Arrowland (The Afterblight Chronicles: The Hooded Man Trilogy Book 3)

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Operation Motherland by Scott K. Arrowhead by Paul Kane. Around Year Four. The Culled by Simon Spurrier. Kill or Cure by Rebecca Levene. Between Years Five and Six. Broken Arrow by Paul Kane.

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Arrowland by Paul Kane. A little while has passed since the rise and fall of the Tsar, putting this book at about eight or nine years after the Cull. Dawn Over Doomsday by Jasper Bark. Some years have passed since the Apostolic Church of the Rediscovered Dawn was crippled by the nameless soldier of The Culled in Year Five, placing it about one decade in.

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Blood Ocean by Weston Ochse. With each new title and each new author bring a whole new perspective and history to the world of The Afterblight we're already really excited to see what the next wave of books brings. Harvey , Adrian Tchaikovsky. The world ended when The Cull swept through civilisation, killing billions and sparing only those fortunate few blessed with the right blood. But in times of need heroes must rise. Here three fantastic authors lead us into the apocalypse in the latest omnibus in the hit Afterblight Chronicles series.

McGuire has three jobs to do: be revenged, confront the uncomfortable truths of his past and face the discovery of his own terrible destiny. Hello again friends, and welcome back to final part of our Journal of the Plague Year interview series. I'm sure you all know the drill by now, but just in case you ended up here by taking a wrong turn somewhere between google and facebook we've all been there, don't worry - you're safe now please do pull up a chair and catch up with part one and two in series first.

We'll give you a moment, there's no rush. All good? Fantastic, then let me pass you on to the more than capable hands of Abaddon editor David Moore and Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the The Bloody Deluge. DM: Eastern Europe is an area not well represented in English-language fiction.

What does the region have to offer to English readers? And some of it is frankly a gift for a writer of speculative fiction. The siege of Jasna Gora during the original Deluge — the Swedish invasion of Poland — is like something out of David Gemmell — the single monastery holding out against the invading army until the people rise up and drive them out — ok, that is a massively simplified summary, but still. For a writer, there is an enormous store of material there waiting to be tapped, that is going to be unfamiliar and fresh to most English-language readers.

DM: Faith versus scepticism is a big theme in your story, represented at the extremes by Rev. Calumn and Dr. Is this an important subject for you? Where do you stand? AT: Is it an important subject for me? Emil Weber, though I mean, to a certain extent, Weber is a Dawkins-style figure.

He is an atheist who sees the rational world being overtaken by a new wave of religious extremism in the wake of the plague. He has the good of humanity at heart, but he has no compromise in him, so he is constantly striking sparks from anyone who disagrees with him. DM: Katy Lewkowitz is an awesome hero, at a time when female characterisation is very much a hot topic in genre. What makes a good female hero?

What do you look for? AT: What makes a good female hero: depth, strengths, weaknesses, moments of testing, doubts, triumphs and failures.

And being female. I probably write about heroic insect-characters for the same reason. I have seen various pros and cons advanced for male or female protagonists, and mostly these get mired very quickly in gender stereotyping. What was it like, writing in the post-apocalypse genre?

AT: Challenging. I also spent far too long with Google Earth working out roadmaps and routes over the German-Polish border. AT: Well, I got a good brief and a chance to ready some of the earlier novels, and I think that gave me a sufficient mental toolkit to approach the series.

From the brief, I saw that there was an existing mention of right-wing extremism erupting in Germany, but no hard details, and so I took that and ran with it, hopefully in a direction other than the obvious.

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A battle of faith ensues, that could decide the future of humankind Over the next three days Team Abaddon will be picking the brains of the three authors contributing to Journal of the Plague Year with questions courtesy of Abaddon editor extraordinaire David Moore. Taking "one small step" for author-kind and first up in the firing line we have Orbital Decay's Malcolm Cross; over to you David and Malcolm. DM: So, space: pretty fucking terrifying, judging by Orbital Decay. MC: Space is terrifying. It's one of the relatively few environments in which humanity has no business being. We can climb mountains unaided, we can free-dive to incredible depths, with training we can go almost anywhere on our little world with virtually no tools whatsoever, and the penalties for failure start with discomfort, not death.

