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.

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

Apocalypse Event Of The Year

ApocalypZe 6 Hour Charity Extreme Horror Survival Event charity event

If You Think You’re ‘Ard Enough 🙂

Coming up on the 10th October, 2015, the Apocalypse event of the year – the ApocalypZe 6 Hour Charity Extreme Horror Survival Event.

ApocalypZe 6 Hour Charity Extreme Horror Survival Event charity eventSo What’s This Apocalypse Event About?

It’s about charirty! It’s “ApocalypZe Breaking” and is a cross between “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” and “HOSTEL”.

Its intent is to raise funds for these three fantastic charities:
MacMillan Cancer Support
Cash for Kids
Millie’s Trust

It will take place at A Haunted Mill, Stockport, Manchester.

To quote the organisers, they have a plethora of horrendous tasks and trials that will be filmed and broadcast to our Facebook page in almost real time which the participants will have to complete.

Viewers will be able to cast a vote online to SAVE their favorite participant from carrying out the horror filled tasks and trials. Donations will also be able to be made via the links on the Facebook page and website. On top of that the largest donation made will give the donor the chance to choose any participant and select them to do something really really nasty from our task / trial list. I can’t help thinking I’ll be having a go at this!

For more information go to Facebook or the event website. I’m sure you’ll have fun with this!!

Maidenhead Zombie Walk

maidenhead Zombie Walk Image

Maidenhead Zombie Walk 2015Once again the Maidenhead Zombie Walk us coming up. It’s a yearly event in which zombies descend upon Maidenhead high street around Halloween! There’s an after party & loads of family fun!

maidenhead Zombie Walk ImageThe next event takes part on Saturday the 31st October 2015. We leave from The Bell pub and end up at Maidenhead Town Hall! The times and further details will be posted as soon as they become available – be sure to save, sorry, grave the date!

Kill Zombie!

kill zombie

A worthy sentiment, but on reflection, the name of this film, Kill Zombie!, is a little like that Ronseal ad, ‘it does what it says on the side of the can’. Kill Zombie! – I’m not going to tell you what this film is all about, I’ll keep you in suspense. It’s original title is Zombibi!

kill zombieA film from the Netherlands, I’d say it’s one of the better recent zombie films (2012), although the zombies in this case spew green blood – infected by the ISS crashing out of orbit and landing on Amsterdam. You want a good Z film to watch Kate? This is it, peppered with light-heartedness, it’s fun to watch although I’d say it takes some liberties with the Zombie genre. I particularly rated the attitude of the TV announcer – his antics would increase ratings if only there was someone to watch it in the ZA.

The Plot to Kill Zombies:

Aziz, a lowly office worker is put upon by his boss, the situation being made worse by the office bike (is that PC? Perhaps I should call her by her given name, Tess) who appears to fancy him – much to the boss’s annoyance. That, and his annoying brother, causes Aziz to be fired.

He goes home to his brother, who is the ultimate party guy whose opinion of himself is only marginally smaller than the ISS fireball that hits the same office building Aziz worked in – imagine a Dutch/Moroccan Del boy. Spending the night in a police cell (watch it to find out why) Aziz is released and finds 15 messages on his phone from the lovely Tess beseeching him to rescue her – she is trapped in the office building. Little does he know she has called every bloke on the office she has slept with and so one at a time the small army endeavours to rescue her.

Not quite what I was expecting in a zombie film, it is reasonably well put together and entertaining, some good ‘acting’ from more than a few of the cast. The best line in it is uttered by a Russian specialist sent to diffuse the situation. In a thick Russian accent he explains to Aziz and his brother how to set up Semtex to blow up the Space Station remains – it is still attracting zombies.
“It is easy,” he says. “If it was any simpler they would have sent American to do job.”

I couldn’t help but laugh once I’d deciphered what he said. Don’t worry, my dear American readers, my sentiments don’t run like that but it caught me by surprise!
There is a strange vampiric twist at the end but overall I would give it 4 zombie heads out of 5. After all, I did watch it all the way to the end! And that in itself is rare.

Check out my zombie books.

