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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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New Book day: INFESTATION from Severed Press

 

New today, a new big bug novel from me at Severed Press. It’s pulp, pure and simple. Sweary Scottish squaddies and big bug mayhem in the waters off Baffin Island. It’s not subtle. But it’s not meant to be


It was supposed to be a simple mission. A suspected Russian spy boat is in trouble in Canadian waters.

Investigate and report are the orders.

But when Captain John Banks and his squad arrive, it is to find an empty vessel, and a scene of bloody mayhem.

Soon they are in a fight for their lives, for there are things in the icy seas off Baffin Island, scuttling, hungry things with a taste for human flesh.

They are swarming.

And they are growing.

INFESTATION is a tribute to several things – 50s B movies, Alistair MacLean books and movies, Aliens, and Dog Soldiers are all rattling around in there.

But mostly it’s for the love of big beasties. Mostly.

 

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Featured Book for Halloween

THE HOLE reached the top 100 overall in the Amazon Kindle charts, and reached #3 in Amazon Horror for all formats.

The origins of this one are simple – I heard two news reports on the same day.

The first was about a sinkhole in small town USA.

The second was about a strange inexplicable hum plaguing a large area of country.

I wondered… what if they were both in the same place?

From there it was only a short distance to the town, a roadside bar and diner, and a couple of odd-job men down on their luck and about to literally fall into a hole filled with their worst fears.

GET IT HERE

There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Meikle is one of the premier storytellers of our time. The Hole is one hell of a story, a fun ride and a blast to read. If you are looking for some good summer entertainment, don’t turn on the idiot box, pick up a copy of “The Hole”, find yourself a nice tree to sit under and get lost in the magic of a great story. The Hole will certainly be time well spent and I highly recommend it.– Famous Monsters of Filmland

At the centre of this fabulous story is a pounding pulp rhythm, onto which Meikle has layered a philharmonic gemstone of plots, characters, and thrills to create a triumphant symphonic masterpiece of modern genre writing. – Ginger Nuts of Horror

Another tour de force of pulp fiction from the imagination of the best purveyor of out and out genre fiction currently plying their trade. – Dark Musings

William Meikle should be a household name if this is the sort of rip roaring story he produces. – The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog

A seriously creepy thriller – lights on for this one!– CAYOCOSTA72 Book Reviews

This is an intelligent and well-rounded horror story even with its tip of the cap to “The invasion of the body snatchers” and its pod people. Meikle shows adeptness in handling the story as he takes it right to the edge of absurdity but keeps from crossing that line. This is the first book that I have read by Meikle but I can guarantee that it will definitely not be the last. – Examiner.com

NEW BOOK DAY: CARNACKI: THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE

My third collection of Carnacki stories based on William Hope Hodgson’s character is out now from Lovecraft Ezine in paperback and ebook

CARNACKI operates in shadowy occult realms, on the fringes of science, in places out of sight and out of mind of normal everyday people. But sometimes the darkness touches the lives of others in ways they cannot understand, and they find they need help – the kind of help that only Carnacki can provide.

In MR. CHURCHILL’S SURPRISE and INTO THE LIGHT Carnacki is called on to help a young Winston Churchill investigate a strangely empty German U-Boat captured in the North Sea, and in dispelling something that is lingering in a London inn that was home to a club of gentlemen seeking illicit pleasures and a path to power.

In FINS IN THE FOG and THE KING’S TREASURE, Carnacki again aids another Hodgson character, Captain Gault, in ridding him of a nemesis brought up from the deeps of the ocean intent on revenge, and in the salvage of a cursed treasure off the coast of Scotland.

In other tales you will meet an Egyptian amulet and the thing that protects it, a photographer whose pictures contain strange developments, a very strange occurrence on a cricket field, an old Edinburgh townhouse that is much more than it seems, and much more.

In these new stories Carnacki helps old friends and new acquaintances in the never ending battle to keep the Great Beyond at bay.

GET IT HERE

Newsflash – Rowan Casey boxset offer

Most of you know that I’m involved in the VEIL KNIGHTS series under the pen name of Rowan Casey with 11 other fine writers. Today we’re running a promo to bring new readers into the series, with a box set of the first three books on sale at Amazon for only 99c / 99p. It’s also now on offer for NOOK, KOBO and ibooks readers.

We’re already up to book eight of the proposed twelve. This set contains the first three books, and the third one, HOUND OF NIGHT, is my contribution to the series. Regular readers of mine will find a Seton family member in here, as well as the Concordances of the Red Serpent, and an opener of the way that is becoming strangely familiar.

