Tuesday, 28 February 2012

There’s a reason they’re called The Dark Ages…

Dark North
by Paul Finch

The fight begins on 13th March (US & Canada) and 15th March (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN
$9.99/$12.99 (US & CAN) ISBN

Also available as an ebook

A new Empire has risen in Rome, and the Emperor is determined that Britain shall kneel before him. But when legendary King Arthur hurries his knights to court, the Black Wolf of the North brings more than just his sword…

One of Arthur’s most stalwart supporters, Sir Lucan comes from his cold northern home along with his beautiful wife, Trelawna, for among the delegates from Rome is her lover.

The world stands poised on the brink of a terrible war, in which the fates of lives and hearts will play as great a role as those of nations. This is the theatre in which the Black Wolf of the North must finally come of age as a warrior and a man – because for Lucan there will be a war within this war.

Representing stories from the true Dark Ages, Malory’s Knights of Albion brings the dark underbelly of the Arthurian dream to life with tales of blood-thirsty revenge, Godless wastelands and unholy missions.

About the Series
Uncovered in the parish church of St. Barbara and St. Christopher in the summer of 2006, the Salisbury Manuscript (British Library Add. MS 1138) is the only extant copy of Sir Thomas Malory’s The Seconde Boke of kyng Arthur and also His noble Knyghts, apparently written at Thomas Caxton’s request after Malory’s release from gaol. Deep controversy surrounds the book, which is claimed by some to be a contemporary forgery, possibly written by Caxton himself. In March 2010, Rebellion Publishing announced that it had secured exclusive rights to publish the modernisations of the stories...

Malory’s Knights of Albion regales readers with totally original stories set in King Arthur’s time, exploring the stories of the less well-known knights or telling previously-unknown events from the lives of beloved characters close to Britain’s greatest king. With courage and courtesy close to its heart, the series promises to deliver the best of heroic, chivalric adventure, often with a dark or surprising twist.

About the Author
Paul Lewis has written hundreds of comedy sketches for UK network TV, including Spitting Image, as well as radio sitcoms and plays. Paul co-edited the Cold Cuts horror anthology and is co-author of the novels The Ragchild and The Quarry, several novellas and numerous short stories including a Doctor Who contribution for BBC Books. Paul works as a journalist and lives with his wife and son in a village near Swansea, Wales.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


With Blood Ocean hitting shelves this week, the mighty Weston Ochse submitted to our editorial authority and - upon promise of release of his precious collection of decapitated garden gnomes - answered some questions about floating cities, murderous Hawaiians, and his zombie apocalypse bolt-hole...

Weston is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of various short stories and novels, including the critically acclaimed Scarecrow Gods. He is much in demand as a speaker at genre conventions and has been chosen as a guest of honour on numerous occasions. As well as writing many novels, Weston has written for comic books, professional writing guides, magazines and anthologies. Weston lives in Southern Arizona with his wife, the author Yvonne Navarro, and their menagerie of animals. Blood Ocean is his second novel for Abaddon Books.

* What were the particularly challenges you faced in writing for an established universe that has already been explored by several different authors?

Honestly, since I’d been following Afterblight since before the very first book, I was a little worried. After all, there have been nine books before mine. What if I messed up? But then I realized two things. One, the books weren’t necessarily sequential. And two, that no one had written about a floating city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. By creating my own setting, I was giving myself breathing room. And it worked.

* How did the idea for the monkey-bankers come about?

It’s a crazy thing. After speaking with editor-in-chief Jon Oliver in Brighton about the possibility of a book that image popped into my mind and ended up searing into it. Just the imagery of a monkey surgically attached to a person’s back was so iconic… just wow.

* There's a lot of Hawaiian mythology in Blood Ocean. Is Hawaii a place you were already familiar with, or did you have to do a lot of research?

I was already familiar with a lot of it. My best friend is Hawaiian. I’ve written about it in my novels Recalled to Life and Track of the Storm. I’ve also been there. The place is steeped in history and mythology, and as far as I’m concerned, has barely been tapped.

* Tell us a bit about your writing routine.

When I’m in the throes of a novel, such as Blood Ocean, I have a fairly regular routine. In fact, my goal is to write novels in three months. I can usually make that happen with the first draft if I keep to at least five pages a day. Then I take another month for editing and proofing, very often having my Beta Readers and Uber Fans read it as well, so I can provide their input.

* As a Bram Stoker award winner is horror your first love, or are you adept at all genres?

I’ve always felt that horror is a feeling, not really a genre. Blood Ocean is a science fiction novel, for sure. But it’s also horror, isn’t it? It is in that I delve a little more into the brilliant violence that would attend a society at the end of the world, where like-minded and like-blooded people band together out of sheer desperation.

*What are your five favourite novels?

Tough question because these can change every day because there are so many beautiful novels that have influenced me since I first read ‘Once Upon a Time,’ but I’ll try.
* Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury for its melancholy remembrance of what it was to be young; * The Scar by China Mieville for his world-building and some of the most beautifully written passages I’ve ever had the pleasure to read;
* A Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker for its just around the corner universe that is there in our everyday lives;
* The Last Good Kiss by James Crumbly for distilling and originalizing everything that was ever wonderful about the America detective novel genre;
* The Hobbit by none other for starting me on a journey into a thousand fantasy lands populated by the muse of a thousand authors, to include the incomparable Steve Donaldson as well as the inconceivable Joe Abercrombie.

* What advice would you give to new writers hoping to break into the field?

Don’t ever have anyone publish anything you’ve written until it’s been edited by an actual editor.

