My background as a writer drew me to this project, because I love storytelling in RPGs and wanted to make my own version of something that means so much to me. I’m the author of five novels, most recently Scary People, which was selected as one of the best books of 2015 at Entropy Magazine. My short stories have appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Fiction International, Atticus Review, Mayday Magazine, and other places in print and online. Also, I have an MFA in fiction from the University of Notre Dame; in 2016, I won the Sparks Prize for short fiction.
But before I ever started reading books, I discovered the potential of storytelling through video games. I enjoy games from diverse traditions, and all of them had an influence on The Pale City. Western CRPGs like Planescape Torment, Mask of the Betrayer, and the Witcher were a heavy influence, but also JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Earthbound, and Xenogears. I was also inspired by other modern indie games for PC that approach storytelling in unique ways, especially The Way, To the Moon, Undertale, Night in the Woods, Kentucky Route Zero, and Lisa: The Painful. I hope that anyone who enjoyed any of those games would find something to interest them in The Pale City!
A novel about four friends in a world that’s always changing.
“Kind of like what might happen if Richard Brautigan had been hired to co-write an episode of Adventure Time. Scary People is playful and painful and surreally real, and great fun to read.” – Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses
Green Lights is a surreal fable set in a neighborhood that goes on forever, where the light is always changing color. It’s the story of two people in love, a friend with a problem, and an old man who eats children; but also one about perception, the gaps between universes, and the struggle to find happiness in a dangerous, sometimes incomprehensible world.
“Spacious and mysterious, like a fairytale from Cloud City.”
—Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
“Kyle Muntz wants to talk to you about color. And you’ll want to listen, because the light that flickers and floats behind this extraordinarily conceived and executed book will have you utterly transfixed. This is a book about love, loss, pain, and other people—the big important stuff—but also about the way we perceive, the way the world shapes itself, and the way we shape ourselves in response. ‘The sky can only go so long without a moon,’ writes Muntz, and so instead of taking away the moon, he’s given us a new sky—one that seems as fickle as starlight, even as it folds us in and lights our way in the darkness. Green Lights is a singular, beautiful book.”
—Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies
“Kyle Muntz has attained an uncanny access to the places where the boulevards of perception and memory veer into the rutted gutters of longing and loss that run alongside them. Ghosts, colors, dreams, and the everyday coexist blissfully in the kaleidoscopic Green Lights. Muntz spins ephemera into koans, koans into stories, and eventually the stories themselves coalesce in a sort of giddy, gorgeous wisdom that feels as elusive and necessary as breath itself.”
—Tim Horvath, author of Understories
“A novel freed from time and restriction, by turns impish and sinister.”
—Robert Kloss, author of The Alligators of Abraham