The Invasion

THE INVASION reached no 2 in both Kindle SF and Kindle Horror and has sold over 20,000 copies.

I nearly didn't bother writing it.

The first science fiction I ever encountered was Fireball XL5, one of the early Gerry Anderson productions. I was only about four years old, but I was hooked immediately on spaceships and adventure in the stars.

I grew up during the exciting part of the space race, staying up nights to watch space-walks then moon missions, eyes wide in wonder as Armstrong made his small step.

At the same time Gerry Anderson had continued to thrill me, with Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. The Americans joined in, with Lost in Space then, as color TV reached Scotland, Star Trek hit me full between the eyes.

Also at the same time, my reading was gathering pace. I'd started on comics early with Batman and Superman. As the '60s drew to a close, Marvel started to take over my reading habits more, and I made forays into reading novels; Clarke and Asimov at first, and most of the Golden-Age works. By the early Seventies I had graduated to the so-called New Wave, Moorcock, Ellison, Delaney and Zelazny dominating my reading, and they led me on to reading, then writing horror.


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I more or less stopped reading Science Fiction round about then, but I never stopped watching, especially after Star Wars gave the visual genre a huge push forward. I re-discovered the '50s classics after the advent of the VCR and quickly built a huge collection of movies, many of which I still watch avidly.

Which brings me, in a long winded manner, to the novella, The Invasion. Invasions, and the resulting carnage, have always loomed big in my favorites of the genre, through War of the Worlds, Earth vs Flying Saucers, the original V series and even the spectacular failure of Independence Day. Neil Jackson asked me if I was interested in writing a four-part serial, and laid out a basic timeline. I ran with it, and soon discovered that I had a story to tell.

To regresss slightly, another part of my early reading, and the one that united my Science Fiction reading with my horror reading, was the works of H P Lovecraft. I realised that the Invasion in my story would have Lovecraftian antecedents, in that it would come from space, and be completely uncaring of the doings of the human race. My training as a biologist also made me realise that aliens should be -really- alien, not just simulcra of pre-existing terrestrial forms. Once I had that in my mind, it didn't take much to come up with a "color out of space" that would engulf the planet.

Most Invasion movies concentrate on the doings in big cities, and with the involvement of the full force of the military. I wanted to focus more on what it would mean for the people. Living as I am in Canada, in a remote Eastern corner, I was able to draw on local knowledge and home in on people already used to surviving in extreme conditions. I just upped the ante.

An interest in conspiracy theories and post-apocalypse survivalists also gave me one of the main characters, and the early parts of the story are a news report from the bunker where he has retreated to ride out whatever is coming. So come with me, to a winter storm in the Maritimes, where a strange green snow is starting to fall.