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Authors: Christopher Golden

The Map of Moments

BOOK: The Map of Moments
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Critical Acclaim for

MIND THE GAP

A NOVEL OF THE HIDDEN CITIES

“A pitch-perfect blend of fantasy and realism. Golden and Lebbon craft a riveting tale of adventure that is both gritty and magical.”—Kelley Armstrong,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Personal Demon

“Super-fast pacing and creepy touches [give this] adventure plenty of character.”—
Publishers Weekly

A
ND
F
OR
A
WARD-
W
INNING
A
UTHORS

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN and TIM LEBBON

C
HRISTOPHER
G
OLDEN

“Christopher Golden is one of the most hardworking, smartest, and talented writers of his generation, and his books are so good and so involving that they really ought to sell in huge numbers. Everything he writes glows with imagination.”—Peter Straub, author of
In the Night Room

“A new book by Golden means only one thing: the reader is in for a treat. His books are rich with texture and character, always inventive, and totally addictive.”—Charles de Lint, author of
Promises to Keep

“A master of his craft.”—SciFi.com

“Harkens back to classic Stephen King.”—Dark Realms

“A major player in horror fiction.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Christopher Golden's storytelling is spellbinding.”—Boston magazine

“Christopher Golden collides the ordinary and the supernatural with wonderfully unsettling results.”—Max Allan Collins, author of
Road to Perdition

“Golden [has a] blistering ability to enchant and entertain [and] conjures up new ideas and characters into moments of high drama with a flawless sleight of hand.”—SFCrowsnest.com

“Christopher Golden brings intrigue to old-fashioned horror by complementing the unknown with the eerily familiar.”—Alternate Reality WebZine

“I'm going to go out on a crazy limb and say that, in my humble opinion, Christopher Golden is the newest Horror/ Supernatural master.”—G-Pop.net

“Christopher Golden is the master of the slow creep—the kind of story that sneaks out of the everyday so quietly that you don't realize anything is really amiss until the world seems to shift and the ground gets all spongy underfoot.”—Charles de Lint,
F & SF

“Golden is so talented that the reader believes anything and everything is possible.”—
Rendezvous

“An immensely talented writer who just keeps getting better.”—
Hellnotes

“Golden conveys the terrible sadness of the supernatural in a way few authors have managed.”—Poppy Z. Brite, author of
Lost Souls
and
Drawing Blood

“A genre master.”—
Booklist

“Golden is a talented writer who makes the audience give credence to events in his novel as if they occurred in the real world.”—Harriet Klausner

“Readers [will] wonder if Christopher Golden is actually a pseudonym for a collaboration between Dean Koontz and Peter Straub.”—
BookBrowser

“Christopher Golden is an imaginative and prodigious talent who never lets genre boundaries hold him back.”—Douglas Clegg, author of
The Queen of Wolves

“Golden's work is fast and furious, funny and original, and I can't wait until his next book.”—Joe R. Lansdale, author of
Lost Echoes

TIM
LEBBON

“Tim Lebbon displays the sort of cool irony and uncanny mood-making that drive the best
Twilight Zone
stories.”—
New York Times Book Review

“Tim Lebbon is a master of fantasy and horror, and his visions make for disturbing and compelling reading.”—Douglas Clegg, author of
The Queen of Wolves

“Tim Lebbon is an immense talent and he's become a new favourite. He has a style and approach unique to the genre.”—Joe R. Lansdale, author of
Lost Echoes

“A firm and confident style, with elements of early Clive Barker.”—Phil Rickman, author of
The Fabric of Sin

“Tim Lebbon is an apocalyptic visionary—a prophet of blood and fear.”—Mark Chadbourn, author of
The Hounds of Avalon

“One of the most powerful new voices to come along in the genre …Lebbon's work is infused with the contemporary realism of Stephen King and the lyricism of Ray Bradbury.”—
Fangoria

“Beautifully written and mysterious …a real winner!”—Richard Laymon, author of
The Beast House

“Lebbon will reward the careful reader with insights as well as gooseflesh.”—
Publishers Weekly

“Lebbon is among the most inventive and original contemporary writers of the dark fantastic.”—Ramsey Campbell, author of
Secret Story

“Lebbon is quite simply the most exciting new name in horror for years.”—
SFX

“Tim Lebbon is one of the most exciting and original talents on the horror scene.”—Graham Joyce, author of
T. W.O.C.

