Dead Space fans might want to keep an eye on their local bookstore this summer as Tor Books releases Dead Space: Martyr, a novel that will look at the origins of the Church of Unitology, the Black Marker and more.

Dead Space was a pretty awesome game, but by the time it was all over it had raised more questions than it answered. Who was Michael Altman? What’s the Church of Unitology really all about? Where did this Black Marker thing come from, and why does everyone seem so determined to get their hands on it when it’s obviously nothing but a big pain in the ass? I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but I couldn’t explain it on a bet.

Fortunately, that won’t be a worry once Dead Space: Martyr, a new novel from science fiction imprint Tor Books, hits the shelves this July. Written by Brian Evenson, the book will be set hundreds of years prior to the events of Dead Space and will offer a more detailed look at Church of Unitology founder Michael Altman, his discovery of the Black Marker and rumored assassination.

“One of the most compelling storytelling aspects of Dead Space has been the Church of Unitology: Its origins, power, and role in Dead Space,” said Tor editor Eric Raab. “Writer B.K. Evenson gets into the terrifying aspects of mob mentality like no other writer today. This isn’t only a great story within the Dead Space universe; it’s a great novel on its own.”

Evenson, currently the Director of Brown University’s Literary Arts Programan, is an award-winning author of short stories, novellas and novels. His book Last Days was recently selected as the best horror novel of 2009 by the American Library Association.

Dead Space 2 is currently in development for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. No release date has been announced.

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