Out now, direct from DarkFuse, or Amazon ($2.99/£2.10)
I'm not going to put a sample here (there's one in the sample's section) but I am going to post an excerpt from the afterword. This, UNIT 731, a story that features UNIT 731, but mostly, it's a story about family, and overall, it's a story about men. This, then, is the afterword.
This story is inspired by many things. My time in Japan, where I lived for five years. The time between the 24th of May and the 2nd of June when I wrote this was, by and large, the first time I made any use of Japanese since leaving over fifteen years ago. But it's not the main inspiration.
731 isn't, you might notice, a story about Japan. It's not about murder, or war crimes, or, in a strange way, hate, even.
It's a story about men, and about family.
The largest inspiration, I think, was my grandfather. Alfred William Keningale. People called him Bill.
He was a soldier before the start of the war. He didn't fight in the Pacific war, but in Europe, Africa, and the Middle-East.
Granddad wasn't a big man, but he'd seen more than most. In the story, Reggie talks about his brother Harry coming back changed, after World War II. This happened. When granddad came home, no one, not even family, recognised him.
In his seventies, not long before he died, a man threatened his care-giver. Granddad told the man to fuck off, that he was a 'trained killer'.
He was past seventy, and he was a trained killer, alright...but that's not the point. He was a man. Not a saint, or a superhero. Just an ordinary man trying to do right.
This story is about what that means. 731 is a story about men talking and fighting, drinking and swearing and talking tough and dying and loving each other, as family and friends and sometimes, enemies.
But mostly it's about old guys who leave the world a little poorer when they go, and a little richer for having been here at all.
Anyway, that's the afterword. That's what the story is about. I hope you enjoy it.