For some, the zombies are a good thing

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie Publishing, Serial Killer ZLeave a Comment

It’s been a long time coming but I’m finally ready to announce my new horror series – Serial Killer Z. I’ve always had a soft spot for zombies. Return of the Living Dead is one of my favorite movies, and The Walking Dead is one of the few TV shows on my “must see” list. But other than a couple of very short stories, I’d always shied away from writing about them. Zombies are extraordinarily popular, but it’s hard to bring something new to the genre without losing the elements that make zombies so much fun. Even when the idea of throwing a serial killer into the zombie apocalypse came to me (in the gym of all places), I resisted. But the idea just wouldn’t let go. Pretty quickly that basic premise had grown into a series of books and, eventually, I gave in. I’m glad I did. It turns out writing about a serial killer and zombies is a lot of fun. I’m four books into the series so far, and I’m really enjoying putting my serial killer through hell. Of course, writing a book is only the first step in the journey to publication. It’s been three and a … Read More

Looking Forward, 2017

Philip HarrisChatter, Indie Publishing, RunningLeave a Comment

After posting my belated end of year wrap up, I figured I’d better also look forward to what’s ahead in 2017… I talked about setting goals on New Year’s Day and mentioned my big personal goal – running a marathon in under four hours. That goal has actually been in the back of my mind for a few years but 2017 is the year I’m really going to focus on my speed and fitness (and weight) and try to hit that. My wife and I recently worked out which races we’re going to take part in this year and it’s a fairly long list, but a lot of them will be used as training runs for my main goal of that sub-four hour marathon. Time will tell whether it will pan out but I’m looking forward to trying. I’ll probably make the odd post here about my progress for those who are interested in how a moderately unfit, middle aged guy prepares for a marathon. I also mentioned my eight book publishing schedule. That’s pretty aggressive, even though I have a couple of the books complete and two more in draft form. I’ve laid out the schedule for the first half of the year and this is what it … Read More

I Have Hugh Howey’s DNA

Philip HarrisAuthors, Books, ChatterLeave a Comment

Nautically inclined indie author, Hugh Howey, is taking to the seas to live the life of a pirate or something. Sadly, the catamaran Hugh is having built doesn’t have space for all the books he collected during his rise to super-stardom so, a few months ago, he held The Most Spectacular Pot Luck Book Signing in the History of the Universe to clear out his storage. For a flat fee per item, fans could request items from his collection – anything from simple signed copies of his books to a Boba Fett action figure. The catch being that there was no guarantee they’d get exactly what they ordered – hence the Pot Luck in The Most Spectacular Pot Luck Book Signing in the History of the Universe. I ordered three “items” but was deliberately vague about what I wanted. I enjoyed Hugh’s Wool novels but Sand is actually my favourite of his and his “dark” story – I, Zombie is just too tempting to ignore. So, I asked for something related to those two books. The parcel arrived a few days ago and I wasn’t disappointed. First up, I got these: That’s a complete set of the individual Sand novellas, all signed. Next, there was a manuscript page from one of his Molly Fyde books. And … Read More

A Couple of Books

Philip HarrisBooks, ReviewsLeave a Comment

I finished a couple of books this week. Both were kindly sent to me by the authors for review prior to their release, and both of them are worth a look. First up was Chris Pourteau’s short story, Unconditional: A Tale of the Zombie Apocalypse. Here’s the description: The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey in this thrilling short story of trial and tragedy. The peaceful cool of a fall day is shattered when the Storm of Teeth consumes the world. A dog watches, terrified, as his human family battles a herd of walking corpses. Forced to leave their pet behind, the family flees for their lives. The dog begins his odyssey through the zombie apocalypse to find them. But what will he find? Experience this dark adventure from the perspective of man’s best friend as he strives to reunite with the boy he loves more than life itself. Unconditional is a short story, but it packs a punch, particularly if you’re a dog person. I lean more towards the feline side of that equation but I had dogs growing up, and I’ve got a soft spot for them as well, so I was looking forward to this one. I wasn’t disappointed. … Read More

In the Flesh Season One

Philip HarrisChatter, TelevisionLeave a Comment

We recently watched the first season of the BBC zombie TV show, In The Flesh. Set after “The Rising” it’s the story of reanimated teenager, Kieren Walker. Thanks to a drug that allows the undead to lead a largely normal existence, Kieren returns to his home village, Roarton, and his family. But as a sufferer of Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS) he struggles to deal with traumatic flashbacks from his time as a zombie and the prejudices of the inhabitants of Roarton. This is the latest of several UK TV genre shows we’ve watched (the others being Dead Set and Utopia) and although I enjoyed it, I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was those shows. There’s lots to like about it – pretty strong acting, interesting characters, some good dialogue and an interesting twist or two. But the prejudice elements felt a little bit too heavy handed at times, hearkening right back to the early 20th century racial segregation rather than reflecting the more subtle and insidious prejudice that we generally see today. It also felt a bit unfinished. There is a second series comprising six episodes instead of three and the main threads are tied up in Season One … Read More

