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Tell Peter Straub Your Worst Nightmare to Win a Copy of A DARK MATTER

Posted on February 9, 2010 by Flames

Over the past few weeks, has been pleased to present you with an interview with Peter Straub, a review of A DARK MATTER and the chance to ask Peter Straub a question about his new novel. To celebrate the release of A DARK MATTER, is teaming up with Doubleday for a terror-ific contest.

Before we get to the contest details, we’d like to share with you Peter’s answers to your questions. Reader Questions

straub cover photoIn a previous post, we offered readers the chance to ask Peter Straub a question. Here are his responses:

If there is one story/novel that you wish you were the one to have written it, what would it be?

If I could be the author of one book I have not written… Gatsby? Absalom, Absalom? No, let’s be even more grandiose and say, MADAME BOVARY. I can’t believe I just said that.

Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?

No, no research at all, really. I remembered the Madison of my college years pretty well, and invented what I had to invent.

Do you ever get so engrossed in the plot and the characters that you find them “following” you into the real world?

This happens very rarely. I once saw two dear characters from KOKO in a Village jazz club, Michael Poole and Maggie Lah, and I just sat there staring at them, in love all over again. would like to extend it’s deepest thanks to Peter Straub for taking the time to answer our questions. To keep up-to-date with news about Peter’s work, we encourage you to visit the official Peter Straub Facebook fan page or his website located at

Time for a Nightmarishly Good Contest!

Straub ContestAre you afraid of a scary clown? Do bats frighten you? To celebrate the release of Peter Straub’s new book, A DARK MATTER, we’re teaming up with Doubleday for a fun contest! Simply, post your worst nightmare in the comments below for your chance to win a free copy of A DARK MATTER mailed right to your door!

Contest runs through midnight, February 15th so be sure to enter today! We have several books we can give away, so don’t be afraid to tell a friend, too!

Contest Details

1. One Entry Per Person – We ask that you post one entry per person, so that your fellow horror fans can have an equal chance of winning a copy of A DARK MATTER.
2. Entries That Will/Won’t Be Considered – By keeping these simple guidelines in mind, you will increase your chance of winning.

What Will Be Considered – Entries of at least one sentence in length that are geared toward a public audience have the best chance of winning. Only entries posted by midnight, February 15th will be eligible to win.
What Won’t Be Considered – Entries that are full of harsh or foul language, overly graphic/sexual depictions or discriminatory/slang comments will not be posted.

3. Valid Email Address Required – When you post your comment, there’s a field to enter your email address. In order for us to notify winners, we ask that you please include a valid email address. This email address will not be posted publicly, and we will not use your email address for any other reason other than to notify you if you’ve won.
4. Valid Postal Address Required – Once we notify you, we will need you to provide us with a valid mailing address so we can mail you your prize.

Contest winners will be notified via email within one week after the contest ends. Good luck!

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16 Responses to “Tell Peter Straub Your Worst Nightmare to Win a Copy of A DARK MATTER”

  1. Chris says:

    My worst nightmares don’t appear to be nightmares at all. I wake up, and I can’t move. I know there’s a woman in my room, standing at the foot of the bed.

    I can hear her breathing, but it’s a wet, almost gurgling sound, like her chest has been crushed. I can almost see her, but I can’t lift my head enough to see more than the peripheral outline. I know her hair is white, and her scalp is the grey-pink of mouse feet. She never moves, never speaks. I always feel like she’s going to say something. That’s the worst part of the dream.

    I’m terrified that someday, she will.

  2. Gef says:

    I remember so few of my nightmares, and I doubt I’ve dreamed that many in all my years. One I can remember from my childhood, however, is a dream in which I could fly.

    I was running in an open field, and as I ran I began to lift off from the ground. But then I became aware of something chasing me. A witch. In panic, I started to descend and became ensnared in a barbed-wire fence. The fence turned into a web, and the witch turned into a giant spider.

    I don’t think I wet the bed, but I definitely woke up in a cold sweat that night.

  3. Steven Dawes says:

    I had a nightmare nearly twenty years ago that still gives me chills to this day. In fact it was so terrifying to me that I still recall most of the details that I wish I could forget.

