Apocalypse Weird: The MARVEL Universe for the Digital Age

A while back, I was asked to submit a pitch and a story idea to Nick Cole and Michael Bunker, creators of a wildly imaginative and visionary project called Apocalypse Weird. To be honest, I had no clue what it was about but knowing that Michael and Nick were involved, I knew that it had to be good. When Nick sent me the ten-page document describing the project, I only had to read the first sentence to know that I would love to be involved. I submitted the synopsis of a story and a few weeks later received confirmation that I’m going to be writing a full-fledged novel (or maybe more than one) in the world of Apocalypse Weird.

How weird is that?

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Okay, before we go any further, let me explain what Apocalypse Weird is. Imagine a vast world, highly imaginative, dangerous, epic, and with a multitude of story lines, characters and plots. Now imagine this world created not by one single author but by fifteen of them. Each story has its own arc within the parameters of this world. Each author has the freedom to create his or her own story leading up to a specific point… where they meet. From then on, readers decide which characters advance, fight the ultimate fight, and participate in the end game, the final chapter in Apocalypse Weird. There will be crossovers and so-called Easter Eggs — points of connection between the stories. The Easter Eggs, together with the multitude of story lines all become the fabric of a greater tapestry that is Apocalypse Weird. There will be room for other authors to develop stories and side characters within the already created sandbox. Hell, Apocalypse Weird will even have its own WIKI! Imagine the MARVEL universe but with books rather than comics. The scope of the project is as vast and boundless as the imagination of each author and the world itself.

 The first book in the Apocalypse Weird world, THE RED KING, is already out. It is FREE here. In February, five — yes, you’ve read right, FIVE — additional books will be published. From then on, there are two books planned for every month. Here is the web site for you. It’s (A)LIVE: http://www.apocalypseweird.com.

 redking

And now, without further ado and, as we Germans would say, schnell, schnell, here is the overview of the stories and authors of Apocalypse Weird:

NICK COLE — The Red King

The end of the world is only the beginning as an odd band of survivors pull together to construct a modern-day castle amid the burning ruins of suburbia lost. As undead hordes and strange otherworldly monsters ravage what’s left of civilization, things begin to go from worse to weird as each survivor’s dark past unfolds, revealing that reality might be more than anyone ever thought, and that an ancient force from the outer dark has finally arrived to conquer. Stephen King’s The Stand meets Lost in an epic confrontation between good and evil that spans history, time, and space. NickCole.Thirdscribe.com

CHRIS POURTEAU — The Serenity Strain

Houston, Texas: the epicenter of an Apocalypse both natural and unnatural. Three hurricanes wreak unprecedented devastation on the Texas Gulf Coast. Amidst the anarchy left in the wake of the storms, six prisoners–the genetically altered test subjects for a viral strain known as Serenity–escape the state prison in Huntsville. Their hunger for murder and destruction gorges itself on society’s survivors. One being of immense power and wanton appetites arrives to oversee the destruction of mankind and morality. Her name is Id. chrispourteau.thirdscribe.com

MICHAEL BUNKER and NICK COLE — Texocalypse Now

Central Texas. Crazy Walter, who is Mayhem, is orchestrating the hero eradication project. But he better look underground. www.michaelbunker.com and NickCole.Thirdscribe.com

This just came in: The cover for Texocalypse is done. Look at this beautiful thing:

Texocalypse

KIM WELLS — The Hoodoopocalypse

Laissez le End Times Roulez! When members of the Loa, an ancient pantheon of Africa, the Caribbean, and Louisiana, become interested in modern events, that voodoo doll you picked up in a quiet shop in the French Quarter might be more than it seems. Spurred on by a dark group of magical forces at work in modern New Orleans and Shreveport, the end of the world could be sooner than you think. http://www.kimwells.net/

ERIC TOZZI — Phoenix Lights (Working Title)

18 years after the Phoenix Lights incident, the aliens have returned for war. Arriving in concert with a freak dust storm of biblical proportions, a reality TV crew of UFO Busters are going to get more than they bargained for. Speculation abounds that an underground facility near the Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix, may have somehow triggered the invasion. http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Tozzi/e/B00FW5FH1A

