Among the most unexpected and very pleasant surprises I had in my recent reading years are the two excellent novels in David Moody’s “Hater” trilogy, “Hater” and “Dog Blood”. Both of them deserved every second of the time I invested in their reading and offered a fresh and thrilling perspective of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic scenarios. Another interesting element of “Hater” is that David Moody first published the novel in July 2006 through his own publishing house, Infected Books, and within a few months not only it reached commercial success, but also a contract was made for “Hater” to be adapted into a movie, with Guillermo del Toro and Mark Johnson producing and Juan Antonio Bayona directing.
But “Hater” was not the first novel of David Moody. Before this excellent novel David wrote in 1996 “Straight to You” and “Trust” in 2005, but also the “Autumn” series that contains four novels, “Autumn”, “The City”, “The Human Condition” and “Purification”. These novels were also published through David Moody’s own Infected Books, but not before he released “Autumn” as a free online download, with an impressive more than half a million downloads. Like “Hater” the rights for “Autumn” were also bought and in October this year St. Martin’s Press, in the US, and Gollancz, in the UK, will release a new edition of the David Moody’s novel. Since I did love “Hater” and “Dog Blood” I am looking forward to explore David Moody’s “Autumn”, more so because of the novel presentations on both David Moody and Gollancz’s websites:
In less than twenty-four hours a vicious and virulent viral epidemic destroys virtually all of the population. Billions are killed, within minutes. There are no symptoms and no warnings; within moments of infection each victim suffers a violent and agonising death.
At the end of ten minutes, only a handful of survivors remain. By the end of the first day those survivors wish they were dead.
By the end of the first week, as the dead get up and walk, they know they are in hell.
AUTUMN, the classic free underground novel finally bursts into the mainstream. It is cold, dark, relentless - and uncomfortably plausible, a NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for the 21st Century. Amazon said: 'The perfect zombie story, nothing written in the genre has grabbed me in the same way as AUTUMN, an equal to Romero's Night of the Living Dead'.
A bastard hybrid of Day of the Triffids and Night of the Living Dead, the AUTUMN books chronicle the struggle of a small group of survivors coming to terms with a world torn apart by a deadly disease. More than 99% of the population of the planet are killed in less than 24 hours. Days after the initial outbreak, the dead begin to rise. At first slow, blind, dumb and lumbering, over time the bodies gradually regain their most basic senses and abilities… sight, hearing, basic motor skills… Trapped by the restraints of their rapidly decomposing shells, the bodies gravitate towards the survivors – the only remaining attraction in the silent, lifeless world. Unable to understand what is happening to them or to communicate, the dead become increasingly violent and aggressive. The survivors are outnumbered more than 100,000 to 1.
Without ever using the ‘Z’ word, the AUTUMN books offer a new perspective on the traditional zombie story. There’s no flesh eating, no fast-moving corpses, no gore for gore’s sake. Combining the atmosphere and tone of George Romero’s classic living dead films with the attitude and awareness of 28 Days (and Weeks) later, these bleak novels are filled with relentless cold, dark fear.