Tag Archives: Apocalypse

Why The Mayans Never Predicted The End Of The World In 2012 (At Least No More Than Microsoft Does For 4500!)

19 Dec

Currently, there’s an urban myth circulating that the Mayans predicted the world would end the day after tomorrow (21st of December 2012). It’s so widely known that there was even a film based on it (called, rather unimaginatively, 2012). While I’m a fan of all things post-apocalyptic, I feel this apparent apocalyptic prediction has been taken too far. The truth is that the Mayans did no such thing. Rather, the calendar calculators of the mighty Mayan Empire, like almost every human on the planet, were a little bit lazy and just picked a random year to calculate their calendar until that they thought was far enough in the future that they figured there was plenty of time for someone else to fill in the next bit. The only reason this never happened was that the Mayan empire fell before anyone else took on the job of updating it. This means it’s not a prediction, it’s just a bureaucratic glitch cause by people trying to avoid having to do more work than they really needed to.

We find the same thing operating around us all the time, and you mightn’t need to look further than your own computer for a more modern example. The last date you can put an entry into the Microsoft Outlook Calendar is Tuesday, 31st August 4500. This doesn’t mean that Microsoft programmers have any special ability to predict the end of the world or that they think it will happen on that specific date. Rather, it just means that they are lazy enough to assume that someone else will have come along and updated their software by them, and in the process add in more dates further into the future.

So what will happen on the 21st? Nothing. No apocalypse. No zombie uprising. No end of the world. When the end of the world comes, it won’t be predicted by some random bureaucratic calculation made centuries before. Instead, it will most likely come out of the blue, taking us all by surprise and leaving us unable to do anything but fight just to stay alive.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

Why Too Much Choice Is Bad For Us

4 Dec

Advertisers, big business and politicians are always telling us that the more choices we have the better. This attitude seems to have gradually taken over into all aspects of our lives, from education to dating, to hair care, careers, cars and coffees. Yet, this isn’t how the human brain works. Yes, we’re programmed to try to make the best decision based on the choices that are available, but only when there are a small number of them and they are clearly different. These are the types of decisions we thrive on.  Should we eat this fruit or that one?  Should we hunt a small antelope that’s easy to catch but will only feed us for a day, or should we try for a bigger one that will be more difficult to kill, but will feed us for longer?

The problems start when the number of choices mount and the difference between them shrink towards insignificance. When this happens we’re left flummoxed. Which of the several million possible combinations of options for a single make of car is exactly right for us? Exactly which new flat screen TV will suit our lifestyle? What combination of sprinkles, frothy milk and bean-type should we have in our morning coffee to set us up for the day? With this amount of choice, we can never be certain we’ve made the one that really is best for us, and we’re left with nagging suspicions that we could have made a better one if only we’d spent longer trying to decide.

This leads to a type of choice paralysis, where we become transfixed as we try to work out exactly what the difference is between all the choices laid out before us, and so which will be best for us. You can see people stuck in this state almost everyday.  They’re the ones standing there with a glazed look on their face staring at the wall of televisions or the coffee-house menu board as they desperately try to work out which would be best for them. I’ve been there and done that, and I refuse to play this game anymore, it just makes me unhappy with whatever choice I eventually make.

In the past, I’ve found myself faced with a myriad of different shampoos, all of which seem to promise something slightly different, trying to decide wondering which was best for me, despite the niggling suspicion that which ever I choose will make little real difference to my rapidly receding hairline. Now, I just pick the first one that looks like it will be good enough and go with that. If it works, I’ll buy it again. If it doesn’t, I won’t. The same goes for televisions, computers and so on. When I’m out shopping for them, I’m make a list of the basic specifications I need, and know anything beyond that is purely an aesthetic or financial decision.  No longer do I stand there trying to work out whether some feature I’ll never use it worth the extra £20 on a sale price I can’t really afford anyway. Once I’ve made my purchase, I’ll stop looking there and then. I won’t keep on searching to see if I could have got something better for a lower price elsewhere, as I might have done in the past. Yes, this goes against the prevailing opinion as to what makes our lives better, but you know, I’m happier for it.

