...Of the upcoming "The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton"--titular novel in the comic, rock space opera series--and more! (Long-time humorist/writer/journalist, MAD Magazine to Chicago Tribune, etc., et. al.!) Read here (below) special information on the Floyd Pinkerton Project, my Author Bio and more! (If you're an agent or publisher, the novel's complete, along with all the book-shopping extras--query letter, outline, synopsis, etc.)
John "Sloop" Biederman
E-Mail Sloop HERE:
(c)1999-2019 John "Sloop" Biederman
Sloop's Smashwords Page
Scoops just for Author Site readers!... I'm penning this update on Halloween. A day of rebirth for me. The day I was released from rehab and emerged into a whole new and delightful life! (Actually took months for that--had to get over the crap they brainwashed me with there first.) I'm generally skeptic on these "lucky" things, but my grandma born on an October Friday the 13th. Was engaged on one, too... So THERE it is!... And I've been talking about, publicizing the first book (and series) for a LONG time, I know, agent--seeking, etc.--but, the first full novel will be e-published, that is as an indie author, and for sale, soon. Seriously. Appreciate your patience!...

The main attraction of my Smashwords account is that it's the emporium for "The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton" (CMFP) series. The titular (he hee) first novel will be available Fall 2019 (if not already as you read this)! The second novel (CMFP2) should follow within six months or so. I imagine my general pace to be a novel a year, but it took so long to (unsuccessfully) shop the first for a literary agent that, by the time I reached the decision to self-publish and become an indie author, the second was near-finished. I'll wait a half-year or so before publishing the second, for strategic reasons and stuff, and may put up some shorter works in the interim (see below).

A free intro/preview download will be available until the full first novel is up--an earlier version of what is now the "Prologue" chapter of the book. Download it, even if you'd rather wait to read the full novel when it's out--helps me with numbers, platform, etc. Be sure to leave a review (for CMFP novels and other books)--and don't feel it has to be positive--numbers, platform, blah blah yadda yadda. While there, check out my Author Interview, too!

There's also "The Night I Partied with President Trump: An Alt-True Story," a tribute to the ol' Gonzo and New Journalism, especially Hunter S. Thompson that… Well, explains itself. (99 Cents--CHEAP!) There's my first novel, "'Hab," which never found an agent/traditional publisher upon multiple edits, rounds, etc. ($2.99.) Admittedly "first novel-y," though I still like it enough to publicly present it, the subject matter was also a hard sell--addiction rehab, not so much an Oprah Book Club tale of personal triumph but a pull-no-punches assault on the 12 Steps, Big Rehab and the scam of addiction "treatment." And there's a compilation of the first two years of Daily Limerick's content. ($1.99.) I'm unsure if I'll do more such DL compilations. Perhaps if there's demand, but the site's already free and includes full archives. Prices may change with time.

Oh! There is another book if mine that MAY join my Smashwords shop at some point--"Stand-Up Poetry." See, I started performing poetry open mics after moving to Chicago in the early '90s, seeking a new social scene and, admittedly, an excuse to write more poetry. (I've been writing poems since I began writing, which means almost as long as I've been reading.) I always designated verse second-tier, however--never expecting to gain money or even much attention from it. Nonetheless, my humorous, ribald, metered and rhyming stuff proved crowd-pleasing and I stumbled into becoming a passable performer AND making money from it, on both page and stage. (Little did I know it launched a fall-back career, too… See Author Bio, below.)

So a few years back, I put together a package with samples of crowd faves, explanatory text and some cartoons I scrawled, then pitched agents on the idea. Found no takers, but did get some positive feedback (poetry, of course, a hard sell, even dirty-funny stuff). So "Stand-Up Poetry's" on one of my creative back burners. (Any version will probably not include cartoons--while I'm a passable cartoonist, it's a second creative language to me and far more time-consuming than writing.) My main project will be, for some time, the Floyd Pinkerton works, but a voice in the back of my head occasionally urges, "Take a bit of time and work that up--the poems themselves are already written!--and start making money, and pleasing fans, as you plod away on Floyd!" Any Slapper Yapper Grasshoppers out there who'd be interested in seeing that?...