“Lebbon has a way of throwing staggering images at you which you almost have to pause and think about before you can fully grasp.”—Paul Kearney, author of
This Forsaken Earth

“It's rare indeed to witness the conventions of fantasy so thoroughly grabbed by the throat and shaken awake the way Tim Lebbon has done.”—Steven Erikson, author of
Reaper's Gale

“Lebbon has etched a powerful new version/telling of the traditional magical quest, whose tortured twists and turns will (alternately) disturb and electrify its readers.”—Sarah Ash, author of
Tracing the Shadow

“Tim Lebbon writes with a pen dipped in the dark stuff of nightmare.”—K. J. Bishop, author of
The Etched City

“Lebbon is an author so skilled he definitely belongs on auto-buy …His prose is alternately poetic and flesh-slicingly real. His characters always strike a nerve and have the sort of heft that makes you feel as if you might have met them or the real people they were based upon—even if they were not in fact based on real people. And finally, for me the killer, Lebbon's novels offer places you can go back and visit.”—
Agony Column

“One of the most talented authors working today.”—
Horror Channel

“I've come to admire Lebbon's masterful blend of beauty with the horrific.”—
Talebones

Also by
Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

Mind the Gap

Also by
Christopher Golden

The Lost Ones: Book Three of the Veil

The Borderkind: Book Two of the Veil

The Myth Hunters: Book One of the Veil

Wildwood Road

The Boys Are Back in Town

The Ferryman

Straight on ’Til Morning

Strangewood

The Shadow Saga

Of Saints and Shadows

Angel Souls and Devil Hearts

Of Masques and Martyrs

The Gathering Dark

With Mike Mignola

Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Also by
Tim Lebbon

Novels

Fallen

30 Days of Night

Dawn

The Everlasting

Dusk

Hellboy: Unnatural Selection

Mesmer

The Nature of Balance

Hush
(with Gavin Williams)

Face

Until She Sleeps

Desolation

Berserk

Bar None

Novellas

A Whisper of Southern Lights

White

Naming of Parts

Changing of Faces

Exorcising Angels    
(with Simon Clark)

Dead Man's Hand

Pieces of Hate

The Reach of Children

Collections

Last Exit for the Lost

Faith in the Flesh

As the Sun Goes Down

White and Other Tales of Ruin

Fears Unnamed

After the War

“Amid the devastation, you have to look for hope.”

Chris Rose,
1 Dead in Attic—After Katrina

We'd like to thank Marcy Italiano for her help, and our editor, Anne Groell, for seeing clearly into the Hidden Cities. Also thanks and respect to Chris Rose, Douglas Brinkley, and everyone else who continues to tell their story.

chapter
1

I
n Max's dream, Gabrielle still loves him. And she is still alive.

They're in the attic of the wood-frame house on Landry Street, making love on top of a decades-out-of-fashion gown that her mother had worn to some ball in her debutante days. Gabrielle had dragged it to the floor and positioned it carefully to avoid getting splinters from the old boards. Golden light streams in and makes her cinnamon Creole skin glisten, and Max's heart catches in his throat as he moves inside her. She's the kind of beautiful that clouds the minds of men, and makes even the most envious woman marvel. Yet she has a wild, desperate need in her eyes, as though a fire burns inside her and she believes he might be able to give her peace.

“Don't ever stop,” she says, gazing up at him with copper eyes.

Stop what? Making love to her? Loving her? He's known her only a handful of weeks, and already he realizes that he will
never
be able to stop. The spell she has cast over him is irrevocable. He suspects that he has opened himself up to anguish, but he drives on with abandon. Better to have her and suffer forever if she should cast him aside, than to never have her at all.

Confusion touches him, makes him blink.
This isn't how it was
. The ball gown is right, all sequins and charm, and Gabrielle shudders with pleasure, her breath hitching, and that is very right, indeed. She wears a tight tank top with lace straps, her socks, and nothing else. So sweet, and only nineteen …but the wisdom and confidence, the sensuality in those eyes belong to a woman who truly understands the world. Gabrielle is the first woman, Eve; the temptation for which Max is willing to risk his reputation and career.

But the light shouldn't be like this. It should be night, with the sounds of car engines and pounding music from the street below. Instead, there is no sound at all, save for her heavy breathing. It's like listening to a dead phone line—not just an absence of sound but a vacuum.

A heavy knocking comes from the door into the attic. Eyes glazed with love and lust, Gabrielle doesn't hear it, but Max falters.

“No, no, baby, come on,” she urges, closing her eyes tightly.

The light has changed. Her skin has a bluish tint, but he blinks and it's gone.

Her fingers twine in his hair and she pulls him down. He loses himself in the hunger of her kiss, but when they break apart the wrongness still troubles him.

The attic is too clean.

Gabrielle flips him over and settles down onto him, and he can
feel the heat emanating from the place where they are joined, and the dark ringlets of her hair brush his face as she bends to kiss him again. Max rises to meet her, eyes drifting closed…

But
the attic is too clean,
and the knowledge stabs him. This is a moment of magic for Max, like nothing that's ever happened to him before, but Gabrielle keeps the attic of this old place
clean,
which makes him wonder how many men have been here before him, and how many felt the same way he does.

Floorboards creak, and the attic has changed. It's impossibly huge. Posters hang on the walls—things he'd had in his office at Tulane University—and in the shadows of the eaves, figures loom. Then, somehow, he can see through the shadows, and he knows these silent observers. He recognizes some of his colleagues and students; Gabrielle's cousin, Corinne, two men from Roland's Garage, the bar on Proyas Street where she'd taken him once and he'd been the only white face in the place. They watch, but he feels no menace from them, only sadness, as if they've come for a wake.

BOOK: The Map of Moments
8.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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