Hello, everybody! In the lead up to release day of In the Shadow of Extinction on August 14, I thought it’d be cool to give a little sneak peek at the kaiju that appear in the novel and reveal some of the awesome art that will appear within the pages.
Let’s start things off with the cover art kaiju, seen here drawn by Wafalo.
This big guy is named the Tyrant. It’s the ‘hero’ kaiju of the novel in the eyes of some, but its unrivaled ability to lay waste to cities makes it just as much a threat to modern civilization as the more vicious kaiju.
Unlike a lot of kaiju cinema/fiction, where a monster is often the sole representative of its kind, I decided to go the route of representing the kaiju as different species. As such, there are many of each type of kaiju. But that doesn’t apply to the Tyrant. It is the last of its kind, a solitary monster driven by hunger and a raging temper.
The Tyrant is the ultimate giant predator, but its kaiju adversaries are dangerous in large numbers. As such, it needed to evolve for defense as well as offense, and has a back covered with sharp spines (including shoulder spikes which were influenced by the Kentrosaurus).
Here is another look at the Tyrant, this one drawn by Gabe-TKE. This art will appear within the novel.
It would be silly to suggest that the Tyrant is not influenced to some degree by Godzilla – few giant monster reptilians aren’t inspired by Godzilla in one way or another. But I go to great lengths to set the two monsters apart. Really, the Tyrant is just as much inspired by the Tyrannosaurus Rex, if we’re being honest (it’s right there in the name!). The Tyrant has no long range, fire breathing attacks either and is not meant as an allegory for the nuclear bomb. I don't want to explain my reasoning behind the intended 'symbolism' of the kaiju too much pre-release but I tend to think these kaiju represent war and occupation following war.
The best option for humanity to survive the Tyrant is to simply get out of its way. But man isn’t very good at sharing the planet, so will they recognize an unwinnable fight when they see it? Or will they doom the world in a futile attempt to force the Tyrant back into its hole? You’ll have to read the book to find out! #BUYMYBOOK
July has been one of the busiest months for me in a long time. Mostly this is due to the fact that I've been working overtime trying to get In the Shadow of Extinction ready for publication (I wanted it published in May this year but um, that didn't work out). But I also went to G-Fest, the kaiju/Godzilla convention in Chicago, and that was a big, fun event to be a part of. So I guess I just mean to say that I haven't watched as many movies this month as I usually do. But here's the best of em. (If any film strikes your interest, click one of my affiliate links to go to the Amazon listing)
The Emerald Forest
"When I was a boy, the Edge of the World was very far away. But every year it comes closer." I saw pieces of The Emerald Forest on cable many years ago, then spent a long time trying to figure out what it was called, and even longer waiting to get a chance to see it in full. Finally got to see the entire movie from beginning to end on DVD this month. It's pretty great. It starts off like it could be a Men's Adventure story with cannibals and assault rifles. But it settles into being more of a drama about culture and understanding, and is all the better for it. It's respectful, it observes instead of judging. I liked it a lot. Powers Boothe was such an underrated actor and John Boorman is a great director.
Very good, low tech horror/thriller from Steven Soderbergh. Upsetting but not exploitational. Knows how long it can let the right questions go unanswered. Great pace and performances. The award shows probably won't recognize Unsane for anything but the padded room scenes feature some of the best acting you'll see this year.
Love & Peace
Sion Sono is one my favorite madmen of modern cinema. He's a lunatic and God bless him for it. I particularly like his more comedic films, like Why Don't You Play in Hell?, Love Exposure, and now, Love & Peace. This is a rags to riches rockstar story about a nerd who loves his turtle and that turtle grows to gargantuan size and also it's a Christmas movie and holy shit all the animals are talking! The movie is just nuts. Caught this at G-Fest -- it still doesn't have a DVD/Blu release in the States -- and had a great time watching it. Some of the music will be stuck in your head for days, regardless of whether you understand the Japanese lyrics.
