thoughtfully at his beard. “Though you might be onto something there. I could lend a hand at a soup kitchen between cases. God knows I’ll have more time on my hands now…”
  He sighed, taking a long sip of the wine.
  “I still can’t believe it. Lars Lomax is dead. He’s haunted my dreams for fifty years, he’s caused me more trouble than N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E., Untergang and the Hidden Empire put together, and now he’s gone.”
  Mona smiled. “Merry Christmas.”
  Thunder shook his head. “It doesn’t feel like a present.”
  “What does it feel like?”
  “A waste. A stupid, useless, unnecessary waste. That man could have been a new Galileo. A Newton. A Cavor. And now he‘s nothing. Ashes floating down the Amazon.”
  Mona shrugged. “That’s the difference between you and me. You always see the best in people. I love you for it, but you need to understand that Lars Lomax was never going to be anything other than what he was, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll stop being such a miserable son of a bitch and ruining Christmas for everybody else.” She smiled sweetly. “Just saying.”
  Thunder laughed despite himself. “Fine, Merry Christmas.” He took a swallow of the wine, and then took his plate back, digging a fork into the turkey. “And a Happy New Year.”
  But as it turned out, it was anything but.

Hungry Hearts Reviews

Hi all,

If you liked "Hungry Christmas," you'd probably like Tomes of the Dead: Hungry Hearts. It's, like, the same character, by the same author, in the same setting. But if that argument didn't just knock your novelty reindeer-and-holly socks the hell off your feet, you probably want to check out this review that appeared right after I posted the story (Eerie, huh? I mean, for real; nobody told me this was coming out.):

Peter Tennant of TTA Press's Black Static has chosen Gary McMahon as the featured author in his Case Notes column in the latest issue, Black Static #14. He reviews Hungry Hearts and one of Gary's other books, Different Skins, gives you a bibliography of Gary's work, and just generally has a bit of a chat about Gary's writing and his thoughts on it. All great stuff. Buy their magazine now. Do it.

I mean it. Stop reading. Do it.

Peter also blogs on the TTA site for Interzone magazine, where he's running a genre-fiction "Advent Calendar" blog, posting links nominated by readers on the TTA forum. And today's entry is none other than "Hungry Christmas." Many thanks for the shout out, Peter.

While we're lovin' it, here's another review by Paul Smith of the British Fantasy Society. It's a little older, but I don't think I've already posted it to the blog (please excuse if I have).



Monday, 14 December 2009

eBook Bestsellers

A little number-crunching from Abaddon’s eBook ‘bot reveals the current bestselling titles. (Click on the titles for links to sellers.)

Lucius Kane finds his loyalty torn between the ‘Hands’ and his mentor in the secret society of Shadowmages.

‘The Blight’ sweeps across the world sparing no-one except those with a particular blood type. Those that remain struggle to survive the post-apocalyptic nightmare.

3. Unquiet Grave (DURHAM RED)
A thousand years young and with a body built for sin, mutant vampire Durham Red just wants to get her kicks while she can... but a nightmare tribe of blood worshippers have other ideas A great 2000 AD novel !

4. Dredd VS Death (JUDGE DREDD)
No surprise to see Dredd in the top five! Dredd is pitted against the four Dark Judges in this all-action novel.

5. Fear the Darkness (ANDERSON PSI DIVISION)
Called in to psychically read the crime scene, Psi-Judge Anderson encounters ever-increasing signs that a malignant psychic presence is at work. Prepare yourself for a tense and intriguing investigation that will blow your mind.

Hot off the ePress!

I’d definitely recommend Night’s Haunting from the TWILIGHT OF KERBEROS series. More trouble in store for thief and Shadowmage, Lucius Kane. This, the latest in the series was released just this month in the original printed form and also in scrummy eBook format.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your eReaders!!!


The ebook 'bot.

Friday, 11 December 2009

"A Very Abaddon Christmas" Part 1: Hungry Christmas

Hi all,

Okay, here it is. I know you're all as excited as me about this, so without further ado, I am please and proud to present to you the first installment in our December 2009 guest-blogging event, A Very Abaddon Christmas...

Hungry Christmas

A Tomes of the Dead: Hungry Hearts story

by Gary McMahon

It’s been said that your life flashes before your eyes in the moment of death, depicting scenes dragged up from the vault of memory. As his undead wife ripped out his heart and ate it, Rick Nutman’s mind flicked briefly to something different: a Christmas that might have been...

  He’d only entered the shopping centre in search of supplies, foolishly thinking that he might find a turkey hidden away in the freezer department of HumSave, or some dried-up Christmas pud left forgotten on an otherwise empty shelf in M&S.
  What he didn’t expect was Santa.
  The large figure in red was plodding around the ornamental fountain in the foyer, swaying from side to side like he was drunk. But he wasn’t drunk; he was dead.
  Dead Santa.
  Rick took out the Glock pistol and slowly made his way across the foyer, crouching behind the wide support pillars. He’d never believed in Santa, even as a child, and he wasn’t about to start believing in the fat fool now...
  Dead Santa’s beard was red, covered in blood, and his face was white as snow. He caught sight of Rick and began to stumble towards him, still carrying his sack of presents. The dead fat man splashed through the fountain, his baggy red trousers loose and soggy, and opened his mouth to reveal jagged, broken teeth and a throat some joker had stuffed with silver tinsel.
  Rick shot him in the mouth, blowing a hole through the middle of his gore-soaked beard. Dead Santa’s face collapsed inward, deflating like a punctured plastic Christmas bauble.
  The sack fell from Dead Santa’s grasp, spilling its contents. Gifts and cards and tacky tree decorations spread out around his fallen body.
  Rick walked over and picked up a toy gun. He smiled. Pulled the trigger.
  Then he went back outside to the jeep, mumbling under his breath: “Fuck you and the reindeer you rode in on...”

