eigHt Legs BaD
It’ll take more than a tumbler and paper to see off The Hatching’s spiders...
Arachnaphobes, brace yourselves for sleepless nights: new novel The Hatching is unleashing hordes of ancient flesh-eating spiders. Eek! It’s been compared to World War Z and Jurassic Park and as the TV/film rights have already been snapped up, it could soon be scuttling in their filmic footsteps.
For author Alexi Zentner – here using the pen name Ezekiel Boone – the primary motivation was “writing something fun as hell”.
“It started with the idea that there must be a reason we’re so afraid of spiders,” Zentner explains, “and wondering what in the past has seemingly turned that fear into something innate. From there, I had the image of a spider burrowing into your body. That led to the nightmares: me waking up, screaming, swatting at spiders I thought were crawling all over me!”
Although the premise – spiders that emerge every 10,000 years to devour everything in their path – has no basis in reality (fingers crossed), the book does draw on biological fact.
“Most of the little details are true,” Zentner says. “The way spiders have hairs that they can ‘throw’ at you as irritants. The idea of all of them coming out at once comes from cicadas. The most surprising thing is that there are types that are social and work together.”
The Hatching is something of a return home for Zentner, whose first two novels were literary fiction. “All I read growing up was genre books,” he reveals. “I tried writing SF and thrillers at first. What I wrote was terrible! I convinced myself it was the genre that was the problem, not that I hadn’t figured out how to properly write yet. Getting back to my roots seemed like a blast – and it has been.”
The Hatching is published by Gollancz on 5 July.
Ezekiel Boone wants you to wake up screaming!