As to the question of, "Why Smashwords"?... I'm well aware that there's a far more popular outlet for e-publishing, but the company hosting that is… Ahem. Try the best I can to avoid biting the hand that feeds us authors these days, too much anyway, although it's more like the hand that enslaves us… See? There I go. (Though regular Slapper Yapper Grasshoppers know I don't pull punches in Daily Limerick's content.) In any event, if you're clueless as to why an author might balk at setting up shop on this top e-book emporium, look into what authors' organizations have to say about it.

Yeah, I may very well sell my literary soul to that certain Digital Robber Baron eventually, but I'd rather stave it off as long as I can. So I'm just on Smashwords right now--although Smashwords distributes to most other outlets as well, including that certain Digital Robber Baron (but only once I hit a certain gauge of sales)… (Sigh.) Like a coincidental namesake of mine, John Henry--Henry being my given middle name, that of my maternal grandfather--if there is hope for me to beat Dark Tech, perhaps it'll mean my death, but I nonetheless can't help but fight…


…Author of "The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton"--comic, rock space opera series--and more! (Long-time humorist/writer/journalist, MAD Magazine to Chicago Tribune, etc., et. al.!) Read here (below) special information on the Floyd Pinkerton Project, my Author Bio and more

It can be confusing in this day and age, deciding the content for your author Web site/page. Used to be this was all one needed for an online "platform," but with selfie media and such, the issue of redundancy arises along with a host of questions, such as how much time one spends on creating platform content (instead of frittering it away on piffle like, say, WRITING FUCKING BOOKS).

But rest assured reader, fan or lost 'Net surfer, my most important book news will appear here first, just as my A-List commentary appears on this Daily Limerick site! Sure, my selfie media will feature snippets from books in progress (being written, edited, etc.), witticisms and the occasional, obligatory pics or art (though I'm highly irked that group-think on these matters is forcing authors--word people--to waste even more time getting visual). So I do urge you to "follow," "like," etc. and help me with these damned "platform" numbers but…

Okay, I'll tell you something here that I won't on selfie media or anywhere else--

I hate selfie media! It's unnecessary! (There are Web sites, e-mails lists, etc.)! It's detrimental to society! (Cloistering folks into blind, preaching-to-the-choir news/sentiment feeds, spawning fake news, replacing real interaction while dubbed "social," etc.!) And I'm only on the crap because we all, especially authors, "have" to, in this day in age. (Although I suspect that attitude's a bubble waiting to burst--"retwit for retwit," "review for review"? And how's everybody really "following" thousands? Let me know when and where I can trade in these "likes" and "followers" for money or a traditional book contract!)

It is my admittedly optimistic prediction that a future generation will (hopefully soon) completely ditch selfie media. ("Can you believe people once wasted so much time on such worthless junk?") But let's move on, shall we, while dreaming of that Utopian day?

And now, the Subsection You've All Been Waiting for…

The novel (and series) opens with our fuck-up hero, hard drinkin', cigar smokin' Floyd Pinkerton, lost, many light years from Earth and on the lam from the Sun System Sheriff in a stolen ship, about to crash land on an ice planet. The time is an unnamed year in the Far Future and Humanity has begun colonizing space, with many colonies in the Sun System alone! (As well as some beyond. But those are well kept secrets, although our Hero happens upon one…)

Yet Earth's population is now more than 30 billion, attempting to exit an Internet Dark Ages and warring constantly, with the U.S. having walled off every border before being overtaken by a Presbyterian Jihad. Technology's panned-out as a backstabbing friend, with some outright rebelling against it and others its junkies, space-age robber barons hold the vast majority of all wealth and privacy is mostly a quaint, ancient concept. And Earth itself is hellish, lashing out at its rude guests--roasting, with very little remaining of either polar ice cap, high seas shrinking the coasts of all continents, bathed in pollutants, roiling in natural (unnatural?) disasters… Then again, that doesn't matter so much for our story, but let's avoid any spoilers.