    It begins with me walking on an old wooden bridge over a shallow pond in the middle of the night, the moon the sole source of lighting. As I walked over the bridge, some of the wooden planks in front of me suddenly exploded into shrapnel as several octopi-like tentacles rose up and out of the pond. On the end of each tentacle was a large eye; each eye looking blood shot, sickly, and directly at me. They stared at me in for a moment, then swiftly and in tandem they reached and wrapped around my legs, quickly pulling me into the water with them!

    It makes no sense that they could do this as the pond was shallow looking and would have probably only come up to my waist as I recall it. However, in my dream they pulled me completely underwater. I can remember the muted sounds of my screams underwater and watching the bubbles rise to the surface around my flailing arms as I tried to claw my way to the surface. I could see the surface; it was mere inches out of reach from me. I could feel the collective grip of the tentacles around my legs and another one joining in to wrap itself around my waist. They made no attempt to pull me farther, they were content and cruel enough to keep me just out of reach of the surface.

    I don’t recall looking down just what exactly was grabbing me, but I did have this sudden “3rd person view” of looking at the scene from the edge of the pond, as if I could watch myself drowning from the shore. But there was no sign of my struggle under the water. In fact, the pond was eerily still, no ripples, no bubbles breaching the surface; it was as if a plate of glass was placed over the surface after I went under. This respite eventually ended and I was back to being terrified and uselessly fighting to escape, still underwater.

    This went for an abnormally long amount of time, or at least in my mind it did. I should have drowned long before I threatened to. I never made it to the surface.

    Finally I woke from this nightmare, and was so spooked by it, I could not only sleep the rest of the morning, I didn’t sleep well for the next few nights. I never looked into any dream interpretations as to what this dream meant exactly; in fact I think I’d be afraid to know what it means. Nor did I ever dream of it or something similar to it again. But nearly twenty years later it still lingers in my memory, haunting me just enough to remind me of just how scary it was.

  4. Jen says:

    My worst nightmare is about a bear chasing me.
    No matter where I go, or where I hide, it follows me. It is just me and that bear in this world – no other people. There are lots of old, gnarly trees to climb, and dark, windy caves to hide in, with an occasional dilapidated log house thrown in for good measure, but the bear always finds out where I am hiding and tries to claw me to pieces. It has nasty, “meat gone bad” breath that usually signifies it is near, and it is HUGE – it stands several stories tall. I stay still in my new hiding place, hoping that it passes me by, just this one time, but no matter how well I hide, it never does. I end up getting away from the bear, running as fast as I can, but it always finds my new hiding place.

  5. Teri Dewald says:

    When I was a teen I had a recurring nightmare. I was walking down the road and got to the neighbors house and heard screams. I looked at the house and saw a bald man killing my neighbors with an axe. He saw me an started for the door. I ran towards home as fast as I could but this ugly bald man was catching up to me…so much so that I could feel the wind from the axe on the hair on the back of my head. I would get to our apple trees and that is when I always woke up. I never told anyone about that dream. One day my dad said I had the worst nightmare last night…right then the hair on my neck stood up and I got goosebumps. He told about his dream and it was exactly what I had dreamt. Neither one of us ever had the dream again after that!

  6. Preston says:

    I’ve had nightmares that left me distressed when I awoke, but most of them have long since faded in memory. There’s one dream that hasn’t, though.

    It’s pretty simple, really. I was riding in the back seat of a car with my wife and parents. We rounded a bend in the highway and came face to face with a huge tornado. It took up the entire road and was spinning an uprooted tree like a blade in a blender. There was no way we could stop in time, but the driver slammed on the brakes anyway. As we began our slow, inevitable slide toward what I knew was certain death, I accepted the situation, said a quick prayer, and told my wife that I loved her. I awoke just as we plowed into the tornado.

    It’s an old dream, but I’ve never forgotten the sence of acceptance and clarity about what should be done in my final seconds. Should I be given the opportunity to see my real death coming, I hope I face it with the same aplomb.

  7. Jennifer L. says:

    IRL, I divorced my alcoholic, abusive, ex-military husband back in ’98.

