Well, here it is, the audio for the third chapter of The Chasm and the Collision, read by me. It will be posted on YouTube sometime early next week, but for the moment, feel free to listen to it here. As always, feel free to download it, share it, etc., but you’re not authorized to make any money off of it…
…even if you could.
By the way, for ease of use, here are links to the entries on my blog where you can listen to earlier chapters:
It’s the second Thursday of the month and, as promised, this is the second installment of “My heroes have always been villains.” Today, I discuss one of the greatest villains in modern fantasy literature: Sauron of Mordor, the title character of The Lord of the Rings.
Peter Jackson’s amazing LotR movies (and the slightly less amazing The Hobbit movies) have brought Sauron to the attention of the population at large to a greater degree than ever before, but he was hardly a shrinking violet to begin with. Millions upon millions of us met him in the books, after getting teased by him as the Necromancer in The Hobbit. Continue reading →
The Chasm and the Collision is my currently published novel that has the most recent—and what might be thought inauspicious—origins. I came up with the idea for it while I was an involuntary resident of Gun Club Road, a period lasting eight months. It was a longer stretch of enforced restriction from most of the sources of intellectual stimulation to which I was used than I think I’ve experienced either before or since.
During that time, thanks to the help of my ex-wife, I was able to keep in contact with my children by calling them two days a week—though the calls were restricted to fifteen minutes at a time, and this was disheartening (though positively luxurious compared to my current interactions). My children were around eleven and twelve at the time, my son just entering middle school and my daughter in the latter year or so of elementary school. Continue reading →
Middle-school students Alex, Meghan, and Simon discover a cluster of delightfully fragrant, irresistibly delicious berries in the fruit bowl in Alex’s house. Assuming the berries to have been bought by Alex’s mother, they eat them all. But this fruit is like nothing ever grown on Earth.
That night, the friends share a dream about an impossible city-mountain floating at the edge of a horizon-spanning cliff with no other side, just an endless rusty sky. Over the next few days, they begin to see and hear strange people and bizarre creatures that no one else seems to notice. Eventually, they are abducted to the world of their dream, where the sky is always sunset, where feathered reptiles work alongside humans, where mole-weasel creatures dig caverns by manipulating space itself, and where the miraculous plants can think and communicate telepathically with gifted individuals called Gardeners. There they learn of an impending catastrophe of horrifying proportions: The collision of that world’s universe with ours, a cataclysm that would destroy everything in both realms!
They also learn that there are people—and an Other—that want the collision to happen, in order to fulfill a terrible prophecy. Now Alex, Meghan, and Simon must do what they can, with new abilities they have gained by eating the berries, to escape from those who serve that prophecy, and eventually to help save both universes…all while trying not to get in trouble for being late to school.
Mark Reed is an ordinary teenage boy. When he sees a woman being attacked, he rushes to help her, only to be stabbed by her assailant. But the woman he sought to aid was a vampire, and as he lies, bleeding to death in an alley, he sees her deal easily with her attacker. Then, unwilling to let him die because of the heroism of his actions, she saves his life…the only way she can.
The next day, Mark awakens to find that he has been changed in ways he could not have believed, potentially forever. Now he must hide his new nature from his family and friends, learning about his powers and the dangers they entail, and looking for a cure for his new condition. All the while he must guard against his nearly irresistible blood-lust, for if he should kill a human by draining their blood, he will become a full vampire.
And a full vampire can never be cured, even by death.