Archive for the 'Craig’s Novels' Category

April 17, 2015


Rigged for red. Ready to surface in all respects. The surfacing alarm sounding.

The S-55 gently broke the surface of Savo Sound, the ocean inlet the men of the beleaguered Pacific Fleet were calling Iron Bottom Sound after numerous sharp naval battles.

Ready for the first night watch of the day, Charlie held the ladder tightly as the hatch partly opened. A heavy blast of sour air roared past him.

After the air pressure equalized and the tempest subsided, he climbed up and looked around. It was a routine to which he’d already become accustomed, but he felt a special urgency about it now.

They were in the Slot, and they’d received a message to expect a Japanese naval force passing through the area later tonight. After days of seeing no enemy ships, it was exciting news.

He took his time and scanned the area thoroughly. Aided by the budding moon, his night-adapted eyes picked out Savo Island to the east, Guadalcanal to the south.

“All clear,” he called down. “Lookouts to the bridge.”

Steam drifted out of the open hatch. His men emerged and took their stations.

Charlie took a deep breath of the clean air and inhaled the vital scent of jungle wafting from the nearby islands. After a day in the people tank, it smelled sweeter than Evie’s perfume. The temperature was considerably cooler topside at seventy-five degrees.

The main induction opened to suck the cool night air into the boat for both the crew and the engines. The diesels fired up to charge the battery while the boat stood-to facing north by west. By the end of Charlie’s watch, the battery had fully charged, and both diesels were assigned to the propellers. The old sea wolf was ready to hunt.

Rusty entered the bridge. “Permission to relieve you and your squires, noble sir. As incentive for that permission, I can tell you a sumptuous meal awaits you in the wardroom.”

“In that case, permission granted,” Charlie said. “What’s the cook serving up for dinner?”

“Pot roast and cock, and he’s all out of pot roast.”

Charlie laughed. Ever since the S-55 entered the Solomons, the men had stopped their shirking and horsing around and went to work with silent efficiency. But not Rusty. Not even the tension of imminent combat could keep the able lieutenant from his wisecracks.

Kidding aside, despite the hardships of service, submariners ate better than anybody else in the Navy, at least while the fresh provisions lasted. Right now, pot roast sounded fantastic.

“All sectors clear,” he told Rusty. “A dozen lighted planes, far off and coming across the stern, were reported. Navy fighters landing at Henderson Field.”

“Hopefully, they bombed those tin cans headed our way.”

“We should be so lucky,” Charlie agreed, though he was itching for a fight.

As the new watch manned their stations, he descended the stairs to the cigarette deck and then the main deck. He tied a metal bucket to a manila rope, tossed it over the side, and pulled up cool seawater. Then he started a quick sponge bath.

For a war zone, the scene struck him as peaceful. The slim moon’s light glimmered on the water, which lapped gently against the boat’s hull. His romantic Evie would have loved it.

He heard a distant droning and perked up. Charlie hustled back to the bridge while the watch scanned the skies.

A burst of light flared in the distance and died out. Then another. Moments later, he heard the first boom. Red tracers streamed into the night.

“Ho-lee shit,” one of the watchmen said.

More bright flashes, an entire cluster of them, brightened the horizon. The air filled with thunder and the distant wail of an air raid siren. Searchlights swept the sky.

The Japanese were bombing the airfield on Guadalcanal.

“Lookouts, get below,” somebody shouted up the shaft. “Clear the bridge!”

Bodies poured down the hatch. Charlie dropped to the deck and hustled out of the way. One by one, the rest of the men came down after him, talking excitedly.

“Hatch secured!” Rusty called from above.

The captain said, “Dive!”

The diving alarm sounded. The main induction clanged shut.

“Pressure in the boat, green board,” Reynolds reported. The boat was sealed up tight.

The S-55 rapidly slid into the black waters and achieved a good trim at periscope depth. The engines cut out. The electric motors engaged the propellers.

“Planes, forty-five feet.”

“What’s going on?” Charlie asked Rusty.

The lieutenant shrugged. “The captain pulled the plug.”

“Silence!” Kane roared, quieting them all.

The men stared at the captain. The captain stared at the soundman.

“I’ve got a turn count of three twenty-five RPM,” Marsh said. “Now I’m hearing multiple sets of screws. Light screws. Speed estimated twenty-five knots.”

Charlie grinned. That sounded like destroyers!

Marsh added, “Estimated range, eight thousand yards.”

The captain put on his sou’wester hat and oilskins. “Up scope.”

He peered into the dark, whistling a pop tune while water splashed on his shoulders. “Give me a bearing, Marsh.”

