Unpublished, Undeveloped or Unfinished Novels

(and some discarded working titles)

by Whitley Strieber

“I've got lots of books sitting here that have never been published because nobody could make any marketing sense of them. I wrote a western set in Texas in 1871 that nobody will publish. I wrote a thousand-page, very serious novel about an extraordinary love affair that can't be published for the same reason. They just don't fit anyone's concept of how to market Whitley Strieber.”
–Whitley Strieber interview in Publishers Weekly, Jeff Zaleski, 25 June 2001
     In another interview, conducted by Michael McCarty for the SciFi Channel (apparently after the 2002 release of Lilith's Dream), Whitley states “I always have works in progress. I am working on a script called Attack of Another Dimension. I'm getting ready to write a non-fiction book about UFOs, aliens and that sort of thing. I have another script I want to start writing if I can find anyone who wants to finance it.”

(Circa 1977. Unpublished early novel, Whitley Strieber's 9th attempt to be published)
As many as nine early novels were written and rejected by publishers from 1970 to 1977. Of the first eight, little is known, though the first two were titled Ginger and Little Paradise, and Stranger in the Earth may have been the third).
The ninth attempt was titled The Searchlight Horrror.“It was about a little town in the California desert in which everything goes wrong. Inanimate objects turn against the town. The town turns against its people. No one knows why it has happened. It doesn’t stop; it just gets worse until the town is virtually destroyed. The difficulty of the novel is that every catastrophe is funny. The novels wants the reader to jeer, and it pissed people off so much that one agent actually threw the manuscript at me when I went to his office to get it. The last time The Searchlight Horror went out, it came back in a bag. The agent who had gotten it had pushed the manuscript into a mailbox without even so much as putting a box on it. And some postal worker had found the damn thing lying there in the bottom of the mailbox, and had put it back together, seen my address on the front cover, and brought it back to me personally on his time off. He had read it, and he said, ‘I didn’t think it was so bad.’”–Whitley Strieber interview in Faces of Fear, Douglas E. Winter, 1985

(sequel to The Wolfen)
Whitley Strieber related in a summer 2002 interview that he may write a sequel to his lupine classic. This idea has been kicking around in Whitley's mind at least since 1986, when he told Stanley Wiater that “it will be called Call of the Wolfen, though I’m not working on it right now.” A tentative date of October 2003 was penciled in for this title, but since then there have been no formal announcements.
“Q: Many of your fans have a special affection for your first novel, The Wolfen. We understand you’re considering a sequel? A: Yes. It’ll be called Call of the Wolfen, though I’m not working on it right now.”–Whitley Strieber, Twilight Zone magazine, Aug 1986, interview by Stanley Wiater.

(Sequel to WarDay, abandoned in favor of Nature’s End)
“The winds of WarDay will soon be gathering up Strieber and Kunetka and carrying them to Europe to promote the book...While there, they expect to put the finishing touches on their research for a sequel that will render the Soviet perspective on WarDay. ‘What we want to do,’ says Whitley, ‘is humanize the Russians’.”–People Weekly, April 30, 1984
“Although he has talked of possible sequels to both The Wolfen and WarDay, Strieber followed WarDay with further cautionary tales: the post-apocalyptic Wolf of Shadows (1985) and a realistic inquiry into environmental disaster cowritten with Jim Kunetka, Nature’s End (1986).”–Faces of Fear, Douglas E. Winter, 1985
“I wrote instead a book called Nature’s End. It’s similar to WarDay in that I also wrote it with James Kunetka. It’s set fifty years in the future, and it’s about the state of the environment then. We wrote most of a WarDay sequel from the European and Russian viewpoint, but as far as I know, there is no plan to publish it. I felt Nature’s End was a more important book, given the pressing environmental concerns that the public seems almost totally unaware of or are unaffected by. And we wanted to go and do that; we may turn back later to WarDay: Europe and Russia, but I’m not sure.”–Whitley Strieber, Twilight Zone magazine, Aug 1986, interview by Stanley Wiater.

“A historical novel centered about the life of a wealthy American woman who finds herself in Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution and throws her fortune behind it.” –Ed Conroy's description (recounted in Report on Communion) of a novel Whitley Strieber abandoned before starting Communion.

