The Chasm: A Note from the Author

I want to share a bit about my fiction book The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Life. It was inspired by a few chapters in the middle of my book, Edge of Eternity, but is a much shorter standalone work that does not require any knowledge of the larger story. I spent a great deal of time rewriting, editing, and adding new material that makes this story fresh even to those who have read Edge of Eternity.

The Chasm is an otherworldly tale with an allegorical feel; a vibrant mix of movement, action, revelation, and reflection that follows  the journey of one man who represents everyman. His struggle is universal. He’s a real person, with a real life, a real family, and a real background, yet somehow he’s been transported into another world. This other world has its own geography and substance. It’s not our world, but somehow it’s connected to our world. In it he sees life as it really is back in his world—our world.

I write a lot of nonfiction as well as fiction. When I write nonfiction, I’m often describing things as they actually are. That’s the way we live. When we look outside and see the world, we see a tree, a bird, a car,  and each registers as reality in our minds. But much of what is really important in this world—God’s plan and intentions, and the works of both righteous and evil angels—are by nature invisible to us. So, when we look at a shiny new car and think “isn’t that a nice car?”, are we seeing accurately? Well, yes, but we’re not really seeing the most important things in life.

The Chasm will help readers understand that we best grasp the very world we live in when we see it through new eyes. My goal is to take the reader to another world. In that place, you can’t take for granted the things you take for granted here. In fact, in that other world, you are able to see things that are just as real in our own lives, but we lack the power to see them.

Fiction has that power—to let you see through fresh eyes because you are thinking differently. As a reader, sometimes getting far enough away from your life allows you to look back and see yourself for the first time.

I think The Chasm will appeal to people as a gift book. Dynamic new illustrations by artist Mike Biegel help communicate its message in ways that will enable both unbelievers and believers alike to appreciate the gospel’s life-changing power.

The artwork effectively gives the story a sense of energy, action, and introspection. It provides a window into what’s happening inside the life of the main character as he gazes into the chasm and contemplates the realities before him. He realizes that it’s impossible for him to cross it, yet he must cross this chasm. The bones, the ruin, and the desolate surroundings speak to him of death and hopelessness, yet the city far off on a hill is glowing, bright and promising. Everything within him longs for the new life that is in front of him, if only he could get there.

This is a picture of every one of us. On the one hand, we have deep longings for something better. We really believe there has to be more to life. On the other hand, we’ve gone down so many dead ends that we become weary and wonder, “Could  there really be something more than what I’ve experienced?”

I think The Chasm offers something for everyone—whether that person is a non-Christian, who has never heard the gospel, or a Christian who knows the gospel but needs reminders of the hope and promise of what lies ahead, and a supernatural ability to see our world with new eyes.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries