Sam Kates writes science fiction, fantasy, horror and general fiction. He lives in the UK. For more information on his books, his blog and to sign up for news, please visit his website at samkates.co.uk
Four festive tales of the supernatural, apocalyptic and blood-sucking variety—an antidote for anyone who occasionally finds Christmas overly sentimental or commercialised and likes to escape to somewhere darker.
In Ghosts of Christmas Past, a newly-wed couple spend every Christmas in the same remote country cottage. It’s their ‘thing’ and they’re not about to let tragedy get in the way.
In I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, a small boy creeps downstairs to see his mother in the embrace of a crimson-robed stranger. But Jake’s not convinced: since when did Santa have long teeth and red, glinting eyes?
In Rottin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Nia decorates the tree while her parents look on. But this is not just another Christmas—it is the time of The Cleansing, the time when family life and the world as we know it are ending.In Christmas ‘Midst the Zombie Apocalypse, two survivors sit out winter on the edge of an overrun city. Their efforts to enjoy Christmas Day as normally as possible turn out to be a mistake; a potentially fatal one.
Paradise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Unlucky in love, unlucky in life, Quirke yearns for something more. That indefinable, elusive something.
In his role as a prison counsellor, he meets Seff, an enigmatic convict who hints at an earthly Paradise, a place where Quirke may find his heart’s desire. When fate and an embittered co-worker conspire to lose Quirke his job, he sets off with his best friend to follow Seff’s vague directions.
Concealed by mountains and remote forests in deepest Wales, they stumble across a self-sufficient settlement inhabited by escapees of the pressures of the late twentieth century. When Quirke discovers that they brew their own beer, he feels he has found a way of life that might bring him contentment.
But beer’s not the only thing brewing in Paradise…
Guilt. The heaviest burden.
An old man has for many years borne a weight that runs deeper than survivor’s guilt. He is a survivor, of humanity’s darkest hour, but wouldn’t have lived through it if not for the actions of another.
Now he has the opportunity for which he has long yearned: to meet his saviour’s daughter and tell her about her father’s supreme act of selflessness. And maybe, in the telling, one of them will find release.
An eerie calm. Chaos lurks.
A land inhabited by people from distant places and times. A land of meadow and forest, where to leave the trail is to court death. A land where the Scourgers roam.
In an apparently selfless act to save their lives and perform the task set by the Lord of the Dance, Jack has abandoned Matt, Kim and Tara on the near shore. But his motives are not noble.
Unnatural calm. A silent storm gathers. Extinction beckons.
Survivors from mainland Europe and North America converge on Britain. Weary, confused, all come seeking answers; many come spoiling for a fight.
What began with the Cleansing, and was hastened by the Beacon, nears fruition. Time is running out, and human numbers are too few to win the last battle alone. Unless help can be found from the unlikeliest of allies, failure is assured.