This was my first novel (if you overlook Pirate Radio, which I'll mention shortly) and set the tone for my interest in blending modern-era situations with traditional fantasy themes - often with a slightly darker edge. The Electric Midnight follows the struggling Max as the entire world he knew changes virtually overnight. What would you do if the world you woke up to today was not quite the same as the one before? The comforting lines of continuity that follow through our lives, connecting each day in a smooth chain of events that we remember (more or less) as our past, being broken and changed... and nobody saw it but you?

Yeah, yeah... you'd look over your shoulder for Rod Serling and the eerie music!

But for Max, it's not enough that the world is drifting into a landscape of giant spiders, forests of glass trees and villages of primitive people (although that's enough for any Monday) but he's also falling in love with Sarah Robinson. Falling in love can be a rough ride when the world isn't falling apart, but Max is also haunted by a loss he pretends healed a long time ago, and Sarah has a few secrets hiding in the shadows herself.

Underneath the narrative is a very simple question: what would you sacrifice to save someone you loved? It's hard to get worked up about the planet being in peril (ask your average conservationist) but we'll go to the ends of the universe for someone we love. This truism runs throughout The Electric Midnight, and the prices we pay and the sacrifices we make are the bricks that put this whole house together. Both Max and Sarah think they know the cost of love, but neither are close.

And then there's evil... the big kind, the really wall-to-wall kind of evil that hungers for power at any cost. How do you defeat it? The answer, like a story, is different with every telling, and The Electric Midnight answers the question in a fashion nobody - not Max, not Sarah nor anyone in the story - expects.

By the way, the character Max originally appeared in Pirate Radio, a novella I wrote in 1988 about a high-school guy and his best friend who launch a pirate radio station out of the trunk of an old car. In that story, Max is a senio r in high school looking to make his mark on the world and get the girl of his dreams. He misses on both marks, of course. . . well, no, he really succeeds. After he misses. And smartens up.

And readers of Dragon's Keeper, take note: Max's girlfriend in Pirate Radio was named Eva. Yes... that Eva.


-Rik

Paul "Max" Maxwell is a late-night radio disk jockey who spends his nights hosting 'The Electric Midnight' and his days drifting free of relationships and responsibilities. But one afternoon, after meeting a mysterious young woman on a commuter train platform, he starts noticing things don't seem quite the way they should be - little things, inconsequential things, all seemingly just off kilter. He initially shrugs them off as the result of his offbeat lifestyle, but the odd little occurrences begin to grow more serious - events from history fall out of existence, and he's the only one who notices. When he tries to talk about what's going on, people laugh. Or thin k he's losing his mind.

Max wonders if they're right.

So he does the only thing he can do - he talks about the gradually-changing world on his nighttime radio show; talks about all the things that have vanished from history and the gradually-accelerating pattern of chaos that's rewriting the past, the present and just might be obliterating the future. That's when the mysterious woman he'd met before re-enters his life; Sarah Robinson, a troubled, struggling actress walks out of the night and admits she also has seen the changes. Walter Draper, a journalist who watched the changes from the beginning, also steps forward, and the three soon come to a chilling conclusion: The very fabric of reality is unravelling around them, and for reasons they can't even begin to understand, they have something to do with it.

But as cities melt away around them, as technology vanishes and is replaced by forests filled with terrifying creatures that can't exist, Max begins developing strange paranormal abilities, Sarah's past begins catching up to her and Walter refuses to accept any of what's happening. Something is indeed behind the chaos, something powerful beyond imagining and corrupt bey ond r edemption, and the only chance to restore the world we knew lies in a secret buried in the gimmick of Max's radio show, 'The Electric Midnight'. And not even Max c an be allowed to know the truth...





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