Obesity Conspiracy featured in the Whatever Gift Guide

Check out my book advertised deep in the comments of John Scalzi’s Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016.

Every day is a different type of gifts promoted by their creators in the comments. Day 2 is for indie authors like yours truly. Traditional authors were on Monday.

Many thanks to John for letting artists of all types advertise on his site. He started as an indie himself by posting his book online. Now he’s A BIG DEAL. And I’m a BIG FAN of him and his books, starting with that original indie book he put up on his site: Old Man’s War (which I have a signed copy of).

The Obesity Conspiracy revealed on Barnes & Noble

The e-book and paperback are now available on the Barnes & Noble site for all you Nook owners and paperback readers.

 

The Obesity Conspiracy is published!

What’s the elevator pitch?

It’s Fast Food Nation abducted by The X-Files

Where can I get it?

Available on Amazon, but it will appear soon at other shops on the interwebs. (If you have one in mind that you want to buy from, let me know by emailing me.)

How much does it cost?

$2.99 for Kindle, $9.99 for paperback (the more copies I sell, the more the price will rise, so buy now)

Want more details?

See my previous post. Is that lazy of me? I could repost that info and the cover and all that, but it feels spammy to do it.

But I’m cheeeep. How do I get it for free?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get the inside scoop on how you can get this book free or others I have published. There’s a limited time offer to get a free e-book.

The Obesity Conspiracy launches 11/1

The obesity epidemic came out of nowhere and everywhere. It has attacked Americans of every sex, age, education, and income. No one knows how it happened or why. Everything and everyone has been blamed for it. And no one knows how to stop it. Intrepid government scientist Dr. Elaine Cassano has dedicated her life to fighting the epidemic, but it’s become personal now that it has started to affect her son.

A bag of tainted chips thrusts her into a shadowy corporate underworld that is hell bent on making Americans obese, even if it means killing off skinny people. With custody of her overweight son on the line, Elaine has to stay one step ahead of corporate ghouls, extraterrestrials, and her own agency’s bureaucrats to expose the conspiracy and save her son. But the shocking truth at the core of the conspiracy will make her question everything.

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On sale November 1st in print and e-book from Amazon. Subsequent launches on other platforms will follow so I can drag out this launch as long as possible.

If you want special, early access before the launch date, just subscribe to my newsletter. It’s easy, painless, and will bring you joy and riches – well, in terms of reading.

Earth Temperature Timeline = Genius

Randall Munroe is a national treasure for many reasons, but his latest XKCD comic is a brilliant example of why (as well as an example of stupendously awesome graphing). Bad Astronomy blog at Slate explains in more detail, but to keep it short, I’ll say that this is an infographic of Tuftian perfection. Read it in detail for the full effect.

earth_temperature_timeline

If you want to see the new book’s cover…

For newsletter subscribers, reading it in the comfort of your inbox, you’re probably wondering where is the cover of The Obesity Conspiracy. Open the email in your browser to see it. Sorry, I didn’t know that when I sent the newsletter. I made sure the picture showed up in the preview but I realize now that was in a browser.

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Oh. What’s that? I’m sorry, you’re not a newsletter subscriber, but you want to see the book cover? You probably expected me to splash it all over this site. Well, I will at some point, but not yet. Subscribers get a first peek. And there may be further tweaks to the cover. Subscribing won’t cost you anything but it will gain you everything.* Here’s what you’ll get as a subscriber:

  1. That damn book cover picture. For a book called The Obesity Conspiracy. Aren’t you curious what the heck that cover will look like?
  2. A monthly newsletter about my writing, my reading, as well as what I have been reading and thinking about.
  3. Discounts and freebies on my writing. Subscribers get the lowest prices, including free stuff.
  4. The absolute earliest news about my publishing, appearances, and general portfolio of writerly activities. Launches, marketing ploys, appearances, etc.

*Everything, for values of everything related to my writing.

On the topic of starship hull design

I know you were all waiting for this post. There’s just not enough distractions in the world to take away from this gnawing question you have about starship hulls and how they should look.

The 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the new Star Trek movie, the return of the original Enterprise’s model at the Smithsonian, the announcement of a new Star Trek TV show, and the resurgence of Star Wars has brought starship hulls front and center to my brain.

All of the Starfleet, Imperial, Rebel, Firefly, and Babylon 5 ship hulls have one in common. They are composed of gray metal plates. Starship hulls across many science fiction properties have become very similar. Almost indistinguishable.

Odd, because real-life spaceship hulls tend to be mostly white, with a little black, or orange because white paint adds extra weight. (Our old space shuttle resembled a space panda and its successor even has orange in it.) Even our airplanes have continuous metal skins that are sleeker than the nu-Trek Enterprise. And they are painted multiple colors, too!

So, gray metal plates riveted or otherwise fit together. In the 2009 Star Trek movie, the CGI hull of the USS Enterprise was actually purposefully made to look slightly uneven to resemble separate hull plates.

Why do our visionary creators think these futuristic FTL starships will be wrapped up in square/rectangular metal sheets? Because, I submit, of the origins of the starship Enterprise. Gene Roddenberry based the ship on the USS Enterprise and other World War II aircraft carriers (such as the Yorktown). He was a WWII vet (Army Air Force). Those famous, iconic, beloved ships had thick slabs of gray, metal armor. Starship = aircraft carrier, in case you didn’t catch on.

Star Wars has the same design element. Star Destroyers are covered in gray metal. The Millennium Falcon and the X-wings had some racing stripes or splotches of color here and there, but otherwise, guess what? Gray metal plates. Beat-up ships have rusted, damaged plates and new ships have gleaming, shiny gray metal plates. (Some of this may have to do with kit-bashing to make spaceship models and then coating them in gray paint.)

I think that the gray metal plate approach to starship hulls doesn’t make sense any more. Starships won’t be assembled from stitching together squares like some kind of metallic quilt. (If iconic starships were designed in H.G. Wells’ time, they would probably have brick hulls and wouldn’t that look weird.) Here’s what I think would be less archaic starship hulls for future science fiction properties:

  • Colored patterns (imagine if Vera Bradley designed starship hulls)
  • Different substances like rock, fiber, fungus, cement, ceramic, plastic, bark, wire mesh, or even diamond
  • Illumination, not just running lights, but hull panels or sections that glow.
  • Formed or poured hull segments (with 3D printing, composite materials, materials science this is not far-fetched)

To get your head churning, think of a starship hull that is made of:

  • Irregular 3D printed sections rather than square plates
  • Pastel stone, like a Gothic, Caribbean cathedral flying among the stars
  • Small iridescent hexagons on a black composite hull
  • A giant video display
  • Patterns of translucent gems
  • Simple non-gray colors: gold, copper, brass, green, red, blue