The Car and Christine may come to mind while reading our exclusive excerpt from Jonathan Wood's Anti-Hero, as seemingly possessed vehicles aim their hoods at Arthur Wallace and friends in the follow-up to 2011's No Hero from Titan Books. In our latest round-up we also take a look at who will be joining Lady Gaga in American Horror Story: Hotel, as well as release details for this month's Horror Block, which includes two The Walking Dead items and artwork by Lee Howard.

American Horror Story: Hotel: Deadline reports that at PaleyFest this weekend, it was revealed Matt Bomer will star in Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Hotel. Also in attendance at PaleyFest, Jessica Lange confirmed what many expected when she announced that she will not be returning to play a role in the fifth season of the anthology horror series.

Like Lady Gaga's character, Bomer's role is not yet known, but it will be a prominent one. Bomer (White Collar) guest-starred as Andy in American Horror Story: Freak Show and starred in Murphy's The Normal Heart. Horror hounds may also remember him as Eric from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Stay tuned to Daily Dead for further details on American Horror Story: Hotel.

Anti-Hero: "When it rains it pours… monster machines. That attack during a funeral and ruin everyone’s day. MI317—the government department devoted to defending Britain from cosmic horrors—is under siege, so Arthur Wallace and his team must travel to Area 51, ably—and oddly—assisted by Agent Gran. But their travels don’t end there, not when there’s an Arctic town populated entirely by spore zombies and the 2.0 version of Clyde has some funny ideas about how to save the world."

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The Mercedes—a silver, growling thing—bucks over the sodden ground, over uprooted stone, through shrapnel-dug trenches. It rears over Clyde’s grave. Felicity seizes me around the waist, flings me sideways. I bite dirt. The car crashes down.

A tire buries itself in the open grave, spins wildly. The back tires kick, the Mercedes lurches forward, twists, tilts down, drives itself into the earth. The rear tires kick once more, but one’s up in the air now, and the other just sprays mud.

Lying sprawled, I grab my gun, jab it at the car. I stare down the barrel. But I don’t know who to shoot at. What to shoot at. The car is empty. The driver’s seat void of manic ne’er-do-wells with kamikaze urges.

“What in all hell?” Aliens I have dealt with. Sorcery has become more than passing familiar. But homicidal machinery? That is a new one.

In the face of this weirdness, I hit upon a reliable battle plan. “We have to get out of here,” I say.

“Well put.” Felicity clambers to her feet then gives me a hand up. “We figure out what the hell this is later. Right now we just bail.”

Tabitha is staring at the car. “It’s them,” she wails. “It’s Clyde.”

But it’s not. It can’t be. Clyde is dead. And I was just talking to the versions. They are far from homicidal.

Except something did just autopilot a car at us. Something... hell, it must have hacked into the car’s computer, taken more control than I thought it could.

But who?

I think back to Felicity’s question. Have I pissed off any major governments? I did cancel my subscription to a few junk email lists I’d found my way onto. But I can’t imagine that any major retail chains would take that this badly, even in this economy.

We need to get out of here. But can we even trust our own cars? Will Felicity’s Satnav turn rogue? Try to instruct us to death? Turn left off this cliff now?

I’d rather not chance it. In fact I’d rather be a good mile from anything with a computer. Except we’re in the middle of a city, the countryside nowhere in sight. The whole options thing is looking very limited right now.

The best hiding places I can figure are the houses, shops, across the road that rings the cemetery. They at least would provide moderate cover from vehicular projectiles while we plan the next step.

“OK,” I say. “We’re getting out of here,” I say. “Whoever’s trying to kill us, needs to try a damn sight harder.”

This seems a popular suggestion. We move. Kayla accelerates past me, leaps up on what’s left of the cemetery wall, surveys the scene. I keep pace with Felicity. Tabitha is between us, wide- eyed and silent now—a state bordering on catatonia. She’s not bleeding heavily from anywhere obvious, but the fact that she just spent some quality time in her semi-dead boyfriend’s grave could account for the symptoms, I suppose.

Another crunch of steel and stone from behind us. I glance back. A Jeep has breached the wall and is struggling over the craters and liberally strewn grave markers. I point my pistol, open fire. Smoke starts pouring from the Jeep’s hood.

