David K Roberts – self-published author sci-fi thriller horror novels

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New Zombie Story

At long last I have the time to write a new Zombie story! Following on from the successful series, The Common Cold, I am writing about the Zombie Apocalypse as it begins in London.

zombies david k roberts new zombie storyI will be producing one or two chapters a week, depending on my work/life balance. I hope you enjoy it and look forward to your feedback.

1984 has Arrived

1984 has arrived and we didn’t even see it coming. The book, 1984 by George Orwell is still a great piece of social comment and analysis. Along with ‘Animal Farm‘ in which he depicts a world where ‘we are all equal but some are more equal than others’ his social comment was levelled at rampant socialism in 1949 but can easily be likened to what is evident today – it’s positively Orwellian!

george orwell 1984I was spurred to write about this, a need I have felt coming for quite a while, by three articles I read online today.

The first article was closely aligned to this same topic; the second – in the same publication – castigated Adele for having her own way – for the second time no less – and not doing as she was told by the Geldof crew et al. Apparently she did not contribute one of her songs to some up and coming charity album that is intended to split the proceeds between Oxfam and the fund set up after the MP Jo Cox’ death. Apparently she had the gall to privately contribute to a couple of charities close to that same MP’s heart and not to the fund set up in the unfortunate dead MPs honour. With what we know about such funds these days, who can blame her?

The third article was about Christopher Biggins on Big Brother (originally the all-powerful virtual leader in ‘1984’) of all things. His view on AIDs and its spread was something he had read and truly believed in. And yet he was booted out for those same opinions, in spite of worse being said by others around him. Please, please don’t misunderstand me – I DO NOT watch Big Brother, nor do I particularly care about Christopher Biggins, but it was another example of someone censured for his opinions.

Have so few people noticed in a society that promotes ‘me, me, me’ that when someone tries to do their own thing or put forward their opinions they are vilified – usually as racist or anti-LGBT – the ultimate slurs of choice these days. I am not going to talk about Brexit but let’s face it, that was the ultimate trial of the liberal left – the ‘more equal’ over the rest of us, the plebes or merely ‘equal’ in society.

Time and time again I read in the paper how well-known people, famous for their positive and progressive deeds back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s are shouted down by self-appointed guardians of today’s prevailing wisdom. I couldn’t believe it when I read how poorly received were Germaine Greer’s opinions on the Transgender topic at a talk to Cambridge University’s Student’s Union. She has an opinion, she was asked to speak and she did. Rather than play by democratic rules and Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s words “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” she was booed from the stage. That’s a very left wing response from a champagne liberal university. The net result is that your opinion will be heard – provided you say what we want you to say.

My formative years were the ‘70’s and I remember well the extremism practiced in the Student’s Unions across the country under the guise of the National Union of Students. As far as I was concerned this union, of which I had to be a member in that closed shop, was all about securing good deals for students – cheaper books, holiday deals, and of course the Union Bar. What it was full of, and it appears to be pretty much the same now, was a select few that decided a political bias was called for – these same people chose running the Student’s Union over getting a real job – the prevailing opinion then and now.

This same problem exists outside the world of academia; the social/liberal/lefties that look down upon the rest of the population are alive and kicking – and still live in Hampstead Heath although their kind is spreading out into the population at large, buoyed on by ‘celebrities’ whose primary skill is not to think but to repeat words of others. They tell us who to vote for and they deride us when we vote ‘incorrectly’ according to their plan. Addressing their latest battle cry, that we should take everyone in from everywhere – especially Syria, I have noticed that other than Lambeth Palace, I have yet to see one of these mouthpieces set up a refugee camp on their vast estates to ease the problem they say we are causing by our disagreement.

I’m not offering any opinions on current geo-political circumstances, but I just want you to think a little about the fact that we were once horrified, and rightly so, at the dystopian world painted for us by Mr Orwell – we should remain so, and stop the gradual erosion of our fears of control by celebrity and gameshow mentality, when Big Brother now means a house full of misfits and wannabes, and soundbites are all we are capable of hearing.

