Intraterrestrial alien meme night sky looking up Nicholas Conley Adam Helios Red Adept sci-fi science fiction ufo

New Book Release: INTRATERRESTRIAL

For an author, days like today are the ones you dream about.

The creative process always starts with a flash of lightning: that first moment whereupon an idea occurs to you, and you take on the heavy responsibility of bringing it to life.  Then, there’s that frenetic feeling—excitement meets anxiety, happiness meets fear—as the story you’ve been carrying inside you slowly empties out onto the page. You work on it for longer than you ever imagined. Weeks. Months. Years. You nourish it, you love it, you loathe it, you go through all of these emotions, but you always, always keep plugging away at it, letting it flow together. You experience tears, you experience laughter, the characters become friends, the locations become real. You let the story grow and change, and then—finally—you put it out into the world. At which point, it’s no longer “your” story anymore: now, it belongs to the readers. And that’s exactly how it should be.

These are the days where you remember why it’s all so, so worth it. As of today, February 16th, the ebook edition of Intraterrestrial has officially landed on Earth.

Get your ebook copy of Intraterrestrial here on Amazon today. If you prefer reading your ebooks on a Nook, then snag it here on Barnes & Noble. You can also find it on iTunes, Google Play, and Kobo. Choose whichever format you prefer; the aliens won’t mind one bit. Just make sure to grab it while it’s hot, before their UFO takes off again!

To all of you reading this, thank you for your support, whether it’s through comments, emails, Tweets, or what have you. Seriously, you folks are awesome. I hope you all enjoy reading Intraterrestrial, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, theories, and speculations!

Also, for all you paperback fans: don’t worry! The hard copy will be coming soon, and I’ll let you all know when it does.

Intraterrestrial Nicholas Conley sci-fi book aliens tbi brain injury

Now available on Amazon!

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.

After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

Intraterrestrial alien meme night sky looking up Nicholas Conley Adam Helios Red Adept sci-fi science fiction ufo

 

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Intraterrestrial alien meme night sky looking up Nicholas Conley Adam Helios Red Adept sci-fi science fiction ufo

Book Trailer: Intraterrestrial

Next week, on January 16th, the aliens are coming. On that day, the ebook edition of Intraterrestrial will finally touch down on Earth. The paperback will be arriving in the near future, as well—and as soon as there’s an official date, I’ll let you all know.

In the meantime, I’m excited to unveil the official book trailer for Intraterrestrial. Watch it below!

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months.

After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

Intraterrestrial alien meme night sky looking up Nicholas Conley Adam Helios Red Adept sci-fi science fiction ufo

Pale Highway Nicholas Conley alzheimers slugs dementia healthcare

Pale Highway is Now Available on Paperback!

Big news for all of you who have been waiting patiently for this day: the wait is over, and I’m excited to announce that the official paperback edition of Pale Highway is finally available on Amazon!

It’s here!

 

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In the midst of this exciting news, the Pale Highway blog tour has been rolling on successfully! I have a new interview with BookView, where I talk some more about the writing of Pale Highway.  In addition, some new reviews have popped up, including this incredible analysis of the book by Don Sloan:

This brilliant sci-fi work is a tour-de-force of great writing and meticulous research, all wrapped in a scientific thriller that will have you hoping that Gabriel can solve the life-threatening dilemma before it’s too late — both for him, and for mankind.

Five stars-plus for Pale Highway. It is a striking example of what can be achieved when imaginative writers tackle socially significant themes. We’re all the beneficiaries.

I’ve also been honored by a review by LuAnn Braley of Backporchervations.  Be warned, it’s a very spoiler heavy review, with lots of spoilers from the later sections of the novel, but right at the beginning of the review she writes what is now one of my new favorite quotes of all time:

To have written Pale Highway, Nicholas Conley either really IS a unique alien creature or I want some of what he puts in his coffee!

And let’s not forget the review by Michael S. Fedison,  writer of The Eye-Dancers, who says:

Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley is at once a tautly written sci-fi/fantasy novel, a probing character study, a medical thriller, and a literary gem that explores the complexities and nuances of the human condition.

More reviews to come! I salute all of you with a cup of coffee, and for those of you who’ve been waiting for this paperback announcement, I thank you for your patience. Cheers!

