Revenge of the Apocalypse is now available in audio. The book takes place in Niagara Falls so I thought I’d talk a little about my experience with the city.

Growing up in Canada was a lot like that episode of G.I. Joe where Steeler, Flint, Lady Jaye and others find themselves in a world where Cobra has taken control. You know, the one where Steeler and Baroness were married and Cobra Commander lived in the White House. Destro’s face was on the money. It was exactly like that. But with the Queen’s face not Destro’s.

Things are close to how they’re supposed to be but not quite right. TV told you one thing while everyone around you was mispronouncing Datsun and Mazda. It’s really quite convincing. You can even get through most of the alphabet before you suspect something is off.

Niagara Falls is a great example. We didn’t have SeaWorld, we had Marineland (in all fairness, Marineland did come first. It’s the Hydrox cookie of aquarium based amusement). But at five, I didn’t know any better. I was just excited to see the whale. And the waterfall from Superman 2.

I knew all about Shamu. I’d seen him on Mr. Rogers. He was a friendly whale that danced and I was finally going to get to see him. But Marineland didn’t have a Shamu the Killer Whale. There was Kandu the Killer Whale. And when my parents told me it was Kandu and not Shamu, I started to question my reality. All of it. Why did Grover say Zee when my teachers said Zed? Why were the Duke boys doing Miles Per Hour instead of Kilometers? Why was our milk in bags instead of cartoons with missing children pictured on them? Did we not care about missing children enough to put them on our dairy?

Looking back, my encounter with Kandu the counterfeit orca may have been the most important moment in my life. It changed my view of the world. I became skeptical of everything. I was instantly a cynic and judgmental of lazy writing. (Seriously, Kandu!? They could have named it almost anything and not been seen as lazy hacks.) Everything changed that day.

But that’s not why I set the book in the city on the border.

I did it because of the old vaudeville routine. Slowly I turned! Step by step! Inch by inch! It’s great bit. Makes me laugh. As the Librarian, and everyone else, was out for revenge, I couldn’t think of a more fitting place.

Anyway, Revenge of the Apocalypse is now available on audible and I invite you to pick it up here. It’s read by the great Phil Thron and I hope you enjoy it. There are a couple of Marineland jokes to be had. And the story in there about the seal is true.

I hope you like it.

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