If you have never read 1984 or Animal Farm, I encourage you do so or even watch the 1984 and Animal Farm films if you prefer: the parallels to today are uncanny and more than a little disturbing. Are we already living in a dystopian world? Do we believe what we are told by the authorities? Should we?

Democracy – According to ?

You older folk out there, those that suddenly became traitors for voting, you might be mistaken for thinking that what is going on out there is not exactly your understanding of the word democracy, a word many younger people bandy about with gay abandonment. So this is democracy – according to whom?

Cleisthenes father of greek democracy
Democracy at work

democracyMy guess is that because we (oops, let the age slip show) have not been on university campuses or in the Houses of Parliament lately will not have seen the recently re-published handy pocket-sized and jauntily named book “Democracy – this is my version” by that well-known pundit of democracy, Joseph Stalin. Apparently it is flying off the shelves, being bought by those eager to understand what it’s really about, after all those Greeks must have gotten it wrong somehow – it couldn’t be that simple, surely?

Prior to its discovery by the European Union’s Think Tank called ‘What’s this thing Democracy – and can it hurt us?’ few people realised that Stalin was a proponent of democracy. He was forever letting the people who believed in his version of events convince others of his veracity. They would stage huge parties in Siberia in fenced-in areas called Gulags (the fencing was to protect them from bears and wolves, I am reliably informed) where they would patiently discuss the finer points of said truths with those who had not been to university or probably drove white vans (no proof was needed for this particular allegation); after all, it is well-known that these people, although foolishly they had been given the vote by some old guy way back when (yet another example of an oldie being bad for the health and future of those between 18 and 25 years of age), seemed actually to think that their vote meant something. From where could they have possibly gotten that crazy idea?

As a proud Brexit voter I have been labelled (without even asking me what I stand for) by the Remain campaign as a racist, un-educated, simple-minded country person or even worse, a flat-cap wearing northerner brought up around those dark satanic mills while tending to my whippets and ferrets. What could I possibly know about what’s good for me? I’m not going to dignify those small-minded liberals and lefties with a response to that, only to know how utterly wrong they are. Strange isn’t it, most liberals you meet are anything but egalitarian or even liberal. Progressive, maybe, whatever that means.

My father passed on a few years ago, and I feel certain that if he could see the current plight of this great nation he would feel grateful to be out of it.

Back to democracy.

The students who so vocally objected to the results of the referendum apparently feel let down by ‘democracy’ and its legal processes. Personally, I think I blame the lax attitudes of their parents and teachers that they came to this conclusion. At this point I will say that if the result to the vote was the other way around I would feel seriously let down (perhaps by our youth in particular?). There is one thing I absolutely wouldn’t do, and that is be a bad example to them by denying the results, demanding a re-run or voicing opinions that the results simply be ignored! I spent 13 miserable years watching the Labour Party (for whom I did not vote) under He Who Shall Remain Nameless, as he took us to war, and brought us ever closer in dreadlock to the EU. He did countless other things I abhor but the one thing he did again and again that every one of these young people either forget or were simply too young to understand was to ignore the will of the people.

I believe Blair (dammit, I’ve said it now) started a trend – that is to say what they want in order to be elected and then deliver on none of it. After all, it was only the people who wanted that crazy stuff.

I also confess that I was a Conservative supporter once upon a time. No more; Cameron, upon defeat at this referendum, reminded us of the one success of his time in office – Gay Marriage! While I am a strong believer of live and let live, I hardly think this ought to be his crowning glory. Slightly more pressing and urgent matters such as helping ‘The Great Satan’, that other bastion of democracy, screw up the Middle East should clearly have been his proudest moment.

