Posts Tagged ‘the gathering dead’


Left With The Dead, A "Gathering Dead" Novella

Art for Left With The Dead, A “Gathering Dead” Novella. Artwork by Jared Rackler

It took a darn long time, at least a month longer than it should. But here it is, cruel world: the audiobook presentation of Left with the Dead, performed by none other than your man Knight. Listen to the sample before you buy! No need to buyer’s remorse, you have all the tools to make the right decision. 🙂

And for those who want a code for ACX direct, here it is:

Bon apetit.


October 26, 2019 Leave a comment

LATITUDE 32.511639, LONGITUDE -130.589518


“Stop being such a little bitch, Kimosabe. Get on with living.”

Victor’s voice echoed about in Corbett’s head as he lay on the single stateroom’s narrow bunk. There was no port hole in the room’s side, so the chamber was as dark as a crypt. He knew where he was, and he was aware of the vague noises of a ship at sea—pumps, air, machinery, running generators—but the only sound he could pay attention to right then existed only in his head. Victor Kiruk’s deep, robust, dignified voice telling him to grow a pair and go on with his life.

Get out of my head, Victor. You’re dead.

You will be too, Kimosabe, Victor replied. Sooner rather than later if you can’t let go of Single Tree.

Corbett snarled to himself in the darkness. While he had slept aboard Norton’s yacht, with its well-appointed forepeak stateroom, cherry wood joinery, en suite head, and bright lights, he’d never heard Victor speak to him. But after moving aboard one of his own vessels, which were infinitely darker, much more cramped despite their size, and general institutional design, the voice of Victor Kiruk had come alive. Speaking to him in the man’s usual rational, measured cadence. Counseling life over death. Sage words of wisdom, especially since Barry Corbett had spent no small fortune trying to defend his birthplace from the dead hordes, only to have it all ripped away at the very last moment. Victor, had he still been alive, would have advised these same perceptions. But Victor was dead.

So Victor’s ghost spoke to him instead, using the veil of sleep as its medium.

Corbett switched on the bunk side lamp and blinked against the sudden flood of LED brilliance. The small stateroom was now fully awash in harsh, sterile white light. The shadows had been vanquished in an instant; and with them, Victor’s voice disappeared as well. Corbett was left alone in his own head, which was just how he liked it.

He pulled on his clothes. Jeans, t-shirt, denim work shirt, sturdy boots, and finally his battered USMC cap. Victor’s ruminations could be entertained another night. According to his watch, it was dawn. And dawn meant work.

Though he might be as old as a dinosaur, Barry Corbett still had a town to liberate.

It was time to get to it.


As always, this is presented unedited and unproofed, and no guarantee what you read here will make it into the finished product.

Free on Amazon: THE FARM

August 19, 2019 1 comment

Available now on Amazon for absolutely nothing is “The Farm”, a short story about a trio of lightfighters trying to escape the hordes of the dead boiling out of New York City. Set in the same universe as The Gathering Dead, it’s a military-on-zombie actioner in the same vein. Try it, you might like it!

The Last Town Released on Audio…FINALLY

November 28, 2017 4 comments


For those who might be interested… The Last Town: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse is now available in audio format. 🙂



Hurry Up, Damn It!

November 21, 2017 1 comment

I swear to God, the Japanese economy expands faster than ACX can release an audio book!



Final Cover for The Last Town: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse

Probably the fastest commissioned custom cover art and finishing work I’ve ever had. Working off Dorothy Hwee’s art, Jeroen ten Berge did another customary fantastic job. He told me he had been planning to take the day off, but found my request too good to pass up. It’s vendors like these which make a guy’s life easier, I tell you!

I’ll advance the release date due to this rather stunning work, but more on that later.

Artwork for The Last Town: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse

July 25, 2017 2 comments

Just got the finished artwork from artist Dorothy Hwee a short while ago. This is the low-res version, but certainly suitable for show. Additional graphics to be supplied by the inimitable Jeroen ten Berge, though he might not know that yet, as he’s probably still lying on his back with his eyes closed in New Zealand. 🙂 Looks like this one might have an early release, if things continue on this path.