I wonder whether the fact that we’re now drowning in choices in almost everything we do in our everyday lives lies at the heart of the apparently ever-increasing popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction. When civilisation collapses, we’ll no longer have the luxury of choosing between cappuccinos, frappuccinos, espressos, skinny lattes and mochas. Coffee will quickly get back to just being coffee, that’s if we can find it (maybe with a bit of powered milk if we’re really lucky).  When the dead start to rise and walk the earth, life will be simpler.  There will be just two choices: Survive or die trying. Yes, it might be bleak, but there’s a certain simplicity to it that I think a lot of us find attractive, at least in comparison to the onslaught of pretty much meaningless choices we currently face each and every day.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

Preparing For Life A Post-Apocalyptic World

13 Nov

So you’re worried the world’s coming to an end. The Mayan calendar is quickly running out and everywhere you go people seem to be talking about Zombies. Even Brad Pitt’s getting in on the action with his upcoming film World War Z. But what can you do about it?  You could just sit there and panic, waiting for the next plague to sweep around the planet, but that’s not where the smart money is. You could try ignoring the signs and carry on as usual, but you’ll probably be one of the first to fall when the dead rise. Instead, why not try to prepare yourself a little. That way you’ll be ready when it happens, and even if it doesn’t, you’ll at least have picked up a few useful life skills. Here’s my top five things you can do to prepare yourself for when the apocalypse comes (and that will still prove be useful even if it doesn’t).

1. Do A Wilderness Survival Course: You don’t have to become the next Ray Mears, but it’ll at least mean you won’t starve when you have to flee the city and your supplies of canned food run out.  It also wouldn’t do any harm to know how to build shelters and set traps. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: Just knowing that you could survive if you suddenly found yourself in the middle of nowhere without all the comforts of the modern world is incredibly empowering and will boost your confidence in your everyday life.

2. Learn First Aid: When the apocalypse happens, the medical system will be one of the first things to fall. There will be no more 999 services, no more ambulances and no more casualty rooms. You’ll be on your own health-wise and you need to be able to cope.  I’m not talking about amputating limbs here (although if you can do it fast enough to stop that zombie bite on your leg spreading to the rest of your body this might be a good thing to know), just enough to be able to deal with the inevitable cuts, bruises and broken bones that will be part of your everyday struggle to survive. After all, what’s the point of escaping from those radioactive plague victims if you just end up dying of blood poisoning because you let a wound get infected. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: First aid is always a good skill to have, and who knows you might one day save someone’s life.

3. Learn Car Mechanics: Imagine the situation. There you are, trying to escape from the horde of Zombies that are heading your way but no matter how hard to try, your car won’t start.  You’ve only got a few minutes before they’ll be on your.  What do you do? Nowadays too many of us rely on phoning the AA (or AAA if you’re in America) when our cars break down and we no longer know how to fix them. Some people don’t even know how to change a burst tyre. Come the apocalypse, if you don’t know how to maintain and fix a car, you’ll be screwed. The solution, start learning now. Find out where the battery is on your car, how to change a fan-belt, how to fix the alternator, how to siphon fuel from one vehicle to another, how to strip an abandoned vehicle for spare parts. None of this is exactly rocket science and with a bit of practice these are things anyone could do. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t do any harm to know how to fix a generator too. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: It’s cheaper to fix you car yourself than pay someone else to do it, so you might end up saving yourself some money.

4. Take Up Parkour (Also Know As Free-Running): If you have to escape in an urban environment, what better skill can you have than parkour?  You’ll have seen people doing this on TV and in You Tube videos.  You may even have seen people doing it in real life, leaping from building to building, or from one stairwell to the next. Now’s the time to learn it for yourself.  It will allow you to move through the city in a way that others cannot, and this will dramatically improve your chances of surviving as you try to get out. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Beneficial. Real Life Benefits: It’ll help you keep fit and healthy, and let’s face it, it looks really cool.