And now that the democratic rule has spoken, Brexit 1 – Remain 0, even the Brexit MPs are adding to the fascist voices of the deniers that surely this cannot be right? Supposedly the EU wants us gone, but the bleating sheep losers won’t have it, and the traitor Cameron resigned just when his country most needed him – NOW!

michael gove democracy decent man
A decent man

As I write this we have a hole, sorry, chasm in the top of our country – I say top but realistically they are almost all bottom feeders of spectacular form – from both parties. I would like to point out one reasonable voice (in my opinion at least) through this entire affair was from Michael Gove – he comes across as a very decent man. I’ve always said that we should stop putting those who want to be in power and drag a man or woman kicking and screaming in from the street and give them a year at the helm. They are likely to have no less experience and skill than the incumbent predators yet we would at least be governed by one of the real ‘us’ to ensure that democracy, that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth – that’s a famous quote by the way, not me being eloquent.

The Common Cold: Playing God

The Common Cold - Playing God zombies zombie apocalypse contagion david k roberts

Playing God has been a long time coming – I blame having to pay the mortgage and eating. As a result of many requests I have written a book that covers off some of the questions raised by my readers. The book has been made available on my website and Amazon from today, January 1st, 2016, in line with the events as they play out.

I don’t usually do 4 books in a trilogy for pretty obvious reasons, but here is an excerpt from the first chapter of the latest in The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle.

It’s called:

The Common Cold: Playing God

Chapter 1: Day Zero – Sydney, Australia

From his apartment on New South Head Road in Vaucluse, Sydney Harbour looked as beautiful as ever, if a little smog-hazed.

vaucluse sydney australia playing god zombies the common cold
View of Vaucluse and Sydney Harbour, Australia. Photo courtesy of Mark Merton

“It’s gunna be a scorcher,” Alex mumbled to himself while pouring yet another cup of strong coffee. He knew he shouldn’t drink it, his heartburn would begin to chastise him well before eleven o’clock at this rate, but he really needed the caffeine buzz just to give him the strength to leave home and go to work.

Friends-with-Benefits, he’d heard it called. It was a strange term for friends who had gotten intimate, and he really hoped their friendship remained intact – he would find out when he and Mattie met up for lunch later that day.

Dancing coyly around the edge of a physical relationship for about five years now, their mutual sexual attraction had finally boiled over on New Year’s Eve. Alex blamed Mattie’s skin-tight, short red skirt as a temptation too far. Just thinking back on that exquisite image he felt a hot flush surging through him.

Standing and daydreaming as he looked out the front window he watched as some lucky bastard in a yacht way out in the middle of the peaceful blue harbour glided gently across his view towards the Heads – why did the water have to be so inviting on a work day, he wondered? He gulped down the last of the coffee, grabbed his bicycle and hurried outside.

The streets were always quiet at this time of the day; who the hell would want to be up and at ’em before six in the morning anyway, unless they absolutely had to? Somehow the atmosphere this morning seemed oddly still – apart from the insistent sounds of numerous sirens off in the distance. The emergency services were starting what sounded like a busy day judging by the distant wailing of sirens all around him.

Sniffing the air he caught the familiar summer scent of something burning; only it didn’t smell like a normal bushfire. Some silly sod’s set a paper fire, he thought, hoping it wouldn’t get out of control and start a real blaze. Perhaps that’s what the sirens were about. He dismissed the thought from his mind as he began his semi-energetic cycle ride to Bondi Junction, from where he would let the train take the strain to the office.

Sydney Airport mascot playing god zombies the common coldAlex worked at Sydney International Airport in the suburb of Mascot and would occasionally cycle all the way there. Today he decided to catch the train; in spite of his personal fitness, the last week’s celebrations and late nights had taken their toll on his energy levels. The coffee was helping a little but the smoke in the air was making him feel a little queasy – or was it the partying? He didn’t know or care at that moment; he assumed that the fatigue he felt and his blocked sinuses was probably just the start of a summer cold.

Putting on his headphones he began to listen to John and Garry on 2UE. He always enjoyed their discussions, usually getting to the heart of the matter in short order – those guys never minced their words. This morning was different – only John was present, apparently Garry had not made it in, something to do with emergency services closing down roads in his area. Maybe that was the sound of sirens Alex could hear off in the distance; it was amazing how sound travelled across the Harbour. What was more disturbing though was John harping on about a meteorite that had been lassoed by a NASA spacecraft and brought back to earth. Apparently they had put some sort of covering around it that would protect it as it re-entered the atmosphere, preventing it from burning up in the process. John was criticizing NASA, reporting that in spite of their brilliance they had only succeeded in failing: the meteorite had broken up upon re-entry sending pieces hurtling through the atmosphere and dropping debris everywhere it went, all around the world.

