Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Science-fiction writer Gregory Frost gave a reading last Thursday from his latest novel, Shadow Bridge, to be published in January.
Shadow Bridge is set in a dark world of Frost’s creation, where people live on suspended platforms connected by bridge-spans. The intricacy of this setting mirrors the structure of the novel, which is composed of story upon interpolated story, winding deeper and deeper into the abyss of Frost’s universe.
Frost delivered an animated reading from one riveting chapter, complete with hackneyed accents and the occasional violent gesticulation. The chapter includes imprisonment, suicide, and Tupperware containers from the Gods.
After the reading, Frost treated the audience to a behind-the-scenes view of his writing process in an extensive question and answer session. The idea for Shadow Bridge, Frost revealed, stemmed from his fascination with the concept of “spiraling stories.” It took about eight years to write from first conception to publication while he alternately focused on it and other projects. It was “an intuitive process” of trial and error, he confessed, with so many dead-ends that it was like “a family tree where everybody died.”
Yet the finished product has already been received with glowing reviews. After reading it, one critic even commented that Frost was heading towards “a masterpiece.” Thursday’s audience was similarly awed, leaving one captivated student to wonder aloud, “What happens next?” (“I can’t say yet,” was Frost’s frustrating reply.)
Gregory Frost will be teaching Swarthmore’s Fiction Workshop this spring semester.