A note from the author :

So ED Day : Dead Sydney is finally finished. Well, a first draft anyway. I'm finishing a new draft for its e-book publication in late 2011, adding more photos, video and some audio.

Yes, I know there's a few spelling mistakes and one of two gaping plot holes in this version, and no you don't win any prizes for spotting them. You'll never know if I left them in on purpose, just to mess with you.

Below you'll find an excerpt from Chapter One, with links to the full chapter so you can read the the novel all the way through. Or if you look to the right of this page, you'll see a list of chapter links. Each chapter links to the next, so you can't get lost.

I hope you enjoy reading ED Day : Dead Sydney. It was great fun to write, as sad it was to kill off an entire city, and then pick off the survivors, and as grim as it was to imagine Sydney, a city I dearly love, stripped of almost all of its life and noise.

I hope you stay up to dawn reading this novel, because that's what I did most nights I was writing it. The nights are always the worst time for the survivors in ED Day : Dead Sydney, but every dawn reminds them they'd survived what few others had, and the new day, this next day was right there, waiting for them to join it, to join in, to get back amongst the living.

Darryl Mason


An excerpt from Chapter One :

Thick grey-brown clouds of smoke from the burning suburbs are blowing back across the city. I can smell what’s burning out there : fabric, plastic, carpets, wood, chemicals, people.

There’s nothing like the smell of a burning human body. Even after five or so weeks of hauling black-faced, rotting corpses off the streets, and out of the office blocks of Sydney’s CBD, I still reckon the smell of a burning body is heaps worse than anything else.

That stinging stench of torched hair, that sweet-bacon stink of human flesh and fat on fire, it can still make me gag. A little bit anyway. Not as much as it did when we first started burning the piles of corpses in the Domain that first week after ED Day. Everything I ate for those couple of weeks we were burning the bodies tasted like that sweet-bacon stink.

I can handle the rotting flesh smell now. Don't like it much, but I think I’ve gotten used to the stench of all those bloated flesh bags of slime and juice we drag into the back of trucks for four to six every day. I don’t like the smell, but it doesn’t make me puke.

Then again, all the survivors are probably used to the smell of rotting flesh. It hangs around the city streets like a mist. The city used to stink of pollution from all the traffic. Now it stinks of the dead. It never goes away, not while there’s still tens of thousands of bodies to be disposed of.

We try and cover the stench with disinfectant and perfume and burning steel bins full of eucalyptus leaves. Lots of survivors still plug their nostrils with tea-tree oil soaked cigarette filters, but the smell gets into your clothes, your hair, your bed, the sheets, the pillows, the carpet. Your dinner.

Bookman told me a few days ago that whoever is burning up the suburbs is probably doing us a favour.

“When we get out there,” he said, “there’ll be a lot less bodies to dispose of. All that charcoal and ash will soak down into the earth, it’ll replenish the soil. In a year or two we can run bulldozers through the ruins, scrap off the top couple of inches of concrete and plastic and wire and reo, and ten years from now there’ll be tens of thousands of acres of fields for our crops and cattle.”

Bookman will spend two hours raging against "those bastards" who he reckons unleashed the bird flu pandemic and killed millions of people. Then he'll tell you how great it'll be in the future now all those people are gone.

"It wasn't an accident, Paul," he'll say to me, every few days, "they wanted us to die, those bastards. They wanted to get rid of all of us. Save the planet, kill the humans. Kill everyone except themselves, you see. We weren't supposed to survive, but we have and now we have to own the future. This is our city. Ten years from now, we'll have transformed it into a paradise.".

Go Here To Read Chapter One In Full