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Reviews, and Christmas Special Announcement!

Hi all,

Right, so as promised, a couple of quick reviews:

- Martijn at Mass Movement has penned us this fine review of Al Ewing's The Afterblight Chronicles: Death Got No Mercy.

- And on the subject of Afterblight Chronicles, we've also got this review from 2000AD of Scott Andrews' The Afterblight Chronicles: Operation Motherland, and this one from Mass Movement.

Check 'em out.


I'm very proud to announce an exciting feature we'll be running over the next couple of weeks: A Very Abaddon Christmas!

As a special treat for you, we've asked our Abaddon authors to write guest blogs for us, telling us what their favourite characters are up to as they settle down to turkey and trimmings, brains, canned SPAM or what-have-you this Christmas. Of course, they're all very busy boys and girls, but a handful of them have been kind enough to oblige us with a little Christmas spirit.

We're launching tomorrow, and will be posting two or three a week up to Christmas Eve, when we will be giving you all a free PDF edition of Jonathan Green's short story "Christmas Past" (previously published in Pax Britannia: Human Nature) to curl up with that night, when (as I'm sure you all will) you head to bed early to listen for the sound of tinkling bells...

Or, uh, the groans of zombies, the rattle of automatic fire, the clash of rapiers, the flash of magic spells going off, or whatever it is gets you to sleep.

Keep an eye on the blog, and enjoy.



Wednesday, 9 December 2009

SF Crow's Nest Book Chart

Hi all,

SF Crow's Nest, Stephen Hunt's popular online SF, Fantasy and Horror magazine, polls its readers every year and assembles a "top 100" books list. 2009's up now; Check it out.

This year, Pax Britannia gets in there with two placements. Al Ewing's Pax Britannia: El Sombra makes a very respectable 34th place, and Jon Green's Pax Britannia: Unnatural History storms into 16th place, ahead of names like Bruce Sterling, Kevin J. Anderson and Alan Dean Foster.

Way to go, guys!

Right, couple more review links and stuff tomorrow, then my next post after that will definitely be about zombies, because I'm actually slightly frightened of Mr. Jones.



Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Psychic Vampires in Love

Bit of a random thought process...

Having recently been to see Twiglet: New Moon (don't judge me; my wife watches for the vampire romance, and I watch for the FX and the monster fights), and half-watched some of the early episodes of True Blood, I found myself reflecting on a theme common to the two stories, and in fact common to supernatural drama in general. Bear with me, here.

In the Twilight films, Bella is immune to vampiric mind-control and mind-reading. This is one of the reasons she is so attractive to Edward, who is a mind-reader; he is fascinated by her, because she maintains an air of mystery that no-one else has. In True Blood, Sookie is a telepath, and thus immune to vampiric influence, while Compton is a vampire and thus unreadable by telepathy. This explains their attraction to each other; Compton usually finds women too easy to control, and Sookie is generally too appalled by human nature, but with each other, once again, there is the allure of the unknowable and uncontrollable.

As I say, this is a common theme. It's a variation on the "Beautiful Monster" archetype in fiction: the alien being with a compassionate heart, who for all his power yearns only to be human. The Beautiful Monster dates back at least as far as Frankenstein, and probably much earlier. It reveals our humanity to ourselves, forces us to question what it is to be human, yadda yadda yadda. Cue A-Level Eng. Lit. essay; 2000 words on my desk by the end of the month.

But really, is the idea that robust? Okay, I can see that love (or at least, lust: the horrible will-she-won't-she, stomach churning, anguished first stages of a proper crush) depends a lot on doubt and mystery, at least as you and I experience it. But am I supposed to believe that someone who has that insight by nature - who has always had it - is unable to feel love because of it, and will suddenly fall head-over-heels for the first person who denies it?

Here's a quick mental excercise. Imagine being fully possessed of sight, as you presumably are. Now imagine growing up in a community of the blind: your parents and siblings, your childhood friends, your colleagues and fellows. At every stage in your life, you can see them - see their unguarded expressions, their irritable gestures, their rolled eyes and mouthed obscenities - where none of them can see yours, or each others'. Then one day, the woman/man (delete as appropriate) of your dreams walks in the room, wearing a balaclava. Suddenly you're in the exact same position as everyone else around you! Only now can you truly experience love the way those around you do! This is it! This is real!