Listening to John raging on about bloody scientists doing daft tricks they couldn’t control and the terrible consequences for mankind in general, Alex felt a sudden urge to call Mattie to make sure that she was alright. Balancing carefully and keeping an eye out for any police in the vicinity he continued to cycle while holding his mobile to his ear; for some reason he felt a frisson of fear when there was no answer. Perhaps Mattie had gone into work earlier than usual, but somehow he knew this was unlikely as in his experience she wasn’t known to be an early riser. She’d always loved her bed and sleep.

bondi junction sydney playing god zombies the common cold
Photo Courtesy Phillip Overton

With his stress levels elevated, Alex put more effort into his cycling and was soon at Bondi Junction. Locking the bike up on the stands as usual, he hurried inside the station to his customary spot on the concourse. As he waited for his train to be announced, he noticed the illuminated boards were displaying numerous delays and cancellations across all platforms.

“Jeez, the trains are screwed up already?” he mumbled under his breath, his irritation rising, annoyed that his early start would almost certainly be for nothing.

Looking around he noticed that there were fewer commuters than he expected even following the New Year celebrations and those that were around were shambling about as if unsure of their intentions. Suddenly a man dressed in a business suit raced down the platform back towards the gates where Alex stood, a look of sheer terror etched on his face.

Alex’s heart began to race in anticipation of the worst.

“Get the fuck outta here, mate!” the man blurted as he raced past. “Save yourself! They’re coming!”

The unfit stranger was struggling hard to draw in enough oxygen, making it sound almost as if he was sobbing but in his adrenalin-fuelled panic he managed to keep on running away from the confusing scene.

Perplexed, Alex looked down the platform and noticed a raggedy crowd of about thirty people making its way in his direction.

Some of them appeared to be injured, globs of red matter, possibly blood, soiling their clothing and smeared on their faces. What the hell had been going on? It didn’t make sense. Had there been some terrible accident or…

Alex’s speculations were halted as he realised that although many of the approaching people had different kinds of injuries to their limbs and faces they all seemed to have one thing in common – their rapt attention appeared to be focused exclusively on him.

Spin-off Zombie Book To Be Published

vaucluse sydney australia playing god zombies the common cold
apocalyptic landscape TWD zombie apocalypse spin-off
There should be more spider webs in TWD!

Due to work constraints it has taken a little longer than usual to produce another book. Very soon a spin-off from The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle will be published. You might like to come up to speed on The Common Cold – purchase a copy here and find out what it’s all about!

night of the living dead weakest link in the zombie apocalypse spin-off
Which one is the weakest link?

Initially I will put a chapter or two online for your pleasure. It will then be available to purchase on my website as a self-published and downloadable eBook in either ePub or MOBI formats (suits all kinds of readers including Kindle, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Aldiko, Windows devices and other handheld devices).

I have taken to heart a few ‘complaints’ and frustrations of my readers following the cliff-hanger ending of the third in The Common Cold trilogy.

This spin-off gives a flavour of what lay behind some aspects of the Common COld Trilogy (#TCC).

More soon – I hope you will enjoy it. In the meanwhile enjoy the piccies!The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle first in the Trilogy uses for scopolamine

Germanwings – Hysterical Responses To The Inevitable

What a sad incident, be it suicide by plane or something else. The loss of 150 people on a holiday flight is appalling and senseless, especially when it seems the reason is so, well, indescribable. Hysterical responses, triggered by 24/7 talking heads on Sky, the BBC, Al Jazeera, name another news channel, is exactly what we’ll get for the next few weeks.