Walker Stalker Cruise?

walker stalker cruise the walking dead stars norman reedus

Imagine you’re on the holiday of a lifetime. You’re lounging by the pool on a cruise ship in the Med, the Caribbean, or wherever. You’re just sipping a freshly prepared piña colada, margarita, martini, or simply a cold beer. You close your eyes to relax. After a moment a shadow falls over you. You sit up in irritation – someone’s blocking your sun. You stare in horror at the apparition in front of you and then remember you’re on a Walker Stalker Cruise!

walker stalker cruise the walking dead stars norman reedusAs it turns out you’re in the Bahamas because this is a 3-day themed walker stalker cruise in January 2016 – clearly it does what it says on the side of the tin. You get to be trapped on a ship bedecked (see what I did there) with zombies and zombie blood. Hopefully the zombies remain just actors because I think this has the potential for a true story – you know, one of those afternoon B-rated films (which are ironically often better than the A-listers because they have what seems to be elusive these days – a storyline).

norwegian pearl cruise ship walker stalker cruiseImagine being out at sea, no land in sight, the sun shimmering off a flat, becalmed sea and all you can hear around you is groaning of the dead. You can’t leave the covered-over life boat because there’s nowhere to go that isn’t infested with the walking dead. You have limited rations aboard and you’re hoping the flare you will fire at night will attract the attention of a rescue ship that will, inevitably, sail into the grip of the infestation.

Well, this trip isn’t like that. And best of all it appears that there will be your favourite star on board from, you guessed it – TWD. I believe Norman Reedus will be there in person, but don’t take my word for it.

Start saving your pennies, cents, euros, dinars, and sheckles folks. This could be fun!

Check out my books here.

Undead – A Film Review

Was the Australian film, ‘Undead’, worth the £1.95 I spend on its purchase? Well and truly. I believe this has the potential of becoming a cult film if it isn’t already in some circles. It has all the right content, particularly the strange, slightly barking hero (played by Mungo McKay) and the hot, kick-ass female heroine (Felicity Mason) whose claim to fame is having won the ‘Catch Of The Year’ beauty pageant in her small home fishing town of Berkeley, somewhere along the Queensland coast.

Undead a cult Aussie film zombies aliens
Undead – well worth watching this Aussie film!

It may be that because I hail from the Antipodean side of the world allowing my bias slip to show, but I reckon Australia makes 2 kinds of film, 1. excellent and 2. quirky. Perhaps it’s because being so far away from other influences they have the room to think outside the regular Hollywood box. In a way they are a little like the French; they, too, bring us films that often don’t go according to the usual plan. Of course, the Australians produce superior wines.

If you go to Amazon and read the reviews of ‘Undead’ then they are very mixed. There are a number of 5 star ones, while at least one of the 1 stars suggests the 5 star reviews are a fix by the film production company. They couldn’t be more wrong and it just goes to show that either their brains are wired incorrectly or they hadn’t had enough to drink before viewing.

So what’s the story of Undead?

Well, having said what I have above, I am just a little confused as to the overall plot of ‘Undead’. I think it goes like this:

The heroine, René Chaplin, is leaving town as her parents have died leaving her home farm up to its proverbial eyeballs in debt; naturally the bank takes it away and so she decides to leave the place she has always called home. Hitching a ride driven by a sleaze-ball with his own agenda, they head out in his old Volvo. A meteorite storm overtakes them and mayhem ensues. Every person that is hit becomes a zombie (in spite of the fact that the afore-said meteorite put a fist sized hole in their torsos). After some of this undead mayhem, it rains an acidic liquid that can be quenched by normal water.

Holing up in the town weirdo’s place they are joined by a few more survivors and together they do their best against the salivating horde comprised of their once-upon-a-time neighbours. Marion, the allegedly mad recluse, tells of how he was attacked by zombie fish and taken by aliens – I can’t see why no-one believed him. He takes then into the basement and then to a lower level hideaway that looks decidedly like a nuclear bunker (don’t ask).

Through various escapades they make it out of the house but their progress is stopped by a VERY high wall erected around the town. I won’t tell any more of the story (you really need to see it to get the best from this little gem) other than to say that aliens appear and ‘fix’ the townsfolk. There’s a light aircraft scene that any sci-fi film would be proud of. The final scene is in a hospital where Marion utters these immortal words by way of explaining his predicament:

“One day you’re out on your boat, you get attacked by zombie fish; they munch at your face like you’re the main course of an all-you-can-eat-crazy-boy-buffet. You walk away, tell the town your story – they think you’re mad.”

It doesn’t end there (although Marion does, at least the breathing version).

All in all it was entertaining. I have tried to watch a number of off-the-beaten-track zombie or undead films recently and most are truly painful to watch. This one is genuinely worth the effort – and at this price is definitely money well spent. Five Stars from me!
Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

The Real Return Of A King

I’ve been watching the proceedings of today’s celebration of a king much disputed, all the more because his place of rest was so disputed and frankly unknown. Through a significant amount of clever detective work his remains were unearthed and so we witnessed the real Return Of A King.

