Kevin shouldn’t be writing this. And you shouldn’t be reading
it. After all, reading is now a crime–and for good reason. After the Coma
Outbreak, everyone knows what happens to people who read. Their eyes slam
shut. And they never get out of their desks again.
About the Author
Patrick Hueller is the author of several award-winning books for young
readers, sometimes under the pen name “Paul Hoblin.” Foul, a
horror book, was a YALSA Quick Pick and was described by Booklist as
“unbearably tense.” The Beast was a School Library Journal
selection. Archenemy made the ALA’s Rainbow Book List. Wolf High and
The Wish were on SLJ’s list for “Accessible Reads for Struggling
Reluctant Readers.” He is also the author of the middle grade series
Stu Stories, which Geoff Herbach (author of Stupid Fast and Hooper) said
“hit[s] on pretty much every topic I cared about when I was a kid
(love, Jedis, severed legs, etc.). His most recent book is Kirsten
Howard’s Biggest Fan, a YA book published by INtense Publications that
National Book Award finalist Charles Baxter called “beautifully
written, with a concert-hall perfect pitch for speech and idiom and ways of
In a freshly lawless New England in the dead of winter
A bloodied and barefoot 17-year-old, grieving the loss of her father,
trudges around a smoldering pileup on the road out of town. She’s
endeavoring the 120 mile trek to her only living family member through
A once kind-hearted lumberjack splits a teenager’s nose in half with
the rim of a metal gas can. Since the day his family was slaughtered before
his eyes, he’s been consumed with an undying fury that can only be
quelled through acts of violence…
A two-time college-dropout, trying to do good, howls in agony as her face
is slashed with a razor-blade. The crackhead who did the deed is taking back
her five-year-old child who the drop-out was trying to protect after finding
him abandoned in a dumpster…
Anyone wishing to live must harden and adapt to the new rules of a world
post-fall of polite. This dangerous new world will make you into a
survivor… or a corpse.
That reminded Maria to check in on Stacey. Their calls had to be quick since her dad didn’t like her using her cellphone, but they had stayed in contact anyway. Maria was dismayed by the panic and urgency in her voice.
‘Hey, Maria, I can’t talk.’
‘Are you all right?’
‘I, uh- I don’t know.’
The pastor’s voice boomed behind Stacey, ‘I said no phone calls! They’re listening!’
‘Maria, I gotta go-’ Stacey’s dad yanked the phone from her hand and slammed it off the living room floor. He stomped on it until his heel cracked the screen and the display went dead.
Stacey ran to her mom and sister on the other side of the room. The pounding at the front door had developed from one fist to a half-dozen. Shadows of men and weapons moved about on the other side of the frosted glass window set in the door.
The pastor looked to the silhouettes, then to his wife. ‘Bring them upstairs.’
‘Honey, I don’t thi-’
‘Do it! All of you! Get up there and pray!’
As the rest of the family hurried upstairs, pastor Prendergast went for his gun. The shadows outside his door howled as he yanked open the closet and put the combination into his lockbox.
‘Open up, pastor Aaron!’
‘Let us in!’
‘We know you’re in there!’
The pastor pulled his snub-nosed revolver out of the box and loaded it just like the guy in the store taught him. He aimed the gun toward the frosted glass with a shaky hand.
‘Unlock the door, pastor Aaron!’
‘We know you’ve got three ripe pussies locked up in there!’
‘It ain’t fair, man!’
‘Yeah! You’ve gotta share, pastor Aaron!’
The pastor lowered his gun, knowing what he truly needed to do, and knowing exactly how hard it would be.
The frosted glass shattered and the sweaty, white-trash men outside jostled for position, all trying to reach through the small aperture at once.
The pastor made his way upstairs. He joined his family in the master bedroom and was relieved to find them on their knees praying as he had instructed. There was a distant rumble and the house shook underneath them. The lights flickered on and off in the overheard lamp, the fan spun wildly, and the whole chandelier began to sway on its hanging chain.
Stacey rose to her feet. ‘Dad, what are you doing?’