    However, whenever the stress levels in my life get to be too high, I have the same nightmare, over in over: that, not only did I hallucinate the divorce and that we’re still together, but that I come home from work one day to find out he’d gotten drunk, gone on a rampage, slaughtered our two children and the pets, then burned down the farmhouse where we lived out in the country…and was waiting for me in front of the house with an axe.

    The last thing I see before I wake up is inevitably the blade of the axe, descending onto my face.

    I have this nightmare around two or three times a year. I always wake up screaming.

  8. Caren says:

    It’s almost always the same dream. I find myself back in 9th grade math class. We’re getting our midterms back and as the teacher approaches he gives me a pitying look as he places the paper face down on my desk. I turn over my test paper and see that I got a “3” out of 100 on my algebra midterm after having studied for two weeks. I wake up in a cold sweat.

  9. I go to bed, angry and upset. I’ve just had a verbal fight with my daughter which results in harsh cruel words with my wife. We don’t reconcile and I go to sleep.

    I’m roused from my sleep, someone is yelling, but it’s all muffled. I see lights flashing red and blue out my window. Things are fuzzy until I look down at my hands and the world comes vibrantly to life with color and sound.

    There’s blood on my hands, and officer standing in front of me and one at the door. They tell me my family is dead and ask if I have weapons, before cuffing me and pulling me through the house.

    I see my wife and child dead in the living room. Despite believing I didn’t harm them, I’m filled with guilt, shame and fear. Then I wake.

  10. Brett Hartshorn says:

    My worst nightmare is that of a living nightmare from which one cannot wake. Imagine a world where everyone is constantly monitored unknown by the powers that be. Every action watched. Every thought analyzed. Every motive questioned. A paranoid society of secret police and a populace turned against one another. Parent against child, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. A world where ones existence is erased, forgotten and swallowed up for even a hint of going against the Status Quo. A world devoid of individual thought and freedom. A world that cherishes confomity and eradicates individuality. A world where love is illegal. A world where death and destruction is admired and commended in the name of patriotism and power absolute. Why is this my nightmare? Because this IS our world.

  11. Kody Boye says:

    My dreams don’t necessarily scare me anymore, but there are a few instances when after having been through or dealt with a stressful situation that I’ll see sentient animals when I’m falling asleep. By ‘sentient,’ I mean things that appear to be more than they really are by the look in their eyes, and by ‘animals,’ I mean things that take on animal-like characteristics. A good example would be of the one I saw last night–a large money-thing with a very intelligent set of eyes, but a large snout.

    They’re not necessarily threatening, but there’s something about the look in their eyes that bother me. It’s probably the sentience or the ‘not knowing what’s behind the exterior’ look, but… *shrug.* I’ve had dreams like this since being exposed to Pet Sematary 2 back when I was eight or nine. I’ve been having them off and on ever since.

  12. My worst nightmare would have to be failure. I have recurring dreams where I’m unable to perform very simple tasks, usually locating something I’ve seen just moments before. It’s incredibly frustrating, and the idea of something like this happening to me in my waking life is very frightening.

  13. Aaron Wick says:

    I had a dream where I was on a bus, reading the 4chan manual, and I saw my friends were in it, so I cracked up because why is Greg in the 4chan manual, but then I was somewhere else and doing something and there might have been superpowers involved but I’m not really sure I think X-Men Evolution Jean Grey was there and did something stupid and was being a bitch so me and the other mutants had to fix whatever the problem was but then I did something bad somewhere else and all the townspeople wanted to kill me and I was backed against a wall by the people but then robots parted the crowd because they all had to karate chop me for something and they were chanting “CHOP CHOP CHOP O CLOCK, CHOP CHOP CHOP O CLOCK” so I ran away and chopped some people in a church but then I went home and my house was full of people so I did like a spin chop going down the hall to my room and then I don’t know I woke up, maybe I went to bed in the dream and that something I’m not sure.

  14. Thank you for the great entries folks.

    The contest is closed and prizes have been mailed out.

    Stay tuned for more contests this year.

  15. Shell says:

    My worst nightmare is my father finding where I am….or the rest of my family not finding me……

  16. Admin says:

    I’m sorry, Shell, but the deadline for this contest has passed. Thanks for entering!

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