The Lost Sequel to MAZE

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In an interview last year with the elusive Christopher Manson he described to me an unpublished sequel to MAZE that he had planned.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

The Lost Room open

I call this room “The Lost Room – Open Box” compare this with the version of the room below. These are not two rooms that look alike but the same room with elements moved.

The Lost Room closed

The Lost Room – Closed Box. These images are scans Manson emailed me so there is some blurring, but note the very different artistic style from MAZE. I didn’t think to ask him how he made these images but it appears to be a combination of ink, charcoal and watercolors.

The Lost Room of the One Eyed God

I call this one “The Lost Room of the One Eyed God.” The solution to at least part of this room is a number. Without knowing our choices, it may be darn near impossible to solve but what incredible artistry!

85 thoughts on “The Lost Sequel to MAZE

    • Jake Eakle,

      Welcome to The Abyss!

      Mr. Manson has assured me that if he decides to work on a sequel he will let me know. Rest assured if there are any developments I will post them on this page. [Fingers crossed!]

      White Raven

  1. Wow! I’ve always been a fan of MAZE, so I’m very glad I came upon this website! I spent many hours happily puzzling over the original book, and I’d definitely purchase another if it were ever released.

  2. I think I had the same reaction others did at the images here: Hey, that’s amazing, but that’s not what Christopher Manson’s art looks like!

    That feeling has completely worn off, though, and I think it’s not only acceptable but exciting that Manson considered such a radical change in art style. I also agree with WR that it has the makings of a great video game; it would certainly make room changes easier to implement. On the other hand, the logistics of rendering such interactive fiction in hard copy are impressive, and since we know we’d eventually just be taking the book apart page-by-page, it would be a lot more convenient not to have to play through the game to reach rooms.

    I don’t think the feat is prohibitively complex; the book Meanwhile by Jason Shiga accomplishes a similar feat in a different context.

    • Oh, I forgot about the monster. Yeah, that’s impossible.


    • What the- you know of Meanwhile? I was just about to mention it on the abyss! It and Maze do things I never imagined possible in a book before (not to mention including incredible philosophical dilemmas!)
      And, knowing Manson, whatever medium he uses would be pretty neat- though the aesthetics would certainly shift.

  3. I don’t know the cost scale for a book like that in terms of production, but if there were a kickstarter for a Maze sequel, I would eagerly participate.

    • Welcome Anchorperson Smith,

      We have discussed several plans including kickstarter. Don’t hold your breath, if a sequel happens it will be awhile.

      White Raven

  4. Does Mr. Manson have an agent? Seems like he should have no trouble getting the sequel picked up if so- unless he’s locked into a never ending contract?
    Still speaking from my seat of ignorance, here, but I believe changing the art style is a mistake in terms of drumming up interest. I’ve shown the book to a lot of people and it the visual style instantly grabs them. The images above are fine, but their mode of construction is so similar to a lot of late 90s/early 00s computer work that it doesn’t have that same grab- especially given all of the 1st person computer based adventure/puzzle games out there. Since he is working in the medium of books, it seems it would be wiser to work with the advantages of that niche- he doesn’t have to have computer generated images, so he shouldn’t- given the ecology.
    Perhaps, however, the computer images are less time consuming? The 45 pages in Maze seem incredibly labor intensive. I can’t fault him wanting to save his hands. The man should have some apprentices- lots of artists do that.

    • I forgot to note that I would personally buy a copy regardless.

    • Hello Gregor,

      We have discussed a variety of options, and you are correct the labor intensiveness is a major factor. We have not discussed apprentices – I will pass on your suggestion. No decisions have been reached yet, and may never be – fingers crossed.

      White Raven

    • I agree in that I prefer the style of the original drawings in MAZE. However, these pictures are amazing and I’m sure that the book would do very well if it was to be published. I would definitely be in line to buy it!

  5. Sounds awesome! If he were to do this I would buy 5 copies and share it with everyone I know. MAZE is probably one of the most brilliant things ever devised by a human, ranking up there with the airplane or the Mona Lisa.

  6. Eerie! Beautiful! The Lost Room of the One Eyed God is incredible but I like The Lost Room Closed Box the best…moody, like a tomb. I would buy a sequel in a heartbeat, and I know a lot of people who would too.

  7. Christopher, what beautiful, artistry! It is deep and vivid. The style may be a bit different but the mood matches MAZE perfectly! Love it! Please make a sequel!

  8. Whoa! He just gave all this to you. What did you do, bribe him?

    I love “The Lost Room of the One Eyed God.” It is definitely going to be my desktop pic. Imagine what the finished book would look like!

    Lending my support: If this book came out I would by two copies for myself and tell everyone I know to buy one too.

    Seriously, how did you get this, you are a relative of his?

    • Carl Koffman,

      I have never met Christopher Manson, but we have spoken on the phone a few times and exchanged letters. In regards to him giving me this material, all I can say is that we have many of the same interests and we really get along well.

      In my work and studies I rub shoulders with all manner of scientists and thinkers – yet Manson is the most interesting person I have ever met – he is a humble mad genius.

      White Raven

  9. Abyssians,

    The three surviving images from the lost sequel of MAZE are online! Come check them out and read about the crazy insane book he pitched the publisher. Let’s give him a little encouragement and see if he will take up the pen again!

    White Raven

  10. I have bought Maze no less than four times, each time someone either borrows or flat out steals it from me, never to have returned it. My first purchase was in 1989, and I still love picking the book up, so the thought of a sequel is beyond a thrill.

    • He is not planning on it. But in time… perhaps… if it is closer to the end of the week than we think…

  11. I am glad White Raven is in contact with Manson, I’m sure he appreciates that there are some hapless thinkers still struggling to solve his masterpiece.


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