The lights pulsated like lightning, rising and falling in intensity. The brutes downstairs burst through the front door, hollering excitedly.
‘Keep praying.’ The pastor said, preparing for the act to come. He did the sign of the cross twice in a row.
‘This is not our world anymore.’
And as the words left the pastor’s lips he raised the gun to the back of his wife’s head. ‘You’ll see each other in heaven.’ He knew he wouldn’t be able to join them but for this mercy. ‘Goodbye.’
He pulled the trigger and the gun let out a deafening blast. He watched as blood coated the bedroom wallpaper an instant before his wife’s head smashed through it. He forced his eyes to the swinging, pulsing chandelier above the bed as his children screamed. He pivoted his arm and fired again. The tandem screams became a solo performance as Stacey hit the floor, silenced. Letting the tears flow, pastor Prendergast pivoted once more and punctuated poor little Polly’s screams with another gunshot.
The intruders made it to the bedroom doorway just in time to see the pastor bring the revolver to the underside of his chin and the squeeze the trigger one final time. The ceiling fan spread his displaced brains across the room.
About the Author
Sam Kench is a 23-year-old writer and independent filmmaker. His
screenplays and short films have been awarded by festivals and competitions
around the world. In 2014 he was named one of the top defenders of free
speech by the National Coalition Against Censorship. He grew up in New
England and spent years exploring many of the locations that found their way
into the novel. He now resides in Los Angeles. ‘The Fall of
Polite’ is his debut novel.
DA VINCI’S SECRET PALES. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Adam fresco in the Sistine Chapel. Eve did not cause the fall of man. She carried a far more devastating secret for millennia—one that will change the world forever.
As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt,” Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation.
Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.
K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at far-flung airports around the globe. He currently resides on the East Coast of the United States with his family.
The thrilling sequel to Rijel 12: The Rise of New Australia.
A planet on the verge of destroying itself. A young woman determined to stop it before all is lost.
Ten years have passed since Earth invaded. The volcanic blast that turned the tide of the war has changed the face of the planet forever. What was once a scorched wasteland has been quenched by frequent rains. Farms now cover the surface. The citizens of New Australia have thrived.
Anarchy, the flagship of the resistance thought lost during the war, suddenly returns. To Admiral Slout and his crew, it’s only been 6 months since the raid on Star fantasy. But on New Australia, seventeen years have passed, and much has changed. The pirates struggle to reintegrate into a society with rules and laws. Unfortunately that’s not all.
The Anarchy brought something back with it. Something more dangerous than anyone could have expected. With the planet on the verge of civil war and leadership in disarray, can anyone stop New Australia from tearing itself apart?
From Chapter One, THE PORTAL:
“Mr. Brilly … do we have confirmation yet?”
Admiral Slout Epydidimus had just returned to the command bridge and was seated in his captain’s chair onboard the Naustie flagship Anarchy. This had been specially made for him after the former freighter had been captured following the riot at New Australia Planetary Prison. Originally designed for humans – and with Admiral Snout being a pig-like Suidonji – it had to be altered to accommodate his form. He was addressing Ensign Frilbriliram who had been awaiting word as to whether the ship’s science officer had given the green light.
His science team had been working nonstop for the past twenty hours. They’d studied the area and discovered conditions were right for the existence of a wormhole, a space anomaly that most considered theoretical at best. The idea of actually travelling through one had been routinely dismissed over the centuries. The concept of a ‘space portal’ was an old one; and to ship captains more legend than reality. A thousand years ago wormholes had been proposed by a revered scientist back on Earth. That being said, few outside the literary community ever imagined one being traversed.
Not knowing how far behind their pursuers were; not to mention whether the enemy were gaining on them, the only option seemed to be in taking a detour, even though they’d taken one already and it had cost them. Landing on Kapteyn B had been necessary of course. They’d had to offload female prisoners from the Chengshi. Jettisoning them into space was not something Admiral Slout was willing to do. Changing direction wouldn’t cut it – they were being tracked and had been for quite some time. Once within firing range they’d be obliterated. It was preferable to find some way to conceal their location for a time. Disappearing inside of a wormhole – at least to Admiral Slout and his command staff – sounded immensely appealing. Not that Minggatu didn’t have a point.