Get it on AMAZON

In the distant past the Knights were formed to serve as the protectors of humanity against the powers of darkness and the supernatural. A powerful sorcerer known as the Merlin served as their leader and mentor. Together they erected the Veil between this world and what they called the demimonde, or half-world, which served as the home to all the supernatural races. They took all the creatures, races, and demons that form the supernatural legends we know today and locked them away on the other side of the barrier.

For centuries that barrier has held and in time the Knights came down through history as nothing more than a legend about a group who supported their King and lived lives of chivalry.

Now Merlin needs them again, and calls them forth from their hiding places to do battle against the old foes.

These are their stories.

Sherlock Holmes: The Dreaming Man, out now.

My new Sherlock Holmes novel, THE DREAMING MAN launches today from Gryphonwood Press.

There’s a paperback too for anyone who prefers hard copy.

THE DREAMING MAN is a novel length expansion to my earlier novella, REVENANT ( that makes up about the first 1/3 or so of this new story.)

Cover art once again by the great Wayne Miller.

AMAZON    SAMPLE

Meikle’s authorial voice is a thing of wonder as you find yourself drawn into the story and racing along after clues with Holmes and Dr. Watson, sometimes losing sight of the fact that this is a horror/armchair mystery mashup created by William Meikle and not one of Doyle’s own creations. – Hellnotes

After being called to help Mycroft with a case in the House of Lords, our duo find themselves on the run, pursued by the law and beset by a foe who cannot be traced.

The clues lead Holmes and Watson to an alchemist in Scotland, and deeper mysteries where they find their case linked to the quest for immortality, and a plot that might bring down the British Empire.

But even as the case appears to reach a conclusion, a series of seemingly unrelated robberies proves that the matter is larger – and more personal – than even the great detective can imagine.

A dreaming man, lost in a fugue, leads them down dark passages, through the streets of London – and underneath them.

Soon Holmes’ brother, Mycroft has to become involved, and the details of a fiendish plot become clearer when Mycroft is abducted.

A friend is lost and found again, an old enemy resurfaces and Holmes must walk perilous paths for a second time.

A fall is coming, a fall that has haunted Holmes’ dreams, and now must be faced again, in the place where past and present become one, and two old foes meet for a final battle.

FUNGOID

There’s been a bit of chat around about FUNGOID in the past few days. Here’s some thoughts from me on how it came about.

When the end came, it wasn’t zombies, asteroids, global warming or nuclear winter. It was something that escaped from a lab. Something small, and very hungry.

In this one you’ll find a chunk of Newfoundland, a fireman, some nasty rain, a bit of real science, a lot of unreal science, some Canadians, many cigarettes, some trucks, boats and planes, and plenty of spores, mushrooms and rot.

It’s for fans of John Wyndham, William Hope Hodgson and H P Lovecraft, and is a wee homage to a lot of the things I’ve loved since childhood. As such, its origins come from several different life strands.

There’s something a lot of people don’t know about me: I used to be a botanist. And no, it doesn’t mean I know about gardening. For my honors thesis I studied how much archaeological information could be gleaned from analyzing pollen grains in the strata of peat bogs in Central Scotland, I spent a year after graduating in cataloging the plant fossil collection in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, and after that I had an abortive attempt at doing a PhD in the causes of rot in apples as they ripen.

Along the way I also learned quite a lot about fungi. The pollen analysis stuff hasn’t made it into a story of mine yet, but the fungi have; there’s something insidious about the creeping of mycelium, something obscene in the flesh of the caps, something scary in the fact that they spend so much time in the dark, just sitting there… growing.

I started to get a germ (or should that be spore ) of an idea a few years back of a fungal takeover of the planet, and I tried it out in a piece of flash fiction that I sold to NATURE FUTURES. It was just one image I had in mind, of a dark sky and vast, endless fields of high fruiting bodies. The image wouldn’t leave me, and it came back in another story, THE KEW GROWTHS, in my Challenger collection where the Prof has to tackle a giant fungal menace threatening London. That story was fun, but the image I had in my head was still for something a lot darker – something insidious, obscene and scary.

Then in early 2016, another, accompanying, image came, this time of a man in a HAZMAT suit, with nothing inside that was remotely human, just creeping filaments and bursting spores. As soon as I had him in my head the story all came together.

So that’s one thing. Another is the fact that I love end of the world stories.