In the car park where his remains were found was the letter ‘R’, designating a reserved parking bay. Directly under this ‘R’ was the remains of the king, named Richard. Was nature or the gods trying to tell us something all along? On top of this the stones from the Greyfriars Church in which he was buried were removed during the Reformation and used to build the current St Martin’s Church – cathedral actually – where he is now lying in state until Thursday. It’s strange how things come together for the Return Of A King.

The Real Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle - Extra Terrestrials?
The Real Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Are We Human?

Why is this important to me? Apart from several of my relatives being of the Ricardian persuasion, the discovery of his bones prompted me to begin writing a trilogy, Return Of A King, that stretched thousands of years into the past, through the turbulent early post-Roman days of Britain, right up to the modern day period where lack of superstition or respect for the dead led to the ultimate overthrow of the species Homo sapiens, assuming that’s what we really are. I have completed two of the three required novels, the third will follow soon.

The whole idea of unearthing mortal remains to me is not so much sacrilegious because that’s down to personal beliefs, but certainly undignified for the deceased. Having laid there for well over five centuries, his tissues mingling with the local earth, it’s interesting to speculate as to whether or not he was spiritually comfortable in place, even if the living regarded his resting place as ignominious?

To be fair to the archaeologists, today they and the church have gone a long way towards making good their unearthing of his remains; giving a king the long due respect of a stately funeral and burial is almost certainly a good thing – maybe the ghost/soul/spirit/essence of King Richard will see the positive side of the whole proceedings.

It is interesting to contemplate what would have happened if Richard had succeeded in defeating Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field:
Henry VIII would not have existed, certainly not as the king he was, creating a schism in the Church dividing Catholics by creating the Church of England. There would not have been a Church of England, certainly not in that form; people would have remained Catholic for a continuing period. As a result there would not have been the splinter groups that arose from that break from Rome. Consequently there would not have been the Act of Uniformity in 1559 leading to the Pilgrims fleeing England from Plymouth in 1620.

Extrapolating from there is probably pointless as it would be fictional with too many suppositions to be credible. The one thing we can be sure of is that the world would not look as it does today. Would that be a good thing? Or would we end up with a completely different set of problems? Would Catholicism be dominant? Would Islam be nothing more than a regional religion? Catholicism is a strong religion, so it’s not unreasonable to assume it could well have a strong grip on our world today.
And all if Richard III had been the victor.

What’s your take on it?
Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

Leonard Nimoy – Rest In Peace

Part of my brain thinks ‘what a tragedy’, while the rational part of me knows that 83 is a damn good age to reach, and with all he’s done in his extraordinary life he probably couldn’t have achieved much more. ‘Live Long And Prosper’ has been a good motto for both Leonard Nimoy and Mr Spock.

Zombies Of The Stratosphere - Leonard Nimoy
Zombies Of The Stratosphere – Leonard Nimoy

Of course Leonard Nimoy was not just Mr Spock; from what I can tell his first televised role was on what may be the first ever reality show in 1951 called Queen For A Day – the contestants would compete for an opportunity to pour their hearts out on TV to explain why they should be queen for a day. Weird but hauntingly familiar, I’d say.
Leonard Nimoy has also been in a zombie film; in 1952 ‘Zombies of The Stratosphere’ was released. It told the story of aliens, including Leonard Nimoy as Narab, a zombie alien, intent on H-bombing us out of orbit to be replaced by Mars.

A large number of people will remember Leonard Nimoy for his voice, that gravelly, precise diction is as unmistakable as that of Morgan Freeman or Richard Burton. He was the voice in a number of performances such as ‘Sinbad: Beyond The Veil Of Mists’, and ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’.

One thing I have always admired about the sci-fi performers of the ‘60s is their obvious ability not to take themselves too seriously. Unlike modern actors who largely seem to be all about the ‘hard stare’ these folks knew the programmes they made were supposed to be a bit of fun and great entertainment and their characters shone out from the screen like beacons. Leonard Nimoy was no exception. He played an unattributed part as a chauffeur in a Bangles video, and most of us have seen the episode in The Big Bang when Mt Spock played with the quirky psyche of Sheldon Cooper.

Leonard Nimoy tweet
Leonard Nimoy tweet

Leonard Nimoy’s departure from this planet, for me at least, is up there with John Lennon’s demise, albeit for entirely different reasons. He is a man I would have loved to have met. His last Tweet said it all – #LLAP.

Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:

Sci-Fi

The Animus Portal
Fierce Alchemy

Horror – Zombies

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)
The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)
Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)

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