Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nightmare Trails at Knifepoint

Greetings, dear reader.

Welcome to Nightmare Trails at Knifepoint.

Nightmare Trails is a lightning-flashed noir, a haunted detective novel for our disordered age. Ephraim P. Noble is a new kind of hero who must face the incoherence of a vast underground tunnel system built at the same time as the interstate highway system in the 1950s, a clock that doesn't keep time but creates it, his doppelganger, a mad (as in sanatorium) hunchback, a shadowy woman with long fingers whom he just happens to love, and a dark mystery as complicated as life itself. Ephraim, in fact, collaborated with me on portions of A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, 1974-1982 (Continuum Publishers, 2009), where he made his first public appearance.

Each monthly installment follows Ephraim as he journeys deeper into the tunnels, where a vast machine awaits him. Is it possible to escape one's fate? This, and other mysteries, lay at the heart of Nightmare Trails. The plot thickens in each installment, until it reaches is resolution in the final pamphlet (December 2010).

As a lover of sequential, serialized narrative, I found that the most natural way to publish Ephraim's strange odyssey was through a series of pamphlets, each one between 6 to 20 pages long, and each with a cliffhanger ending. (Well, seeing as there are no cliffs per se in this part of Michigan, let's just call them ravine-hanger endings.) I also loved the idea of telling his story in paper format, so that the story being told is more than the story itself, but also the medium of its publication. In other words, the pamphlets are worth keeping, featuring full-color covers and, sometimes, inserts.

1 comment:

  1. This is the coolest thing I've ever heard. I am SO subscribing. I love antiques and I love books. Now I have an antique way to read books!