There’s something cathartic about seeing everything being torn down. It also makes for amusing daydreams when the boss is being a tool or when the commute seems to take forever. And who doesn’t think they couldn’t do better at building a society if given a chance?

So there’s that, and there’s also the sheer spectacle of the thing… the same reason people like to slow down to look at car crashes. There’s a “there but the for grace of God” vibe you get when watching or reading the world being torn down. Emmerlich and Devlin hooked into that early and have made a pot of money out of those very same vibes.

I started my fandom of the genre young and at first it was from a Science Fiction perspective. The British ones from the ’50s and 60’s got my attention, in particular John Wyndham’s DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and THE CHRYSALIDS. Them, and A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ were my earliest introductions to the form. After that came tales of cosmic disaster, mainly Lieber’s THE WANDERER and Niven and Pournelle’s LUCIFER’S HAMMER. My interest was further piqued by Terry Nation’s TV show THE SURVIVORS, and Stephen King’s THE STAND, the first to being real horror to the genre IMHO. But my favorite in the genre is by Robert Macammon. His SWAN SONG is a roller coaster blockbuster which eschew’s King’s religious trappings for non-stop action and gritty realism mixed with a slug of the supernatural. My kind of tale.

There is much that is good about civilisation that I’d certainly miss if it went, such as books and entertainment, central heating and modern medicine. But on the whole, civilisation as mankind defines it is hell-bent on destroying the ecosystem and we’re too stupid to stop shitting where we eat. I don’t think it’s a matter of why or why not. We’re now at a stage where it’s only a matter of when. I just hope it’s a few more years yet.

As for FUNGOID – it’s pretty obvious there’s a big Day of the Triffids influence, and that’s deliberate, as Wyndham was one of my favorite writers when I first started reading in the genre back in the late 60s/early 70s. There’s also several William Hope Hodgson touches, again, mostly deliberate. If there’s any unintentional ones there, I haven’t spotted them.

The third strand that weaves its way through FUNGOID is a sense of place.

Having written a lot of stories set back home in Scotland or in London, and now a bunch in Canada, there’s no real difference between them at all for me. A story is a story is a story. This one, however, is set firmly in my new home.

We came over for a holiday in 2005, and fell in love with the place. I was considering writing full time, and when the opportunity came up to sell our house in Scotland, we took the plunge and came on over and got a great house on the shore with a sea view for a tenth of what it would have cost back in the UK. I’ve got a great view from the writing desk, I can write full time, and watch the eagles fly over the bay and icebergs go past in Spring. It’s a quiet fishing village, and it suits me just fine. It’s still pretty rural and unspoiled, a lot of the old traditions, mainly Irish ones, are still followed, and a lot of the old songs are still sung in the bars. It feels more like a Scots/Irish community than anything else. It feels a lot like home to me.

The story begins with spore-filled rain over Newfoundland. I’ve trashed my new homeland in this book. Sorry.

All of the above were in my head when I sat down to start. And thats the fourth strand that makes this book what it is – the writing of it itself.

Below are two quotes from reviews of FUNGOID, and both of them pleased me greatly. I love it when I connect with a reader who gets what I’m up to.

“William Meikle is a talented writer, the story is perfectly paced so that the story isn’t bogged down by character, drama or the science – instead it’s a perfect blend of all three. He doesn’t mince words or add any excessive detail, each word he writes is essential to the story.”

“The story is extremely fast paced, leaving little room for breathing as you flip through the pages.”

I work hard at getting the pace and flow of my work right. Actually, I work hard at all of it, but the pace and flow is what I concentrate on. FUNGOID came through fast and hard, and I let it come at its own speed. It rolled along so smoothly it was as if a film was being unwound in my head.

And that’s how I think of it, now that its done – a glorious, ’50s influenced, B-movie with a creeping menace, an end of the world scenario, and plucky survivors – and scientists – trying to save the day.

I love it, and I hope you do too.

Get it HERE

 

VEIL KNIGHTS THE CIRCLE GATHERS just 99c

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If any of you have been dithering about buying the VEIL KNIGHTS series, the price of the first ebook, THE CIRCLE GATHERS is just 99c on Amazon now. There’s been thousands of copies sold already, with the first four books ( of twelve) available, so get in now and enjoy.

Amazon (COM) |  Amazon (UK)

A modern reimagining of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table sure to please fans of urban fantasy and Arthurian legends alike!

