{Meet The Contributors – Part 4} A Silent Dystopia: New stories in the A Quiet Apocalypse Universe.

A Silent Dystopia Anthology

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Over the last few days, I have been introducing you to the authors that are contributing to this brilliant expansion of Dave Jeffery’s initial story. Today, I can announce the final three contributors to A Silent Dystopia, an anthology set in the Quiet Apocalypse universe.

The Contributors

David Youngquist

What was it about the A Quiet Apocalypse universe that made you want to be a part of it?

The post-apoc genre has stagnated lately and been dedicated to nothing but zombies. I wrote a series in the zombie world, because I wanted to see something different, and better than what was out there. Dave has done the same thing in the past with his amazing NECROPOLIS RISING series. The AQA world is vastly different. It’s something that hasn’t been done for a long time. And with Covid, it’s timely. As a former biology teacher, I’ve believed for a long time that some kind of bug was more likely to take us out as a species, than nukes. I wanted to be part of this new world-building. I wanted to put an American spin on it and see what we did when we had to rebuild from the ground up. I wanted to expand and go on, and go deeper, but had to remember to limit myself to a short story in Dave’s universe. That said, I hope there’s a second series that we can contribute to. 

What were the challenges of writing in an established universe and how did you overcome them?

Dave, Dean, and I have worked together in the past with our writing. I’ve published both of them in anthologies we’ve all appeared in, and Dean published one of my stories in his Short Sharp Shocks series. But this is the first time I’ve written a story in a universe created by someone else. It was DEFINITELY a new experience for me.  I’ve never even written fan fiction, so this was an entirely new system of gears in my mind. I’m used to being able to create without restriction, so staying within the parameters of this world was at times a struggle. To be honest, this story really fought me. I put it aside more than once, At one point, Dave and I had a Zoom meeting, mostly just to chat, but also for me to get my head on straight over this story. Just talking with Dave and working out the worries I had about the process was a true help. I stepped back, took a breather, thought it through, and went forward with it. Once I got to that mindset, got my head around it, the story and the rewrite flowed better. 

More information about David and his work can be found HERE.

A.S. MacKenzie

What was it about the A Quiet Apocalypse universe that made you want to be a part of it?

To be honest, I had not written in a shared universe before so I wanted to see if that was something I could do and enjoy. Plus, the story was so rich with world-building, and I liked it so much, I figured there had to be a story in there I could tell. When this opportunity showed up, I jumped at it and replied to the announcement the moment I saw it.

What were the challenges of writing in an established universe and how did you overcome them?

On the one hand, this wasn’t so much of a challenge because of the incredible work done in creating a story bible that really shaped the world to one easy enough to play in. On the other hand, it’s trying to maintain that universe while also writing in your own voice that was the hurdle. In my story, there were a few times I’d re-read what I wrote and have to change some things to better fit the world at large. Not because they were big things that missed the mark, but because they were subtle changes that could have a different impact when read with others in the same universe. The challenge was in the subtlety.

More information about A.S. and his work can be found HERE.

Tom Jeffery

What was it about the A Quiet Apocalypse universe that made you want to be a part of it?

Well, aside from wandering downstairs every morning for the past 18 months and hearing the words: ‘So I’ve had an idea…’

It’s the originality of the universe. While it has its references in other fiction of the genre, AQA is just like nothing else I’ve ever encountered in literature before. There are so many zombie apocalypses or alien invasions; and on the other side, blindness and touch-contact have featured time and time again. To my knowledge, this is the first ‘apocalypse’ of deafness, and it can only come from someone with an extensive background in the field of hearing loss and caring for those who are Culturally Deaf. Beyond that, I know the scope and scale of this universe. It has the legs to run in any direction, and the first-person perspective is so appealing to me, as a writer. It allows for ambiguity and character, in its purest form. We don’t live life by looking at ourselves in a mirror. We aren’t passengers to the tales of our own lives. That is where AQA is so ruthless and true, in equal measure. We’re experiencing a headspace and complexity. It’s so reflective of humanity.

It’s not the horrific things that happen or the foreboding mood over every scene that makes AQA so terrifying. It’s the idea that anyone with a headspace could think this way, and to me, it’s a universe that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries. After all, what are boundaries if not the denial of the truth? That is the point of AQA for me. Uncompromising, realistic, haunting and utterly thought-provoking.

That is why it is a universe that I am proud to be a part of, now and in the future.

What were the challenges of writing in an established universe and how did you overcome them?

I was very lucky in this regard, as living and working with the original creator of the universe offers many advantages that others don’t have. So, I can’t say that it was a particularly difficult experience to create a story in the AQA universe. In actuality, the main challenge to overcome was the mental feeling of belonging in the anthology. After all, it’s my first, official story in a major anthology, and to write alongside others with far greater reputation and achievements, offers the unique challenge of feeling the need to prove myself.

Fortunately, I had a lot of assistance in this venture to turn the original concept into the finished article. It’s a very nice thing to have so much support around you as you’re taking your first steps into a new industry, but one that you’ve dreamt about from a young age.

So yeah, this has been an amazing chapter in my literary journey, and I’ve gained a lot of experience that I wouldn’t have otherwise gained. Onwards and upwards to the next one, we hope!

More information about Tom and his work can be found by contacting Dave Jeffery HERE.

A Quiet Apocalypse

The end is hear…

A mutant strain of meningitis has wiped out most of mankind. The few who have survived the fever are now deaf.

Bitter with loss and terrified to leave the city known as Cathedral, the inhabitants rely on The Samaritans, search teams sent out into the surrounding countryside. Their purpose, to hunt down and enslave the greatest commodity on Earth, an even smaller group of people immune to the virus, people who can still hear.

People like me.

My name is Chris.

This is my story.

You can buy A Quiet Apocalypse from Amazon UK Amazon US


CATHEDRAL … The world has changed. So have the rules.

In the silence of a quiet apocalypse, there is Cathedral. It is a city like no other, sanctuary for the survivors of a terrible plague that has deafened the world. The walls protect the small community. Rituals and laws maintain order to prevent a return to chaos.

But Cathedral is a dangerous and complex place. For citizens like Sarah and newcomer Paul it can be either home or prison.

They just have to decide where their loyalties lie…

(cover by Adrian Baldwin; central art piece by Dark Artist Roberto Segate)

You can buy Cathedral from Amazon UK & Amazon US

The SaMaritan

The disease known as MNG-U has staked its claim on humanity and ended the world. Those who survive have been robbed of their hearing, deafened in this quiet apocalypse. But in the city of Cathedral, they have found sanctuary.

Inside the walls, the meagre populace relies on harsh governance to keep them safe. Outside the walls they depend on Samaritans, search teams who scour the Wilderness for both resource and threat. Bound by an oath to maintain and defend their city, Samaritans are the line separating Cathedral from disorder and ruin, a mandate they pursue ruthlessly and without question.

Until now.

On a routine recon, one Samaritan will find himself injured and alone and in desperate need of guidance. Where loyalties between the oath made to his beloved city will clash with promises from his past. Now he must question everything he knows, including his own purpose.

Because, lost in the Wilderness, redemption is about to become the only way to stay alive.

The Samaritan: Book 3 in The Quiet Apocalypse series.

(cover by Adrian Baldwin; central art piece by Roberto Segate)

You can buy The SaMaritan from Amazon UK & Amazon US

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