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Nowhere~Land
$25.00
Hardcover
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Hardcover
  • 9781582434988
  • Counterpoint

A.W. gives an overview of the book:

Thumbnail: L.A. cult investigator Stephan Raszer tracks a kidnapped Jehovah’s Witness girl and discovers a cabal of assassins using an alternate reality game to recruit its footsoldiers.   A Jehovah’s Witness girl is abducted in tandem with a ritualistic triple homicide in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles. The church engages cult specialist and shamanic P.I. Stephan Raszer to track her based on a theory that the girl has been trafficked into a sex and terrorism ring with origins in the Middle East—and in the Middle Ages. With the dubious aid of the abductee’s wayward sister, a renegade CIA agent, and a fraternity of sojournng alternate reality gamesters, Raszer follows the trail across southern Turkey to a citadel on its border with Iran, journeying farther and farther from the modern world and deeper into an alternate reality that is “a game but...
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Thumbnail: L.A. cult investigator Stephan Raszer tracks a kidnapped Jehovah’s Witness girl and discovers a cabal of assassins using an alternate reality game to recruit its footsoldiers.

 

A Jehovah’s Witness girl is abducted in tandem with a ritualistic triple homicide in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles. The church engages cult specialist and shamanic P.I. Stephan Raszer to track her based on a theory that the girl has been trafficked into a sex and terrorism ring with origins in the Middle East—and in the Middle Ages. With the dubious aid of the abductee’s wayward sister, a renegade CIA agent, and a fraternity of sojournng alternate reality gamesters, Raszer follows the trail across southern Turkey to a citadel on its border with Iran, journeying farther and farther from the modern world and deeper into an alternate reality that is “a game but not a game.”

Read an excerpt »

PROLOGUE

SCOTTY DARRELL stood in the field of winter wheat and felt the wind stab the wet spot on the front of his corduroys. He let out a sob. Somewhere along the last leg, he’d wet his pants. I’m nineteen, he thought, and I peed my pants. He hadn’t done that since the age of seven, and had vowed then that nothing would make him do it again.

<><><>
Scotty did not know where he was, or how he’d gotten there, but that was the point of The Gauntlet, an alternate reality field game that made Dungeons & Dragons look like Simon Says. It began on the Web and moved with disorienting speed onto a global gameboard, where the moves were determined by fate, the I-Ching, and the kindness (or malevolence) of strangers. After a certain number of moves, you couldn’t retrace your steps to the trailhead. Chaotic play was built into the game; no algorithm could map its logic. The puppetmasters had studied everything from aboriginal rites of passage to the Stockholm Syndrome, all to fashion a separate reality to which the player would ultimately surrender. TINAG. This Is Not A Game.

<><><>
Then came the good stuff. Then came God, whatever that was.

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Scotty had bought into The Gauntlet when the call for “pilgrims” had traveled through cyberspace to the Middlebury College library server, attached to a piece of stealth spam with the heading: WE KNOW WHO YOUR DADDY IS. Though his nominal father was a tenured professor at Middlebury, Scotty had always suspected he might be adopted. He couldn’t resist opening the potentially viral attachment.

<><><>
Now, thirteen months later (maybe fourteen—he wasn’t sure), he was playing the Seventh Circle, two ranks from the top level of the game. His last contact with the Masters—not counting the fakeout—had been from an internet cafe in Butte, Montana, but that had been ages ago in gametime. He was “riffing,” and not that well. He had no money, no ID, and had moved into winter without a coat. If he didn’t find his next Guide soon, he would have to admit defeat. Although his status was trans-national, it panicked him that he didn’t know what country he was in. If it was the U.S., then he supposed he was in Kansas, but it could just as easily have been the Ukraine.

<><><>
Beyond all that, Scotty Darrell had done some very bad things in the real world.

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Stumbling through the wheat, his sneakers suddenly hit blacktop. He dropped to his knees and offered a prayer. He stood up, and had not been walking the median strip for more than fifteen minutes when the black Lincoln Town Car rolled up on his right and he was invited inside. “Get in, Scotty,” the man said. “It’s a new game now.”<>

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Note from the author coming soon...

About A.W.

A.W. Hill is the author of three published novels, NOWHERE-LAND (Counterpoint 2009), THE LAST DAYS OF MADAME REY (Carroll & Graf 2007) and ENOCH'S PORTAL (Champion Press, 2002). PORTAL was optioned by Paramount Pictures and became a Booksense Mystery Selection of the year...

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Published Reviews

Apr.14.2008

THE LAST DAYS OF MADAME REY by A.W. Hill:

• For more information on the author and the book/series, please check out his web site: www.awhill....

Jun.26.2009

A.W. Hill’s thriller, Nowhere-Land, featuring the L.A. private investigator and spiritual shaman, Stephan Raszer, may be the first truly...