Germanwings
Germanwings A-319

I am a pilot; my father was an airline pilot. Pilots are human; they have all the frailties and strengths of their fellow members of Homo sapiens. That is why, ever since the first commercial flight took place early in the last century that institutions (love them or hate them) have been created around the world to ensure that the lives of passengers are given the best chance of survival. It is the same whether we are talking about bus drivers, train drivers, ship’s captains, or any other person that controls a public mode of transport.

Calls for better control of people who hold the lives of others in their hands come about every time a tragedy such as this happens. The reality is that whilst control procedures are in place, there are two factors that cannot be overcome:
1. Human nature/guile
2. Sod’s (Murphy’s) Law

Human nature being what it is, generally deplores weakness, and especially showing it. How many times have we heard things such as ‘he was such a nice boy’, or ‘he/she kept to themselves’, etc. and on it goes. The co-pilot is such a person; in fact pilots tend to be mentally stronger than many others – more self-assured – the call to their particular vocation requires a certain, stronger, perhaps more arrogant psyche. For this reason, combined with the desperation of keeping your pilot’s licence, it is more likely that a pilot is likely and capable of covering up any weakness he or she may sense in themselves.

Secondly, sod’s law states that whatever you might think of, something will happen that circumvents all of this care and attention.
So when you watch the various talking heads on the goggle box, spouting drivel and supposition based on little or no evidence, remember that pilots are human just like you and me and take on the great responsibility of the safe passage of many lives every day they go to work. When a pilot falls off the rails, and sadly this does seem to be the case in this instance, then it is because of the confluence of many pressures and incidents in a normal life that leads to this dreadful result. Relying on humans will, from time to time, cause such dreadful tragedies.

May all the passengers and crew of the Germanwings flight rest in peace, and may all of their family and friends find some sort of acceptance of what has transpired, whatever the cause. There is nothing else to say.

Australian Greyhounds – A Message To The Australian Government

Charlie my Greyhound pleading with the Australian Government
Charlie my Greyhound pleading with the Australian Government not to let his relatives die in this way

I have now owned three greyhounds, all ex-racers, as pets. What wonderful creatures they are; they walk well, they interact with children and adults beautifully, all they need is a bit of TLC and they are happy. So what the hell is going on? Australian greyhounds are being abused horribly by low-life, scum-sucking bastards in South America and Asia. And you, the Australian Government, are the only thing that can possibly intervene to protect them. Please do so, my current dog is Australian and his relatives are being murdered in the most appalling ways. Here is a picture of him pleading with you.

I’m Australian and proud of it. It isn’t about being Australian, blaming one country or another. It is clear that the greyhound racing scene has been invaded by heartless creatures – greyhound trainers and owners of a certain type. They lack any emotion when it comes to our furry earthly inhabitants. In their lust for money they have captured small furry wild animals, tied them to the race track and made greyhounds chase them until they are caught in a bloody frenzy in order to increase the poor dog’s appetite for chasing the bait. That’s one reason why I’d like to break certain people’s kneecaps with a bat.

Charlie Greyhound contemplating the suffering of his relatives
Charlie Greyhound contemplating the suffering of his relatives

The second reason is that they are illegally exporting greyhounds from Australia to other countries and feeding them on everything from cocaine to Viagra and arsenic to make them aggressive enough to race to the death, killing any other dog that gets in the way. Advocates of greyhounds trying to stop this barbaric practice are being threatened and cajoled by these criminals to keep quite but a recent report has finally emerged that the practice is still flourishing.

Charlie Greyhound getting angry
Charlie Greyhound getting angry

I have a black greyhound. He is a beautiful example of a dog that has raced and then retired and looked after by softies like me. Greyhounds are probably one of the most placid and obliging dogs you can get; as racers they learn to put up with a lot of abuse and ‘strict training’ and perhaps this is reflected in their docile nature when retired. In the UK some ten thousand retire every year, while the numbers for re-homing are depressing small relative to this figure. While we have unearthed the disgusting execution practices of a certain farmer in Yorkshire over ex-racers, it seems they’re the lucky ones – apparently three quarters of all greyhound pups born are destroyed because they don’t make the racing grade.

