Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Atrocity Engine


My next novel, The Atrocity Engine, is the first in a series of horror/urban fantasy novels for Aethon Books called The Custodians of the Cosmos. It’ll be out April 30th, and it’s available for preorder now. Advance reviews in trade publications, on NetGalley, and on Goodreads have been great so far, and I can’t wait for everyone meet the agents of Maintenance, the hardest-working heroes in horror!

The book is currently available for review on NetGalley, so if you want to snag a copy early, here’s your chance! https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/318185


The Maintenance novels take place in the mythos I’ve been developing since my novel The Harmony Society came out in 2003. If you want to learn more about my mythos, you can check out this previous blog entry:  https://writinginthedarktw.blogspot.com/2022/12/twenty-years-of-waggoner-mythos.html


(Don’t worry, though. You can read the Maintenance novels without having read any of my other work.)


What’s The Atrocity Engine about? Glad you asked!


Publisher’s Synopsis


Men in Black meets Hellraiser in this rollicking mash-up of urban fantasy and cosmic horror from four-time Bram Stoker Award-Winning author Tim Waggoner.


Creatures from dark dimensions infesting your home? Demonic beings trying to drive you insane? Alien gods attempting to destroy your universe?


Just call Maintenance.


This underpaid and overworked secret organization is dedicated to battling forces that seek to speed up Entropy and hasten the Omniverse’s inevitable death.


Neal Hudson is a twenty-year veteran of Maintenance. A surveyor who drives through the streets of Ash Creek, Ohio constantly scanning for the deadly energy known as Corruption. Since the death of his previous partner, Neal prefers to work alone, and he’s not happy when he’s assigned to mentor a rookie.


But they better learn to get along fast.


The Multitude, a group of godlike beings who seek to increase Entropy at every opportunity, are creating an Atrocity Engine. This foul magical device can destroy the Earth, and they don’t care how many innocent lives it takes to build it. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot!)


Just another day on the job. . .

Praise for The Atrocity Engine

Here are some fantastic blurbs The Atrocity Engine has received so far!

“Waggoner offers a fresh variation on the trope of a covert agency combating evil in his blood-drenched Custodians of the Cosmos series opener.” – Publishers Weekly

“This gripping dark fantasy boasts an indelible cast and an unwavering pace.” – Kirkus Reviews

"THE ATROCITY ENGINE is a wild ride full of entertaining scenarios and scary monsters!" – Booklist

“THE ATROCITY ENGINE is a kick-ass cross-genre thrill ride of a novel! Holy moly! Tim Waggoner is easily one of today’s best horror writers.” – Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of CAVE 13 and NECROTEK

"This is edge-of-your-seat Horror Fantasy. It's as if Stephen King wrote MEN IN BLACK!" —Scott Sigler, #1 NYT Bestselling author of EARTHCORE

“Fast-paced, cleverly thought-through, and deeply unnerving in all the right places—urban horror fantasy with a decidedly creepy difference. Don't read it in the dark!” – Diane Duane, New York Times bestselling author of TALES OF THE FIVE: THE LIBRARIAN

“A brutal, dark, and disturbing novel that will live in your nightmares. It’s so good!” – Horror Reads

Writing The Atrocity Engine


The Atrocity Engine is the first in a series featuring the entropy battling organization of Maintenance. This novel is a combination of horror, science fiction, fantasy, action-adventure, and humor with strong characters. The next two novels are Book of Madness and The Desolation War.


No matter how weird my novels get, I keep them grounded by giving them realistic, relatable characters and sharp description.


I originally created Maintenance for a horror/dark fantasy novel called Eat the Night, which came out several years ago. During the COVID lockdown I had extra time on my hands, and I decided to take my brand of weird horror and blend it with urban fantasy, just to see what happened. I wrote ninety pages, then deadlines for other projects reared their ugly heads, and I had to turn my attention to them.  After a while, I decided to write an outline for a full novel and send the completed pages to my agent, who sold a three-book series to Aethon.


Although I had to work on other projects after writing part of The Atrocity Engine, the characters and their world refused to leave me alone. I knew I had to finish their story one day, so I was very glad that Aethon Books gave me the chance!


I came up with the tagline I use for the book – Men in Black Meets Hellraiser – early on, and I used that as my focus while writing. I also thought of how the crew in Ghostbusters were portrayed as everyday working schlubs who were tired and unimpressed by the bizarre things they encountered. I wanted to give my Maintenance agents that same kind of attitude.


Neal Hudson is one of two main characters in the novel.  The other is his new partner, Gina Sandoval. Neal is in his mid-forties and on the verge of burn-out, and Gina is in her early twenties and embarking on her first real posting with Maintenance. I'm a middle-aged guy, and I wanted to use someone around my age as the protagonist. I also wanted to depict a professional relationship between a man and a woman that, while it eventually becomes a deep friendship, is not a romantic one.


One of the major themes in my work is the question of how do humans live with the knowledge that they – and the universe itself – will die. It's a question the agents of Maintenance have to wrestle with constantly, and while the book is a hardly a philosophical treatise, I hope readers might ponder the questions it raises, at least a little.


Want to learn even more about the writing of The Atrocity Engine? Check out this in-depth interview with me about the book on Cemetery Dance Online:




Want to preorder the novel? I got you covered!


Purchase Links


Amazon Hardback: https://www.amazon.com/Atrocity-Engine-Tim-Waggoner/dp/1949890899/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1699124447&sr=1-2


Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Atrocity-Engine-Tim-Waggoner-ebook/dp/B0CL9PW1W6/ref=sr_1_2?crid=33LY66VJJZMM9&keywords=tim+waggoner&qid=1699124447&s=books&sprefix=tim+waggoner%2Cstripbooks%2C115&sr=1-2


Audible Audiobook: https://www.amazon.com/Atrocity-Engine-Custodians-Cosmos-Book/dp/B0CSG8L572/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1XLV2VR8Z2DU1&keywords=tim+waggoner&qid=1706028396&s=books&sprefix=tim+waggoner%2Cstripbooks%2C135&sr=1-2


B&N Hardcover: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book/1144299910?ean=9781949890891


Book of Madness and The Desolation War


The second and third books in the series are finished, but I don’t have release dates for them yet. I do have covers that I can share with you, though!




I hope you’ll check out The Atrocity Engine and ride along with Neal and Gina as they fight to give all of creation a little more time before the final darkness closes in.