You can preorder this title at: The Last Town: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Cover in Progress: THE LAST TOWN

For the complete release of The Last Town: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse, a new cover is slowly being incubated. Interested parties should note that while there is some new material included in this release, it is not materially that much different from the serial. That is all.

DEAD IN L.A. Released

June 15, 2017 1 comment

For those who might be interested, Dead in L.A. has shambled out of the shadows on Amazon. You can find it here:

This one’s a standalone in The Gathering Dead universe, though there is some light interplay with The Last Town. The next release in this cycle will be Whispers of the Dead, a prequel that will chronicle the emergence of the zompoc, and feature McDaniels and Gartrell as they spool up and jump out to extract Wolf Safire from New York City. I’m forecasting that one will be released in December 2017, provided I can get the editorial slot locked up. 🙂


DEAD IN L.A.: The Barricade

They happened upon a roadblock a few streets away from the car dealership they had targeted. Bodies and body parts were everywhere, along with the stench of rotting flesh and spoiled blood. Wallace realized they had just happened across a fortified position that had been overrun. Sand bags, razor wire, even military Humvees and civilian sanitation trucks had been arranged to block off access to the entire block. Tattered scraps of paper, plastic wrap, MRE bags, and torn clothing were caught in the razor wire’s cruel embrace, fluttering vaguely in the low, dry breeze. The smell was horrible, and carrion birds gorged themselves on the remains as black clouds of flies hovered over the carnage.

“Oh, God,” Darien said. She sounded like she was going to be sick.

“Keep it together,” Wallace said. He slowly spun, taking a three hundred and sixty degree view of the intersection they stood before. Nothing moved amidst the buildings. More bodies lay in the street, their limbs at odd angles. It took Wallace a moment to understand they had been run down when the remaining defenders evacuated the roadblock. As he watched, one of the bodies squirmed, its bones pulverized by whatever vehicle had crushed it. At the moment, it wasn’t a threat.

But he knew better than to believe they were safe.

“Okay, we have to go through there,” he said, pointing to the roadblock.

Darien looked properly mortified at the prospect. “What? Why?”

“One, where we want to go is on the other side. Two, there may be things we can use in there.”

“Jesus… like what?”

“Firearms. Ammunition. Supplies. Maybe even an operational vehicle.” Wallace took a deep breath and started forward. “Watch yourself. Some of these things might not be dead, and try not to cut yourself on any of the wire or anything like that. A cut could get infected.”

“I’m not going in there,” Darien said.

“Suit yourself,” Wallace pressed on, stepping around several bodies. All of them had succumbed to head shots, which had taken them out of the fight instantly. For Wallace, that was confirmation of something he’d already figured out for himself: it took head shots to stop the dead. Other bodies were literally riddled by bullets, but it was the ones that he struck a skull that had finished them off. Even more corpses appeared to have been blown apart, perhaps by hand grenades or other munitions. He was horrified to see some of these remains were still mobile, and as he picked his way across the kill zone, he even saw a decapitated head, eyes following him as he passed, mouth opening and closing. It was disgusting.

Mounds of corpses had crushed the razor wire fences flat beneath their weight. Again, some of these moved, but they were pinned down by the inanimate bodies on top of them. Wallace took his time navigating around the piles. Not only could a zombie reach out and grab him, but he didn’t want to be cut.

Behind him, he heard Darien following his path. She coughed and retched, but once she had started moving, she didn’t stop. Wallace didn’t turn to look back at her. She would either figure it out by herself, or she wouldn’t. He felt he was running out of time to find Matthew, and that was all he cared about right now.

He made it to the roadblock itself. There, he found the ravaged bodies of several soldiers and police officers that had been overwhelmed by the dead. The bodies were essentially picked clean, their uniforms torn and shredded. Bare bone gleamed in the sunlight, and masses of maggots writhed across the remains. Flies were everywhere, and the stench was almost overpowering. Wallace had to fight not to vomit.