Not much known. On 22 Sept 1989, the copyright office registered this title as a “revision and adaptation” of the book “previously registered as the novel Communion: A True Story.” The phrase “revision and adaptation” is a standard copyright office term that reveals nothing; it is not a custom description. This entry could be anything. One possibility, not very likely but one that comes to mind due to the simple, straightforward title, is a children's book based on Communion. But that is pure speculation on my part. The serial number for this entry, which may reveal more to those who are familiar with copyright codes, is PAu-1-275-202. The “u”, I am fairly certain, denotes “unreleased.”

After writing Billy, Unholy Fire, and The Forbidden Zone, Strieber stated that he planned to write a book about Satanic ritual abuse. Instead, he returned to the Communion milieu with Breakthrough. He mentioned The Demon's Song on CNN's Larry King Live of July 9, 1993, with guest host Frank Sesno.
SESNO: Back now for a few precious remaining moments with author Whitley Strieber. What are you working on now?
Mr. STRIEBER: Well, I'm working on a novel called The Demon's Song, which is about the issue of satanic ritual abuse.
SESNO: And what's your conclusion about satanic ritual abuse?
Mr. STRIEBER: Something is happening, people are getting beat up, but it is a psychological thing, basically. I don't think it's real.

Not much known. In late 1997, the internet book vendor had a listing for this title, with the following description: Hardcover. List $21.00. Published by E.P. Dutton. Publication date: June 1998. ISBN:0525936203. This was advance information; the book was “Not Yet Available.” By spring of 1998, this listing had been withdrawn, however some ISBN databases continued to list the title with a revised release date of 12/1999, reconfigured as a Trade Paperback from NAL Dutton. Presumably an unfinished novel being readied for release.

Most likely this is not an unreleased novel, but rather is a working title of a book already known (possibly The Secret School?). Without more information, it is impossible to say.

by Whitley Strieber and Art Bell
In the summer of 1998, Whitley Strieber described The Edge as “a compendium of the most amazing and important things happening in science right now.” Strieber also spoke with much enthusiasm about the work of Michael Cremo, suggesting that the "mysterious past" in the subtitle may have presented the forbidden archeology of Michael Cremo, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, et al.
     Paper Chase Press (Art Bell's publisher) prepared a mock-up of the planned cover art and the following synopsis: “Two bestselling authors offer a unique perspective, combine their knowledge and create a view that will challenge, excite and inform readers. This insightful work reveals the truth about humanity's past: proof that homoerectus was traveling by sea 800,000 years ago, new revealing details about the Sphinx, The Platform at Baalbek, and other ancient structures. The book also explores incredible little-known sciences of today, such as how small physical objects can be teleported into the next decade, and predicts the future of humanity from a technical, scientific and social viewpoint, i.e.: the effect of increasing population, global weather changes, nanotechnology, cloning, and quantum communication.”
     In a rather syncronistic event (given the focus of The Edge), a mysterious man visited Whitley Strieber on June 6, 1998, in Toronto and spoke of the past and future with each word containing “whole, vast oceans of other words and meanings." This visit has become known as “the Toronto experience.” Strieber announced that he was suspending work on The Edge in favor of writing about this experience.
     After Strieber announced he was disinclined to write The Edge, Paper Chase Press called in another author, Brad Steiger, to work with Art Bell on a book similar in some ways to the one Bell and Strieber would have written. Brad Steiger and Art Bell published The Source in January 1999. At that time, Paper Chase Press still hoped The Edge would be released at a later date, and an advertisement for The Edge appears in the back of The Source.
     Meanwhile, Whitley Strieber's original treatment for his Toronto experience was not satisfactory to the author, and he resumed writing with Art Bell on a more narrowly-focused book dealing with Earth's history of climate change. Some material planned for The Edge may have been entwined into this new effort, titled The Coming Global Superstorm, and the manuscript was elevated from the small publishing house of Paper Chase Press to the larger publisher Pocket Books, who published The Coming Global Superstorm in December 1999. (Had Pocket Books not bought the book, Paper Chase Press was prepared to publish it earlier that year.)
     In summary, it seems likely that the abandonment of The Edge represented a dissatisfaction with the sweeping scope of the original proposal, and the diversion of the June 6th encounter served as a break, during which time the original proposal was refocused from The Edge to The Coming Global Superstorm.
     A final note: Whitley Strieber eventually resumed writing about his Toronto experience. See The Key. [Illustration: Cover art prepared for The Edge by Paper Chase Press, before it was abandoned, refocused and renamed.]

