ď... a new talent of truly deranged proportions ...Ē
--Christopher Fowler, author of Full Dark House and Ten-Second Staircase.
A.W. Hill lives somewhere between Hollywood, Brussels and Alpha Centauri. He has felt a lifelong antipathy toward secret societies, but concedes that this may stem at least partly from the fact that not one of them has ever offered him membership.
Nowhere-Land is the mystical experience, novelized; it is belief, faith and spirituality, described. Itís the visions of Hildegard of Bingen wrapped up in a mystery like an evangelical egg roll. Points in the novel are reminiscent of Platoís allegory of the cave, surreal moments where the reader emerges from the shadowy confusion of the cave to behold the light and truth outside. While disorienting at first, itís also extremely rewarding. Forget about putting it neatly in some genre; itís far beyond genre. Itís like nothing youíve ever read before, probably like nothing youíve even imagined before, singular and refreshingly unique. And completely unforgettable.
--Paul Stotts, Blood of the Muse
ON NOWHERE-LAND: The P.I. protagonist, Stephan Raszer, is part skeptic, part Hollywood Hills mystic, a dreamer pulling dreamers back from beyond the edge, as evolved as a tough guy can be and vice versa . . . as complete a male protagonist as is probably possible in the 21st Century. What struck me this time out is how, a la Chandler, A.W. Hill manages to stake the plot of the soul on top of the plot of the story, making for a page-turner that tries not to be more but can't quite help it--guilty and spiritual pleasure dancing on the head of a pin.
-ALAN RIFKIN, author of SIGNAL HILL STORIES and ALT.COUNTRY
It was predawn when he pulled his pack from the taxi. They were on the bridge that spanned the gorge, and the dark gave no hint of the vastness of the place. Only the wind, roaring down the great gash of the Continental Divide, informed him that he was in the midst of something biblically large. The wind masked even the rumble of rushing water five hundred feet below. It tore at the skirts of his duster and lifted his close-cropped hair. It filled his ears with the seashell sound of a limitless ocean and chilled him to the bone. He was on top of the world, on a suspension bridge, and he was alone with the alone.
This is it, Raszer, he said to himself, and laughed darkly. This is what you live for. It occurred to him that he might actually be some sort of exotic idiot. Who the hell lives for the frisson of holy terror?
The feeling was on him as soon as the taxiís taillights had vanished. Vertigo, body and soul. Exacerbated by the darkness and the ever-shifting wind. He couldnít find his center, and he dropped to his knees, fearing that otherwise he might get sucked over the rail. It was low here, a perfect place for jumpers.
The wind began to have a pulse, the cyclical throb of a truck engine laboring to turn over after weeks of subzero. He saw the pulse as well as felt it. Wave after wave hit him, and it was all he could do to pull himself upright to the rail. The pulse grew more rapid, ricocheting off the canyon walls, deafening, and then suddenly the surging stopped. A curtain of sunlit dust hung across the gorge like a veil, and through it he saw a moving form: a black, avian form coming toward him with its talons extended.
The skin of the helicopter was as black and sleek as a licorice jellybean, its hull as broad as a small gunship. It was clearly of military origin, but had been stripped of any sort of emblem or identifying mark. It was also a right-wing paranoidís nightmare, down to the dreadlocked pilot with the toffee skin and oversize sunglasses, who set the ship down on the bridge so gently that the resulting thump felt like a giant catís paw.
The passenger side of the bubble slipped open silently; the pilot turned and spread his lips to flash a wide, brilliant smile.
Raszer lifted his pack and walked slowly toward the chopper, one fingertip skimming the railing. The giant propeller thrummed its oscillating, dragonfly tremolo, beating the still air into sun-gilded froth. The pilot kept on beaming. Here was the black chariot, cominí for to carry him home.
Inside his skull, the land around him unrolled, its features flattening into shapes on a gameboard. And it hit him that from this moment on, he was in the game, and that this was the only way to gauge things. In the game, he would, of course, step into the black helicopter.
Shams had made it so.
It was written.
It was a game but not a game. Just the sort of cognitive displacement the architects of alternate reality gaming had aimed for. A beautiful mindfuck. And the only way to play it was to leave himself behind. If he thought about what else he might be leaving, he would not be able to play. And so he put it all off the gameboard and proceeded alone.
"An eruption of a book that is quite likely to take up a sort of illicit residence in your skull" -- David Freeman, author of The Last Days Of Alfred Hitchcock
Gritty and transcendent, author A.W. Hill takes the reader from the hills of Hollywood to the mountain-lands of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq on a search for God. Simply put, Nowhere-Land is a guyís book any chick would dig. From the eerie cover to the final chapter this book has enough suspense and chills to cool even the hottest summer day.