The rest of us make it to the wall ahead of the floundering Jeep. We vault it. And then we pause and we stare at the road. At a road full of even more cars. Our only route of escape looks remarkably like a death trap.

Vehicles have slammed to a halt in the middle of the road. People stand around open car doors staring. They have cellphones and bewildered expressions.

Surely not every car has a computer in it. And those that do... well, they can’t all control the steering. I think.

Hell, I don’t have any better plans right now.

Plus, beyond the cars lies a store selling televisions of the dubious knock-off variety. A widescreen monstrosity in the window shows a slowly revolving shot of the Statue of Liberty staring imperiously out at the world. Shelter.

I point at it, using the universal language of fleeing. We lunge into the street. Concerned citizens approach us. Kayla punches one in the throat. They stop approaching.

Their cars, however, don’t.

A parked Honda lurches forward. I see its owner gesticulate wildly, mouth open in what must be a yell. His car is silver, in need of a wash, and aimed directly at my legs.

I jump, take the hit on my hip. Pain shoots through me. My shoulder comes down on the hood and I roll up the windshield. The car barely had time to accelerate but on top of everything else it hurts. I seriously need to restrict the things coming at me to cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol.

Then a second car shoots forward. The pedestrians are panicking now. Driverless cars slam together. Something crashes into the Honda, sending me rolling to the tarmac. A van bears down. I roll more, try to align myself between tires. Keep my head down.

The van thunders over me, hits something else and shudders to a stop. I lie, face in the tarmac, breathing in short gravelly breaths. I am alive, I remind myself. Still alive. I need to move.

Something plows into the van’s side, shoves it sideways. Tires bear down on me. My rolling takes on a desperate edge. Something crashes from the opposite direction. My cover becomes distinctly narrower.

I scramble forward. My fingers rasp against asphalt. More impacts all around me. The car above my head shaking and shuddering like an epilepsy victim. Then I’m beneath another car, this one slung closer to the ground. The exhaust pipe scorches me through what’s left of my jacket.

Then the curb is before me. Full of milling feet. I get an arm out. A shoulder. Someone grabs my hand, heaves. I slip up and out, shoulder protesting.

Felicity is there, holding my hand, helping me from my knees to my feet. She grabs me in a savage hug. And I’m not the only one in this relationship fearing for the other’s safety, I see.

It’s always nice to have something to live for so clearly defined for you.

Then a sound from behind. Another screech of metal, a grunt of over-exerting engines.

Someone grabs me around the shoulder, bowls me over. I roll, come up staring at where I just stood.

A car vaulted the others. Its hood now occupies the space where my head used to be.

I stare at my rescuer. Kayla. She holds both Felicity and me. “Feckin’ idiots.” She shakes her head.

Tabitha stands in the store doorway, still staring and wide- eyed. I depart Kayla’s grip, shove Tabitha forward and in. We need to get away from the display window. I don’t want some errant vehicle sending death-sized shards flying at us all.

The store is dark, narrow, mostly illuminated by opposing walls of TVs. They all show some laminated-looking presenter standing in Times Square, being assaulted by neon and billboards.

We push deeper in. A terrified looking man with too much gel in his hair and too little slack in his T-shirt stares at us, wide-eyed. We stand, eyes locked for a moment. Like panicked gunslingers at high noon. Slowly he extends his left arm, points to a TV.

“You want a Sony?”

Then every screen in the store goes white. Everything in the store is suddenly cast in bright unflattering light. The reflection from the man’s greasy hair is almost blinding. There’s a high- pitched whine building in the room. I see Felicity’s hand go to her mouth. I’m glad I was too vain to get metal fillings.

Then an explosion behind us. We spin as one. A TV blown out. Glass shards scattered on the floor. Wires spitting sparks in the set’s empty corpse.

Then another. Another. A whole column of them on one side of the store. Then the column facing it. And then, racing down the store, closing down on us, detonation after detonation. The whole store filling with flying glass and plastic shrapnel. TV remotes fly across the room. Circuit boards spin like shuriken.

I could really use a break from running away from things, right now.

Horror Block: This month's Horror Block ships out on March 25th with two The Walking Dead items and artwork from Lee Howard. To learn more, visit:

Today is also the last day to submit to the Horror Block Short-Film Festival. To learn more, visit:

Source: Deadline
  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.