The Black

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Under 30,000 feet of water, the exploration rig Leaguer has discovered an oil field larger than Saudi Arabia, with oil so sweet and pure, nations would go to war for the rights to it. But as the team starts drilling exploration well after exploration well in their race to claim the sweet crude, a deep rumbling beneath the ocean floor shakes them all to their core. Something has been living in the oil and it’s about to give birth to the greatest threat humanity has ever seen.

The Black is a techno/horror-thriller that puts the horror and action of movies such as Leviathan and The Thing right into readers’ hands. Ocean exploration will never be the same.

The crew of the deep-sea exploration rig Leaguer discovers oil sweeter, purer, and sure to be more easily refined than anything that’s ever existed. To confirm their own analysis of their billion dollar find, a test barrel is flown from the drill site off the coast of Papua/New Guinea to Houston Analytical Laboratories (HAL). 

As the unsuspecting scientists at HAL await the arrival of the oil, they ready their lab for what they know is an important job. They’ve seen the test results from Leaguer; this find could make history.

While the barrel is on its way to Houston, an “infection” breaks out on the far-away rig. And as life aboard the rig descends into chaos, the scientists at HAL make their own discovery—what Leaguer found is indeed historic; it just isn’t oil. Instead, they’ve brought up a dangerous organism that could threaten all life on earth.

Trapped in their labs, the scientists must find a way to fight a creature that defies chemistry, physics, and biology.

The Black: Arrival, a parallel story to the Amazon Horror Best-Seller The Black, is a page-turning suspense novel that will fill you with claustrophobic terror.

Now that The Black has arrived, will humanity survive?

When a Centers for Disease Control quarantine fails at Ben Taub Hospital, a Houston SWAT Team is sent in to secure the facility. What they find is destruction and death. Trapped in the hospital, cut off from the world, a mysterious voice on the radio is all they have to guide them. They’re no longer on a mission to quarantine the remaining inhabitants. Instead, they have to destroy a multiplying menace that could infect the world before the Federal Government enacts a final solution.

Outbreak is a standalone, parallel story to both the 2015 Parsec Award Winning Novel The Black and The Black: Arrival. A winning mashup of action and horror, Outbreak is a suspenseful thriller that will keep you guessing at what’s around the next corner.

54 thoughts on “The Black”

  1. Thank you for uploading. You are an amazing artist I hope you never stop and sell enough and more than enough so you can write full time.

  2. Am really enjoying The Black, which I listen to while walking my husky through the hills of the Galilee where I live.
    Am amazed at the technical detail of how an exploratory deep water rig works, and the characterization of the types of people who work on them. Did you work on one – or is it the result of a lot of in-depth research? I assume that your descriptions are correct since I don’t see any criticism on this site!

    1. Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’ve actually never been on an oil rig. However, living in Houston for most of my life, I know quite a few people who have. In addition, I’ve written software for a lot of oil companies during my career. In the process, you learn quite a few things. But most of the actual detail came from watching youtube videos of rig life, reading a ton of industry papers, and talking to my father (the chemical engineer).

      I had to fudge a few things here and there, but for the most part, no one has screamed bloody murder. 🙂

  3. PS Thanks a lot for your hard work and sharing you talents with us via this podcast! Glad to hear that I may not have long to wait after this one ends and the next starts.

      1. Am looking forward – actually “listening forward” 😉 – to the Q&A show.
        You asked for questions – I’d appreciate if you could elaborate on my above questions above by perhaps giving more factual technical detail about rigs that are applicable to the story. For example, the use of “Catfish’s” submersibles and how advanced they truly are nowadays; geological lab work done on core samples and returning mud; etc.


  4. Come & Listen to my story ’bout Robot #5,
    A poor AUV barely keeping itself alive,
    And then one day, it was shootin at the sea,
    When up from the ground popped up an anomoly.
    Oil it wasn’t. Not sure what it was. But it sure wasn’t oil.

  5. Oops Left my comment for the Black on the comments for the Graveyard. Here I go again. Great book, great plot, super narration. Your writing style is polished. Made donation through paypal, shows up as Anita Brown. As a whiskey drinker myself, I can think of no better use of the 20 bucks than being used to buy booze.

