Fungoid

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.

For fans of John Wyndham, William Hope Hodgson and H P Lovecraft, here’s a wee homage to a lot of the things I’ve loved since childhood.

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 cataloging the plant fossil collection in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, and I had an abortive attempt at doing a PhD in the causes of rot in apples as they ripen.

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 ( you can read that one–> here. ) It was the 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 another, accompanying, image came – a man in a HAZMAT suit, with nothing inside that was remotely human, just creeping filaments and bursting spores.

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

Plot

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.

A band of survivors on the Eastern coast of Canada watch as their world falls and crumbles to ruin. The infection seems relentless. More than that, it seems to be learning, adapting and evolving faster than they can fight it. Worse still—it is infecting not just their bodies, but is creeping into their minds, dancing in their dreams.

Can they stop it before it takes them?

Or must they all join in the final dance of death?

Reviews


Fungoid is a fast paced ecohorror thriller that delivers on all fronts. The large cast of characters combined with Meikle's tight plotting and a keen eye for dialogue bring a real cinematic feel to the narrative. By focusing more on the fast based plot rather than getting bogged down by over characterisation Meikle has created a real page-turner. - GINGER NUTS OF HORROR

Lightning fast, engaging and thouroughly entertaining. - Unnerving Magazine

The end result is a deeply entertaining piece of writing which takes a number of well-established tropes and characters and moulds them into something new. - Dark Musings

Recommended for fans of fast paced, plague spreading, biological menaces! - Char's Horror Corner

Do you like campy horror? Immersively weird apocalyptic scenarios? Star-crossed lovers in impossibly disgusting situations? Then this book is for you. - Bookshot at Litreactor

Above all else in my love of the horror genre, I cherish implacability. Prolific and accomplished author William Meikle masterfully delivers this element; in fact, I consider it one of his trademarks. In FUNGOID, a story determined to keep you wide-eyed awake, he brings together a seemingly natural process, adds the suspicion of human meddling, and a frisson of supernaturalism. Together, I raced through the pages as fast as my Kindle could handle - The Haunted Reading Room

Fungoid is a definite, must-read for fans of the horror genre, especially if you’re looking for a new way of approaching the end of the world. - The Ghastly Grimoire

These types of plague/invasion novels are usually fun but Meikle has made his story an especially neat treat of science fiction suspense and horror. - The Novel Pursuit

If you’re looking for a compelling end of the world read or have even the slightest interest in sci-fi and horror, then this satisfying read is a must. - The Most Sublime

Fungoid is a quick, breezy, expertly paced, and well-crafted story. Couple this with an intriguing doomsday premise and you've got yourself a brisk read. - Michael Patrick Hicks

I find myself loving a book that can take a premise that I’ve read 20 different things about and do it in a new and intriguing way. - Brian's Book Blog

Fungoid is a survival horror tale somewhat reminiscent of John Wyndham's cozy catastrophres, although there's nothing cozy about it. It's Fungin' great!. - Dangerous Dan's Book Blog