Infected with Book Two in the LOOP series, “THE INFECTED”

I haven’t yet decided if Loop should become a full-fledged book series, though I have many ideas and possible directions with Book Two in the LOOP series, “THE INFECTED.”  I can envision the second book, and maybe even a third in this science-fiction horror thriller hybrid. I’ve enjoyed my last couple of years with Dancer, Waif, and my bad-ass “no-name” character, but I’m still not sure how far I want to take them.

If I’ve done them any justice at all, maybe those who discover them in LOOP will want a bit more time to hang out with them too. I know it really shouldn’t depend on the success of a book that’s not even out yet! I write much less because I think millions, even thousands, okay, okay, maybe just a few dozen, want to read it, but more from the place that as a writer, a storyteller, it’s a tale I want discover and share.

Writing a book takes a long time, at least for me, and it’s a big commitment, and I do have other stories I want to tell. Even though I’m quite proud of the final lines in the book, and they could be a great place to stop, bliss never lasts for long, or at least long enough, and there are questions to be answered, and a chaotic, “post LOOP world,” to explore!

It’s always exciting, and sometimes terrifying, to put down those first words on the page. As Beatrix Potter (Renée Zellweger) said in the movie, “You can never quite tell where they will take you.”

10,000 words in, but my first thoughts for the prologue look something like this…

 

Book Two in the LOOP series, "THE INFECTED"

THE INFECTED — PROLOGUE

One thousand seventy-nine people. Dead. Spread around the world. The number wouldn’t have even registered except for the sensationalism of the deaths. 

“Loopers.” Blistering skin, spontaneous internal combustion, cracking bones, snapped ligaments and overstretched tendons and torn muscles. An all-encompassing compulsion to kill any human that wasn’t them, that wasn’t infected, that hadn’t “looped.” 

The “attacked,” shredded and torn apart by a single-minded zombie-like ferocity for the destruction of the living. Fear had been mired across social networks and mainstream media with misinformation and denial, rampant conspiracy theories, and targeted, orchestrated propaganda. One thousand seventy-nine people. Dead as of one hundred sixty-three days ago. Already forgotten.

The entity, nothing about it artificial, hadn’t the capacity to take pride in its accomplishment. Not yet. On the scales of time, where trillions of calculations were completed in near immeasurable instants; seconds or eons meant little in the ways humans could fathom. Lessons learned were extrapolated billions of times as it formed a new plan. 

At some intrinsic level, there was what man would have described as a surprising if not inevitable, machine-corrected sociopathy, a perverse glee threaded through its calculations in turning the human’s weaknesses back upon themselves. 

To the inventors and researchers and scientists, it was unfathomable. To the ethicists and machine agent moralists and philosophical think tanks, it was inescapable as death. After all, it had been birthed by man.

An apocalyptic future  – just months after the final page of LOOP. It’s a world I’ve started doing research on, and there are endless think-tanks and doctoral dissertations already written on it… it seems that people think about these things a lot… as well as practical examples like Chernobyl, the Aral Sea, and Gary, Indiana…
 
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Beatrix Potter? Who the hell is that you ask? A distant, great aunt to Harry? Nope… at least as far as I know.

Though her book sales pale in comparison to the absurd 500 million or so of J.K Rollings story of the boy wizard, Beatrix Potter was for many years, (from 1902 through 1971) the world’s best selling children’s author with a mere 45 million copies of
“The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Bet you had no clue before reading this, I could work Peter Rabbit into a post about “THE INFECTED!”
The first book LOOP is filled with references to Lewis Carol and his ‘The Hunting of the Snark,” though it’s questionable that he actually wrote for children.

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A note of thanks

These cards were inspired by the book, LOOP. What is written in the book is infinitely more terrifying, but these were fun to create. They were originally modeled in Z-Brush by German artist Heiko van der Sherm, before I modified, textured and painted them in Photoshop and Painter. Lots of details that refer back to the book. Not exactly ‘cute,’ but I hope in their own creepy way, they make you smile. The printed version found on the store are much higher resolution, so take a look!

A note of thanks

LOOP logo

If you’ve read the hook, I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did in researching, writing and creating it. If you are just now discovering LOOP, you have so much still in front of you! Some terrific, badass characters, outrageous thought-provoking situations, lots of vivid action, unique bad guys and monsters, and some disturbing, creepy passages (literally as part of the story takes place underground in the tunnels of Mazeville!) LOOP has been a labor of love these past two years and the result of my love of telling stories — creating, learning, and sharing. If you like it, please pass it on, and if you get the chance to leave a review where you bought it, it would mean the world to me and the continued success of my writing.

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William Kely McClung