5. Get Some Weapons Training: In the movies, it seems that anyone can pick up a gun and start pulling off perfect headshots, or grab a sword and instantly develop the skills of a samurai.  Reality is very different.  If you’re not trained to use a weapon, the chances are you’ll do more damage to yourself and your fellow survivors than to any attacking infected. I know this having once watched my sister just about blow the head off the guy who was firing clay pigeons for us because she got confused between whether the safety catch was off or on (he was ok, but rather shaken by the incident!). For this reason, I’d always advise anyone who doesn’t already know how to use a gun to stay well clear of them, even when facing the fall of civilisation as we know it. But, hang on, your survival chances would undoubtedly be better if you had guns, so what can you do about it? Get trained now. And don’t just learn to shoot. Learn how to clean a gun, how to maintain it, how to clear a jammed bullet and so on. Also remember guns might not always be available so learn other weapon skills too. Learn how to start a chain-saw, study Iaido (the Japanese art of drawing a sword and striking in a single fluid movement), take up a martial art, give archery a go, try firing a crossbow, anything that might help you survive. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: If you insist on being around weapons, it’s always safer if you actually know how to use them.

Remember these are just the bare essentials. There are many other skills out there that will increase your chances of survival, all of which you can start nurturing now. So step away from the keyboard, put down that Playstation controller, switch off the TV, and go out and learn something new. Even if the apocalypse never comes, your life will be better for it.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

The Trials And Tribulations Of Selecting Readers For Your Writing (And How You Can Use This To Help Identify Those Who Can Help You Survive The Zombie Apocalypse!)

28 Oct

The role of the reader is extremely important to any author. Readers provide feedback at the early stages of a novel’s development on things like whether the characters are believable, if the plot lines connect properly and whether the overall story arc works. Yet finding good readers can be very difficult. The most important thing an author needs from their readers is honesty. There is nothing worse than getting a response from a reader who clearly doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you something isn’t working. It’s a waste of their time, and yours. So how do you go about getting readers that will give you good feedback? Well, here’s some advice from my own experience.

Firstly, finding good readers often involve a bit of trial and error. All writers know that some bits of their early drafts are a bit dodgy. If you want to find out if someone is a good potential reader, get them to check out a bit of your writing that you know isn’t working. If they come back with a gushingly positive review, you know they are just trying to spare your blushes and there is no point in using them any further. If they tell you it’s crap, hold onto them for all you’re worth. You know they will provide you with honest feedback.

Secondly, if a reader passes this first test, be very specific about what aspects you would like you them to comment on. Too often, you will find that if you aren’t you won’t get the response you want. This is particularly important if you are you are wanting feedback from experts about a specific aspect of your story. For example, if you want an opinion on a specific medical procedure from a doctor, you need to tell them specifically that this is what you want. Otherwise you will find that your medical expert will give you comments on your grammar, or typos, which is not what you want (and may indeed not be their strong point!).

Thirdly, give readers a specific date to get feedback back to you. If you don’t you will find that reading and commenting on your writing will slip down their list of priorities. If they don’t get back to you on time, you need to find someone else. After all, they are mostly doing this for free so you can’t demand that they do it by a specific time that works for you.

Fourthly, select twice as many possible readers as you actually want feedback from. As a general rule, fifty percent of your readers will not get back to you in time, or indeed ever. In my own experience, I’ve found that family members are probably the worst possible readers, closely followed by friends and partners, unless you are secure enough in your relationships with them that they will be truly honest with you. For the first draft of my first book, I showed it to my girlfriend and she avoided me for several days. It turned out that she hated it and didn’t want to tell me. However, the feedback I eventually got out of her was brilliant and helped to improve it beyond all expectations. Our relationship survived this and she is now always my first port of call for running things passed, but this is only because I know she will give me honest feedback and she knows I won’t take it personally (I can separate off criticism of my writing from criticism of me as a person – this is a lesson many writers can benefit from).