While this world sounds hardcore dystopian, Humanity's not only still around but colonizing freakin' space! All things considered, one could easily call that Utopian. And these terms really only apply to a world viewed as future. Given a glimpse of today myself, as a child, I probably would've said we're in a dystopia now--I grew up with visions of flying cars from "The Jetsons" and gave little thought to things like smartphone zombies and the deaths of privacy and copyright. Then again, a dude walking around back then with a "The World is Coming to an End" sign might view today as a Utopia…

Thus our hero Floyd Pinkerton views Humanity in much the same way as his Author--a logical assessment says we're doomed, yet folks have been singing that same song since our beginnings, so do what you can to improve things and live the life you're given as a "happy pessimist." Sure, he's living in a dystopia--aren't we already?--but that's only setting, not theme… So why not make dystopia-ade? Floyd's actually far from alone in this attitude--the Great Social Engineering Backlash, coupled with an overall pessimism for the future of Humanity, has brought on a widespread embrace of vice, both old- and new-school.

Happenstance soon teams Floyd with a likewise lost and on-the-lam former school frenemy, Bob Tripeman, and the duo of misfits becomes the first of all Humanity to have a close encounter with an intelligent, alien race. The humanoid insects are peaceful and such, overall, though Bob's pissed-off a bunch of its bad apple pirates, who come after them, around the same time they're found by a government ship from their home Sun System…

(You know, there's an inherent problem with this "book jacket, story summary" stuff. I mean, it's necessary, of course--doubt even I'd buy a book without one--but… Maybe I'm romanticizing the idea of diving into a book as a Great Unknown, but it seems a shame to even give a LITTLE away ahead of time.)

…So, anyway, the duo then flees both the aliens and the Earthling G-Men, happens upon a habitable moon ruled by a freaky, militant, totalitarian cult, is imprisoned, escapes and falls in with moon gangsters, who have a spaceship, and the bunch becomes the only hope of saving Mars, and its civilization, from destruction by the cultists, who are using ultra powerful, madness-inducing ancient technology from a long extinct race… See? It already seems like I'm saying too much. So let's just say this quest has them partying, stumbling and generally fucking-up their way through misadventures in their home star system, including amid the Floating Cities of Neptune, and in an ancient system so weird that… Well, evil candy plays a role. Then there's that magical, fabled, near impossible sexual position that works its way into the plot and…

This is comic, rock space opera! That said, it's "legit" science fiction--with, I must say, kick-ass worlds and aliens (no Humans simply turned blue or given giant ears) and more than a nod to science (perhaps not "hard" sci-fi but at least new-mattress firm)! Mostly a tribute, in its own way, to classic science fiction, rather than parody, although there's a healthy amount of that, too, because it's humor, of an oft ribald and sometimes outright ridiculously silly bent.

So, okay, it's downright serious science fiction at the same time its sci-fi is just a vehicle for social commentary and humor. And that's NOT contradictory. This is science fiction for those who love science fiction AND for those who don't read science fiction! (And, for that matter, humor for those who don't read humor; social commentary for those… Ahem.) Toward this series' quest of going beyond sci-fi, to mutate a term annoyingly splattered all over theater and our cultural landscape in general, this series engages "genre-bending." The first novel, for instance, gives a nod to the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Despite making such a to-do about spoilers, gotta say I'm really excited about the second book, which I'm already well into as I type this. A faraway space frontier zone takes shape, with multiple habitable worlds, in various states of colonization, by aliens and Humans… Some seek to establish progressive civilizations, avoiding Earthlings' mistakes, while others instead follow corporate, government and/or personal self interests, blazing new frontiers in fields such as propaganda, social engineering, surveillance or pure profit. This one lends itself to bending in some Western genre.

