The recent death of James Hubbert robbed the UK of one of its most enduring authors. Though Hubbert spent the last twenty years writing milder thrillers, his notoriety rests largely on the shoulders of the violent horror novels he wrote in the late seventies and early nineties, especially the shocking "rats' series: Bloody Damn Rats, Big Bloody Damn Rats, and Even Bigger and Bloodier Damn Rats. This led to a whole slew of imitations, the most popular being the works of Guy Slumming, author of the popular "hogs" series, with such notable entries as Hogs Gone Daft, Hogs on the Warpath, and Bloody Hell, It's Those Bloody Damn Hogs Again.
Slumming's disreputable books made him a wealthy man thanks to their popularity in the UK amongst the least literate book buyers, but he was disheartened by his inability to crack the US market. Slumming became a despondent alcoholic and died an early death in 1998, when he was fell asleep on a fence and fell into a mudhole and was torn apart, ironically enough, by a pack of ravenous hogs. Then there was Joe "Buggy" Smith, author of even trashier novels like Bugs, Slugs, and Those Little Things That Live Under the House That Look A Bit Like Earthworms But Have a Hard Shell About Them.
Stephen King wrote of Hubbert thusly: "I have found my fondness for Hubbert to be met with scorn from all corners of the globe. In England he is a shady secret in all but the filthiest of pubs. I once asked a prominent academian his opinion of Hubbert's work, only to be punched in the face. This is a shame, since Hubbert is the finest writer of so-called trash novels since E. Tuggington Smith, the creator of Bart the Musclebound Fascist and Sheena the Barbarian Hooker."
Here, with a certain degree of sadness we present a particularly chilling excerpt from Hubbert's breakout bestseller, Bloody Damn Rats.
Bloody Hell, Smitty though to himself. He was bloody drunk, damn bloody drunk in fact. So bloody damn drunk he'd pissed his trousers three times and it wasn't even too far past midnight. But he wasn't too drunk to take another gulp of that hideous cheap whiskey he'd bought earlier that night. Hideous as it was, his throat swallowed down the wretched substance with nary a protest. The drink was good, as good to his throat as fresh blood might be, in the throat of some voracious animal that is. Some thirsty voracious animal, such as a rat perhaps.
There was a sharp pain in his chest. Good God, he thought. It feels as is something is gnawing at my chest. Something big and hungry. The size of a big bloody rat. If I weren't so damn drunk I'd get off me sweet arse and do something about it. But I think I'll have me another drink instead.
Hideous hairy things were all over the dank flat. Something was chewy on his arm, trying to bite it off. Their long whiskers were brushing his face. Bollocks to this, he thought, I better do something before it's too late to stop these ugly creatures. I never knew such a foul stench could exist on this earth. Still, it's better than staying home with the wife.
He took another drink. Just as he began to relax, more hairy things jumped on him, hideous things the size of dogs, but they wern't dogs at all, they were rats, big ones too. Good God, he thought. The bloody damn rats are eatin' me damn genitals...