Friday, June 14, 2013
Fade To Black - by Jeffrey Wilson - Beautifully imagined fantasy
Just finished this new work from Jeffrey Wilson and my eyes are still a bit teary. Admittedly, I'm a soft touch. I tend to shed a tear when I'm overjoyed and when I'm heartbroken. And, yes, I did turn in my "man card" years ago.
When I started to read Fade To Black, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. The action starts in Iraq, with a fire-fight in Fallujah, where men are dying. I just don't care that much for war stories, but that's not what this fantasy tale is all about.
It's so much more than a war story. Wilson has created a well balanced tale about a man, Casey Stillman/Jack, caught between two worlds. One were he's dying on the battlefield in Iraq and another where he's a High School biology teacher spending every spare minute with his wife and daughter, Pam and his little Claire "bear".
Jack wakes screaming, his hands clutching his throat and his body drenched in sweat. It was all just a dream. Jack is just a HS biology teacher, safe and sound in his own bed. However, the vision he had as he died was vivid and seemed real beyond words.
Fade To Black feels, very much, like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone, one of the really good ones. The line between reality and and a dream world is razor thin. Is he a Marine, mortally wounded, dreaming of his family as he lays dying or is he a teacher, living with his family while desperately trying to hold on to what's left of his sanity?
Fade To Black kept me guessing to the very end. Just when you think reality is leaning in one direction or the other, there is an ever so slight shift. Just enough to make you rethink everything. This was a little deeper and a bit more philosophical than my usual reading material, but I'm very glad I had the chance to read it.
Today is the official release date, so it should now be available everywhere from the fine folks at JournalStone Press. Available in both print and ebook formats.