eigHt Legs BaD

It’ll take more than a tum­bler and pa­per to see off The Hatch­ing’s spi­ders...

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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!

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