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Pale Highway Nicholas Conley alzheimers slugs dementia healthcare

Release Day: Pale Highway

After all this time, it’s finally here.  I’m proud to announce that, as of today, Pale Highway is finally available on Amazon.
“Steeped in suspense, Conley’s novel delves into the darker recesses of the medical establishment.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Pale Highway brings his struggles for survival along with his fierce desire to hold off his symptoms long enough to save everyone around him to brilliant, beautiful life.”
Examiner.com
PALE HIGHWAY
Find it at the following links:
What I’m feeling right now is so surreal that I can’t quite put my finger on the right word to describe it. I wrote Pale Highway because I believe that people with Alzheimer’s—people who suffer from a neurodegenerative disease that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed down—deserve recognition. It’s crazy to look back on that first day I began typing this story, or the first day that I set foot in a nursing home and met the many residents who lived there, amazing human beings would have such an unexpected impact on my life. Pale Highway is a book inspired by my connection with these courageous people, conceived during my experiences in healthcare, and finally born here, now, today, in the form of this book that I’ve spent the last few years pouring my heart into.
And so now, here it is, and I hope you all enjoy the read.

 

Pale Highway Nicholas Conley alzheimers slugs dementia healthcare

Pale Highway Has a Release Date

PALE HIGHWAY

Greetings, everyone! Though we knew that Pale Highway was going to be revealing itself to the world sometime this fall, I’ve received word from Red Adept Publishing that Pale Highway now has an official release date:

October 20th, 2015.

Still a couple months off, but not so long!  Expect to see more and more information as the date draws nearer.  In the meantime, feel free to check out the book on Goodreads, or join Red Adept’s Facebook event page!

Goodreads

Red Adept Publishing

Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?

Gone Girl: So, about that ending…

 

Ben Affleck in David Fincher's Gone Girl, 2014.

Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck star in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, 2014.

I first picked up Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl earlier this year. It was an impulse buy at an airport, a read for the flight, a book I’d read some good reviews for and figured was worth checking out.

Let me tell you, I can’t remember the last time I read through an entire novel so rapidly.  From beginning to end, Gone Girl is a spellbinding, cutthroat page turner. Dark, vicious, morbidly funny and utterly brilliant, Gone Girl is an absolute must-read. The movie, which I saw on opening night last week, is also excellent.  The direction is slick, the story is faithfully adapted, and the acting is phenomenal. When I say that it’s not quite on the same level as the book, I don’t mean to diminish the movie’s impact; it’s just that the book is so damn good, and the story—particularly the infamous plot twist—is simply more effective as a novel than as a film.

Anyway.  After meditating on both the film and the novel, I feel it’s time that we talk about some things—and by things, what I’m really referring to is that chilling climax.  Yes, the ending. What else?

So, to be safe, here’s the necessary SPOILER WARNING!

 

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS!

 

SPOILERS COMING, HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS!

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The ending of Gone Girl has always been controversial, and now that the movie has exposed a whole new legion of formerly innocent bystanders to Flynn’s dark, cutthroat bestseller, that controversy has only expanded. Though rumors throughout production implied that Flynn, who also wrote the movie’s script, was going to change the ending, the final movie stayed true to the book. While the framing of the ending was slightly altered, the ending itself was faithful. And, like it or not, we all know what that ending is:

Amy’s final manipulation is to get pregnant, and so she and Nick stay together. After all the violence and heartache, Amy wins. Or does she?

It’s a remarkably cold, uncomfortable ending, no doubt. When I first read it, my initial reaction was discomfort, followed by bewildered confusion. That was it? The ending leaves the reader with a sick feeling in his/her stomach, and a seeming lack of resolution.

But the more I thought of it, the more I realized that Gone Girl’s controversial ending is shockingly perfect. I’d go so far as to say that, based on what we know of the story’s two protagonists, it’s the only way it could end.

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Let’s face it, both of these two characters are horrible spouses, but also horribly suited for each other. Nick is naïve, simple, fraught with desperate and needy self-consciousness, and he’s clearly a bit of a narcissist; though he isn’t inherently dangerous, there’s nothing in Nick’s world but Nick. Amy, of course, can only be described as an equally narcissistic, cunning, brilliant psychopath. She knows what she wants, and she doesn’t care who she has to maim, injure or ruin in order to get it. She plans things out to such an extent that it’s almost impossible for anyone to find a loophole.

