(OPENPRESS) May 21, 2010 — Author/filmmaker, J. Neil Schulman, today announced his intention to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement of his 1979 novel, Alongside Night, which tells the story of the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending and the issuing of unbacked money and credit to pay the interest on the national debt.

Alongside Night 30th Anniversary edition

Schulman intends to name the United States government as his primary defendant. According to Schulman, “The United States government — both the executive and legislative branches, aided by the courts, have stolen the entire premise — and a lot of the plot — of my novel!”

Schulman also intends to name, as co-defendants in his copyright infringement lawsuit, the Federal Reserve Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, General Motors, and the country of Greece.

“Just look at TV news or read a newspaper,” Schulman said. “Plot point after plot point is identical. In my 1979 novel I have General Motors go bankrupt — General Motors then files for bankruptcy. I have Europe issue a common currency in my novel called the ‘eurofranc’ — the European Union then goes and issues the ‘euro.’ In my novel I have a European Chancellor, based in France, accuse the U.S. President of having the monetary policies of a banana republic — then the President of the European Union — also based in France — slams U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as ‘a road to hell’ and says President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout ‘will undermine the liquidity of the global financial market.’ The copycat nature of all these plot points and dialogue” — says Schulman — “could not be more obvious!”

Alongside Night won high-profile praise when it was released in hardcover by Crown Publishers in 1979.

Milton Friedman, who in 1976 won the Nobel Prize for economics, wrote about Alongside Night, “An absorbing novel–science fiction, yet also a cautionary tale with a disturbing resemblance to past history and future possibilities.”

The Los Angeles Times Book Review wrote, “High Drama … A story of high adventure, close escapes, mistaken identities, and thrilling rescues. … A fast-moving tale of a future which is uncomfortably close at hand.”

And Anthony Burgess, author of the dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, wrote, “I received Alongside Night at noon today. It is now eight in the evening and I just finished it. I think I am entitled to some dinner now as I had no lunch. The unputdownability of the book ensured that. It is a remarkable and original story, and the picture it presents of an inflation- crippled America on the verge of revolution is all too acceptable. I wish, and so will many novelists, that I, or they, had thought of the idea first. A thrilling novel, crisply written, that fires the imagination as effectively as it stimulates the feelings.”

The novel was entered into the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1989 — its first year of eligibility — and in May 2009 was named Freedom Book of the Month by the Freedom Book Club.

Congressman Ron Paul wrote of the novel’s 30th anniversary edition in 2009, “J. Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night may be even more relevant today than it was in 1979. Hopefully, the special thirtieth anniversary edition of this landmark work of libertarian science fiction will inspire a new generation of readers to learn more about the ideas of liberty and become active in the freedom movement.”

Alongside Night has had over 87,000 downloads of its 30th Anniversary PDF edition since it was made available on the web on June 13, 2009. The publisher, Pulpless.Com, will remove this PDF edition from its website when 100,000 copies have been downloaded.

As described by the Wikipedia entry on Alongside Night, “The book focuses on the character of Elliot, the son of a fictional economist and Nobel Laureate … set in a United States on the brink of economic collapse, where inflation is spiraling out of control and the government struggles to keep hold of its power. Trading in foreign currency has become illegal and many shops are subject to rationing; as a result there is a sprawling black market for almost all conceivable goods. Other nations have not fared so grimly, and organisations such as EUCOMTO (European Common Market Treaty Organization – the novel’s prophetic vision of the future EU) issue stable gold standard currencies.”

J. Neil Schulman intends to produce and direct his own screenplay adaptation of Alongside Night as soon as he has production financing in place.

“Who knows?” Schulman says. “Maybe one of the defendants in my lawsuit will settle quickly and I can use that money to make the movie!”


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