KEVIN G SUMMERS — The Bleak December

New Hampshire has fallen into an eternal winter and a cult leader is whipping the people of the granite state into a frenzy. Now a handful of rugged folk from the north country are all that stand between a tyrant and his plans for supernatural dominion. Kevingsummers.com

HANK GARNER — Seventh Son

Oliver Webber has inherited a book and a secret.  For thousands of years, the men in his family have been the guardians of a book of forbidden knowledge.   In 1863, Oliver’s great great great great great grandfather, Stanton Webber, opened the book in retaliation for General Sherman burning his town to the ground, but the demon that was released possessed the general and his forces and fueled their path of destruction all the way to the sea.  It took Stanton five years to banish the demon, and it drove Stanton to madness.  Now the book Oliver is charged with guarding has been stolen and all hell is breaking loose and everyone is content with watching the world burn. www.hankgarner.com

JENNIFER ELLIS — Reversal

Sasha Wood arrives at the international research station on Ellesmere Island to investigate the recent resurgence of Arctic pack ice. The polar bears have grown increasingly aggressive and crafty in the past few years, but the station caretaker, Soren Anderson seems more than attractive enough to make up for the dangers. An inexplicable and temporary blindness leaves three researchers lost in a blizzard, and leads to the escape of all the sled dogs. When everyone can see again, all of the station compasses and GPS units say north is south, the station has been cut off from the outside world, and giant craters filled with methane are starting to appear all over the island.

Sasha and Soren endeavor to rescue the dogs and find the other researchers and are pursued by demons, polar bears, and rogue researchers. When Vincent Robinson, the caretaker for the Antarctic research station, inexplicably arrives on their doorstep, they know the world has been turned upside down—literally and figuratively. Sasha and Soren try desperately to unravel the mysteries of the island and Sasha learns that Soren has secrets of his own. And all the while the only radio signal they can get is a woman named Helga Murgo calling again and again for all polar champions to go to a town in the desert. www.jenniferellis.ca

The cover was just revealed today. Here it is, in all its gorgeousness.

Reversal

WESTON OCHSE —  Red Palm

Once a warning whispered to bad children, the Black Bishop is now all too real. With armies of Black Monks to seek out new recruits and a select coterie of self-amputeed nuns, his power is spreading like a plague, both in the real world and in the astral plain. The great windmills on the plains of Palm Springs are now home to the crucified; I-10 has been shut down and is used as an asphalt strip where ‘the staked’ live their last joyous hours in chrysalises of pain; and in Cathedral City cutters try and outdo themselves, slashing and cutting into their skin in epic contests against each other. The problem is that these people aren’t being forced to do these things… they beg to do it… they ache to do it… and things are only getting worse.  www.westonochse.com

 LYNDON PERRY — The Walking Death

They assured us their hydraulic fracking methods were safe – a simple, high-pressure infusion of standard chemicals into the layer of natural gas rich shale 7,000 feet below our Oklahoma topsoil. Everyone in Enid would be fine, remain healthy…and become millionaires, at least that’s what the representatives at Tarragon Industries told us. But the day my mother said the tap water tasted like copper was the day I lost her – the day our small town lost just about everyone – to the Plague. At least that’s what we called it when our friends and family members began to change; now we call it the Living Death. www.lyndonperrywriter.com

ELENA E. GIORGI — Title TBD

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in history, most have fled the Land of Enchantment after a nuclear bomb blasted off the coast of California. Only military corps, a few resilient Native Americans, and a handful of scientist have remained. The military are protecting what once was one of the largest government labs in the US, and the scientist are still struggling to find a cure to the H7N7 pandemic, an apparently innocuous flu virus, except for one thing: 3-4 weeks after the infection, when people have recovered and seem normal again, something strikes their brain and they become extremely violent, homicidal, and suicidal. People don’t die because of the virus. People die because they are murdered by the insanity caused by the virus. http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.com/