As Gillian Flynn said herself, in an interview about the subject:

What did you want to accomplish with the ending?

First of all, I didn’t write it as an open ending to set up a sequel at all. It was the only thing that made sense to me, that made sense to what was true to the book and true to the characters. Amy’s not going to end up in jail. She’s Amazing Amy! You’re never going to find the aha! clue because she thinks she’s already thought of everything and that’s who she is. People think they would find that satisfying, if she were caught and punished. You know, when I’m at a reading or something, people will come up to me and are very honest about saying, “I hated the ending!” I always say, “Well, what did you want to have happen?” And it’s like, “I wanted justice!” I promise you, I just don’t think you’d find it satisfying for Amy to end up in a prison cell just sitting in a little box.

I know a lot of readers wish she’d died.

That would have been the other option, to kill her off — but who’s going to do that? I’m not going to have Nick do that. He’s not going to do it. And to have anyone else do it is putting him back in the stage where he started out, which is having other people do his dirty work all the time, so that didn’t work for me either. So you know, I did think it all through, and for me, I’ve always loved those endings of unease.

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It’s certainly not the ending that the reader/viewer is expecting—in a sense. However, what makes the climax so fascinating is that, on another level, it is the ending that we expect. It’s the same ending we always expect, in every story.  Really, it’s the famous Hollywood-style happy ending, satirically turned on its head.  Consider, we have a plot wherein the boy wins the girl’s love back, their marriage is saved—they even have a kid! – but because of how terribly distorted these two people have become, all of these conventions are shredded into pieces. The “happy” ending is exactly the ending we don’t want, as something that should be joyous and cathartic has instead been reduced to being utterly loathsome, miserable, disturbing—and painfully unsatisfying.

That’s the genius of it.

Because at it’s core, Gone Girl is a story about masks we wear, as well as the masks that society forces upon us.  Whether it’s wife-killer, “cool girl,” good cop/bad cop, “loving and concerned parents,” or any number of other roles that we play, Gone Girl pulls back the curtain to reveal the potential ugliness that can lie beneath the surface of any well played part.  The titles of “husband” and “wife,” to the two characters in this story, are more than just titles; they’re names, roles to play, roles that must be played correctly.  To them, a “happy” marriage has nothing to do with comfort, and everything to do with performance.  The combination of Amy’s controlling vindictiveness with Nick’s self-conscious weakness is crucial here, because it means that both of them slide into place so easily, yet so falsely, that the end result is both natural and hideously unnatural.  It’s only fitting, in a story like this, that the traditional happy ending is played out in such a perverted fashion.

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I think a large part of the alarm that many readers (and now viewers) experience at the ending is because by this point in the story, the tension is so wound-up, so tight, that it seems to require a devastating explosion to equalize it. But that isn’t what happens. Instead, the ending peters out uneasily—and that’s exactly what makes it so good. The tension isn’t resolved, and it might never be. These two people, with all of their psychological issues, are going to be trapped in this horrible union for the rest of their lives.

Or will they?

That’s the question, isn’t it? As the story comes to a close, we see a Nick Dunne who is undergoing a transformation into the “cool guy” counterpart to Amy’s “cool girl,” a fake personality that Amy describes earlier on. Again, consider that this is a story about masks.  Nick, because he can’t not provide for his child, is forced into this box, becoming exactly the person that Amy wants him to be. The “perfect man.”

The inherent problem, of course, is that this can’t last. Just like Amy couldn’t be the cool girl forever, Nick won’t forever succeed at being the perfect man. And when he fails, when his mask finally slips, there’s no telling what might happen.  One gets the strong sense that the events of the novel may precede a greater evil yet to come. As the last page of the novel chillingly illustrates, the future of Amy and Nick’s marriage is likely a dark one.

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Announcement: Red Adept Publishing to release Nicholas Conley’s next book!

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Big news, everybody!

I’ve officially contracted with Red Adept Publishing to publish my next book — a science fiction novel!

I don’t want to say too much just yet, but in the meantime, I’ll repost the official press release below.  Stay tuned to this page for more news in the near future!

 

Red Adept Publishing is pleased to announce that we have contracted with Nicholas Conley to bring you his debut science fiction novel.

Drop by to learn more about Nicholas. Sign up for the RAP newsletter to be notified of his and other future releases.

http://redadeptpublishing.com/nicholas-conley/