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The Twilight Gallery

A Book of Surreal Magic

Estimated Sometime in 2023


From the Author (Bruce Ballon):

I have always loved magic!  However, I did not really jump down the rabbit hole until about two decades ago, and I’ve never come back to the mundane world.  This love of magic allowed me to combine that art with many aspects of my life, from personal to professional. It even bled into academia (developing mental health simulations), and much more.  A decade ago, I collected some of my magic routines in a book called “Somnium Tenebrae” which had a very limited distribution.  After some requests and finally having time to get to it, I have dusted off the electrons from old files!   I have begun the process of taking my materials, re-editing and updating them where needed, to create a book to share with those interested in it.

One of my favourite heroes in the world of imagination has been Rod Serling, creator of the Twilight Zone and the Night Gallery.  In fact, many of my routines and stage persona have been built around Rod Serling’s approach to presenting mysteries that engage people to reflect on the human condition.  In homage to his great inspiration, this book will be edited in a way to emulate those shows, and thus its title: “The Twilight Gallery.”  So as you might expect, the majority of the work does follow a kind of twilight zone / night gallery feel!  Some call such a style “ bizarre magic.

What is Bizarre Magic?  This is a very interesting question!  In fact, I really don’t like the term Bizarre Magic as it’s not always bizarre… I always looked upon it as theatrical simulations of what people thought “magic” was i.e. replicating sorcery like Merlin, witchcraft from Macbeth, recreations of seances, ghost hunting, mysterious things that try to evoke symbols of the human condition.  Unlike poor card magic which one can think “well, its sleight of hand” the magic here tries to make people ponder and think about the reality they live in.   It can employ mentalism, card effects, and almost anything from across the field of theatrical magic.  However, there is a real strong sense of trying to get the participants into engaging with the simulation, with many story-telling/narratives/atmosphere elements built in.   I’ve always employed this style of simulation to help create psychiatric simulations for people to have better insight, empathy and understanding for those who cannot fathom what it might be like to have mental health issues. 

For Good Causes...

All the profits after basic costs to produce the book will go to charitable causes as per usual.  It is planned that a Crowdfunding Campaign will help launch the book with a special collector’s edition copy, which also may help fund another Service Training Puppy for the National Service Dogs.  Then the regular book will be obtainable through Drivethru Cards where 95% of all proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.

Current Table of Contents

For your Consideration… an Introduction

Between Light and Shadow

  • Mental Fetch
  • A Dream Dinner
  • The Key of Imagination
  • Do not Bet…
  • Mona Lisa Scream
  • Elemental Oracle
  • Beelzebub
  • Winged Death
  • Nitokris
  • Origami Oracle
  • Conjuration of the Claw
  • Tsantsachometry
  • Death Toll

A Dimension of Sight, Sound and Mind

  • Sensitive
  • Ring of Truth
  • The Curse of Machiavelli
  • The Hand of Balsamo
  • Counter Service with a Scream
  • Medical Mystery Mindgame
  • Invisible Doggie
  • Please Ring for Service
  • Time is Up
  • The Revelations 

Dark Art Atelier

The Library of Gorth


William King Art

If anyone can bring surreal night gallery like art into reality it is Will King! We are honoured to have him involved with this project!

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