STEVEN SAVILE and DAVID PARISH WHITTAKER — The White Queen

A retelling of the legend of King Arthur with zombified knights of the round table… http://www.stevensavile.com/ and http://parishwhittaker.com/ 

FORBES WEST — Medium Talent

A young imposter with the stolen identity of a dead artist makes a living salvaging along the coastlines of a storm devastated and undead infested Florida with her fishing boat, Medium Talent. But when a simple trip to the Upper Keys ends in disaster, she must come to grips with her past and what happened the night the old world ended.  http://offworldnetwork.thirdscribe.com/

STEFAN BOLZ — The White Dragon

On the beaches of Long Island, dolphins swim to shore by the thousands to die. The people who try to help them become carriers of a disease that spreads across the island like wild fire:  a terror so deep, it cannot be cured. Induced by a temporary blindness, people begin to fall into a murderous rage, either killing others or themselves. The island is soon cut off from the main land and Martial Law is being declared. An eighteen-year-old girl holds the key to restore balance to a world that came apart at the seams. As she is being hunted by demonic forces who need what she has, she must accept her destiny and become the White Dragon — the weapon used to fight the ultimate war against evil. www.thethreefeathers.com or www.stefanbolz.thirdscribe.com

DANIEL ARTHUR SMITH — Title TBD

In 1904 Nikolai Tesla set out to prove that his three hundred foot Tesla Tower could wirelessly transmit power from the high cliffs of Shoreham, Long Island to Manhattan sixty miles away, and then ultimately worldwide.  The experiment began with a deafening hum, the walls began to vibrate, the odor of ozone soaked the air, and arcs of blue lightning streaked from the 50 ton steel sphere topping the towering electrical coil, ionizing the atmosphere, and triggering the birth of a mammoth deep purple arcus shelf cloud directly above, and then, as the hum went to crescendo, the massive dark cloud sucked into itself and the power of the tower went dead, prompting those at the time to believe the experiment failed.  One hundred and ten years later, the humongous deep purple arcus cloud appeared above the Empire State Building, in a sky already darkened from an oncoming storm, and with it, the acrid odor of ozone, the arcs of electric blue lighting, like those that had emanated from Tesla’s Coil, and something different, a cascade of power bubbling from the spire of the tall landmark building, expanding, visibly rippling the air and sending a tremor through midtown, across the island of Manhattan, and into the Boroughs beyond, blinding everyone in its path and leaving in its wake, havoc on the electrical grid and physical infrastructure, founts of water erupting from shattered hydrants, throngs of blinded panicked tourists electrocuted by the flaring explosions in Times Square, subway trains derailed above ground and below, and from beneath the huge saucer sized cloud, the East and Hudson rivers, and the Harbor, long monstrous tentacles blossom, in the misting parks, hideous, primitive, giant slug like creatures appear, and throughout the city, people blinded by the Event, are plagued by swarms of flying ribbon eels, with wide razor jaws.  Above ground the rain of the oncoming storm begins, and below, in the deepest, darkest, dankest, section of the city, large fist sized amoeba have appeared, that are hungry, hunting, and with each rat they consume, growing, slowly oozing their way up toward the surface. www.danielarthursmith.com

 

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I invite you to check out each author’s website and read their books. As for me, I very much look forward to spending time in this world and I can tell you from the conversations I’ve had that the other authors are bouncing off the walls for being involved in this project. Apocalypse Weird will, by definition, push the envelope of what’s possible in publishing today, becoming a pioneer in its genre and world building for years to come.

UPDATE!! Since this blog post was first published, this awesome trailer has become available. Check it out!!

 

 

If you would like to know more, about Apocalypse Weird publishing schedules and other news from the AW universe, please sign up for the newsletter. There are two ways of doing this. The best and easiest one is to get The Red King by Nick Cole, the first novel in the world of Apocalypse Weird. You can get it for FREE here. At the end of the book you’ll find a link to the newsletter sign-up form. Or you can go to www.apocalypseweird.com to sign up there. This site is a work in progress and content will become available on a daily basis.

Cheers and happy reading!

Stefan Bolz

 

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