Mark Clapham and E. E. Richardson were chosen from dozens of submissions submitted to Abaddon Books’ open call in autumn last year. The brief was to pitch ideas based either in the imprint’s existing shared worlds – such as Tomes of the Dead or The Afterblight Chronicles – or come up with potential new series.

Tomes of the Dead: Dead Stop, by Mark Clapham and Ritual Crimes Unit: Skinflux by E. E. Richardson will be published as e-novellas in mobi and epub formats. Ritual Crime Unit: Under the Skin is released in September this year, and Tomes of the Dead: Dead Stop is due out in November.

New Abaddon Books commissioning editor David Moore said: “The response to the open month last autumn was amazing, and more than a little daunting. So many brilliant pitches landed on my desk – both for our existing lines and for amazing new worlds – that I honestly struggled to pick out just a couple for publishing. After the months of reading, winnowing and agonising, I had to spend nearly two whole days rejecting some genuinely brilliant submissions and wishing I wasn’t. In the end, though, Elizabeth and Mark – two great up-and-coming young authors with great visions and palpable talent – blew me away with their ideas. I’m fantastically pleased to be welcoming them to the Abaddon stable.”

Tomes of the Dead: Dead Stop: a contemporary story about a natural medium (a young man who’s been able to see ghosts since a traumatic incident in his youth) who is recruited by the ghost of a woman killed in the first wave of the zombiepocalypse that’s just begun to kill her zombie body so that she can rest.

Ritual Crimes Unit: Skinflux: launching a new supernatural/police procedural world with a story about “skin-changers” (people who can change into animal shapes by using ritually-prepared animal skins); the scene of crime officer at a murder enquiry has found evidence suggesting that an unregistered and unlicensed skin-changer (itself a crime) may have done the impossible and learned to shapeshift using human skin…

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