If I may toot my own horn--and, really, what the hell else is an author page FOR?--I've built an impressive, if currently income-challenged, writing career and this is the synthesis, crown jewel, what-have-you of the whole shebang! The milieu proves a worthy foil to my funny bone, while scratching my geeky itches, sci-fi and otherwise! It's a way to comment upon current society, and the overall plight of Humanity, in that special way only fiction can, reaching higher truths than nonfiction commentary, ala that of, say… Daily Limerick! Hell, it's a way to play prophet (or at least serve warning as to the possible results of our current path)! It's a fertile playground for my my Muse! In fact, it's as fertile as unemployed, underaged trailer park teenagers! I'm excited as all shit about its possibilities and can't imagine running out of fuel for this series!

Born in 1968 and raised northwest of Chicago in Crystal Lake, then rural Ringwood, Sloop was pegged with writing talent by a first-grade teacher, spurring lifelong parental support. He was soon penning "old time radio" plays, winning an Earth Day poetry contest and spinning tall tales, convincing local kids (and himself) that he was an E.T. slated to return home. Sloop was drawn early to speculative fiction--Asimov, Poe, Tolkien, etc.--and humor, discerning through Twain its ability to sneakily address serious topics. His folks spurred his humorist within via their favorite comedies, especially Laurel and Hardy. In junior high he found Dungeons & Dragons, crafting his own fantasy world, and he won awards for humor columns for his high school newspaper.

Sloop went on to study journalism at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), but partied-out after three semesters (1986-88). The move home after his folks yanked the money brought a multi-year funk, string of grunt jobs…and alcoholism. But it also prompted a serious go at writing, pitching mostly sci-fi/fantasy to magazines, earning positive feedback and a first unpaid "sale"--poetry to a literary rag that folded before its publication. A DUI led country boy Sloop to move "temporarily" to Chicago in 1991…where he soon landed in rehab. Traditional recovery proved harmful to him, but he quit on his own in 1992 and rehab's dark cloud revealed silver linings. His first paid story was a 12-Step critique for Gauntlet Magazine (1993) and rehab-gone-wrong became the theme of his first novel, 'Hab (1994), which he was ultimately unable to sell.

Chicago unexpectedly turned naturally introverted Sloop into a city boy. He hit poetry readings as a social outlet, becoming a competent performer whose humor verse landed him paid gigs. He returned to journalism study at Columbia College Chicago in 1994, became an award-winning humor columnist and editor-in-chief for the school's Chronicle and interned at MAD Magazine, where he was nicknamed "Sloop." (From the song, "The Sloop John B.") After graduating in 1997 at 29, he became editor of Chicago Artists' News. For the 10th National Poetry Slam fest in Chicago (1999), Sloop hosted the Limerick Slam, plugging it via a limerick-a-day e-list that's now DailyLimerick.net, his web HQ featuring (mostly news) Limericks with commentary.

The lady who'd one day become his ex-wife moved him to Los Angeles that year, but recession and Sloop's dislike of L.A. moved them back to Chicago in late 2000. (The marriage lasted from 2000-2005.) His writing career then boarded a common artists' roller coaster, riding full- to part-time, freelance to in-office, oft supplemented with non-writing work. In-office has included the L.A. Daily News; freelance MAD Magazine, news poetry (Chicago Tribune, Continental Features--current) and op-ed (San Francisco Chronicle, etc.); and performance the Comedy Store (L.A.) and emceeing at dozens of Chicago clubs. He's worked non-writing jobs from vacuum cleaner sales to private investigator. But the Great Recession and the Internet's killing off gigs ground writing income to scarce by 2010, when he translated stage time into acting to pay bills.

But with his lifelong identity "writer," Sloop lost his Mojo. So after the deaths of his parents (2012 and 2014), Sloop returned to his original dream by writing the first novel of "The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton" comic, rock space opera series. His search for literary representation took until 2019 to dead-end, leading him to become an indie author. Today, Sloop happily resides in Chicago with Fifi--the latest on the list of stable family he's had over his oft rough life as a writer, a list that also includes Natasha, Harley, Millie, Chester and Flo…the cats.