I think this time last year I hadn't seen a single Benson & Moorhead film. But some Twitter friends convinced me to check out Spring and Resolution and I became a fan right quick. The Endless is a sequel to Resolution. I know some folks say it's just set in the same universe but no -- this is a sequel. And it's a very cool sequel, too, expanding on the weirdo concepts of the original, explaining some mysteries and deepening others. It's some of the coolest sci-fi you'll see this year. But just make sure you see Resolution first.
And honorable mention for Blockers which was really funny and unexpectedly sweet.
On August 14th, my apocalyptic sci-fi novel In the Shadow of Extinction: A Kaiju Epic will be released out into the world. But if you're not in the mood for waiting, I am offering a limited number of advance review ebook copies to readers willing to write an honest review of the book at Amazon. The reviews don't need to be long either. Just a few sentences would suffice.
About the book: The end of the world begins with sudden volcanic eruptions along the Ring of Fire, killing thousands and displacing millions. These natural disasters soon give rise to the kaiju; hulking leviathans seemingly immune to modern weaponry. Mankind’s final wars last only weeks. Governments are quickly disbanded, entire countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are now dangerous ruins ruled by giant predators. In the Shadow of Extinction is a science fiction epic spanning 15 years as humanity shifts gears from fighting the kaiju apocalypse to merely surviving it.
In the Shadow of Extinction has themes of dystopian sci-fi, monster horror, and action adventure. The full story collected in the Omnibus is 800 pages in length but it is also split up into three separate volumes for a less daunting page count if the reader would like.
If you're interested, just use my website's contact form and I'll be in touch via email. I can provide just about any ebook format requested -- sorry, no paperbacks. And if the 800 page Omnibus seems a little daunting, I can send you Part I: The Ring of Fire instead!
Thanks for your time! I hope to hear from you!
Today at Scriptophobic, I continue my exploration of the themes from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and talk about how characters and their plights can be made to represent more in the subtext of a story.
Click that scary Javier Bardem!
Today I’m happy to announce that my sci-fi novel IN THE SHADOW OF EXTINCTION: A KAIJU EPIC has an official release date of August 14th, 2018.
In the Shadow of Extinction is a science fiction epic spanning 15 years as humanity shifts gears from fighting the kaiju apocalypse to merely surviving it. It was inspired by my love for the kaiju films I grew up watching – and still watch today. And because I’m me, I gave it a darker spin than you’d usually see in a giant monster movie. In the book, volcanic activity unleashes hulking leviathans into our world and mankind’s military might proves unable to force them back. Governments are disbanded, countries are left decimated, and our once great cities are now danger zones ruled over by massive predators. The story follows a group of people as they trek towards what they believe to be the last safe haven in the world: New Detroit.
The novel will feature original art from some super talented artists, depicting the book’s original kaiju. I’ll be sharing some of that art with you in the lead up to release day.
In the Shadow of Extinction is roughly 800 pages long. I’m releasing the full story in what I’m calling ‘The Complete Omnibus,' as well as cutting it up into three separate volumes in case you’d rather read it in smaller, less intimidating chunks. It will be cheaper to go with the Omnibus but if you prefer to read Part I first, I understand that. Part I: The Ring of Fire will start out at $0.99 for curious readers. Please note that if you buy Parts 1, 2, and 3, you already have the full story and will find nothing new in the Omnibus.
You can now pre-order In the Shadow of Extinction for Kindle. Other ebook booksellers like Nook and GooglePlay will be added shortly. I also plan to have the book available on paperback but right now that release date is TBD. I’ll update you when I know more.
Click the images below to pre-order!
Over at Scriptophobic, I have a new article talking about characters 'reasoning with unreasonable horrors'... how protagonists try to wrap their heads around the haunted house, the masked killer, or the man-eating shark, and how we can take from real-world tragedy to learn how to describe this bargaining with monsters. I use the Coen Bros' NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN as an example. Read on!
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
Blog notice: mostly this blog is for sharing my thoughts and talking about my books. From time to time I will also comment on books, films, music, sports, and/or videogames. During these times I may use images of the creative works under discussion. I'm posting the images under the "fair use" allowance, for purposes such as criticism, comments, reporting, teaching, and research. If you have any issue with images used on this blog, please contact me and the images will be removed.
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