      1. My tastes are more plebeian (ie white trashy). I enjoy copious amounts of Southern Comfort along with Sody (ie carbonated beverage)

  6. Hey Paul
    I purchased your audiobook and dying to listen to it but it list it as sale pending. Who do I contact for help. Thanks

        1. Very welcome. Again, if you EVER have problems with my store, please let me know. In addition to patron services such as killing them off, we enjoy providing fiendishly prompt customer service. 🙂

  7. Paul Cooley
    You have officially made a lifetime fan. Bought both the Black and the Black Arrival and could not/would not put them down. The best deep sea/horror books I have read in a long time. I will continue to follow your work and I am hoping for even more. So glad I found your site so I could tell you personally how much of an awesome writer you are.

  8. Hi Paul,

    David of March 28 and May 3 comments above, calling once more.

    MAZAL TOV on getting the Parsec! You are in excellent company and deserve to be proud!

    You may have answered this question before, but I missed it – approximately how many episodes will there be of “Arrival” and will we have the thrill of hearing “Outbreak” start right after it ends, just like it started after the Black – that would be AWESOME.

    Again -really enjoying the book – a great break from the news analysis and other such stuff I normally listen too, and the in-depth historical analysis that is now making up my reading list. I so look forward to walking my husky Saturday morning when The Black drops (thanks to the time difference between Houston and the Holy Land).

    May you go from success to success!

    1. Thanks for the congrats, mate. Appreciate it. Arrival should weigh in somewhere between 27-31 episodes. I’m having to adjust on the fly for episodes that end up being too long or too short. So things kind of move around a little bit.

      Not sure when Outbreak will hit the podcast. Due to life, the universe, and everything, I’m a bit behind on getting the book written. Something I’m attempting to rectify. My hope is that we’ll have Outbreak in the feed no later than February. Sooner if we can make that happen.

      Thanks again for the best wishes.

  9. I just discovered The Black and Black Arrival on podcast and I loved them! Your introductions to the episodes give a glimpse into your world. Hearing you talk about your writing made your work all the more enjoyable. Thank you for the great books. I look forward to checking out more of your writing and will definitely make some purchases in the near future.

  10. I just blitzed through the Black Trilogy, loved it. Just the kind of horror I dig, the more unknowable and unnameable the better.

    That being said, I cant wait to explore the monster’s origins in Evolution.

    Keep it up Mr. Cooley, I like where your head is at.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the first 3 The Black books. I will probably get back to work on the fourth installment, The Black: Evolution later this year. At present, I’m working on the second book in the Derelict saga. If you enjoyed The Black, you might like that too. Especially when the second volume comes out later this year.

  11. Thank you, I’m so sad to be finishing the Black series. I’m now definitely going to look ohinto other work you have done!

      1. This is great news….first time reader of your books and really enjoyed Black 1 & 2. Starting #3 today – happy to learn of more on the way. I will let my friends/family know there are more to come in the series.


  12. Just finished the three Black audiobooks in a week – so pleased that there is going to be another. Brilliant writing and great characters. You have a new fan in the far North East of Iceland. Thank you fir writing and sharing your wonderful talent.

  13. Hello,

    My friend Ruth introduced me to your work last year. I have read the Derelict Series and the Black series. I have enjoyed them immensely and recommended them to my daughter. i am very excited to read the next books in those series. I also met Scott Sigler last year, interestingly we ended up talking about you. You are an inspiration and should I ever have the opportunity or desire to write a story I hope it is as entertaining, attention grabbing, and exciting as what you do. Thank you very much for sharing your craft with the world.

  14. Hi Paul love your books. I purchased your audio book The Black: Evolution at, but it’s not showing up. I’m very excited to finish this series. If you could help me out, I would very much appreciate it. 😊

  15. mr cooley, just how truly kewl you are is beyond measure. i have enjoyed all of your series so far and look forward to more nightmares and strange dreams fueled by your genius. i will continue to support you as best i can on my income.

    may your income increase
    can’t wait for more Derelect & Black

  16. That was an amazing trilogy!
    I’ve always struggled on deciding what audio/ebooks to try, so glad I took the chance on this!
    Looking forward to getting to the 4th one now!

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