The Veil Knights urban fantasy series is published under the pseudonym Rowan Casey and features regular new volumes detailing the exploits of one of the knights through to summer 2017, when season one of the series comes to its stunning conclusion.

With more than ten million copies of their books in print around the world, including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers, the authors bringing this series to you include Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, Annie Bellet, Jon F. Merz, Pippa DaCosta, Robert Greenberger, William Meikle, Steve Lockley, Hank Schwaeble, and Nathan Meyer.

Cover art by Lou Harper of Harper Design.

Samurai and Other Stories

samurai

My story collection SAMURAI AND OTHER STORIES from Crystal Lake is currently on discount at 99c for Kindle at AMAZON

Here you’ll find numerous ghosts, many Scotsmen, a big blob, some holy relics, some unholy relics, a Mothman, a barbarian, some swordplay, a shoggoth and a lot of unexpected people.

This collection brings together some of my favorite stories from the past decade or so in an exploration of the perils of exploring dark places, both external and internal.

Includes:

  • Samurai
  • Rickman’s Plasma
  • Home is the Sailor
  • Turn Again
  • Inquisitor
  • The Scotsman’s Fiddle
  • The Toughest Mile
  • The Havehome
  • The Yule Log
  • Living the Dream
  • The Shoogling Jenny
  • The Haunting of Esther Cox
  • Dancers
  • The Brotherhood of the Thorns
  • The Young Lochinvar
  • A Slim Chance

So what makes this short story collection so special?

Samurai and other stories contains a real cross section of what I’m all about as a writer. There’s fantasy, swordplay, supernatural beasts, sword and sorcery, ghosts, horror, history, humor and a lot of particularly Scottish characters in weird situations. It’s also got some of what I think of as my strongest work, whether its in the quieter ghost stories, or the blood and thunder sword swinging. I’m very proud of it as a collection, and Crystal Lake have done a wonderful job in the packaging, especially in the brilliant Ben Baldwin cover that captures the title story perfectly.

Tell us more about your title story.

Samurai is a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for. A group of shipwrecked sailors find shelter in an ancient abandoned Japanese temple. They proceed to sack it of its treasures – but find, to their cost, that the temple has a guardian, and that service comes with a stiff price. It’s a fantasy fable, with more Scots in trouble, more swordplay, and a splash of red gore in the green jungle. It runs in my head like a movie, and in fact, I think it would make a great one, if somebody has the cash for it.

Why should readers give Samurai and Other Stories a try?

It’s packed with entertainment, at least I think so. My ethos as a writer is that story comes first, and I like to think that shows in this collection, whether it be in tales of adventure, or misadventure, spooky goings on in coal mines, strange musicians, poltergeists, magial relics, or the people that nobody expects. A wee bit of something for everybody.

In the pipe, five by five.

carnackitwatgI’m a bit stuck on starting a new big project – this is the first time I’ve not actually been contracted for anything for a few years, and I also think the demise of Dark Renaissance threw me for a loop for a few weeks, but I’m starting to come out of the fug now and can see light ahead.

In the meantime, the list of work I’m waiting to see in publication in print and/or ebook continues to grow apace, with plenty of stuff to look forward to in the remainder of the year and into 2017

There’s two new novels coming.

  • Fungoid – novel / Darkfuse / September 2016
  • Songs of Dreaming Gods – novel / DarkFuse / Feb 2017

There’s also new Ebook editions of work already in print coming soon

  • Carnacki – The Watcher at the Gate – collection / Dark Regions Press
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Quality of Mercy – collection / Dark Regions Press
  • Sherlock Holmes: The London Terrors – 3 novellas / Dark Regions Press
  • Professor Challenger: The Kew Growths – collection / Dark Regions Press
  • The House on the Moor – novella / Dark Regions Press
  • The Amulet – The Midnight Eye #1 – Gryphonwood Press
  • The Sirens – The Midnight Eye #2 – Gryphonwood Press
  • The Skin Game – The Midnight Eye #3 – Gryphonwood Press
  • The Concordances of the Red Serpent – Gryphonwood Press

I have three German Language editions coming of novels

  • The Hole – Voodoo Press
  • The Dunfield Terror – Voodoo Press
  • The Amulet – The Midnight Eye #1 – Blitz Verlag

Alongside that little lot, I’m waiting for 20 stories to appear in anthologies ( including a couple of new HOLMES stories in big mass market books), there’s a juicy novella I can’t tell you about yet, and I’ve got hopes for several other current submissions, so keep everything crossed for me…

Onward and upward.

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