It doesn't just start in space, either. Some of the earliest deaths in space exploration took place on the ground, fires during equipment testing. There were the shuttle disasters, Challenger and Columbia. Hell, the first attempt to dock with the first space station Salyut 1 failed, and the second attempt, successful, killed the entire crew of Soyuz 11 through depressurization during their re-entry burn after a problem undocking from Salyut 1.

All of these men and women were being supported by superpowers, assisted by hundreds if not thousands of engineers. None of them had a chance. But, thankfully, there are more successes than losses, more close shaves than catastrophes. Some of them hilarious, turds floating around the Apollo 10 capsule, some of them scary, like the fire aboard Mir.

Space exploration is a potentially lethal game, even when everything goes right. DM: Orbital Decay digs pretty deeply into the epidemiology of the Cull. Is that a particular area of interest for you? Did the series canon present you much difficulty when writing these parts?

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MC: Ooof. The series canon is a topic in itself -- I wound up reading the entire series eleven books, back then in a little over three weeks, specifically to figure out what was going on. The Afterblight Chronicles , and the Cull, have passed through a lot of hands over the years, and I have to say, there have been some dissenting viewpoints on how it all went down.

I've always enjoyed trying to figure out just how seemingly impossible fictional things might be real. I think my first semi-plausible crack at it was when Street Fighter 2 was brand new, and I wasn't quite ten years old.

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You know how they throw fireballs around in that game? Yeah, well, when space shuttles come back to Earth they get surrounded by fire just like that because they're moving so fast the friction burns the air and obviously that is how the Street Fighter characters can throw fire around.

Footnote: Actually the air ahead of the spacecraft is massively compressed by the shockwave of its motion through the atmosphere, and that causes far more heating than friction does, but I had no idea about that as a kid. Thankfully, the real science behind viruses and the seemingly impossible horror of the Cull are far easier to meld together for a plausible explanation.

One of the key mysteries behind the Cull -- how it so selectively attacks almost everyone bar those with O-Negative blood -- was one of the most focal. To grossly oversimplify, if you're AB-Positive, you have no blood-group relevant antibodies, and you have all three antigens -- A, B, and Rhesus -- on the cell-walls of your red blood cells, which act as a kind of flag to tell your immune system that this is one of your cells, not something invading your body.

If you're O-Negative, you have none of these antigens, and you have every single one of the antibodies that attack the antigens as if they're an infectious substance. You're protected. You also can't receive a blood transfusion from anyone else, but you can give blood to just about anyone -- so do consider blood donation if you're so fortunate! Now, when you learn that some viruses tear a piece out of its host-cell's walls and wrap themselves up with it, effectively camouflaging it against the body's immune system It doesn't take a microbiologist and I'm not one to see the potential mayhem if this trait had to arise in one of the viruses which alter a cell's DNA specifically to change how it divides and what kind of tissue it produces -- some of these are the oncoviruses, responsible for some types of cancer.

It could be something very much like a burglar armed with a set of keys to your house, trying each one in turn until something fits!

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MC: I mentioned reading all eleven books in three weeks-ish? No world bible back then. That part was exhausting. Like wandering into the minotaur's maze, but thankfully I left a thread marking my path for others to follow, in the form of a lot of clippings and some other notes which David Moore's now the custodian for. But it's also a lot of fun, adding your own little branch to what is now a very large if scabrous and plague-ridden tree.

It's not your usual series, either. We meet many of the characters once, or over the course of a trilogy, and then move on to some other part of the post-apocalypse. One of the reason the series title -- 'The Afterblight Chronicles' -- is so very apt.

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It's like working on a collaborative history of the world's end. Almost a communal meditation on what it is to lose everything. Certainly, it's unique. I spent a lot of time worrying about getting something 'wrong', early on.