“Targets, bearing 115º True.” Plus or minus a few degrees.

The submarine’s Great War-vintage hydrophones weren’t perfectly accurate, but one thing was certain: The Japanese war party was coming straight at them. They intended to round Savo Island. Charlie guessed their mission was to give Henderson a good shelling tonight.

The captain smiled as he looked into the scope. “I think I see them. Come to papa. Down scope. Harrison, start plotting. Marsh, keep those bearings coming.”

Charlie dumped graph paper, pencils, and a ruler onto the plotting table. He marked the contacts’ estimated position.

“Bearing still on 115º True.”

Based on the war party’s bearing and estimated speed, he marked its likely new position on the plotting paper. He checked the boat’s gyrocompass and started plotting the S-55’s own position with a pencil and ruler.

“Left full rudder,” the captain said. “All ahead full. Come left to 275º True.” After the heavy sub completed her ponderous turn and found her new course, he added, “All ahead one-third. Up scope.” After another look at the approaching ships: “Down scope.”

Deep in thought, Captain Kane stepped away from the falling periscope.

He had a choice. He could take a shot at the destroyers as they passed and then radio their presence to warn American forces at Guadalcanal they were coming. Or he could let them pass, sound the alarm, and try to hit them on their way back.

Both carried risks. The former approach put them directly in a hornet’s nest. The latter was safer, but the Japanese might take another route home, and Frankie would miss her chance to take a crack at them.

Knowing the captain, Charlie believed he’d take the latter, more cautious approach.

Kane rubbed his stubbled jaw. The men stared at him, awaiting his command.

“Battle stations,” he said. “Torpedo attack.”

Want to read more? Get CRASH DIVE for Kindle here.

March 27, 2015 recently reviewed SUFFER THE CHILDREN, saying the novel “draws a clear portrait of how a loving parent can turn into a monster for all the wrong reasons. SUFFER THE CHILDREN offers plenty of gore and spectacular horror scenes, but its the psychological accuracy of such a disaster scenario that makes it such a terrifying novel …

“SUFFER THE CHILDREN is absolutely harrowing, so emotionally demanding that it becomes physically exhausting, it’s convincing as all hell. I don’t think it’s a novel that’s meant to be enjoyed in the traditional sense of the term. It’s meant to challenge you, test your empathy against difficult fictional scenarios and open up your perspective about the end of the world. If you thought that THE STAND was some kind of ultimate apocalyptic horror scenario, you’ve haven’t experienced the real deal yet.”

Wow. Thanks, Ben!

Click here to read the complete review.

February 23, 2015

The Horror Writers Association, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy, today announced the 2014 nominees for the iconic Bram Stoker Award®.

I’m proud to say SUFFER THE CHILDREN made the final ballot and is now officially nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel.

Congratulations to everybody who made the final ballot!