Interestingly, I come from an academic background where peer-review is the norm. This means I am used to getting honest, blunt and indeed, sometimes deeply biased and insulting feedback on my writing (I have effectively been told to burn in hell for even conceiving of a paper let alone daring to write it on several occasions). But this also means that I know my academic colleagues will not pull any punches when I give them some of my fiction writing to read. They, in turn, know I will not take it personally because they have made much worse criticism to my face of my academic work (some justified, some not – but I’d just failed to provide all the supporting information).

My academic background provides me with not only access to people I know will be bluntly honest, but also with experts in a variety of fields that make them useful readers. These are the types of people who can provide valuable feedback on subject areas such as how diseases spread, the latest information on molecular biological research, or what governments are likely to do when faced with an outbreak of an unbeatable virus (I write in the post-apocalyptic genre after all).

A lot of them also work in the field, meaning that they have odd, but useful, skill sets like how to fix engines, how to sail boats, or indeed (in one case) what to do in the event of a polar bear attack. As I only realised when I started running my book passed them and they started giving me very good feedback (and indeed picking holes in my proposed survival strategies), this means these people not only make good readers who can give you honest and relevant feedback, but they would be pretty handy people to know if and when the zombie apocalypse ever happens. I’d certainly try to ensure they were part of my post-apocalyptic survival group.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

My Sound Track For The Apocalypse

23 Oct

Firstly, don’t get confused between the title of this posting and the album by the band Slayer that has a similar name, my point here is somewhat different. Mainly, I was thinking about this the other day while I was writing my next book, what are the songs that when you hear them make you think of apocalyptic, or even post-apocalyptic, situations. These are the ones that make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when you hear them, and especially when you listen to the lyrics. For me, these are (in no particular order) my sound track for the apocalypse:

 1. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (album) by the Flaming Lips: Described as a futuristic soundtrack to a movie that never existed, who can not be moved by the lyrics of, amongst other songs, Do You Realise?

 2. War Of The Worlds (album) by Jeff Wayne: Again a soundtrack to something that didn’t exist, this was Jeff Wayne’s interpretation of H.G. Wells War Of The Worlds. The voice of Richard Burton really adds to the atmosphere, but it is songs like Forever Autumn that really make it.  Try driving through the highlands of Scotland listening to it, the landscape adds considerably to the experience.

 3. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.: It’s happy-go-lucky pop tune, but still it’s the one we all think of when someone mentions the end of the world. Popular at the turn of the Millennium when people were worrying about the Y2K bug, you can’t say that it wouldn’t be the tune (if not the sentiment) going through your head as you watched the world burn around you.

 4. Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground) by Mike and The Mechanics: This is an odd one. It should be cheesy pop music but if you listen to the lyrics, they’re pretty apocalyptic.  For example: ‘Take the children and yourself, And hide out in the cellar, by now the fighting will be close at hand, ‘Don’t believe the church and state. And everything they tell you, Believe in me, I’m with the high command.’ or ‘There’s a gun and ammunition, just inside the doorway. Use it only in emergency.  Better you should pray to God, The Father and the Spirit will guide you and protect from up here.

 5. Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner: This is a widely used piece of classical music, but I’m particularly thinking of the way it was used in the film Apocalypse Now.  It creates a certain atmosphere, with people facing up to their potential death.  While Vietnam (and the incursions into Laos and Cambodia) wasn’t really the apocalypse, for those involved it probably felt that way.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

Infected, Zombies And Triffids

20 Oct

In the world of For Those In Peril On The Sea, the survivors are kept from the land by humans infected with a mutant form of the rabies virus that turns those infected with it into violent and cannibalistic killers. While they have much in common with zombies, and while For Those In Peril On The Sea could be considered a ‘zombie’ book, the infected are quite different.

