Intraterrestrial Nicholas Conley sci-fi book aliens tbi brain injury


It’s here. Yes, this is it. I’ve been dropping little hints about Novel #3 for a long time, but up until now, the time hasn’t been right to pull back the curtain and reveal what the book is about. Well, I’m insanely excited to announce that the time has finally come.

Here it is, everyone! I’m finally ready to introduce you to my next novel, Novel #3, the book I’ve been working on all this time: Intraterrestrial.


Intraterrestrial Nicholas Conley sci-fi book

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.


Just as with Pale Highway, the plot of Intraterrestrial is informed by my real life experiences working in healthcare. It’s a story about the reality of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), about the nature of consciousness, about what medical tragedy does to a family… but it’s also a story about hope, finding oneself, and the utmost importance of imagination.

I’ve been officially working on Intraterrestrial ever since I wrapped up work on Pale Highway, but the base concept behind this story has been following me for many, many years, tugging at me, itching for release. As always, it feels surreal to finally put it out there, this experience that has been with me for so long, this story that I’ve been thinking about for so long — and I seriously can’t wait for you all to read it. Seriously, I can’t wait!

In the meantime, stay tuned and I’ll be posting updates. Oh yeah, and as far as a release date? How does this sound:

Winter 2017


Novel #3 News

Big news on Novel #3: I’ve officially contracted with Red Adept Publishing, the same publishing company that brought you Pale Highway!

Still too early for an actual release date, but for now, let’s assume that Novel #3 will be heading your way probably sometime in 2017. What is the title? What is it going to be about? Oh, just wait. It’s a weird one. All I will say is that it’s a science fiction story, and it deals with traumatic brain injuries. But hey, if you thought Pale Highway was a strange book, oh boy…


In the meantime, Pale Highway is still on Amazon, and is now celebrating its one year anniversary. To make sure you guys have something new in the meantime, that short-short novelette I mentioned a few months back should be on its way before the year is over, probably in December. More news coming soon!

The “Alien” in Genre Fiction

As a writer, I tend to think that my fiction doesn’t quite fit neatly into any specific genre —  but my work is definitely “genre” fiction, because otherworldly elements play a huge part in my storylines. Now, as a reader, this is also the case with many of my favorite novels. I’m a big fan of books that straddle the line between genres, dancing back and forth between literary fiction and genre fiction.

But what is genre fiction, exactly?

Leopard Printed Slug Pale Highway Nicholas Conley

Generally, I think that the genre element of the tag “genre fiction” is referring to a distinct kind of “alien” presence existing in the narrative, this “alien” being something abnormal, something unusual, something outside of normal life.

Using genre fiction as the umbrella, we can then fit horror, science fiction, slipstream, fantasy, bizarro fiction, and so on all into the same grouping. While these genres are all very distinct from one another, they all have that “alien” factor in common, which literary fiction does not. Whether it is bloodthirsty monsters (horror), cyborgs (sci-fi) or a wardrobe that leads to a magical alternate dimension (fantasy), all of these fantastical things are simply well dressed narrative devices, doorways which allow the author to take the protagonists outside of their usual lives.


The only difference between literary fiction and genre fiction is the existence of the “alien” as a narrative device. The alien is the tool that the genre author uses, not for the sake of itself, but rather because the use of the alien can bring greater illumination to real life fears, woes, and insecurities.

There’s a strange sort of idea out there that genre fiction is somehow inherently lesser than literary fiction, which is rather foolhardy.  Any story can be great, no matter what genre it springs from: it just has to mean something.

Yes, Person who Sees Sharp Theets: You ARE an Alien.

One of the more enjoyable features of the WordPress stats page is the “Search Terms” section, where you can see what search engine terms brought people to your site. It’s obviously a highly useful feature in regard to tagging posts, but it’s also a lot of fun: some rather bizarre searches have brought people to my page.

Recently, I was scanning the Search Terms box, and perhaps the oddest search  yet appeared there — a dark, desperate plea from the anonymous abyss, from a person whom no doubt was scouring the internet to answer questions beyond the capability of man.

Yes, somehow, the following search term brought this curious unknown person to my page:

“why can i see sharp theets am i a alien”

After seeing this, I knew that I had to respond. To not respond to such a unique question would be immoral, thoughtless. And so to you, person who sees these “sharp theets,” I come bearing the truth: yes, you are an alien.



The mothership has been waiting for you to reach out for some time, but had given up hope. Years ago, you were placed among the human beings so you could study them, and thus determine their true role in the galaxy. The sharp theets that you see have been transmissions from your alien leaders, who are trying to let you know that your mission is accomplished.

Do not worry, person who sees sharp theets. Your suspicions are true, and your mission has been completed. You have much to be happy about. Once you feel satisfied with your understanding of the sharp theets, the aliens have told me to request that you report back to the mothership — the place where all sharp theets are made — where you will join your alien brethren.

Thank you.


P.S., to whomever it was that used this search term to begin with: I just want to let you know, you are awesome. Seriously. Thank you for inspiring this post, thank you for checking out my site, and I hope that these sharp theets of yours aren’t too bothersome.

Cheers, my unknown friend! If we ever meet, I’ll get coffee for both of us.


Prepare for TWO Different Release Dates


As Pale Highway gets closer and closer to seeing the world, I wanted to give you guys a quick heads-up regarding the release dates–yes, two of them! Basically, the ebook and print versions of Pale Highway will be released on different days.

  • Ebook (Kindle, ePub, et cetera): October 20th
  • Paperback: December

Now, there will be a limited number of paperback copies available before December, but those will only be available at book signings, readings, and so on, and will not be online.  The official paperback version of Pale Highway will pop onto Amazon just in time for the holidays.

Apologies to those who are primarily print readers—I’m one of you, I understand!—but this is simply a technical concern, and I promise that the extra month will fly by.


Art by Marco Chiu

The Proof has Arrived

Though Pale Highway is still a little ways from release day, the first prototype copy of the book finally arrived on my doorstep yesterday, direct from Red Adept Publishing. It’s impossible to describe what a cathartic feeling it is to see the story fully realized; what was once just an idea in my mind is now a physical object, a gateway to a world that has moved beyond the grasp of its creator and will soon belong to the readers far more than it belongs to me.

Out of everything that I’ve ever written, Pale Highway has been the story that has impacted me the most. It’s truly amazing to be able to share it with the world this way, and I can’t wait until it’s finally available for others.



Here it is, guys!

As you all know, I’ve been hinting about the mysterious “Novel #2” for a long time.  Now, it’s time to pull back the shroud of secrecy and show you what I’ve been working on.

So, let’s cut through the curtains and see what’s waiting on the other side:

My next book, PALE HIGHWAY, will be coming to you this fall, from 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?

Coming Fall 2015