Oskar the greyhound wondering why life is so unnecessarily cruel
Oskar the greyhound wondering why life is so unnecessarily cruel

This ‘sport’ is full of death but to hear what is happening because the Australian Government seems powerless to intervene and make arrests, it just makes me sick. Forget bringing back the death penalty, an eye-for-an-eye practice might work better. Feed these wonderful trainers the same drugs and poisons and make them fight each other to the death. Let’s face it, anyone who is willing to bet on such disgraceful dog races will almost certainly be willing to bet on the outcome of human drug-raddled fights. Now there’s a thing I won’t object to – I’ll be on the side lines, cheering as the bastards that perpetrate this sort of scum-suckery get what’s owed them!

koala bears - the only species worth protecting?
koala bears – the only species worth protecting?

There, I’ve said it now. My message to the Australian Government – please please please stop this practice, now. I couldn’t bring myself to post images of this terrible crime – I’m sure you can all imagine; at least you can enjoy those of my lovely boys!

Australian flag - should protect greyhounds as well
Australian flag – should protect greyhounds as well

Zombies Worldwide Goes Live!

A new website for Zombies Worldwide has just gone live!

I want to be able to connect people from all over the world together with one goal in mind – discuss and share experiences on anything ZOMBIE.

It’s in its infancy at present, so I’m looking for interesting stories:

– info about upcoming zombie walks

– photos of zombie walks

– make-up sessions

– special effects,

– or even a desire to be a zombie extra in the movies.

Zombies Worldwide is there for anything to do with the zombie genre.

Feel free to send me something to post – get involved! I look forward to hearing from you soon 🙂

Either contact me through Facebook or via my email – davidkroberts@hotmail.co.uk.

Zombies Worldwide - You'll Never Walk Alone!"
Zombies Worldwide – You’ll Never Walk Alone!”

Angels At Christmas

What is a Christmas Angel?

Someone that commits themselves to helping others as an alternative to joining in the festivities the rest of us take for granted – our Christmas Angel.

Reading about all the spending on the high street today it got me thinking about those that can’t do that for one reason or another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting maudlin even after a few sherries 🙂

No, I’m thinking about a group of people in our society without whom life for many would be much harder: carers (our Christmas Angels) – those people who, for £60 a week, look after one or more members of their families and so easing the strain on society as a whole. Of course it’s not about the money – hardly, and I’m not saying that weakened family members shouldn’t be looked after within their own family, but as we all know the nuclear family is mostly all but an expression today, often leaving the task either to a single family member who may or may not have been in a position to do so, or perhaps those good folk in care homes.

There has been a lot of criticism of care homes in recent years, citing a few rotten apples that make it look like society is failing. Think about the many people who are now doing long shifts in nursing homes, or those at home dealing with a relative that needs constant – and I do mean constant – attention. While you’re out at the pub or having drinks with your friends and families, jut pause for a moment and think of those that are often enablers for your carefree position. Christmas doesn’t have to be about religion, but in the spirit of its origin, take a moment to think of others. Let’s face it, we all know someone in this role, either directly or perhaps it is someone who works in your office.

Merry Christmas and have a great New Year!

Do You Believe In Halloween Witches?

A lot of criticism has been directed at Halloween over the years, from the recent church suggestions that children ought to dress up as saints depicting their stories, to the annual resurgence of ‘possession’ particularly amongst children. My gut feeling is that extreme trauma would ensue if children dressed up as saints considering the appalling ends most came to. I know for a fact that Halloween Witches exist.

Halloween Police halloween witchesThat’s not really the point of my blog tonight. I thought I would share a photo I took this evening. A police helicopter flew over at about 1630 our time and I decided to take some photos. I must have taken a couple of dozen and they turned out pretty standard, such as this one.

It wasn’t until I was looking a little more closely when I came across this one! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t taken it myself. Up to now I didn’t really believe in witches except as an ancient religious concept, mostly long gone.

Witch Hunt halloween witchesI don’t know about you, or whether you believe your eyes or not, but I won’t be seeing Halloween in the same light anymore!

Happy Halloween – if you dare!

 

 

 

Books by the Author

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