True, the ship’s spectrometer had picked up on the anomaly; but that shouldn’t have seemed unusual. They’d been running for their lives for some time now; had activated their warheads in order to provide extra speed – thus setting up a harmonic field which caused a subspace field to be generated. This had illuminated a corridor and the spectrometer had identified a passage parallel to the ship. Minggatu, a soft-spoken Mongolian, tried explaining this when it had first occurred. Admiral Slout only heard what he wanted to hear; especially when his first officer alerted him to the opportunity. Did they have the technology to “open the door” and thus “disappear” entirely? That’s all he’d wanted to know. If successful – if they truly could burrow through the fabric of space and survive to the other side – the Interplanetary Fleet would have no idea where they’d gone. Minggatu thought it to be foolhardy.
“Admiral, you need to realize – or do you already know just how risky this would be? We won’t have any idea what’s on the other side. Even if we can force it open … even if we do manage to keep it open long enough to pass through. You know this, right?” That’s how he’d explained himself – trying not to be insubordinate, yet being as honest as he possibly could.
“A wormhole, just so we’re understanding each other, they’re only theoretical – a passage through space-time that supposedly creates a shortcut between two points in the universe. Yes, they’re predicted by the theory of general relativity but nothing more. Predicted; not verified. And according to Einstein-Rosen theory there is serious danger of collapse, not to mention high radiation.”
Slout did not interrupt. He’d learned when it came to subordinates expressing expert opinions that it was wiser to let them speak their minds. If they rattled on long enough they’d often end up talking themselves into whatever was proposed. That was always best. Minggatu had plenty to say.
“The first problem is size, sir. You see, primordial wormholes are predicted to exist on microscopic levels – centimeters wide at the most. Sure, as the universe has evolved, it is possible – remotely possible mind you – that some may have grown. The universe is constantly expanding. But the main issue is stability. Even Einstein himself never considered them as a means of traveling from one galaxy to another because they collapse quickly. That is, we believe they do.”
But that’s where Slout had him. It was merely a matter of making the argument that the Anarchy’s warp drive was predicated on the creation of non-baryonic matter. He too knew a thing or two about interstellar travel. Had to. He’d been a ship’s captain for many years; was a smuggler before he was sent to prison. Offered a “deal” if he’d identify the mobsters he was working for, he’d wisely chosen ten years at New Australia Planetary Prison rather than cooperating with investigators. If only he would have, he might have gotten off with a suspended sentence but Slout was too smart. The mob would have killed him for doing something like that.
“Yes,” the admiral replied, pretending to be ill-informed. “I’ve heard of this. We would need some form of exotic matter, I believe it’s called, in order to hold it open long enough for us to pass through.”
“That’s right, Admiral. You were told correctly,” Minggatu observed. “And it’s not clear whether such a thing exists in great enough quantity within the natural realm. True, it could work in keeping the portal open while traversing one end to the other, but ….”
“But what?” said the ship captain. He could sense that his science officer knew the answer. The trick was in getting him to admit it.
“Well, sir, it’s just that such matter … exotic matter … has only been discovered while in certain vacuum states as part of quantum theory. Those experiments are – I mean they’ve only been conducted in a controlled laboratory environment.”
Slout decided it was time to turn the screws. What had always been believed – though never attempted in space – was that exotic matter contained negative energy density and large negative pressure. If it could be “created” in a lab, why couldn’t it be done now using the same technology they already had onboard?
“I see. And do we not have a laboratory onboard this ship?” asked Slout. “Do we not already have the necessary facilities to accomplish this?”
“Accomplish what, Admiral?” asked Minggatu; being extra careful not to sound flippant. The ship’s commander wasn’t just his superior officer; he was also a massive Suidonji, fully capable of snapping the man’s neck if he wanted to. Still, he could sense what his commander was driving at and it made him terribly uneasy. Slout, for his part, was done playing cat and mouse with the disgraced former college professor. What the little fellow really needed was to see the bigger picture; and Slout was happy to enlighten him. After a pause he stood up from the small table they were seated at and snorted menacingly, placing his front hooves on the surface and glaring at him.
