Enter The Apocalypse: Russell Hemmel

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Enter The Apocalypse is a new anthology of short fiction from TANSTAAFL Press that I have the good fortune to be included in.  It will be the first in a planned trilogy of apocalyptic-themed anthologies from TANSTAAFL.  Enter The Apocalypse examines the apocalypse at the point of impact.  In celebration of it’s impending release, I have a guest blogger today!  This has literally never happened before, so I’m going to get out of the way and turn the proceedings over to Mr. Russell Hemmel.

(“Russell Hemmell is a statistician and social scientist from the U.K, passionate about astrophysics and speculative fiction. Recent publications in Not One of Us, Perihelion SF, SQ Mag, and others.”)

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“You can’t but admire this virus’s purity. It’s elemental, uncomplicated, deadly powerful. We’re lucky not to be his target.”

“Virus are ten times more numerous than bacteria, did you know that?”

10 to 1.

In the last six months I have, as a fiction writer, contributed stories to a few anthologies, all dealing, in a way or another, with visions of a dystopian future. While not all of them featured an apocalypse, they were all bleak enough to made readers think that one was indeed on the way, or had just happened.

As a (social) scientist and astrophysics passionate, I have to say that what scares me the most is not the possibility of destructive cosmic events – such an asteroid impact of the kind that’s considered responsible for the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction (and the death of the dinosaurs), even though books like Stephenson’s Seveneves are frightening enough. 

[In case you haven’t read Seveneves, I do recommend it – no matter if you’re not a SF fan. There’s a lot to enjoy in this novel that has nothing to do with SF. What’s about? It deals with the aftermath of an unexplained – and utterly disastrous – disintegration of the Moon, and the world efforts to preserve human society in whatever possible ways. The first one is to build arklets in lower orbit using the ISS as starting point.

I especially liked this quote, that I think represents well the book’s spirit. “We’re not hunter-gatherers anymore. We’re all living like patients in the intensive care unit of a hospital, and what keeps us alive isn’t bravery, or athleticism, or any of those other skills that were valuable in a caveman society; It’s our ability to master complex technological skills – it is our ability to be nerds.” ]

No matter how convincing Stephenson’s scenarios and frightening the dinosaurs’ destiny, as a professional statistician, I think it’s far more probable that the next global catastrophe is going to be man-made. Here the possibilities are endless – from climate change to a highly infectious plague to a nuclear holocaust.

What keeps me awake at night at times is the sensation we’ve now reached a level of scientific development where we can summon forces that can easily destroy the planet, without the wisdom to handle them and even less the foresight to understand cause-effect mechanism on a longer timescale than the human life. The endless discussions on the responsibilities of climate changes – from people denying global warming to others debating if it is indeed a consequence of human action (Crichton’s State of Fear is a good albeit fictional example) miss the whole point: the agent of changes doesn’t really matter when an epochal change is on the way. The state of the Arctic can’t be denied by anybody that makes his/her own research, as the mass extinction of species we are going to face in the coming decades and that already started. Science is pitiless, folks, it’s not a question of opinion. Evidence speaks louder than our delusional beliefs.

As anyone else, I have my personal vision of apocalypse, the one that would probably freak me out the most, and that I’ve often written about – and it is in the form of a plague we have manufactured ourselves in some sort of experiments gone wrong. Terror apart, I won’t be that astonished to read something like that in the press one day or another. If any, I’d be surprised it has taken so long to happen. Welcome to a dystopian world.

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HOLIDAY SALE

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Like the name says, my novel Disappearance is on sale for 99 cents for all of December.  Get it while it’s hot.  Or just get it.

GET IT HERE!!!!

If that doesn’t convince you (it’s less than a medium coffee ferchrissake) then let these carefully curated review snippets do their work:

“Zaple has captured the dichotomy of human nature perfectly, our desire for stability at war with our penchant for chaos.” – Ben Bales

“Great book. I recommend this for anyone that’s willing to hack through a thorny, demon-riddled thicket with a fantastic, raw talent.” – Rachel Litt

“The prose used within this book drips with the loving consideration of a man who delights in the english language.” – Heather Friesen

“”Disappearance” is an uncanny, poly-perspectival combination of bone-curdling psycho-social insights, darkly complex Canadians, scheming politicos, singing prophets, and rugged and flimsy individualists encountering displacement and correlation, vile erotica, and subtle narrative injections of theory. If Walt Whitman had a nemesis, it could have easily been Zaple.” – Sallow Siserary

“I loved this book. I think I went through every possible star rating as I read. Ultimately, it deserves high marks.” – Tiger Grey

“An interesting, fast-paced piece that sucks you in and takes you on one helluva journey” – T.J. Sidebottom

“What the hell?  I bought this thing for five bucks and now it’s on for a dollar?  Asshole.” – Ryan Kinder

 

 

For Your Infotainment

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The review board is closed temporarily (probably until January, unless Views From The 6 actually drops, and then who knows) and I’m currently catching up on my list of 2015 releases, as well as formulating my favourite songs and albums of the year.

In the meantime, feel free to buy my book!  You can find it here, and again at the bottom of this post.  If you’re into horror, post-apocalypse, the city of Toronto, or if you’ve ever thought that The Leftovers had an interesting concept but you wanted something a bit more visceral, you should feel free to buy a copy and tell your friends.

Disappearance, available on Amazon now!

The Nightmare Collective: A New Horror Anthology

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THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTIVE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT STORIES

PlayWithDeath.com, a great site for general horror, has released their first curated anthology of creepy, terrifying, spine-tingling tales.  Why am I telling you this?  Because I’m published in it, of course.  You can check out 12 killer pieces of short fiction, including my own “The First Mark Of Survival”, by grabbing it from the Amazon link I’ve very helpfully provided.

Don’t forget to leave a review when you do grab it!

Who Likes Free Things?

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You do.  Sure you do.

Not to spam the point, but time is running out in the giveaway for a copy of Disappearance on Dirty Little Bookers.  It’s not going to cost you anything to sign up for the giveaway, so you may as well, amirite?  Your name goes into a draw and if you win, you get me to mail you a free, signed copy.  Maybe with a bonus thrown in.  Who’s to say?  So get crackin’!

Get in on the action here:  http://dirtylittlebookers.com/