Confirmation is sometimes erroneously referred to as Communion II in book vendor databases. This was likely just a working title. More interestingly, though equally unreliably, some databases also refer to Confirmation as the first in some kind of series - which it was not. Nonetheless one might conjecture, given that Strieber was open to the concept of a thematic book series (he later released a series of paperbacks by other authors under the banner Whitley Strieber's Hidden Agendas, published by Dell) that perhaps Confirmation may have originally been planned as the first book in a kind of series, even if this is not how it was ultimately released. If so, this might explain why Confirmation was not a typically brilliant original Strieber book but was arguably a kind of rehash of general knowledge.

Not much known. In June 2000, Whitley Strieber registered the domain name, but as of January 2001, there was still no content at the site. Possibly the title of a book, or of a significant character in a book. We can speculate that because Whitley Strieber does not typically buy domain names of characters or places (unlike LucasFilm for example, which registers domain names for every character that appears in its films), Mr. Baltimore is likely a book title. (The Veils club in The Last Vampire, for example, would have been a relevant and important domain name to secure, if Whitley was inclined to secure names of characters and places from his stories – is still available if any goths out there want to buy it!).


A pair of working titles for the 1992 novel Unholy Fire.

Book databases have listed this title as a Dell paperback since 2002. We have no data on the reliability of this information at present, but in the past such data has been unreliable.

In 1999, Whitley Strieber wrote a 43 page outline of a possible work of speculative fiction about what happened to President Eisenhower on the 20th of February, 1954. He revealed this outline in 2004 on the “50th Anniversary of the Eisenhower Disappearance”:
     Fifty years ago, on February 20, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower was mysteriously missing for a day during a golf vacation in Palm Springs, California. The legend is that he made a secret trip to a nearby Air Force base to meet two extraterrestrials.
The Associated Press ran a story saying, “Pres. Eisenhower died tonight of a heart attack in Palm Springs.” Two minutes later, they retracted the story and said he went to the dentist. Allegedly he visited Dr. Francis A. Purcell, who died in 1974, to have a cap repaired. But there is no record of this visit, no letter of thanks sent to the dentist, and Dr. Purcell himself would never confirm that the visit took place. In fact, the reason that there are no records of Ike being treated by Dr. Purcell is probably because he was not, in fact, treated by the dentist. The trip was billed as a vacation, although it came up very suddenly. The president had taken a vacation in Georgia less than a week before. A motorcade was observed entering Muroc Air Force Base (now Edwards) on the night of the president's disappearance. The base was also the scene of many extraordinary UFO sightings, but none were reported on the night in question. What President Eisenhower did that night remains a mystery.
     What did happen That night?
In 1999, Whitley Strieber wrote an outline of a novel to be entitled Report from the Ambassador. This novel was based on extensive research into what might have happened to Eisenhower that night, and persistent rumors that the U.S. sent an ambassador to another world as a result of the meeting.
     This is a truly fascinating speculative journey into what could be a hidden UFO reality of tremendous importance.

Not an unreleased novel, but rather a working title for the novel that was ultimately titled Lilith's Dream.

A psychological thriller about government experiments upon innocent children during the Cold War. This manuscript was well underway in 2003, and one chapter was previewed in the subscriber section of his official website. The synopsis there reads: “The Capture House is the first chapter of a novel that Whitley is now writing. He believes that it is a description of a type of experience he cannot remember directly, drawn from his unconscious mind. To fully understand what this is about, you should read his Journal Entry entitled the Capture House, posted on October 8, 2004.”

In a Journal entry (on his official website) written on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 that destroyed the World Trade Center towers, Whitley mentioned “...I wrote a story about a 747 crashing into the towers and causing both of them to fall over. Where that story is now, I don’t know. It’s been at least 30 years since I laid eyes on it.”

Not an unreleased novel, but rather a working title for the novel that was ultimately titled The Omega Point. The White Shaman was described as follows: “In 2014, mankind deals with the aftermath of the catastrophe predicted by ancient peoples for the year 2012.”

Not an unreleased novel, but rather a working title for the novel that was ultimately titled Critical Mass.