As a rule, losing a means of perceiving someone - hearing but not seeing them, seeing but not hearing, hearing their words but not their tone - is actually quite threatening. Personally, if I was some kind of mind-reading vampire, I'd be a bit uncomfortable around someone on whom my powers had no effect, and probably get the Hell out of their way.

But then, I don't write Paranormal Romance.

Just a thought.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Abaddon Competition Winners!

Hi all,

Here it is. I know you've been waiting for this with bated breath, jowls wobbling like some kind of Japanese teleporting superhero... I am proud to announce the winners of the Abaddon Zombie Shelter Competition!

Now, this has been far from easy. We've had some brilliant entries, and they've all taken very different approaches to the very thorny problem of where to take shelter from the coming Zombipocalypse. Each of us had a favourite; there have been arguments, recriminations, even tears. Some things were said that will be hard to take back. It's been an emotional time.

But we have shaped up some kind of final list. As I said before, the top three submissions have been selected to publish here for your education and edification.

Third Place goes to Debbie Bennett, who went for a delightful combination of whimsical, crazy and come-hither:

It’s dead simple, you see. There’s this field at the back of my house and I’ve been busy planting land mines in it – I get them cheap from a guy in the pub. So there’s garlic and holy water too (just in case) and once I’ve made my way through the mine maze, I can climb up to my tree house and pull the rope ladder up behind me (the tree trunk is covered in oil and battery acid). I’ve got cherryade and garibaldi biscuits. 3 loo rolls. And an AK47. Like I said – dead simple. Wanna come play?

I'm sure this is lifted out of Blyton's Five Fight Off The Deathless Horde, but I'll let that slide since I just made that fact up. Debbie, I would personally love to join you in your tree-house, but there's this zombie horde attacking and we have to get to a bunk- holy shit! Did you say say cherryade? I'm there.

Second Place, by an absolute whisker, goes to Charles Payne's submission which, oddly, also appeals to the inner chainsaw-wielding child:

Two words: Santa's workshop. As soon as the first cry of BRAINS! goes out, I'm heading for the North Pole. It's the perfect shelter- most zombies will freeze before they reach it and it comes with an army of industrious elves and a super powered fat guy. Santa and his elves should be more than happy to rain destruction upon the undead hordes (I'm pretty sure eating brains puts you on the naughty list) and you get all the milk and cookies you could want. What more could you want in a zombie-proof shelter?

Aside from the difficulty of getting to the North Pole when all the airports are closed down by the apocalypse (f*ck it, I can always steal a twin-prop from somewhere), this is actually pretty much the perfect solution. It very nearly won, but Santa Claus is an imaginary person, and we take Zombies very seriously.

First Place and ultimate winner is this proposal by Richard Smeeton:

A converted Man-Takraf RB293 mobile bucket wheel excavator, a forty-five thousand tonne, ninety five metre tall beast of mining equipment - with red go faster stripes. And the bucket wheel converted to a giant buzzsaw. It's a moving shelter where the best form of defence is attack - slowly crushing the hordes beneath the tracks or slashing with the buzzsaw. Concessions to practicality: a greenhouse, solar panels, a crane to grab stuff (including a fuel suction function to drain petrol stations). Plus a crew of Swedish air hostess and topped off with a golden throne to observe the carnage from.

A controversial choice, Richard; you could always run out of fuel, and you'll be stuck with the hordes clambering up the sides of your machine. But, after a long, hard deliberation, we decided that including Swedish air-hostesses in your vehicle - as a "concession to practicality," no less - shows a certain style. Also, golden thrones kick ass.

We'll be writing to Richard to get his postal address and choice of Tomes of the Dead books.

Thank you all for entering, and I'm sorry to those of you that entertained and amused me who had the ill-fortune not to be included in the final list. You're all awesome, and I'm heartened to know that the future of humanity will be in your hands when the blood starts to flow...



Thursday, 3 December 2009

A message from Andy Severn, Abaddon's eBook 'bot

Hi All,

If you’re a shameless techhie like myself, you’ll be squealing with delight to hear that ALL the Abaddon novels are now available as eBooks! Go to the Titles tab on www.abaddonbooks.com and make with the clicky-click on the WHSmiths link.

You can snap up an eBook edition at loads of reputable book sites such as WHSmith, BooksOnBoard, Waterstones, Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket and CoolerEbooks. They’re available in two delightful flavours, ePub and Mobi so will work on whatever reader you have.

If you don’t have one of those gorgeous eReaders then you can still read them on your iPhone, iPod Touch or laptop. But really, you’ll be wanting to ask Santa to pop one of those readers in your stocking this Christmas – they’re soooo cool, and the eInk technology is incredibly comfortable to read. I grabbed myself an Elonex one* from the pile of readers we have for checking the eBooks and now I take it EVERYWHERE with me – and I really DO mean everywhere ;)

I’ve just finished reading the BRILLIANT Pax Britannia book Human Nature, methinks I’ll have a dip into one of the 2000AD books next, perhaps the supernatural thriller Caballistics Inc? Or a bit of Judge Dredd? So many to choose from...

&e7 – Abaddon’s eBook ‘bot.

* I’d have grabbed an eCooler but the one we have is a girly hot-pink colour – why couldn’t we have got a blue one, or even grey or red to match my laptops?