Dear Mr. Beck,

Five days ago — on June 2nd, twelve-and-a-half minutes into the second hour of your radio show — you spent about five minutes telling your listening audience about my novel, Alongside Night.

Here’s a transcript of what you said:

The [novel] was written in 1979. Alongside … Morning? Something like that. It reads exactly like my show. It does! You know what the story is? A guy who is an economic expert has been saying “The economy is collapsing! The economy is collapsing and the government is going to seize control!” Everything is out of control. He lives in New York City. His son is called from school. He’s told that your father has died; you’ve got to go home right away. He takes out these blue notes because hyperinflation has come — his father was right — hyperinflation has come. He’s bartering with the cab driver to be able to get home. He’s bargaining with him — “How many blue notes do you have?” — because money is over. He gets to the apartment and Dad is standing there: “Listen. Go get the gold. We gotta get out.” “But, Dad, they told me you were dead.” “We’ve got to get out; it was a ruse to give us time to get out.” The son goes and gets the gold that he had hidden in New York, puts it in a belt, starts to come back … and Dad and the family now are gone. Been picked up by the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice has built concentration camps! It’s an interesting read! I don’t remember who wrote it. It doesn’t take you long to read it. I read it in a day. I don’t think it’s a big book. I read it on Kindle. But it’s good. I don’t agree with everything in it. But it’s a good read and written in 1979! Phenomenal! Phenomenal!

This blog post is to offer you the acting role of Nobel-Prizewinning economist Dr. Martin Vreeland in the movie production of Alongside Night. I have a screenplay ready to email to you as a PDF file.

Alongside Night launched my career when it was published hardcover in 1979 by Crown Publishing, with endorsements on the dust jacket from A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess and Milton Friedman, who’d endorsed it even before he won the Nobel Prize in economics three years earlier. The novel won the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1989 — the first year of its eligibility — and in 2009 Ron Paul endorsed it.

Alongside Night was my first novel; I spent the subsequent three decades learning additional skills, so today I am not only a novelist whose work has often been complimented by other impressive people — fans of my writing have included Charlton Heston, Dennis Prager, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University, Michael Medved, and the dean of science-fiction authors, Robert A. Heinlein — but I’m one of the few novelists who has crossed over to become not only a screenwriter but also a director whose first feature film, Lady Magdalene’s — starring the original Star Trek‘s Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols — has already won two film-festival awards.

Following up on Lady Magdalene’s I decided to make a film production of Alongside Night my next project. My line producer is Emmy-Award-winning producer, Sascha Schneider.

First, here are those three endorsements on the novel:

“I received Alongside Night at noon today. It is now eight in the evening and I just finished it. I think I am entitled to some dinner now as I had no lunch. The unputdownability of the book ensured that. It is a remarkable and original story, and the picture it presents of an inflation- crippled America on the verge of revolution is all too acceptable. I wish, and so will many novelists, that I, or they, had thought of the idea first. A thrilling novel, crisply written, that fires the imagination as effectively as it stimulates the feelings.”
–Anthony Burgess

“An absorbing novel–science fiction, yet also a cautionary tale with a disturbing resemblance to past history and future possibilities.”
— Milton Friedman, 1976 Nobel laureate in Economics

“J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night may be even more relevant today than it was in 1979. Hopefully, the special thirtieth anniversary edition of this landmark work of libertarian science fiction will inspire a new generation of readers to learn more about the ideas of liberty and become active in the freedom movement.” –Congressman Ron Paul

In May 2009 Alongside Night was voted Freedom Book of the Month by the Freedom Book Club. When originally published it received rave reviews in Publishers Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit News, and Reason magazine. It’s frequently compared — sometimes even over — Atlas Shrugged, because my novel is short, far less didactic, and has teenage lead characters.

Like the novel which you’ve read, the script of Alongside Night is set in the immediate future when the dollar has collapsed on international markets, current economic trends are bottoming out, and the country is in both political and economic turmoil.

The viewpoint character is 18-year-old Elliot Vreeland, whose father, Nobel-winning economist, Dr. Martin Vreeland, is the key to getting the United States foreign loans to issue a new gold-backed currency — but Dr. Vreeland and Elliot’s mother and sister have gone missing.

After a night out in New York on his own — and almost getting arrested by the feds at an anti-federal-spending demonstration his father was scheduled to speak at — Elliot seeks out the help of his friend Phillip Gross, and Phillip’s uncle — a former Mossad officer — to find his missing family, and they put Elliot in touch with the underground pro-free-market Revolutionary Agorist Cadre.

In the underground headquarters Elliot meets Lorimer — a young woman his own age — whose father, it turns out, is the FEMA official who may have kidnapped Elliot’s family and put them in a Guantanamo-type secret lock-up.

More action, adventure, and tight suspense follows.

Both the novel and my screenplay adaptation are chock full of entertaining ways I’ve found to embed pro-free-market and libertarian ideas, by making them plot-dependent. In his classroom Elliot presents a YouTube video titled “Economics in One Minute” based on his father’s book on free-market economics, to which his teacher says, “You boiled down his complex theories into a lucid series of pop-culture clichés.”

On May 21, 2010 I blogged a short humor piece — Alongside Night Author to Sue United States for Copyright Infringement — which is now reprinted all over the Internet, in which I announced my intention to sue the United States government for infringing the copyright on Alongside Night by copying its plot about the U.S. economy melting down. The article has gotten me great notices and a lot of people actually want me to file the lawsuit! :-)

Because of my humor piece, over 100,000 copies of the PDF edition of Alongside Night were downloaded from my website in the five days following publication of my humor piece. This brings the total current count of downloads since release in June 2009 to 197,876 as of this morning. This makes my three-decade-old novel a brand-new viral success story.

Of the 11 customer reviews of Alongside Night on, nine of them are five-star.

Full info on the novel on its official website and its Facebook Group. The movie poster is lower down in this post.

In addition to having a successful career as a novelist and journalist over the years (the Wall Street Journal also called me a pioneer of electronic book publishing as early as 1989), I also wrote one of the best-remembered Twilight Zone episodes when CBS brought it back in the mid-80’s, titled “Profile in Silver.”

My resume is on IMDb. My bio with all my links is here.

Alongside Night‘s line producer, Sascha Schneider’s, IMDb page with his credits is here.

Alongside Night is listed on IMDb here.

I believe your participation in the movie of Alongside Night can be wonderfully useful in spreading the ideas and ideals of the American Revolution — by putting them in a modern context for the American people — especially the teenagers who go to see action/adventure movies with characters their own age.



J. Neil Schulman
Executive Producer/Writer/Director
Alongside Night

Alongside Night Poster #1 Copyright (c) 2010 Jesulu Productions. All rights reserved.

My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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