Win a Kindle Fire in the Voss and Edwards ‘All Fall Down’ Treasure Hunt
When Mark Edwards asked me if I would like to take part in this Treasure Hunt I was more than happy to. This is a very exciting competition where one lucky person WILL win a brand new Kindle Fire. Three lucky runners-up win a signed copy of ‘Catch Your Death’ and ‘All Fall Down’.
So how does this treasure hunt work? Click on the link for further information:-
Below is Mark and Louise’s latest blog post. You will find the question at the end of it.
My Five Favourite Killer Virus Books and Films
Am I the only person who spends a lot of time imagining what life would be like following a globe-shattering, population-decimating cataclysm? From the time I first read Day of the Triffids up to and including recent speculative novels like The Road and The Passage, I always put myself in the story and imagine what I would do were the world to suddenly end. Of course, the likelihood is that I would be one of the first to cop it, but I like to think that I, along with my family, would be one of the few survivors, and would have great fun driving borrowed sports cars down abandoned motorways, moving into the swankiest house in town and helping myself to the finest wines known to man. I would miss telly though.
When I grew up in the seventies and eighties, the most likely cause of global catastrophe was nuclear war. Now, it’s a global pandemic. Perhaps as a result, killer viruses have featured in lots of books and movies over the years, including our own new one, All Fall Down. Of course, if you only read one killer virus novel it should be that one, but here are my five favourite virus novels and films. Now, where did I put that hand sanitizer?
1. The Stand – Stephen King
Published way back in 1978, The Stand is still my favourite King book. As you almost certainly know, it’s the story of a great battle between good and evil following a killer virus called Captain Trips thatwipes out most of the American (and, we assume, the world’s) population. The brilliance of The Stand lies in its multiple strands, first detailing the slow outbreak, then the world left behind as characters, good and bad, are drawn by visions to Phoenix or Las Vegas, ready for the ultimate showdown. The scene in which one of the characters escapes New York through the Lincoln Tunnel – choked with dead bodies and cars – will remain with me forever. The ending isn’t amazing, but the ride is thrilling and gripping and if you haven’t read it you should set aside a few weeks to do so immediately.
2. The Andromeda Strain – Michael Crichton
Crichton is perhaps the best known exponent of the science thriller, fusing scientific research with pulsating action, but he only wrote one virus novel. In The Andromeda Strain a virus arrives from space and scientists must race to find a cure before it spreads and wipes out humankind. It’s a highly technical book, lacking some of the thrilling action of Crichton’s later work, but it remains a classic of its kind.
Louise and I have it on good authority that every New Year’s Eve, the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control gather to watch Outbreak, finding it hugely entertaining, partly because it’s so far-fetched. Dustin Hoffman is the man responsible for saving California when a monkey brings the deadly Motoba virus to the US. Motoba is, of course, an Ebola clone, and the town of Cedar Creek has to be quarantined…but can Dustin save the town from being bombed to prevent the spread of the virus? It’s all highly entertaining even if it isn’t very realistic.
Contagion is a more soberversion of Outbreak. It’s a very good film, well-researched, and with a fantastic cast, but it lacks authenticity. We didn’t watch Contagion until we had finished the first draft of All Fall Down, but I found it very frustrating that the vaccine for the virus was found so easily, with no explanation. I wanted to know how they developed the vaccine. I wanted to see the scientists solving the puzzle. In All Fall Down, we made the hunt for the cure for our virus central to the plot, and although I think Contagion is a fascinating film, it could have done with some more puzzle-solving action.
OK, it’s a TV series so I’m cheating a little, but I absolutely loved Survivors, a BBC drama that was cruelly cancelled after two seasons. In Survivors most of the UK is wiped out by a virus, but a few people are immune and the series follows one such group as they struggle to live in the new empty world. There is also an underground lab where a group of scientists are trying to find a cure – and a shadowy organization that unleashed the disease in the first place.
I am still gutted that the Beeb axed it after two series. I want to know what happened after Max Beesley got on that plane! Perhaps we should start a campaign to bring it back. I’ll write it! Come on BBC…