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Craig DiLouie – Suffer the Children (Gallery Books of Simon & Schuster)
Patrick Freivald – Jade Sky (JournalStone)
Chuck Palahniuk – Beautiful You (Jonathan Cape, Vintage/Penguin Random House UK)
Christopher Rice – The Vines (47North)
Steve Rasnic Tem – Blood Kin (Solaris Books)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Maria Alexander – Mr. Wicker (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
J.D. Barker – Forsaken (Hampton Creek Press)
David Cronenberg – Consumed (Scribner)
Michael Knost – Return of the Mothman (Woodland Press)
Josh Malerman – Bird Box (Harper Collins)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Jake Bible – Intentional Haunting (Permuted Press)
John Dixon – Phoenix Island (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books)
Kami Garcia – Unmarked (The Legion Series Book 2) (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Tonya Hurley – Passionaries (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Peter Adam Salomon – All Those Broken Angels (Flux)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Emily Carroll – Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Joe Hill – Locke and Key, Vol. 6 (IDW Publishing)
Joe R. Lansdale and Daniele Serra – I Tell You It’s Love (Short, Scary Tales Publications)
Jonathan Maberry – Bad Blood (Dark Horse Books)
Paul Tobin – The Witcher (Dark Horse Books)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Taylor Grant – “The Infected” (Cemetery Dance #71) (Cemetery Dance)
Eric J. Guignard – “Dreams of a Little Suicide” (Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror (Volume 2)) (Big Time Books)
Joe R. Lansdale – “Fishing for Dinosaurs” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)
Jonathan Maberry – “Three Guys Walk into a Bar” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)
Joe McKinney – “Lost and Found” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Hal Bodner – “Hot Tub” (Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror (Volume 2)) (Big Time Books)
Sydney Leigh – “Baby’s Breath” (Bugs: Tales That Slither, Creep, and Crawl) (Great Old Ones Publishing)
Usman T. Malik – “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” (Qualia Nous) (Written Backwards)
Rena Mason – “Ruminations” (Qualia Nous) (Written Backwards)
John Palisano – “Splinterette” (Widowmakers: A Benefit Anthology of Dark Fiction) (Widowmaker Press)
Damien Angelica Walters – “The Floating Girls: A Documentary” (Jamais Vu, Issue Three) (Post Mortem Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Scott M. Gimple – The Walking Dead: “The Grove”, episode 4:14 (AMC)
Jennifer Kent – The Babadook (Causeway Films)
John Logan – Penny Dreadful: “Séance” (Desert Wolf Productions/Neal Street Productions)
Steven Moffat – Doctor Who: “Listen” (British Broadcasting Corporation)
James Wong – American Horror Story: Coven: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” (FX Network)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Michael Bailey – Qualia Nous (Written Backwards)
Jason V Brock – A Darke Phantastique (Cycatrix Press)
Ellen Datlow – Fearful Symmetries (ChiZine Publications)
Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas, and Dennis Widmyer – Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press)
Brett J. Talley – Limbus, Inc., Book II (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Stephen Graham Jones – After the People Lights Have Gone Off (Dark House Press)
John R. Little – Little by Little (Bad Moon Books)
Helen Marshall – Gifts for the One Who Comes After (ChiZine Publications)
Lucy Snyder – Soft Apocalypses (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
John F.D. Taff – The End in All Beginnings (Grey Matter Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Jason V Brock – Disorders of Magnitude (Rowman & Littlefield)
S.T. Joshi – Lovecraft and a World in Transition (Hippocampus Press)
Leslie S. Klinger – The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (Liveright Publishing Corp., a division of W.W. Norton & Co.)
Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley – Horror 101: The Way Forward (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Lucy Snyder – Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide (Post Mortem Press)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Robert Payne Cabeen – Fearworms: Selected Poems (Fanboy Comics)
Corrinne De Winter and Alessandro Manzetti – Venus Intervention (Kipple Officina Libraria)
Tom Piccirilli – Forgiving Judas (Crossroad Press)
Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo – Sweet Poison (Dark Renaissance Books)
Stephanie Wytovich – Mourning Jewelry (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

February 20, 2015

HorrorBlogger reviewed SUFFER THE CHILDREN, writing, “It’s not often that a book actually haunts me … In SUFFER THE CHILDREN, DiLouie has crafted a story of not insignificant excellence.”

Thanks, Dawn!

Click here to read the complete review.

February 11, 2015

SUFFER THE CHILDREN audiobook by Craig DiLouieFollowing SUFFER THE CHILDREN being listed on the preliminary ballot of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Awards, I’m excited to announce the audiobook version is a finalist in the 2015 Audies competition in the Paranormal Category.

The annual Audies awards competition, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), recognizes distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.

The audiobook version of SUFFER THE CHILDREN, published by Tantor, is narrated by the great R.C. Bray. I was very lucky to have him. He’s one of the best in the field, and certainly the best narrator who has ever made one of my books come to life to the ear.

The winners will be announced in May. I consider it an honor just to have been nominated.

February 6, 2015

Hayley Knighten’s reviewed SUFFER THE CHILDREN, writing, “Like a car crash, SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Craig DiLouie is tragic and horrifying, but no matter how much you may want to, you simply cannot look away … intelligent, terrifying, and unique … not only one of the most original vampire tales I’ve read, it is one of the best horror novels that I have come across in a long time.”

Thanks, Hayley!

Click here to read the complete review.

January 20, 2015

Very happy to announce that SUFFER THE CHILDREN made the prestigious 2014 Bram Stoker Awards’ preliminary ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel.

Not yet a nominee, though–the final ballot will be announced February 23. There are some great books on the list. Fingers crossed!

January 16, 2015

SUFFER THE CHILDREN by Craig DiLouieUp and coming horror author and poet Stephanie Wytovich recently blogged she’d read 52 books in 2014, and SUFFER THE CHILDREN was her favorite read of the year. Have you read it yet?

January 14, 2015

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January 8, 2015

THE INFECTION by Craig DiLouieHorror After Dark named THE INFECTION as one of the top 10 horror reads of 2014, calling it “zombie apocalypse on steroids … an excellent, gripping read.”

Thanks, Paul! I’m glad you enjoyed the read.

Check out the list here.