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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > August 2017 Group Read with Guest Author # 2, William Meikle

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message 1: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
August promises to keep getting better and better! For our second read, we have none other than William Meikle who will be joining us as we read his novel, Fungoid. William has also graciously offered to keep Fungoid on sale between now and July 31st on Amazon. He will also be personalizing/autographing some surprise goodies for two lucky winners who participate in the conversation on this thread. As always, all we ask is that you provide an honest review on Amazon and here on Goodreads. Without further ado...please help me welcome, William Meikle!


Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4566 comments Mod
I don't think I've ever NOT loved something by William Meikle!!! I'll be joining in the conversation for this one! :D


Karl | 532 comments -- How does one participate ? --


message 4: by Sheri (new)

Sheri | 37 comments Thrilled to be reading Fungoid w/the group! Thank you for being part of our group Mr. Meikle.


Vicki Willis | 284 comments This is a new author for me. Am looking forward.
Thanks William!


message 6: by John (new) - added it

John (JRd1st) | 3359 comments I'll try to join in. I've had this book for a while...


message 7: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 6475 comments Mod
I'm in for this one too.


message 8: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 6475 comments Mod
Karl wrote: "-- How does one participate ? --"

just read the story, discuss and comment here. just like the group reads.


message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2424 comments I've got a few of his works id love to read but this is not on there but my interest is peaked.


Mixofsunandcloud | 605 comments Newfoundland? I guess I'll have to join in this one.


message 11: by Albert (last edited Jul 16, 2017 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Albert | 462 comments Just bought it. Really like his stuff, I'm in.


message 12: by Adam (new)

Adam Going to have to add this to my list.


message 13: by Karl (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karl | 532 comments Latasha wrote: "Karl wrote: "-- How does one participate ? --"

just read the story, discuss and comment here. just like the group reads."


-- Thank You Latasha. :) --


message 14: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Hey, folks. I'm here!

I've not been as active in recent months as i'd like -- big family medical crisis that thankfully now seems under control -- so I'll be around for general chit-chat and the like whenever I can.

FUNGOID is my homage to several things -- John Wyndham disaster novels, William Hope Hodgson's way with fungi, creeping chaos that doesn't care about anything apart from eating and making more chaos, the scientific method, beer, cigarettes, families and my love of my new home here on The Rock.

I've been told it's a great, fast, read. Hope you all think so.

Any questions, I'm always around...

Willie


message 15: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments If anybody needs persuading...

There's more info on the book, a brief plot, and selected reviews over at my website...

http://www.williammeikle.com/aboutfun...


message 16: by Anne (w/ an E) (last edited Jul 18, 2017 08:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 616 comments This book is already on to-read list. I will try to join in on the discussion :) Apocalyptic horror is one of my favorite genres so I am looking forward to this.


message 17: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments One of the giveaways at the end of August will be a signed hardcover of the limited edition of Fungoid.

It will be one of my 5 personal copies, so even rarer than the 100 numbered limiteds produced. It's a gorgeous thing, and I'm sure the winner will love it.


message 18: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
Very generous of you, Willie! Thank you.


message 19: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 6475 comments Mod
William wrote: "One of the giveaways at the end of August will be a signed hardcover of the limited edition of Fungoid.

It will be one of my 5 personal copies, so even rarer than the 100 numbered limiteds produc..."


awesome!


Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4566 comments Mod
One of the few I don't have a S/L of!!!


message 21: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments 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 mycelia, 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

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 a couple of years back, 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.


message 22: by Char (last edited Jul 20, 2017 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Char | 15762 comments Mod
William wrote: "One of the giveaways at the end of August will be a signed hardcover of the limited edition of Fungoid.

It will be one of my 5 personal copies, so even rarer than the 100 numbered limiteds produc..."


How generous of you, Willie, thanks! (It's awesome to see you here, other than in the blogging area.)


Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4566 comments Mod
This is a great book for group read!


message 24: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 294 comments How exciting. Welcome William and thank you!


message 25: by Annerlee (new) - added it

Annerlee | 242 comments I' m intrigued. I'll be joining in at the end of July.


message 26: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
Willie, what can you tell us about the cover? Did you have much input in the design?


message 27: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Ken wrote: "Willie, what can you tell us about the cover? Did you have much input in the design?"