Canada – August 2009 – Zombie Walk

Philip HarrisPhotosLeave a Comment

Vancouver’s Zombie Walk takes place in August and has been shambling since 2005. It gets better every year and every year I swear that next year, I’m going to take part. Thinking about it, I’m surprised I haven’t posted more zombie photos here. I’ll have to rectify that. [Canada – August 2009 – Zombie Walk by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 15th February 2014]

Out Now – So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains

Philip HarrisAnthologies, Books, Out Now, StoriesLeave a Comment

The new anthology – So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains is now available on Amazon. In it you’ll find my story – The Z Word – plus fifty other tales of the undead. Here’s the full table of contents: Remembering Human – Bint Arab Necropolis Burning – Robert Forrester Blissfully Ignorant – Michael C. Dick An Undead Night to Remember – K. A. Masters Quality of Life – T. Fox Dunham Remember Me – Kenneth E. Olson Undead Surveillance – Jason Papke Oh, the Dreadful Wind & Rain – Richard Jay Goldstein The Secret to Survival – T. L. Barrett Mikey – Theresa Derwin The Beginning of the End – Jack Bantry Old Louisville – Bruce L. Priddy The Return of Dale Corby – Jonathan Wood For Audrey – Nicky Peacock The Army of Al-Din – Douglas Moore Zombies are Dead – Iain Rob Wright Fractions – Dale Elster Complete Ignorance – Michael C. Dick Diary of Gerhard Koblenz – Trevor Smith The Z Word – Philip Harris A Quiet Night, a Perfect End – Annie Neugebauer The Day Danny McAllister Decided to be a Hero – Matt Nord Dry Rot – Jamal K. Luckett The Food of Love … Read More

Book – Remains of the Dead

Philip HarrisBooksLeave a Comment

I finished Ian McKinnon’s Remains of the Dead last week and I’ve got somewhat mixed feelings about it. I certainly enjoyed reading it, but not as much as the first book – Domain of the Dead. The two books are closely related. Both books start at the same point although with slightly different perspectives. Several years into the zombie apocalypse, a group of survivors unexpectedly encounters a military helicopter on a research mission. The helicopter does not have room for both the crew and the survivors and is forced to leave some of them behind to be rescued on a return trip. It’s at this point that the novels diverge. Domain of the Dead follows the helicopter back to a military research ship and the events that follow. Remains of the Dead stays in the zombie infested city with a two soldiers, a small baby and her father and the obligatory infected survivor. Obviously these are zombie tales and they don’t stray too far from the familiar corpse riddled paths that dozens of films and now books have tread before them but that’s not a bad thing. I found Domain of the Dead a more compelling story, with a dash more originality … Read More

F Bomb Continued

Philip HarrisStoriesLeave a Comment

So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains

Mostly day job and shopping yesterday but I did manage to scrape together a surprisingly productive hour of creativity and add another 727 words to F Bomb. That brings the total word count to 1693 and the end clearly into view. My plan is to finish it tonight and although I do want to go back and fill in a bit more detail in a couple of places, I’m still very happy with the story. That’s unusual for me so we’ll see if that’s still the case when I’ve written the ending. Weird Fiction Review posted a great story yesterday. Originally published in 1892, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a wonderfully disturbing tale and it’s well worth a read. Of course, if you like your fiction weird then Weird Fiction Review should already be on the list of sites you visit regularly. In other news, the proofs for So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains arrived yesterday and it’s looking very good indeed. Matt Nord has put together a monster collection (over 420 pages of Zombie fiction plus the first five chapters of the upcoming Collaboration of the Dead novel). And I still love the cover. Cover for So … Read More

Book – Flicker: A Novel

Philip HarrisBooksLeave a Comment

I finally finished Theodore Roszak’s Flicker: A Novel on Thursday night and as I posted on Twitter, it’s not quite the worst book I’ve read this year. I think what appealed to me about the book initially were the similarities between Flicker and one of my favourite books – The Book of Illusions: A Novel by Paul Auster. Both deal with reclusive characters from the movie industry who have mysteriously disappeared (or in the case of Flicker, died) and a protagonist intrigued by their story. Throw in a mysterious religious conspiracy and I should have been hooked. Unfortunately Flicker read like the unwanted love child of The Da Vinci Code and a turgid dissertation on film history. Even the ‘twist’ was a non-event and although I have yet to give up on a book, it was touch and go with this one. Not that it’s badly written or even a bad concept, I was just waiting for something to happen and it never really did. Basically, it started off slow and then tapered off from there. To give it at least some benefit of the doubt it’s a long, slow paced book and a lot of the novels I’ve read recently have … Read More