Wednesday, December 05, 2007
My novels #9: Kingdom of the Blind
JUDGE DREDD: Kingdom of the Blind (Black Flame, 2004)
The world's greatest cult comic book star, Judge Dredd, is back on the beat in Mega-City One. Senior Judges from around the world are gathering to sign an important treat and security in the city is tight. Notorious crime boss Jesus Bludd has evaded justice for decades, but now he's prepared to step out of the shadows for the first time and seize control of the Big Meg. For Dredd, it's a race against time before Bludd completely destroys the city.
Blah, that's how I feel about this book. The tired, lacklustre back cover copy reprinted above? Blah. The recycled cover art, a piece I'd commissioned myself for 2000 AD as a pin-up? Blah. The novel itself? Blah. I don't think this is my worst written book, but I'd want good money before I bothered to crack the spine and read it. When Black Flame first started publishing novels based on iconic British sci-fi comic 2000 AD, I pitched a bunch of Dredd ideas. Having used the best of these for my previous effort, I didn't want to write any more. I'd done my time in the Big Meg, I was ready to move on.
Alas, my plans to adapt Russian rogue Nikolai Dante from four-colour thriller to pulse-pounding prose were still awaiting approval, as was the Freddy Krueger tale I wanted to tell. End result? I found myself writing a fifth Dredd novel, simply for the money. That's not enough motivation in my experience to devote more than a month of your life to staring at a computer screen, creating a new story. It was having your teeth pulled while trying to get blood from a stone. Hateful.
In the end I sprinkled the novel with as many soft core sex scenes as I could get away with [and a few more that got removed by the editorial team of the time], simply to sustain my own interest. But I swore I'd never, ever, ever write another Judge Dredd novel - and so far I've stuck to that. Fortunately for me, Dredd novels just don't seel, so it's unlikely I'll ever neeed go down this route again. Avoid.