Zombies are, by definition, humans that have risen from the dead. This means that they are not living creatures, and are subject to rot and decay. Also, traditionally they can only be killed by damaging the remnants of the brain, making them difficult to dispatch. Zombies are also usually portrayed as slow and shambling, and their greatest weapon is sheer mass of numbers rather than speed of attack.

Infected, by contrast, are still alive. While they don’t feel pain, they can be killed in the same way as any other human. They also need to eat to sustain their bodies and are at risk of starvation if them don’t. Infected are generally also capable of fast, almost super-human speed, and they can be thought of as humans with the brakes taken off.  This speed is often their key to success when they attack humans, although they may also win by over-running them with superior numbers.

With the advent of fast zombies in recent years, the difference between infected and zombies has narrowed somewhat. This is often attributed to the file 28 Days Later, but the fast ‘zombies’ in it were actually people infected by the rage virus, so this attribution is incorrect. However, whether fast or slow, there is one thing that zombies and infected have in common. This is that they are not capable of rational thought and instead are driven by internal desires (to eat brains in the case of zombies and to attack and kill in the case of infected), and this is enough to unite them into a single ‘zombie’ genre.

The distinction between infected and zombies within post-apocalyptic literature and films, is often not clear-cut, and they range from those that are clearly infected (as in For Those In Peril On The Sea or 28 Days Later) to those that are traditional undead zombies (as in World War Z). Other examples that fall somewhere between these extremes.  For example, in the TV series The Walking Dead, people are infected with something that means they come back as zombies when they die. Therefore, they could be considered both infected and zombies. However, its worth noting that the infection seems to remain dormant until people die.

The most common reason for a book or a film to feature some form of infected rather than true zombies is that the writer wants to explain why people become like they do. In traditional zombie stories, there is often little or no reference to what has cause the dead to come back to life.  When a reference is made, it is often vague. Instead the emphasis is usually on the horror elements of attacks and fleeing from pursuing zombies. This usually puts them firmly within the wider horror genre. In contrast, when infected are featured, the exact cause is usually specified and is a key element of the story itself. For example, in 28 Days Later, the rage virus, its origins within a scientific lab, effect on people, the length of time it takes to turn someone and how it is transmitted are all clearly defined and form key elements in the story. The same is true of the genetically modified rabies virus within For Those In Peril On The Sea.  The emphasis in these books and films is usually on survival and they often follow one person or a small group of people.  As such, they are usually more character driven than those that feature traditional zombies. This usually puts these stories within the post-apocalyptic science fiction genre rather than in horror.  In other words, the real difference between infected stories and zombie stories are not in the creatures that humans become, but rather how much we are told about why and how well we get to know the characters within them. In this respect, zombies and infected can generally be considered as being inter-changeable.

However, not all infected within post-apocalyptic books and films are analogous to zombies. For example, in the original book of I Am Legend (and not the recent film as it shared little it common with it but the title), the infected could never be confused with zombies. They are intelligent and capable of rational thinking rather than irrational, unthinking beings.  Similarly, infected and zombies are not necessarily the only interchangeable creatures in post-apocalyptic stories. The plants that take over the world in Day Of The Triffids have many characteristics of zombies. In particular, they are slow-moving and can be dealt with one on one (as long as you’re not blind that is), it is when they appear en masse that they can over-run almost any human defences.  In this respect, you could replace then with zombies or infected and the story told would remain pretty much the same. This proposition is supported by the fact that this is what happened with 28 Days Later, which is almost scene for scene a homage to the original Day Of The Triffids book but with rage victims replacing the eponymous predatory plants.