It's a representation of fungal spores floating across an island shore... that was my original idea, and is what I hoped for, then Zach McCain, who does all the covers for DarkFuse did the hard bit and made it reality

I love the spores, the mass of mycelium, and the sense of depth as they float away from the eye towards the twinkling lights of the houses. I think it works pretty well.


Mixofsunandcloud | 605 comments The story begins with spore-filled rain over Newfoundland.

Probably the best weather all year.


message 29: by William (last edited Jul 21, 2017 11:22AM) (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments I have a new interview up at the Raconteur Roundtable. Hear me ramble about Vikings, Scotland, Carnacki, Bond, Sigils and Totems, my influences and writing pastiches among other things...

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/raconteu...


message 30: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Mixofsunandcloud wrote: "The story begins with spore-filled rain over Newfoundland.

Probably the best weather all year."



Ha! Actually, we're having a great July... high 70s/low '80s all month so far.


message 31: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments If any of you are still undecided... can I tempt you with a free short story collection for your Kindle?

Sign up to my newsletter at http://www.williammeikle.com/newslett...

You'll get a link to download my collection HOME FROM THE SEA, a bunch of my recent Lovecraft-influenced stories that previously appeared in print in anthologies and magazines.


message 32: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 6475 comments Mod
I think I'm signed up for your newsletter but those stories sound great


message 33: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Latasha wrote: "I think I'm signed up for your newsletter but those stories sound great"

Drop me a line with your email addy at willecom@williammeikle.com and I'll check you're signed up. If you are already, I'll send you back a copy of the ebook, and if not, I'll sign you up...


message 34: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 294 comments Just subscribed! HP is my favorite, so looking forward to it.


message 35: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Alissa wrote: "Just subscribed! HP is my favorite, so looking forward to it."

You'll get an email to the one you used to sign up, asking for confirmation... ( just to prove you're not a robot. Unless you really are a robot, in which case, that's fine too... )


Mixofsunandcloud | 605 comments William wrote: "Mixofsunandcloud wrote: "The story begins with spore-filled rain over Newfoundland.

Probably the best weather all year."


Ha! Actually, we're having a great July... high 70s/low '80s all month s..."


I know, I'm a proud Newfoundlander. I also know that we had frost only a few weeks ago.

But that's part of why I'm so interested in this group read. I am perfectly fine with you destroying the province though. As long as it's interesting.


message 37: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments You might also like THE DUNFIELD TERROR, another one set here on The Rock, this time in a snowstorm...


Mixofsunandcloud | 605 comments I will definitely check it out.


Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4566 comments Mod
William wrote: "You might also like THE DUNFIELD TERROR, another one set here on The Rock, this time in a snowstorm..."

The Dunfield Terror was one of my favorites! I even gifted that one to two people!!


message 40: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Kimberly wrote: "William wrote: "You might also like THE DUNFIELD TERROR, another one set here on The Rock, this time in a snowstorm..."

The Dunfield Terror was one of my favorites! I even gifted that one to two p..."


One of my personal favorites too. I think I said everything I wanted to say in it, got it in the right order, had a lot of mad scientist fun, and managed to convey pretty well what it feels like here in a big winter storm. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.


message 41: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Having written a lot of stories set back home in Scotland or in London, and now a bunch in Canada, there's no real difference between them at all for me. A story is a story is a story.

FUNGOID however, is set firmly in my new home.

We came over for a holiday in 2005, and fell in love with the place. I was considering writing full time, and when the opportunity came up in 2007 to sell our house in Scotland, we took the plunge and came on over and got a great house on the shore with a sea view for a tenth of what it would have cost back in the UK.

I've got a great view from the writing desk, I write full time, and watch the eagles fly over the bay and icebergs go past in Spring. It's a quiet fishing town up on the North East coast of the island on the Bonavista Peninsula, and it suits me just fine.

It's still pretty rural and unspoiled, at least compared to a lot of the UK, a lot of the old traditions, mainly Irish ones, are still followed, and a lot of the old songs are still sung in the bars. It feels more like a rural Scots/Irish community than anything else.

It feels a lot like home to me.


message 42: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments I love end of the world stories.

