David Moody redefined the zombie genre with his AUTUMN series of novels, and he’s out to do it again.
WELCOME TO LONDON
Population 7 million
99.9% of them dead
The survival of the rest balanced on a knife edge
International best-selling UK horror author David Moody returns to the world of his ground-breaking AUTUMN novels for a new trilogy almost a decade after publication of the last book.
Taking cues from the films of George Romero but adopting a far more grounded and realistic, low-fi approach, Moody’s dystopian series rewrote the rules of the undead and made them even more terrifying in the process. There are no zombie cliches here, just a handful of desperate survivors under constant attack from thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of corpses. AUTUMN spawned a series of sequels and a low budget movie adaptation which starred David Carradine in his final screen appearance.
In AUTUMN: DAWN – the first book of the London trilogy – David Moody scales up the apocalypse by setting the action deep in the rotting heart of one of the most heavily populated cities in the world.
Two months ago, billions of people were killed by a deadly germ. Days later, they rose again in massive numbers. Since then, cities worldwide have become corpse-filled, rat-infested, germ-choked hellholes.
A group of people are trapped in central London, hopelessly outnumbered by the dead. They hear rumours of a safe haven in the north – a self-sufficient community where people from across the country have gathered to try and rebuild their lives. But the decaying ruins of the capital are vast and sprawling, and they’re going to need an army to get away from this place.
There are other people here, waiting in the shadows to be found. Can enough of them band together to make a difference, or has the country – maybe even the entire world – already been lost to the dead?
About David Moody and the AUTUMN series
Frustrated by his experiences of publishing, in 2001 David Moody took a gamble that paid off when he began giving his books away online. These days you can download more free eBooks than you could ever hope to read, but back then the approach was revolutionary. And by chance, Moody timed it perfectly. The impact of his free books initiative was fuelled by the early boom in the eBook market and then, thanks in no small part to the success of films such as 28 DAYS LATER and the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, the public’s revitalised love of all things zombie left him with a surprise hit on his hands. In just a few months, more than half a million copies of AUTUMN had been downloaded.
A series of sequels followed, as did a low-budget movie adaptation in 2008 which starred Dexter Fletcher and the late David Carradine in his final screen role. When Guillermo del Toro bought the movie rights to another one of Moody’s novels – HATER – his back-catalogue was snapped up by St Martin’s Press and his indie hits were thrust into the mainstream. The AUTUMN series went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide.
A decade or so later, and the world has changed beyond recognition. ‘That was why I wanted to go back to AUTUMN,’ Moody explains. ‘We’re so much more connected than we used to be, with much more information at our fingertips. I think we’d deal with the zombie apocalypse in a very different way to how we might have in those pre-internet, pre-WALKING DEAD days.’
But these new books aren’t just an updated rehash of old themes. ‘I promised myself I’d only ever write more AUTUMN novels if I had the right story to tell,’ he says, ‘and I’ve definitely found it.’ A chance meeting in the middle of a chaotic, pre-pandemic, early morning rush-hour in London was the trigger. ‘AUTUMN has always been about how the handful of survivors cope when the rest of the population has died then become reanimated as a result of some horrific, airborne virus. I couldn’t think of a better – or worse, depending on your perspective! – place to be than rush-hour London where people are so densely packed together. And, of course, since early last year the pandemic has added a whole new layer to just about every dystopian story.’
AUTUMN: DAWN (ISBN 978-0957656383) is published by Infected Books and is available now. AUTUMN: INFERNO will follow later this year, with AUTUMN: EXODUS wrapping up the series in 2022.
Find out more about Moody at www.davidmoody.net