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The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
In my novel Dog Days, ‘the world ends not with a bang, but a downpour’. It’s the opening days of a frost-covered dystopia, and I had so much fun with it. As a writer, I love dystopias. I think there is no better way to expose the architecture of a society than how it collapses under stress. It’s not the only thing I write, but creatively I definitely veer more towards the dystopian than the utopian. Let’s be honest, I’m Northern Irish and my family’s motto is ‘we laugh at bad things’, I wouldn’t know what to DO with myself in a utopia.
Other than probably get kicked out for bad behaviour.
Dystopias have so much more scope to wallow in, so many more questions to answer. Is it survival to keep on breathing, or to hold onto the encultured morals of the world before? Can you justify morality in a world where those depending on you pay the price for your values? Flee to the hills to hermit your way through the bad days, or hunker down and go tribal in your suburbs?
Of course, part of the reason I love dystopias is that I am never going to see one. Not because I have any great faith in things turning out for the best, but because I’d be one of the first to die. Probably not in the first or second wave of deaths, but after that I’d be done for.
First wave of deaths in an apocalyptic/dystopian scenario are going to be down to trauma: zombie attacks, injuries, totalitarian soldiers, corn weevil bites. I live in a small town with no majorly attractive assets to seize, so it’s likely I’ll avoid that. I mean, I might not but I think the odds are in my favour as far as digging in and weathering the storm here.
Second wave is probably going to be medical. People with long-term medical conditions that depend on machinery or drugs to maintain their lives/mobility will start to die off here. Diabetics, for example, or people dependent on dialysis. As access to treatment/hospitals gets more difficult, they’ll fall by the wayside. I’ll still be ok at that point, but I will have lost family members (we are not a healthy people).
So, barring bad luck, I’ll more likely than not to weather the first few months. After that, though? It’s not looking good. I’m short-sighted to the point of being helpless if my glasses are stolen or damaged, I have asthma so a brisk run through a field might well kill me, and I have food allergies that will make scavenging more difficult for me.
Plus, I’m just generally not hardy. I have limited survival skills — I mean, I have a huge stash of survival hints and tips in the cloud, but can I depend on internet access at this point? — and I’m not good in stressful situations. You know the way people are meant to have fight, flight, or freeze instincts? I’ve just got flight. I was once caught rearranging a neighbour’s gnomes into a ‘signalling the mothership’ shape, and — despite the fact I was a: staring right at the man, and b: my house was right behind me — I ran down the street and hid in a bush.
That’s not going to cut it when the corn weevils come, is it? Inner gerbil instinct like that are great in the first wave, but eventually you need to stand your ground.
I figure I have a few months of dystopian experience in me, just the overture of it. Once things start to really fall apart, my general lack of fitness to survive in this situation will demonstrate itself. Unless it’s a very cosy dystopia, I will mouldering in a shallow grave before people even start debating the ethics of cannibalism.
Which kind of makes me feel like a bit of an under-achiever. At least two of my friends are probably going to be warlords at that point, through a mixture of organisational skills, the willingness to field dress dead things, and sheer bloody-mindedness. So I make up for it with my own controlled dystopias, spreading lurgy and ice across the world and writing characters that are far, far better suited to deal with it than me.
Trust me, Dog Days Jack and Danny are much better at dealing with the various indignities of the end of the world than I am.
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.
Dog Days Blog Tour Dates
September 2 – The Novel Approach
September 4 – MM Good Book Reviews –
September 5 – Oh My Shelves
September 6 – Joyfully Jay
September 7 – It’s About the Book
September 8 – Molly Lolly and Kimi-Chan Experience
September 9 – Prism Book Alliance
September 11 – Love Bytes Reviews
September 13 – Boy Meets Boy
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