This means that while some cite George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead as the first story in the modern zombie genre, Day Of The Triffids represents an earlier example of this type of story, and so it has a greater claim to being the father of the genre. This discussion, however, is rather academic. When the apocalypse comes and you’re running for your life, it makes little difference whether the creatures pursuing you are infected, zombies or triffids. Whatever they are, the chances are they will get you in the end.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

My Top Ten Post-Apocalyptic Stories

19 Oct

Since my upcoming book For Those In Peril On The Sea is a post-apocalyptic novel, I thought I would put together my top ten post-apocalyptic stories. These have not necessarily influenced my own writing, they are just the ones I like best.  Here they are in descending order:

10. Dawn Of The Dead (2004 film remake rather than the 1978 original): Proving that a remake can, on rare occasions, be better than the original.  The inclusion of fast zombies upped the action, and the rather bleak ending for those who stayed through the credits was a nice touch. This is also probably the first true ‘fast’ zombie movie – or at least the first major one (see later entries for more on this).

9. Children Of Men (2006 film): An interesting take on the post-apocalyptic world.  There’s no big threat (no aliens, zombies, killer viruses, terrorists, nuclear bombs or diseases), just human infertility.  It emphasises how little it could take to tip the civilisation that humans always seem so proud of over the edge.

8. Zombieland (2009 film): Really great tongue-in-cheek zombie movie.  Stands up well as a story in its own right, as well as poking fun at zombie films in general. Great cameo by Bill Murray too.

7. Kraken Awakes (1953 book): One of two John Wyndham books on my list.  This one is a slow burn, building tension as unseen aliens invade the Earth and try to take over.  There are some really nice bits that appear to predict modern environmental concerns, including the melting of the ice caps and sea level rises.

6. I Am Legend (the 1954 book, and definitely not the 2007 film of the same name): One of the original post-apocalyptic stories, and an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic situation. It poses the interesting question: If you are the only one left unaffected by a global disease outbreak, is it you that is no longer normal?

5. Dead Set (2008 TV series): Written by Charlie Brooker, this one came out of nowhere. I think it is fair to say that there has been nothing like this before, but then again before about 2000, its basic setting (that of the TV series Big Brother), didn’t exist either. It is as much a critique of modern society, and especially reality TV shows, as it is about surviving a zombie outbreak, but it’s still a great zombie story in its own right.

4. Shaun Of The Dead (2004 film): Simon Pegg, the writer of this film, described this as a Zom-Rom-Com. It manages to be a great contribution to the zombie genre as well as a good comedy, a critique of the modern world and a homage to classic zombie movies.

3. War Of The Worlds (1898 book, or indeed Jeff Wayne’s 1978 album, but definitely not the 2005 film of the same name): This is the grand-daddy of all post-apocalyptic stories and one that is still worth reading today. While I’m usually not a fan of alien invasion stories, but this one works for me.

2. 28 Days Later (2002 film): In many ways, this movie rejuvenated both the post-apocalyptic genre and the zombie sub-genre.  Credited with being the first modern movie to use ‘fast’ rather than ‘slow’ zombies, the enemies in this aren’t actually zombies, but instead are infected, since they were not really dead.  In many ways it’s a homage to the number one on my list.

1. Day Of The Triffids (1951 book, or 1981 TV series, definitely not the 1962 Hollywood film, or the 2009 TV mini-series): Head and shoulders above any other post-apocalyptic stories (at least in my opinion), and the one that set the standard that so few have even come close to since.  The premise of moving, flesh-eating plants as enemies sounds so bad, yet it works so well, but that is because they are only bit-part players in an ensemble cast of threats that include blindness, disease and different groups of humans with different ideas competing to try and survive. It emphasises how fragile human society is, and how easy it can call apart.  It also proceeded modern worries about genetic engineering by almost half a century.

So that’s my top ten, but there are a few close runners-up that only just missed out. These include: The Mad Max series of films, Twelve Monkeys (film), Dying To Live (book), World War Z (book and upcoming film, hopefully), 28 Weeks Later (film), Doomsday (film), The Walking Dead (TV series), and, rather controversially, Waterworld (film).

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK, and available as an ebook and in print in the US from the 21st March 2013. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.