Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Photos Related to Rise of the Sataners -- Demon Concept Art

This week's photos are the most interesting of the series because it will be dealing with the concept art and ideas that went into developing the Hell Spawn. [WARNING: There are spoilers in this blog post, so if you have not read the book be forewarned.]

Unfortunately, there is no concept art for The Seamstress (aka Bai) and the decimators; they are a figment of my twisted imagination. I came up with the idea of The Seamstress in Wasteland in Red Square when I wrote the scene where Dr. Ustagov performs an autopsy on a Golem and tells Jason that it is made up of human body parts. Hopefully the descriptions in the book provide enough imagery to create a clear picture of The Seamstress and her demonic minions.

The giant worms that attack the Hell Gaters during the sandstorm are based on the legend of the Mongolian death worms. I included two additional sets of fangs to make mine more deadly and frightening.

Another version of the Mongolian death worm.

When I was developing the demons that would guard the portals, I came up with the concept of using Golem, the animated anthropomorphic protectors of Jewish ghettos. However, I wanted mine to be much more intimidating and powerful than the man-sized guardians from Hebrew folklore. To give the Golem a more gruesome appearance, I changed them from being created from inanimate material, such as stone, to being a compilation of human body parts. I stumbled across the above artwork while researching other demons and decided to adopt the basic body design for my own Golem.

Are the Nachzehrer zombies? Not in the traditional sense. I liked the concept of hordes of shambling dead roaming through the countryside and attacking the Hell Gaters en masse, but did not want to turn my book into a zombie apocalypse novel. So I created the Nachzehrer as the desiccated bodies of those condemned to Hell who come back to wander Earth because this is the realm they know. Yes, they eat human flesh, which is what makes them dangerous, but they do not have the other attributes of a zombie -- they are not rotting away, and being bitten by a Nachzehrer does not mean you will die and come back as one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Photos Related to Rise of the Sataners -- Locations

After I published Hell Gate and Wasteland in Red Square, I posted a series of blog entries providing photos and images that inspired the novel's locations and demons. As with the first two books, I've been fortunate to have visited most of the major locations in Rise of the Sataners: Book Three of the Hell Gate Saga. To bring Rise of the Sataners alive for my readers, every Wednesday for the next two weeks I'll be posting blog spots with photos related to the locations described in the novel and/or concept art about the demons. I hope you enjoy them.

First, pictures of northeast China.

Rise of the Sataners takes place in northeast China, a region also referred to as Manchuria, between the cities of Harbin and Shenyang.

Aerial view of Harbin's railway station.


The platform of Harbin's railway station.

The interior of Harbin's railway station.

The illegal steel factory that the Xiongnu used was based on real factories that popped up all over China. I originally read about them in an article in Wired titled "Step Inside China's Hellish, Illicit Steel Factories" (see https://www.wired.com/2016/12/step-inside-chinas-hellish-illicit-steel-factories-kevin-frayer/). I thought the imagery was so stunning I decided to use one in my book.

More photos of the factory.

More photos of the factory.
 
More photos of the factory.

Unit 731, the Japanese biological warfare unit in Pingfang that experimented on local citizens and Allied POWs, did exist -- sadly, it was not something I made up. Only a few of the buildings used by Unit 731 remain. This is the smokestacks of the former crematorium where the Hell Gaters set up camp on their first night in Manchuria.

Yours truly at the crematorium in 1999.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018

Apocalypse Monday


Since my wife and daughter will be heading to London soon, I thought I'd bring the apocalypse to England today.