Sunday Surprise!

The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies by H.G. Wells, Eric S. Brown

The invasion begins . . . and the dead start to rise. There’s panic in the streets of London as invaders from Mars wreak havoc on the living, slaying the populace with Heat-Rays and poisonous clouds of black smoke. Humanity struggles to survive against technology far beyond its own, meeting fear and death at every turn. But that’s not the only struggle mankind must face. The dead are rising from their graves with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Friends, neighbours and loved ones lost to the war of the worlds are now the enemy and the Earth is forever changed. It’s kill or be killed, if you want to survive, otherwise you might become one of the walking dead yourself.

Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers – A Canterbury Tale by Paul A. Freeman

Medieval civilization was under threat from the undead. When lion-hearted Richard ruled the roost Of England, he decided that to boost His regal reputation he should mount A war to wrest from Turkish men the fount Of Christendom; yet in that desert land A zombie plague emerged from ’midst the sand. A necromancer’s alchemistic spell Reanimated corpses bound for Hell (And even bound for Heaven’s pearly gate). Soon after ’twas apparent that the fate Of all on Earth–the evil and the good– Was in the hands of Robin of the Hood Whose outlaw men, along with Friar Tuck, Against rampaging hordes of zombies struck. They fought to save the likes of you and I, Not caring that one slip might make them die. Their tale lies here, within this humble book– I pray you’ll spare the time to take a look.

Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it’s because she’s the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.

To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I’m the author of ‘Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers – A Canterbury Tale by Paul A. Freeman’, and I would like this opportunity, if I may, to put my book into context.

    Firstly, the blurb is actually in rhyming couplets and iambic pentameters since the book is a narrative poem.

    Secondly, although my novella includes zombies, it’s not actually part of the ‘monster mash’ movement. The Robin Hood legends we all know and love are actually composed of myth fragments from a number of sources. Although I allude to one or two of these fragments in my book, my novella is in effect an original tale. In fact, the first half takes place not in Sherwood Forest, but in the Holy Land during the ill-fated First Crusade.

    Also, ‘Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers’ is alternatively titled ‘The Monk’s Second Tale’, and is the longest of a series of eight ‘new’ Canterbury Tales that I’ve so far written.

    And before you start berating me for jumping on Chaucer’s coat tails, let me explain! ‘The Monk’s Second Tale’ is part of an ambitious ‘Canterbury Tales’ project which involves each of Chaucer’s pilgrims telling a second story in narrative poetry. All of them are original tales, though I’ve borrowed Chaucer’s pilgrims for the short prologues and epilogues before and following the stories.

    For your information, Chaucer envisaged his pilgrims each telling four stories – two on their outward journey and two on their homeward journey. Unfortunately he died before even completing a quarter of his tales.

    The Canterbury Tales I’ve written so far (which chronicle the pilgrims’ homeward journey) are all in different genres, varying from fables to fabliau, and from crime fiction to chick lit. However, since Coscom Entertainment offered me a chance at publication, ‘The Monk’s Second Tale’ became the ‘horror’ Canterbury Tale.

    My Canterbury Tales project is going quite well. My ‘Miller’s Second Tale’ is being edited for an anthology of neo-medieval literature, and the abridged version of my ‘Knight’s Second Tale’, an Arthurian legend, will appear soon in the Every Day Poets’ inaugural poetry anthology.

    Sorry I’ve been a bit long-winded, but this project of mine is very close to my heart, and is not meant to be exploitative of previous texts at all.

    Thank you for giving me this chance at explaining what on the face of things is a sensationally titled, band-wagon book (pimped in the link below), but is in reality meant to be anything but.

    All the best

    Paul A. Freeman

  2. Paul, we’re not berating everyone, a lot of us are just amused at how many classic characters are appearing in zombie, vampire, werewolves, etc novels lately. When Pride, Prejudice and Zombies came out, it was really the only one that managed to land on a bunch of radars. Within months of the publication, there’s been an explosion of them and it’s taken a few of us back.

    Of the three books, the War of the Worlds is the only one that’s been rehashed. Like you said, the other two are new original stories – but they are coming at a time when there’s been a lot of rehashing so they’re getting mixed in.

  3. To tell you the truth, the world of Chaucerian academics isn’t sure what to make of ‘Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers – A Canterbury Tale by Paul A. Freeman’, either.

    One school of thought believes that my ‘Canterbury Tale’ could be useful for getting reluctant students into the rhythm and form of Chaucerian poetry and that it could lead them more confidently into the original Middle English Chaucer poems. The other school of thought says that I should be strung up or shot for heresy.


  4. Paul, I agree with Jackie in that there a “amused at how many classic characters are appearing in zombie, vampire, werewolves, etc novels lately”

    Not that I would pick a fight, but what possessed you to take the content tales of Robin Hood and do what you did to it?

  5. Hi Trularin

    Good to hear from you.

    Let me make a long story as short as possible – like that’ll ever happen!

    Last year Coscom Entertainment was putting together an anthology of zombie poetry called ‘Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes’, and I submitted a 1,100-word contemporary narrative poem called ‘Payback Time’, an allegory which examines the mindset which leads to high school massacres. Anthology details below:

    Anyhow, the editor was impressed, and said if I could write 18,000 to 20,000 words in a similar vein, he would publish it as a novella. Since I was working on my Canterbury Tales project, I therefore asked if I could set the story in the Middle Ages and was given a green light.

    Since Robin Hood is a mythical figure and tales about him have originated from the 10th to the 19th centuries (the 19th century if when ‘Robin of Locksley’ first appeared), I decided to make use of the his character in a ‘new’ adventure.

    As I explained earlier, the first half of my ‘new’Canterbury Tale takes place in the Holy Land during the First Crusade, and it largely features Friar Tuck and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Robin Hood and the other well-loved characters from Sherwood Forest don’t appear until the second half of the tale. Even then, I’ve minimised similarity to Robin Hood legend fragments as much as possible.

    The synopsis to my novella, written in iambic pentameters and rhyming couplets like the rest of the tale, probably puts it more succinctly:

    What you must bear in mind is that ‘Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers – A Canterbury Tale by Paul A. Freeman’ is part of a broader Canterbury Tales project in which I explore different genres, as is explained on my rudimentary website.

    One last point I should make is that my favourite Shakespeare play is ‘Romeo and Juliet’, which is a retelling of a famous Italian story. Not that I’m comparing myself to Shakespeare; I just want to point out that borrowing literary characters isn’t necessarily a hanging offence.

    As I expected, I’ve gone on a bit. Do check out my Canterbury Tales project. It’s much more than just ‘Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers’ and it’s causing a bit of a stir in the world of Chaucer academics.

    Best wishes

    Paul A. Freeman

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