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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie author lends a hand in collaborative book series

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“Apocalypse Weird” is a project that combines the work of several different sci-fi and fantasy authors in one common alternative world. 

A new literary collaboration that explores apocalyptic scenarios has an Aggie twist to it. 
The “Apocalypse Weird” project consists of a collective of writers including Chris Pourteau, a senior research editor at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Class of 1989. Each author follows their own story throughout a series, all under an overarching plotline created by Wonderment Media.
Wonderment Media, a publishing company founded by independent fiction authors, hosted an online book launching party Tuesday for the series’ newest book, “Genesis: The White Dragon.”
“Each of us writers have our own approach to creating a story,” said Pourteau, author of  “Serenity Strain.” “Some of these stories are based on theories that might actually happen, we just take them and dial them up to 11. We each have our different story lines but they contribute to a larger narrative that over time is going to evolve out of the novels and bring the heroes of the novels together later on. If you think of Marvel Comics, it’s like that.”
As more novels are written, authors are allowed to share characters across stories. Several of the novels take place within Texas, including Pourteau’s book, which is set in Houston.
Part of the mission of “Apocalypse Weird”  is to interact with readers as much as possible. In the E-books, available on iBooks or Amazon, readers are able to click hyperlinks within chapters that are “Easter eggs” 
leading to graphics, videos and potential new story plot lines that students can invent. 
Pourteau said Wonderment has helped create a website where fans can upload their own work to be read. If the feedback is positive and Wonderment is interested, they may even offer a contract.
“All of us are contributing something — it’s a community-created bookverse,” Pourteau said. “So what that means is it’s just a group of writers and we are all working together. It’s not a competition. If my book does well, they do well, so it’s a collaborative work and that’s a great feeling to be part of a community that wants to help you.” 
Pourteau said he feels overwhelmed at getting to share his writings with his alma mater, and incorporated a little something special in honor of his Aggie family.
“I’m excited because when I was here I was a member of the MSC sci-fi community and I was part of the literary arts community at the MSC,” Pourteau said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to put my stories out here and hope other Aggies can read it. As an Aggie I made sure that one of my Easter eggs was making the evil professor that created the deadly virus a professor from UT.”
Michael Bunker, an executive producer of “Apocalypse Weird” and author, said the apocalyptic genre is not only for Walking Dead fans or horror movie geeks — it can also appeal to anyone interested in science fiction or fantasy. 
“I think that it is something that is new — it is really just something that can identify with this generation,” Bunker said. “This is really the first type of publishing company that is doing things through means of social media, through collaboration, through open-source work.”
“Apocalypse Weird” has a long-term goal of publishing two novels each month for the next five years. For each novel, a launch party is held, where participants can interact with authors and receive giveaways.

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