...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!... One reason I'm now waxing positive about fate making me an indie author? The vast majority of competition...well, sucks. This isn't bragging--it's not saying much, the bar is so low. I haven't read a slew of indie authors/books--just perusing book blurbs, the errors alone! You can't clean up a 400-character blurb? Your first impression to possible buyers among a sea of other books?... 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!

John "Sloop" Biederman's fate as a writer was sealed early, through encouragement from his parents and teachers. In grade school, he wrote old-time "radio" plays and won an Earth Day poetry contest in the late '70s. (The blue spruce "sapling" prize now towers by his former family home in Ringwood, Ill.) His folks spurred his budding humorist through their favorite classics, from Laurel and Hardy to "Pink Panther" movies. Moved by authors including Poe, Tolkien and Twain, in junior high he crafted Dungeons & Dragons adventures and figured he'd grow up to be a humorous sci-fi/fantasy novelist. In high school, Sloop was an award-winning humor columnist/editor and picked journalism as (ahem) a practical career.

Sloop chased rock star dreams from his teens through three semesters at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in the '80s. When rampant partying prompted his folks to yank the money, he moved home for a Multi-Year Funk and grunt jobs, pitching sci-fi/fantasy to magazines, earning feedback and a first unpaid "sale" (poetry), though the rag failed before publication. He moved to Chicago in 1991 and founded the first of two writers' groups. Members loved his Floyd Pinkerton, from a one-off sci-fi story, so much they even wrote their own Floyd tales!

Sloop landed in alcohol rehab and was screwed-up worse by its religiosity. Pitching Gauntlet Magazine on a 12 Steps critique (later published), he snagged his first paid story (1993), analyzing a then media circus involving a child's birthday party stripper. Rehab became his first novel's theme ('Hab: The Other Side of Rehab, 1993; reedited and published on Smashwords in 2013). He returned to journalism school (Columbia College Chicago) in 1994, wrote a humor column for the school's Chronicle, rose to editor-in-chief and interned at MAD Magazine. Dismayed at the Internet's effects on writing careers, Sloop indulged new creative directions.

Sloop hit poetry readings socially and his humor verse landed paid gigs (Chicago Cultural Center, etc.). On graduating (1997), he founded a poetry scene rag, Tunnel Rat, which buried him in debt but landed him as editor of Chicago Artists' News. In 1999, for the 10th National Poetry Slam, he hosted the Limerick Slam, founding DailyLimerick.net to plug it. ("News Limericks" and humor.) He met the woman who'd one day become his ex-wife, who moved him to California, where he worked at the L.A. Daily News, freelanced (San Fran Chronicle, MAD, etc.) and plied stand-up and comic verse at the Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, etc.

Sloop hated L.A., so returned home, bolstered clips with theater (CenterstageChicago.com) and sports (The Heckler) and scored his sweetest gig, News Limericks for the Chicago Tribune's RedEye. When RedEye axed freelance, he placed "The News of Our Time--In Rhyme" at Continental Features. As writing income waned, Sloop translated stage experience into emceeing and acting gigs (TV, ads, indie films), even stumbling into directing/producing a theater troupe (Family Shoe Players) and a regular gig playing a tour bus gangster for Untouchable Tours.

The Great Recession/Internet tag team launched Sloop's second Multi-Year Funk. While pleased he'd reinvented himself creatively, with his lifelong identity as a writer, he was now identity-challenged. After his parents' deaths (2012 and 2014), he reclaimed his original identity by reworking the original Pinkerton tale into the titular first book in a novel series, The Cosmic Misadventures of Floyd Pinkerton.