Author's 2017 Preface
Title Fight. After some marketing adventures, I have returned to an earlier title (Doom Spore San Diego) to emphasize that this is a San Diego novelnot only because the author wrote it there, but because most of the action is based in San Diego. Motto: Today San DiegoTomorrow the World. The text has remained substantially the same throughout.
Don't LaughZombies Are Real. In the Fungus Zombies Edition (January 2015), I underscored a real-life zombie theme that arose, surprisingly, from the subject matter itself. My original intention was, and remains, to align the book thematically with the classic 1956 DarkSF or Science Horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was based on an equally classic Jack Finney science horror novel (1955, The Body Snatchers).
Biology 911. The zombie sidestep is not frivolous. A young friend (the talented artist Ryan Osga) pointed out to me something I had not realizedthat in nature there actually are real zombie life forms. At least one of them is a kind of fungus (zombie fungus), identified in tropical rainforests in 1859. It takes possession of insects and directs their actions in a manner that is beneficial to the fungus rather than the insect. Iím not joking. You can look this up: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, an entomopathogenic fungus that acts as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them. As often happens, truth is far stranger than even DarkSF or Science Horror.
Speaking of which: what is DarkSF or Science Horror? Science Fiction, as opposed to Fantasy, is a genre based on the plausible and possible (definition by famous SFFH anthologist Judith Merril in the 1960s). Fantasy, she said, is a literature of the implausible and impossible, like fairies and elves.
Now we know: The zombie behavior of the spore people in my novel Doom Spore San Diego is entirely plausible, at least in affecting ants. As humans, you could argue we stretch the point by having them affect aunts, which presumes that they therefore must also affect uncles, and in fact any members of the species homo bipedalis, sometimes optimistically referred to as homo sapiens. The latter assumption blithely ignores such dark (and true) phenomena as world wars in which countless millions die for no reason, or the rise of demagogues and tyrants to cause those wars, and so forth. But thatís fodder for some future novel of fingernail-biting and hair tearing importance.
Meanwhile, happy reading. Keep the lights on at night, and perhaps a little hatchet or something under your pillow just in case these stealthy, beautiful, deadly spore people start stepping out of your nightmares. They and their ilk have been known to silently step out of shadowy bedroom corners or from curtains that blow in a breeze even if the window is shut.
Thank you for reading. If you love it, tell your friends. Please post a favorable review at Amazon, Good Reads, and other online resources. If you want to thank the author, you may also buy a copy for the low price of a cup of coffee. It's called Read-a-Latte: similar (or lower) price as a latte at your favorite coffeeshop, but the book lasts forever while the beverage is quickly gone. Thank you (JTC).
Copyright © 2014 by Jean-Thomas Cullen, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.