Greetings from the Ether,
As many of you may know, David Turton is an author who has been with us from the start. Hinnom Magazine Issue 007 will mark the 4th time he’s appeared in our releases and we couldn’t be more excited for what the future has in store for him. His work thus far has covered a wide range of genres, from Lovecraftian horror, to black comedy horror, to Transhuman science fiction, and now with his debut novel on the horizon, Turton has dove into post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror. We had the honor of reading Turton’s The Malaise ahead of its release, and we are pleased to present you now with our review of his stunning debut novel.
What if the very things we relied on day in and day out turned on us? What if the tools we saw as necessities led to our own demise? It’s not an uncommon subject, as authors from Lovecraft to PKD to Matheson have all posed the same question. Even in modern society, we are constantly warned of the dangers of technology and what risks we take by using it each day. The elimination of privacy, identity theft, long term side effects of daily exposure to radiation. While this is interesting to ponder, what is far more fascinating is discussing how we would move on, how we’d survive after an apocalypse.
Post-apocalyptic stories have been popular over the past decade, but few have left their mark on popular culture. Whether due to poor execution or just a simple case of overdosing on this genre. Where David Turton’s The Malaise lies on the spectrum, you will find very few others.
In a spellbinding tale that examines community, family, and the bonds that separate us from machines, Turton explores the possible ramifications of not only technology, but the power of those who wield it. In an information age, one man or woman with the right resources could ruin a life, or in more extreme cases, ruin a country. Turton takes a leap beyond that, balancing the benefits and pros of technology with the consequence of trusting in something we individually know so little about and have so little control of.
Set a few decades into the future, The Malaise follows a father, professor, technology advocate, and husband as he witnesses the world as he knows it fall into pieces over the course of a few hours. The very technology he defends and researches turns out to be the monster beneath his bed. With his baby daughter, Mike escapes the apocalypse unscathed and, with a few others, establishes a community in a new world. One free of technology. Though Mike and his daughter Zara soon embark on a mission to find out why it all happened. Their objective? The very man who created the technology that caused it.
Unlike many novels that try their hardest to be page-turners, Turton patiently establishes the community of New Windermere, and the relationships of each of the characters. Combining ideals of family, mysticism, and rebirth, The Malaise begs the questions we don’t usually have answered in post-apocalyptic works. What happens after? Will anyone seek the one who caused the end of the world?
David Turton is an author of many styles, be it literary horror or commercial fiction, and his versatility shines in The Malaise with fever-inducing descriptions and disturbing, morbid scenarios that will rival many other memorable scenes in science fiction horror. His characters develop naturally, learning as they traverse the new world, as they battle with confusion and often despair. Turton doesn’t shy away from separating his work from the rest of the playing field, offering bold ideas and concepts both philosophical and evolutionary.
In a work that could be best described as Black Mirror meets The Walking Dead, David Turton has stunned with his debut novel. Ensuring that his future body of work will not only be unique, but also stand the test of time. It is exciting to see where Turton will go from here, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be along for the ride. Winter is coming, and The Malaise will arrive with it. We only hope you’re ready to experience a world and novel unlike anything you’ve read before.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by! Make sure to check out David’s brand new collection Bonjour, Stevie and Other Short Tales of Horror. Follow us on social media and take a gander at our Patreon!