Del Rey Spectra 50 Page Fridays: Daryl Gregory


Every Friday, we here @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Unbound Worlds. Whether it is science fiction, epic fantasy, alternate history, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal, the possibilities are endless.

This week’s excerpt features the phenomenal Raising Stony Mayhall, a zombie book that takes a fresh look on the genre, wonderfully pays homage George Romero, and places you in a gripping, moving story that you will not stop thinking about once you finish reading. Del Rey author and all around great guy Daryl Gregory took a little time to talk about his latest book and how he describes it:

“I’ve always struggled to find pithy phrases describe my books, and I had the same problem with Raising Stony Mayhall. It’s the story of an orphan who thinks he’s the last living dead boy in the world, until he discovers there are more zombies out there, in hiding. He grows up (without knowing how it is that dead flesh can “grow”), experiences a political awakening, gets labeled as the zombie messiah, and then… well, even more stuff happens. It’s a love letter to zombie stories, but also a family drama about being raised by strong women (the most autobiographical aspect of the novel). You see how many sentences it’s taking me to get to the point?

Then a few days ago, an early reviewer on the GoodReads site coined the perfect term for the book: Zombildungsroman. For you non-English majors out there, a bildungsroman is a novel about the moral and psychological growth of a person from youth to adulthood. The form goes back at least to Fielding’s The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, and includes books like To Kill a Mockingbird and David Copperfield. I have to admit that as I worked on Stony I was thinking of Dickens’ book, including his first chapter, “I Am Born,” and that great first line: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” Young David, though, had the advantage of being born alive…”

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Please enjoy this extensive excerpt of Raising Stony Mayhall, available in paperback and eBook on 6/28.

RAISING STONY MAYHALL by Daryl Gregory, Excerpt