Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Aliens Versus Zombies! Coming to a bookstore near you soon (I hope).

Sometimes I drive myself crazy. There I was, making slow but steady progress on Mooncrash: The Fall of Mankind. I was about two-thirds done when I suddenly got a cool idea for a another sci-fi novel. What if, during the zombie apocalypse, aliens invaded? It was just weird enough to be intriguing. So I started writing down ideas. I wanted my zombies to be different from the typical shambling brain-eating creatures you always see.

Undead zombies don't make any sense biologically. If they're dead, their hearts can't pump blood to their stomachs, which means they can't digest the food they eat, and therefore they cant provide energy for their muscles to work. So how do they keep moving around even after not eating for months? The only answer is magic, and I don't do magic in sci-fi.

So I decided to have my Zoms (because they're really only half zombie) be people who survived the plague that killed off most of humanity. But they survived with severe brain damage (from high fever) to their higher brain functions. They're alive, with a beating heart and everything else working but their brains, but they're not really human; more like feral animals, who chase and eat anything with a heartbeat, not just humans. This adds a lot to the story. They're just as apt to eat the aliens as they are humans or snakes or cows. Plus, because the Zoms suffer differing degrees of brain damage, a few have a bit of intelligence left to them; just enough to relearn how to use simple tools or weapons. This makes them even more dangerous.

Their living human physiology also offers various other possibilities that I won't go into here. (Spoilers!)

And while you might think the aliens would have an easy time of it, with no governments or military to oppose them--only mindless savages and a few immune humans---it doesn't turn out that way.

Suffice it to say that I was so excited by this project I put Mooncrash on hold while I started work on AVZ. I figured I'd get a few thousand words into it to get it out of my system, then go back to Mooncrash until it was done, and only then return to AVZ.

It hasn't turned out that way. Even with limited time for writing the past couple of weeks, I've been racing through the book. Over 20,000 words in just over 16 days, and the ideas keep bubbling to the top of my brain. (Apparently I'm not a Zom, then.) I'm having a hard time keeping up with the ideas. I love it! Usually my writing is slow and methodical. Lots of research (into space elevators, orbital mechanics, how nuclear fission works, the names of lunar craters, and so on) slow down the writing process. But this project requires very little research (so far at least). I think the only thing I've had to look up is how hemorrhagic fever works.

If I keep going at this rate, I should have a finished novel available on Amazon by late July or early August. No promises, but everything looks good so far.

Keep an eye open for further developments on Aliens Versus Zombies! and Mooncrash: The Fall of Mankind. After the huge success of My Other Car is a Spaceship, I see great things in the future for this sci-fi thriller.

If things keep going at this rate, I'll commission a cover for it in the next month or so. You'll see it first here. :)

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