* Tell us a bit about Blood Ocean and why people should buy it.

If it was a movie, I’d call it Road Warrior meets Battle Royale. To compare books its like if The Horseclans Books and Lord of the Flies had a Hawaiian baby and this was the result. Honestly, this is as original as they come.

* Do you have a plan for when/if the Apocalypse comes? Have you any crazy ideas for re-establishing civilization?

My wife and I have both zombie and apocalypse plans for wherever we go. We will be ready. But to tell you would be to minimize our survival. Nice try. But I’ll tell you what. If it’s you and me at the end of the world, just do what I do. That’ll keep you alive long enough to at least yell yippee-kai-yay!

Blood Ocean is out this week in the UK and North America.

Read the first chapter of Blood Ocean - completely free!

“Weston is one of the best
authors of our generation.”
– Brian Keene, author of Take the Long Way Home and City of the Dead

How's about THAT for a recommendation, eh? Weston Ochse's Blood Ocean hits shops on both sides of the Atlantic this very week and later today we'll be talking to Weston on this very blog about his writing, his favourite books and his preferred zombie apocalypse refuge.

In the meantime, and to celebrate the release of another hardcore tale of post-apocalyptic survival, what better way to whet your appetite than to fish out the first chapter?

And you can read it totally for free!!

That's right - free! Just click on this link and get words for your eyes and your brains.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

OUT THIS WEEK: On the high seas, if you don’t live large… you just sink

This week sees the return of Weston Ochse to the world of The Afterblight Chronicles, as Blood Ocean hits shelves on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tomorrow, we'll be talking to the man himself, but in the meantime here's a reminder of the latest book in this civilisation-shattering series...

The Afterblight Chronicles:
Blood Ocean
by Weston Ochse


£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-87-2
$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-87-2

Also available as an ebook
In a world reduced to ruin by all-consuming plague, one young boy embarks on a mission of revenge after one of his friends is found dead … harvested for his blood!

Kavika Kamalani is a Pali Boy on Nomi No Toshi, the floating city. The post-plague heir to an ancient Hawai’ian warrior tradition that believes in overcoming death by embracing one’s fears and living large, Kavika’s life is turned upside down when one of his friends dies – and he sets out to find the killer.

When he is kidnapped and subjected to a terrifying transformation, Kavika must embrace the ultimate fear – death itself. It is the only way if he, his loved ones, and the Pali Boys are to survive.

This stand-alone title is the latest pulse-pounding story of post-apocalyptic survival in The Afterblight Chronicles series from Weston Ochse – a writer who pulls no punches.

“Weston Ochse is an artist whose craft, stories and voice are so distinct
and mesmerising that you can’t help but be enthralled.”
– Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man

About the Series
The Afterblight Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic series in which a devastating epidemic has ravaged the world. In the Afterblight pockets of humans attempt to continue civilization amidst the mounting chaos of the collapsed infrastructure . Mobs run rampant while cults and warlords fight for authority over the survivors of the global plague.
One of the three series with which Abaddon Books launched in 2006, The Afterblight Chronicles is a collection of stand-alone novels that has showcased the talents of a number of brilliant, up-and-coming authors, including Scott Andrews, Paul Kane, Jasper Bark and Rebecca Levene. Blood Ocean is the eleventh Afterblight Chronicles title.

About the Author
Weston Ochse is the Bram Stoker award-winning author of various short stories and novels, including the critically acclaimed Scarecrow Gods and Tomes of the Dead novel, Empire of Salt.

He is much in demand as a speaker at genre conventions and has been chosen as guest of honour on numerous occasions. Weston lives in Southern Arizona with his wife Yvonne and their menagerie of animals.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

We're on our way to Prestatyn!

Sunny Prestatyn will, quite literally, thrum with unadulterated geekiness this weekend, as the cream of the worlds of SF, fantasy and horror descend on the third annual SFX Weekender convention.

And we'll be there in all our glory, with a righteous roster of ready-and-waiting writers! check out the schedule we have lined up for you - there's SF, fantasy, horror and comics, all bundled together in one venue. What more could you ask for?!


Panel: What Makes British Comics Unique? (Screening Zone)
Andy Diggle, Al Ewing

Signing: Andy Diggle, Al Ewing (2000 AD booth)

Abaddon/Solaris Fun Hour (Queen Vic Pub)
Our authors get together to write ‘the ultimate fantasy novel’. Oh dear...

Panel: Elf Preservation (Main Void Stage)
Juliet E. McKenna

Panel: Using History (Main Void Stage)
Pat Kelleher

Signing: Juliet E. McKenna, Gaie Sebold (Abaddon/Solaris booth)

Panel: How Do You Put The Punk In Steampunk? (Screening Zone)
Jon Green (chairing)

2000 AD 35th birthday party (Queen Vic Pub)


Panel: Sci-Fi Legends (Screening Zone)
Paul Finch, Juliet E. McKenna

Signing: Jon Green, Guy Haley (Abaddon/Solaris booth)

Signing: Paul Finch, Pat Kelleher (Abaddon/Solaris booth)

Panel: Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner (Main Void Stage)

Panel: Ready! Steady! Flash! (Screening Zone)
Juliet E. McKenna

Signing: Carlos Ezquerra, John Wagner (2000 AD booth)

Panel: We’re All Doomed! (Screening Zone)
Simon Bestwick, Gareth L. Powell, Guy Haley

Panel: It’s Not A Story, It’s A Map! (Main Void Stage)
Gaie Sebold, Juliet E. McKenna

Signing: Simon Bestwick, Gareth L. Powell (Abaddon/Solaris booth)