The Shadow Glass: Josh Winning's Puppet Fantasy Novel Excerpt

Josh Winnings The Shadow Glass poses a major question that io9 is revealing today. (You can see it in full below). It asks: What if all this was real? The puppet fantasy world is created by the main characters, reminiscent of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, The NeverEnding Story and other 1980s classics.AdvertisementTo Jacks delight, however, Jacks world, a box-office bomb also called The Shadow Glassand its whimsical characters (including the hero fox at center of the story) is somehow alive. Ready for another act that may help to restore Jacks fathers legacy. Below is a description of the story and a sample from the novel.Jack Corman is not living the life he deserves. He is jobless, depressed, and just thirty. This comes as a result of the sudden death of his father Bob Corman, who was once a film director. Bob spent his eighties years creating his puppet fantasy The Shadow Glass. Jack loved the film as a child and idolized its fox-like hero Dune. The Shadow Glass was deemed too frightening for children and too strange for adults and it failed to release. Bob lost his self-esteem and succumbed to alcoholism. The film is now a representation of everything Jack hated. He lives in fear that hell will end up being a failure like his father.Jack returns to his old home in the wake of Bob's death. It is filled with film memorabilia, painful memories, and creaking walls. The puppets in the attic begin to talk after a freak thunderstorm. Jack is thrown into a real-world mission to save London from the evils of his father's creations. He teams up with Toby, a fanboy, and Amelia, a studio executive, to navigate the maze of his father's legacy while summoning the hero in him.Take a look at Julia Lloyd's stunning cover, which makes its debut on io9. Then, read the exclusive excerpt.He was surprised to find that the hall was more cluttered than he had remembered.The passage was cluttered with keepsakes and knick-knacks, creating the impression of an antique shop. The grandfather clock was surrounded by potted plants made from bone, and Japanese Shadow Glass posters were mounted to the walls. The shelves were filled with VHS tapes and DVDs. There was also a Walkman and a library of cassette tapes. Books were scattered everywhere. The shelves were shabby and cluttered with dust motes.AdvertisementJack's neck creaked when he turned his head in order to absorb it all.He recognized the curios, but they were also very different from what he had previously remembered. It was as though he was looking through a stained glass window. They looked old and worn. They were relics of another time. He had almost forgotten the life he lived. This was only the hallway. He could see the passages and rooms beyond from where he stood. It was a place to get lost.AdvertisementHe sat still, staring at the distance where the back hallway turned into the kitchen. He knew he'd seen movement there. He imagined his father, still walking around Kettu House, as tall as a telegraph pole and with his fingers scratching his beard, wearing slippers and a moth-eaten sweater, and moving in slippers. He could still hear the whispers from a man who had long since lost his grasp on reality.The Shadow Glass can see all in a forgotten time and in a forgotten place.AdvertisementJack grated his teeth and shaken off the image. It was many years ago. Bob was gone and there was nothing living in the house. He couldnt get distracted.He continued to climb the stairs, tapping on one of the bottles inside a drink cabinet. It brought back memories of Bob lying in an armchair in his study. The smell of stale breath was still lingering in the air. Jack's mouth felt dry. As he began to climb the stairs, he opened the cap and took a sip. He felt the whiskey heat his throat.AdvertisementJesu coughed and then stopped as a shadow crossed over the wall.He didnt move.It had only caught his attention out of the corner, but he knew it was there.AdvertisementHe listened intently and sensed eyes watching him.Ch-chch-chch-chJack's arm hair bristled, and his eyes swiveled towards the ceiling. He heard something over him. He heard a skittering sound of claws on the floorboards.AdvertisementHe called.His voice was swallowed by the house. He was not sure he spoke.Ch-chch-chch-chJack was tense from fear. It was certain he had heard it. He was scratching his head.AdvertisementSomeone was there.There may be more fanboys who take over his father's empire.Perhaps they were already there, claiming the item he had pinned his entire future to.AdvertisementJack felt the adrenaline rush and fought his way down a landing that was cluttered with Shadow Glass props, framed movie cells, and otherworldly plants. Jack continued to scratch his head and climbed up another set of stairs, which shrieked as it went.He stopped outside the attic door.The sound was clearly coming from there.He heard it above his wheezing: a scraping sound like nails inside a coffin. Fear filled his throat.AdvertisementHe was now fifteen, and he crouched down in the stairwell, while his father told to get back to bed. Jack woke up in the middle of the night to hear voices coming from the attic. Jack listened to the voices echo through the attic door and couldn't tell if Bob had been watching a movie or making them. Perhaps the magazines and newspapers were right. Bonkers Bob had really lost his mind.Jack was crouching in the attic twenty years later. He felt darkness gripping at his neck.AdvertisementIs his father still there?He should run. He should run before it is too late.No. He quickly forgot about it. This was not a teenage dream. Somebody had broken in. They might be stealing the exact thing he was trying to claim.AdvertisementHe pulled the envelope out of his pocket and took the key from the lock. He opened the door and charged in.Tramp.He lost his footing when his toe was caught in the darkness. He crashed forwards and landed on his back, causing him to tremble onto the floor. He managed to keep his head from hitting the floorboards and found himself looking at the pair of knobbly claws on the floor.AdvertisementHe reached for the bottle of whiskey and craned his neck to see the strangely intact object above him.A solitary amphibian with green, boil-pocked skin looked in the darkness. It was slimy and squat, with its wide mouth opening to reveal rows of sharp teeth. Its bulging eyes looked vacant and staring at the world. Although it looked like it had come from a swamp, its mechanised armour was made for deep space.AdvertisementJack's heart sank to the floorboards when he recognized the character.A skalion.Excerpts from The Shadow Glass by Josh Winning are reprinted with permission. Copyright Titan Books.AdvertisementJosh Winnings' The Shadow Glass will be out March 22, 2022. You can pre-order one here.Are you curious about where our RSS feed went. The new one can be found here.