“Perhaps it is me who should be doing the explaining. We’re being chased, Minggatu … and by a force fully capable of not only destroying us but everyone – every living soul on New Australia. It is what it is, but you need to understand just what’s at stake here. We’ve been running from the IPF for quite some time – and to be honest, we may never see our home planet again. But if we can elude them long enough, who knows what could happen? All we know is that we’re alive today … and you, my friend, can see to it we’re still that way tomorrow.”
He then grinned his typical grin – it looked more like a smirk. Not well-known for his humor he raised a thick eyebrow and waited for the science officer’s response. Like any good leader he knew when he’d made his point; what’s more he knew when to stop talking and let his subordinate process what had been said. Say too much and it allowed time for devising a comeback. Say just enough – make it clear what was required of the man – that’s all he wished to do. Either way it was a direct order he was giving; whether implied or stated.
“Figure it out,” he added, in order to remove all doubt what he was demanding. This he did while raising up and placing his hooves on his hips. Minggatu realized this meant it was the end of the meeting. Slout was done with him for now. He’d either produce the results they needed in order to escape through the wormhole or die right along with the rest of his fellow crewmen. Might be days – weeks – hours later once the Interplanetary Fleet caught up with them; but they would.
“Yes Admiral,” was all he said in reply.
About the Author
King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013, when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full length novel. King lives in Denver, Colorado with his lovely wife Caroline and has two grown children. He’s a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby; and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.
Every attempt to contain the deadly AM13 virus has failed, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction…
The plague is spreading out of control with no cure in sight. Then the government announces its new plan—a sanctuary in an area completely untouched by the infected—as long as you can get there alive and unscathed.
Ethan Watton has managed to survive this long, even with OCD making every day more hellish than it already is…
Ethan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically affected his life before the infection began. Now he’s desperate to get as far away from the zombie virus as humanly possible. Isolated and afraid, Ethan thinks there is no way in hell he will survive the epidemic.
Alyssa Turner has spent her teenage years prepping for the undead to challenge her zombie killing skills…
Alyssa knows with absolute certainty that she will survive the AM13 virus. She’s read all the books, watched all the films, and done all the research. She’s strong, tough, and a self-proclaimed badass. Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her…until the unthinkable makes her doubt every skill she’s acquired.
Dr. Jones is a scientist who doesn’t understand why he was selected to produce a cure…
Surely there are survivors more experienced in virology than he is. And what will happen to him—and the rest of the species—if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders? Or are there others working toward the same goal?
With the zombies multiplying and survivors struggling to make it to the sanctuary, Ethan, Alyssa, and Dr. Jones fight to fulfill their destinies. If they fail, their fate is sealed, and they will join the millions of others who have been…
Other Books in the AM13 Outbreak Series:
AM13 Outbreak Series, Book One
Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…
With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.
When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…
The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.
That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…
Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?
She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…
Writing books about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse is one thing—but Georgie Blake can’t believe it has become her reality…
She never expected her fictional stories of blood, death, and the consumption of human flesh to jump off the page into the real world. She certainly didn’t think she’d survive this long if they had. As a shy novelist, she was sure she’d be one of the first to die.
Safe in the Sanctuary, Georgie holds on to hope for a cure…
But that’s not all she holds on to. The government has promised the people of the Sanctuary that they can return home. The rumours are rife that there is an antidote on the horizon. But even if not, the infected are dying out, throwing the treacherous AM13 virus to the brink of extinction. If the infection dies out, this horrible nightmare Georgie is living in will be a distant memory.
Until everything that’s right goes terribly wrong…
Soon after meeting some new friends in the Sanctuary, Georgie learns she’s going to have to face the monsters outside the walls if she wants to return to her old life. But for a scared, introverted bookworm, it may be too much to consider…
Will Georgina conquer her fears of the dead to return home, or will she be one of the countless others who have gone Extinct?