April, 2nd 2014 -
In an interview last year with the elusive Christopher Manson he described to me an unpublished sequel to MAZE that he had planned. The publisher was dealing with some internal issues at the time and so it was put aside and ultimately forgotten. The images provided here are from a pitch Manson made to his publisher shortly after the MAZE contest ended.
The sequel was not merely a repeat of the MAZE formula. Manson had planned it to have 100 mind bending rooms. Manson’s artistic sense of the slightly morbidly unsettling was to be extended to the architecture of the maze itself. Gone would be the adherence to logical space in the original MAZE.
One unsettling element is a hallway with no end. I immediately imagined the hallway of doors from Matrix Revolutions but then Manson said it would have no doors. I asked if it was a trap since it had no doors. He said no.
Another of these mind bending effects is many instances of the Deja vu type room except some of these rooms would merely look alike while others are actually the same a room with an element or two changed. One of the two rooms he created to show the publisher was of this variety (see below).
By doubling or tripling the same room Manson could then have doors lock and unlock, have doors that lead back to the same room, and allow choices made by the reader to change not only the shape of the Maze but the content of the rooms as well – thus solving a room may require more than one visit.
Also in MAZE the sequel, instead of a single Abyss (Room 24) there was to be a monster that moved from room to room ending the journey when he caught up with his prey.
The combination of the moving monster and the changing maze would act like a noose. The more a visitor travels the more the maze warps in on itself trapping visitors in increasingly smaller circles until there are no escape from the monster.
It sounds like a great video game, I can hardly imagine it as a book. As incredibly complex as MAZE is, the sequel would have been many times more complicated.
Manson said he was open to making a sequel if there was enough interest, so show your enthusiasm here and perhaps we can convince Manson to pick up his brush again!
- White Raven