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Whitley Strieber

Louis Whitley Strieber (born June 13, 1945) is an American writer best known for his horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger and for Communion, a non-fiction account of his perceived experiences with non-human entities. Strieber also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm with Art Bell, which inspired the film about sudden climate change, The Day After Tomorrow. He has persisted as a supporter of alternative concept advocates through the Unknown Country website.

Early life

Strieber was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Karl Strieber, a lawyer and Mary Drought Strieber. He attended Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio, Texas. He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin and the London School of Film Technique, graduating from each in 1968. He then worked for several advertising firms in New York City, rising to the level of vice president before quitting in 1977.


Strieber began his career as a novelist with the horror novels The Wolfen (1978) and The Hunger (1981), each of which was later made into a movie, followed by the less successful horror novels Black Magic (1982) and The Night Church (1983).

Strieber then turned to speculative fiction. He wrote Warday (1984), about the dangers of limited nuclear warfare, and Nature's End (1986), a novel about environmental apocalypse, collaboratively with James Kunetka. He is also the author of Wolf of Shadows (1985), a young adult novel set in the aftermath of a nuclear war.

In 1986, Strieber's fantasy novel Catmagic was published, co-authored with Jonathan Barry, who was billed as an aerospace industry consultant and a practicing witch. In the 1987 paperback edition, Strieber states that Jonathan Barry is fictitious and that he is the author of Catmagic. Strieber's personal publishing company, Walker & Collier, is named after two characters in Catmagic.

Later, less successful thrillers by Strieber (all now out of print) include Billy (1990), The Wild (1991), Unholy Fire (1992) and The Forbidden Zone (1993).

He later returned to the vampire saga that began with The Hunger, adding The Last Vampire (2001) and Lilith's Dream (2002) to the story.

His novel of alien abduction The Grays (2006) makes use of his alleged experiences of the phenomenon.

The author's short stories were collected in the 1997 limited edition volume Evenings with Demons. Strieber also authored a short story, "The Good Neighbor", published in Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary.

Communion and "The Visitors"

On December 26, 1985, Strieber reportedly was abducted from his cabin in upstate New York by non-human beings. He wrote about these experiences in his first non-fiction book, Communion (1987). Although the book is perceived generally as an account of alien abduction, Strieber draws no conclusions about the identity of alleged abductors. He refers to the beings as "the visitors", a name chosen to be as neutral as possible to entertain the possibility that they are not extraterrestrials and may instead exist in his mind. He has repeatedly expressed his frustration with what he feels are fantastic claims attributed incorrectly to him.

Strieber wrote four additional autobiographies detailing his experiences with the visitors, Transformation (1988), Breakthrough (1995), The Secret School (1996), and Solving the Communion Enigma: What Is to Come (2011).

In Solving the Communion Enigma, Strieber admitted that he used a hypnotist to help him recall the details of his close encounters and that, during the time period of his experiences at his upstate New York cabin in the 1980s, in his words, "I was regularly drinking myself to sleep when we were there. I would listen to the radio until late hours, drinking vodka . . ."

Other visitor-themed books of Strieber's include Majestic (1989), a novel about the Roswell UFO incident and The Communion Letters (1997, reissued in 2003), a collection of letters from readers reporting experiences similar to Strieber's Confirmation (1998), despite its title, does not propose that there has been 'confirmation' of UFOs or abductions. It analyzes the evidence and discusses what would be required to provide 'confirmation'. A 2006 novel, The Grays, presented his impression of alien contact through a fictional narrative.

Strieber wrote the screenplay for the 1989 film Communion, directed by Philippe Mora and starring Christopher Walken as Strieber. The movie covers material from the novel Communion and a sequel Transformation and which has themes not present in the books. Strieber stated in interviews years after the movie's release that he was dissatisfied with the film. When pushed, he indicated that he was displeased with Christopher Walken's inauthentic portrayal of him.

The Master of the Key

In the pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1998, Strieber was allegedly visited in his Toronto hotel room by a mysterious but very ordinary-looking elderly Caucasian man who delivered an unsolicited lecture covering various subjects from spirituality to the environment. When queried, the man airily suggested that he might be called "Michael" but Whitley has taken to referring to him as the "Master of the Key". Strieber first reported the visit in his online journal in 1998 and later gave a more complete account in his self-published book The Key (2001). Skeptics have pointed out that The Key and the 1998 journal entries give different (not contradictory but non-overlapping) accounts of what the man said. Strieber's mention of his personally-devised system of shorthand or abbreviated note-taking in an interview with George Knapp on June 19, 2011, might at least partially account for this apparent discrepancy as the author had to reconstruct the entire 45-minute conversation with his visitor from a series of barely-legible squiggles he discovered by his hotel bedside upon re-awakening from deep sleep much later, that same morning. He also chose to emphasize different subjects or aspects of the exchange according to how he surmised they could best be assimilated by his readers. Strieber claims that the stranger in his room informed him that humans have an electron floating in front of their foreheads, and that that may indeed be their soul. He also claimed the stranger handed him a vial of unknown white liquid, instructed him to drink it, and he did.

Before publishing The Key, Strieber co-authored, with Art Bell, The Coming Global Superstorm (1999), a book about the possibility of rapid and destructive climate change. He has said that it was based largely on things the Master of the Key had told him about the environment. The book served as the inspiration for the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and Strieber later wrote a novelization of that movie.

Another recent book Strieber says was inspired by the teachings of the Master of the Key is the self-published The Path (2002) which deals with the symbolism of the Tarot of Marseilles.

Current works

Whitley Strieber is currently the host of the paranormal and fringe science-themed internet podcast, Dreamland, available on a weekly basis from his website, Unknown Country. The program was a former companion show to Coast to Coast AM, with both shows founded by broadcaster Art Bell, before being taken on by Strieber in 1999.

Strieber has also returned to writing novels in recent years, including The Last Vampire (2001), and Lilith's Dream (2003), both being sequels to his 1981 vampire novel The Hunger. As well, he has authored 2012: The War For Souls (2007), a horror novel about an interdimensional invasion, and Critical Mass (2009), a thriller about nuclear terrorism. Strieber also co-authored the graphic novel The Nye Incidents (2008), along with co-authors Craig Spector and Guss Floor.

His new novel, The Omega Point, is a novel "based on a hidden connection between 2012 and the Book of Revelation." This title released in 2010 is Strieber's second novel dealing with the subject of 2012, the first being his novel 2012: The War for Souls. The Omega Point details the coming events surrounding 2012. Strieber is effectively outlining three ways in which humanity may evolve, each of which are equally disturbing.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitley_Strieber
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