Guest post: Adam Baker - author of Juggernaut.
Released on February 16th, Juggernaut is an action packed horror zombie novel that is a standalone pre-quel to his first book, Outpost. (See more about the books at the bottom of this post.)
Interestingly in this post, Adam writes for us about why he thinks zombie/apocalyptic books are so popular, especially today - which I have wondered myself. What is it that brings us to want to read about mass destruction?
He has some intriguing thoughts in this short post. Welcome Adam!
People sometimes ask me why zombie stories are so popular. The Walking Dead graphic novels have been turned into a hit TV show. Brad Pitt is currently filming World War Z. So what gives? Why does apocalyptic fiction seem to dominate popular consciousness?
Well, let’s not overlook the obvious. Doomsday carnage lends itself to CGI. Big budget Hollywood movies are sold, round the world, on spectacle. Collapsing skyscrapers are equally popular in Johannesburg, Osaka, Santiago. Call it the Esperanto of Armageddon.
But there is more going on beneath the surface. Something about the imagery of cities gone to ruin seems to capture the spirit of the times.
Let me pick an example.
Desolate suburbs. Lawns, mailboxes and drive-ways reduced to tumbleweed desolation.
The exploration of deserted homes has become a reoccurring motif of Walking Dead, spooky sequences which emphasises the Marie Celeste quality of middle-class houses suddenly evacuated by cataclysm.
These zombie-stricken suburbs echo the real-life landscape of mass foreclosure.
Following the collapse of the US mortgage bubble, entire communities were wiped out. Streets were depopulated by bankruptcies, left padlocked and boarded. US news channels have chronicled the aftermath of mass displacement; Ballardian tales of urban foragers: impoverished families harvesting food from the over-grown gardens of their evicted neighbours.
There is wide-spread unease through-out the western world. A sense that the consumer-driven, debt-fuelled faux-prosperity of the past couple of decades has been replaced by long-term austerity. Apocalyptic imagery of empty streets and deserted homes reflects the anxieties of a large section of the audience. Fear of poverty. Fear of downward mobility. Fear that change is coming and our old lives could soon be swept away.
Wow that was dark! Thank you Adam.
Juggernaut ~ by Adam Baker; Hodder & Stoughton; February 16th 2012.
Blurb for Juggernaut: Iraq 2005. Seven mercenaries journey deep into the desert in search of Saddam's gold. They form an unlikely crew of battle-scarred privateers, killers and thieves, veterans of a dozen war zones, each of them anxious to make one last score before their luck runs out. They will soon find themselves marooned among ancient ruins, caught in a desperate battle for their lives, confronted by greed, betrayal, and an army that won't stay dead...
Blurb for Outpost: They took the job to escape the world. They didn't expect the world to end. Kasker Rampart: a derelict refinery platform moored in the Arctic Ocean. A skeleton crew of fifteen fight boredom and despair as they wait for a relief ship to take them home. But the world beyond their frozen wasteland has gone to hell. Cities lie ravaged by a global pandemic. One by one TV channels die, replaced by silent wavebands. The Rampart crew are marooned. They must survive the long Arctic winter, then make their way home alone. They battle starvation and hypothermia, unaware that the deadly contagion that has devastated the world is heading their way..
Bio: Adam was born in 1969. He is the son of a Gloucestershire priest. He studied Theology and Philosophy in London. He has worked as a gravedigger, a mortuary attendant, a short order cook in a New York diner, and fixed slot machines in an Atlantic City casino. He is currently employed as a cinema projectionist. He was also a close neighbour of serial killer Fred West. His post-apocalyptic thriller Outpost is published in the United Kingdom by Hodder. http://darkoutpost.blogspot.com/
Hodder has just launched an online Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror community:
Oliver Johnson, Associate Publisher there says: ‘From the days of Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert and early Stephen King, Hodder has long been associated with the very best science fiction and horror. Hodderscape represents our commitment to engaging with readers of genre fiction and hearing their voices and sharing with them our enjoyment of all the marvellous new books that Hodder are publishing in the coming months.’