Monday, March 30, 2015

Back to The Nightmare Frontier

You know, over the past 30-some years, I've built up a reasonably extensive body of written work. Short stories, novels, scripts, essays, even a bit of poetry. Would you be surprised if I told you I have no fondness for the stuff? Sometimes, I'm pretty sure I can safely say I loathe it.

Okay, that's not entirely fair. The work itself, I suspect, may be fine enough in its own right, at least on occasion. I mean, I get consistently good reviews. I have almost no unsold short stories in my inventory. I have at least one die-hard fan. I only rarely receive hate mail (trust me, I'm working on this). Perhaps it would more accurate to state that I detest revisiting my older work. At the time I wrote whatever it was I wrote, I had my say, and that was that. Going back into it usually just makes me cringe, and I suspect that part of the reason for this is that writing — especially good writing — is often born of pain. Emotional pain. Who the hell wants to go back and invite a rough time back into one's life?

Now, certainly, the vast majority of my tales were hardly the result of profound suffering. More often, even at its darkest, my work touches more on the whimsical side of life. However, I can scarcely think of a story I've written that doesn't draw on some pretty negative shit from deep inside. Putting it out there can be cathartic, and I imagine any number of accomplished writers can identify with this feeling. At the same time, my primary aim is to make the words you read entertaining. Engrossing. All about things that you, as an intelligent human being, can relate to, even when twisted into scarcely recognizable form.

Where am I going with this? Well, I won't lie to you. I want you to read The Nightmare Frontier. Yes, of course, for purely commercial reasons. I'll also tell you why — the other reasons, the more personal, cathartic reasons. They weren't painful. They were impressive.

The Nightmare Frontier may be the most fun, deep, gruesome, romantic, touching, funny, and dark piece of work I ever produced. And, perhaps most significantly, as related to the above, I recently went back and re-read a portion of it. I did not hate the fucking thing. That's rare, and that's my testimonial, which I will stand by. (Laugh while you can, monkey boy.) Here's a little about how the book came to be, and this does include stock footage from an older blog. If you've read it before, or already have the book, feel free to vacate the premises with all due haste; this is for those who have not or who don't mind a refresher.

The novel was inspired by a waking dream — for me a very rare thing, and in this case, one that gave me one of the most terror-filled moments of my adult life. It was late evening, and I was drowsing on the couch in the living room, dark but for a few streamers of light filtering in through the venetian blinds. I was aware that I was lying on the couch, yet I was beginning to see images creeping up from my subconscious. As I lay there, I noticed a pool of warm, golden light forming at the corner of my vision. I shifted just enough to peer around the arm of the couch, and then I saw the source of the light.

Creeping across the living room floor, perhaps six feet away, there was a gigantic centipede, five feet long, its body glowing gold and red, as if a flame were burning within it. Its head resembled a human skull, and as I watched, the thing slowly turned toward me, and I became aware of a horrifying, malevolent intelligence, observing and appraising me. It made no further move, yet my fear rapidly intensified until I jerked violently awake. The most disturbing thing at that moment was that I knew I was fully awake, yet I could see a circle of golden light on the floor, slowly fading, vanishing only after several seconds had passed.
The original cover of The Nightmare Frontier
by Chad Savage; Sarob Press, 2006

It took some time before my nerves settled enough for me to drag myself off the couch and retire to my bedroom. By the time I finally drifted off to sleep again, I had a rudimentary plot in my head for the novel that was to become The Nightmare Frontier. So, yes, in the novel, you will encounter the thing that crept out of my darkest imaginings to pay me a visit that night. You will meet the individuals responsible for calling up such a thing from the remotest depths of hell. You will find yourself trapped in a town cut off from the rest of the world by some inexplicable force, rendering you helpless before the advance of these murderous monsters, known as Lumeras.

The e-book edition of The Nightmare Frontier can be had for a mere $2.99 at The audio book, narrated by Basil Sands, is $17.99. Here are the links:

The Nightmare Frontier e-book

The Nightmare Frontier audio book

Thank you for your time.

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