There's something cathartic about seeing everything being torn down. It also makes for amusing daydreams when the boss is being a tool or when the commute seems to take forever. And who doesn't think they couldn't do better at building a society if given a chance?

So there's that, and there's also the sheer spectacle of the thing... the same reason people like to slow down to look at car crashes. There's a "there but the for grace of God" vibe you get when watching or reading the world being torn down. Emmerlich and Devlin hooked into that early and have made a pot of money out of those very same vibes.

I started my fandom of the genre young and at first it was from a Science Fiction perspective. The British ones from the '50s and 60's got my attention, in particular John Wyndham's DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and THE CHRYSALIDS. Those, and A CANTICLE FOR LIEBOWITZ were my earliest introductions to the form.

After that came tales of cosmic disaster, mainly Lieber's THE WANDERER and Niven and Pournelle's LUCIFER'S HAMMER. My interest was further piqued by Terry Nation's TV show THE SURVIVORS, and Stephen King's THE STAND, the first to bring real horror to the genre IMHO. But my favorite in the genre is by Robert Macammon. His SWAN SONG is a roller coaster blockbuster which eschew's King's religious trappings for non-stop action and gritty realism mixed with a slug of the supernatural. My kind of tale.

There is much that is good about civilization that I'd certainly miss if it went, such as books and entertainment, central heating and modern medicine. But on the whole, civilization as mankind defines it is hell-bent on destroying the ecosystem and we're too stupid to stop shitting where we eat. I don't think it's a matter of why or why not. We're now at a stage where it's only a matter of when. I just hope it's a few more years yet.

As for FUNGOID - it's pretty obvious there's a big Day of the Triffids influence, and that's deliberate, as Wyndham was one of my favorite writers when I first started reading in the genre back in the late 60s/early 70s. There's also several William Hope Hodgson touches, again, mostly deliberate.

If there's any other unintentional ones there, I haven't spotted them.


message 43: by Ken (last edited Jul 24, 2017 05:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
I'm with you on Swan Song, Willie. McCammon's tale captured and held me like no other. Even though his work has been on the NYT Bestseller list, I still feel like he hasn't received enough recognition. I heard him described once as the southern Stephen King and I think there's more than a grain of truth in that statement.


message 44: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Ken wrote: "I'm with you on Sean Song, Willie. McCammon's tale captured and help me like no other. Even though his work has been on the NYT Bestseller list, I still feel like he hasn't received enough recognit..."

Yep. I loved all his books. Wolf's Hour also had a big impact on me in particular, for how to do a pulp-action-horror with balls and brains. And many of his short stories are master works. I'm amazed there's not been a slew of movies of his work as he's a very cinematic writer.


message 45: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 6475 comments Mod
I agree Ken. And I will admit, I probably would have never read Swan Song if it wasn't for this group. It doesn't/ didn't sound like my cup of tea. But I did! And i LOVE it. I shared the audiobook with my mom some months ago. I did not tell her what it was about cause she would never have listened to it. But she ended up loving it as much as I do. That was a very proud moment <3

I'm waiting til August to read your story Willie.


message 46: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
I, personally, love Willie's writing style. It reminds me very much of McCammon's where he has strong character development and great atmosphere. I'm looking forward very much to jump into Fungoid.


Kimberly (Kimberly_3238) | 4566 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "I, personally, love Willie's writing style. It reminds me very much of McCammon's where he has strong character development and great atmosphere. I'm looking forward very much to jump into Fungoid."

A great comparison regarding McCammon's atmosphere and characters!


message 48: by William (new)

William (williemeikle) | 554 comments Ken wrote: "I, personally, love Willie's writing style. It reminds me very much of McCammon's where he has strong character development and great atmosphere. I'm looking forward very much to jump into Fungoid."


Thanks for that.


Badseedgirl | 281 comments William wrote: "Hey, folks. I'm here!

I've not been as active in recent months as i'd like -- big family medical crisis that thankfully now seems under control -- so I'll be around for general chit-chat and the ..."


I'm in, you had me at John Wyndham.


message 50: by Ken (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ken McKinley | 1541 comments Mod
Willie, you have an impressive catalog spanning your entire career. What was your favorite story to write, to date?


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