He saw the butt of a rifle sticking out beneath a shredded carcass. Steeling himself, he reached down, grabbed it, and pulled it toward him. The weapon came free, and he shook it to dislodge some pulpy white maggots that writhed on its blue-black surface. It was a military-issue M4 rifle. It took him only a moment to see that the barrel was shot out, ruptured on one side, so he dropped back to the ground. He turned and scanned the ground, looking for another. Expended cartridges were everywhere. A flock of crows exploded into the air, and Wallace turned toward them, pulling his pistol from its holster. It was Darien, who had deviated around the mounds of the dead and managed to find a way past the razor wire barriers on the other side of the street. She had a frozen, pinched expression on her face.

“God, this is so horrible,” she said, and her voice sounded small and tiny, even in the silence.

In response, a corpse groaned beneath one of the piles in the razor wire. A slashed and torn hand flailed about, seeking casting about, hoping to somehow be able to latch onto her. Darien stared at it, eyes wide in horror. Wallace snapped his fingers loudly, getting her attention. He waved her over, then put a finger to his lips. Be quiet. She nodded and slowly walked toward him, eyes sharp as she looked before taking each step.

Wallace found another rifle, still clutched in the hands of a disemboweled soldier. It was empty, but the barrel was in good shape. He pulled two full magazines from the soldier’s vest and slid one into the rifle. He hit the bolt release, and the carrier group snapped forward with a metallic click. As far as he could tell, the weapon was good to go. It would need to be cleaned, but that was something he would attend to later. He moved the firing selector to the SAFE position and slung it over his shoulder. After some more searching, he found more weapons. Only one of them seemed to be in operational condition; the others were either terribly fouled and wouldn’t work in the short term, or their barrels had been shot out from firing magazine after magazine on full auto. He also found a SAW, but its stock had been shattered. He had no personal experience with that weapon, but he figured the rifles would be more useful. While a weapon capable of maintaining a high rate of fire seemed attractive, he was currently surrounded by evidence that it didn’t mean crap.

As soon as Darien caught up to him, he handed her one of the rifles. “You know how to use this?” he whispered.

She shook her head, eyes wide. Whether it was in response to the stinking carnage or because he’d just handed her a military rifle, he didn’t know. She automatically started to put her finger on the trigger, and he stopped her with a shake of his head.

“Don’t touch the trigger unless you need to shoot something,” he said. “Just hold onto it for a while, I’ll show you how to use it later.”

She nodded and looked at him soundlessly, holding the rifle without a clue. Wallace smiled inwardly, then went back to his search.

He found more magazines and spare boxes of 5.56-millimeter ball ammunition. He managed to liberate two relatively unsoiled tactical vests and one rucksack, along with several MREs. Many of the soldiers had CamelBak hydration systems, basically bladders full of water they wore on their backs. All the ones Wallace found were either torn open or covered with so much gore and filth that he wouldn’t risk drinking out of one.

He found a dead policeman who still wore a gun belt, but there was no sign of his pistol. He frowned and looked around the half-eaten body, but the firearm was nowhere to be found.

“Wallace.” Darien’s voice was a tight hiss.

Wallace turned and looked at her. She had sunken into a semi-crouch and looked up at him fearfully. He heard the tinkle of metal as something bumbled into what remained of the razor wire perimeter, and the feeding carrion birds there lifted off in a storm of fluttering wings. As they rose into the air, Wallace looked toward the forward edge of the blockade. A dozen or so pale, pallid faces turned upward, eyes following the flocks of birds as they headed for the rooftops of surrounding buildings. A small zombie horde had almost walked up on them without making a sound.

Wallace motioned for Darien to follow. While the zombies were still distracted by the birds, they pushed further into the blockade and slipped around one of the sanitation trucks to make their escape.