Discussion

I just want to thank everyone who has taken an interest in my project. I created a cover in Photoshop today that I am glad to share with you. Check out the project page, and let me know what you think! More of the text will be posted soon...

Wow, things are so crazy, I had to jump to the last section of UP, DOWN, OUT! I've been asked just what, exactly, does 'space opera' have to do with Tijuana Bibles?  Well, here I put the 'adult' in 'adult sci-fi' in terms of language and subject matter. When slaves are forced to mine asteroids, contraband is the only culture they've got. And when the only culture they've got is company propaganda filtered through the lowest common denominator, you get comics like GUNG HO AND LITTLE PLUCK.

Apparently printed by INDUSCO (a name I came across researching the origin of the term "gung ho"—it's the closest thing to an identifier that the illegal asteroid mining company gets), the 'story-within-a-story' comic features the opposing personal styles of minimalist Gung Ho and his constant companion (or, is it the other way around), and inveterate scammer, Little Pluck. 

The comics are racist, sexist, homophobic and raunchy on the surface while trying to educate the reader—although what is being taught is likely lost in translation. Kerf, the main character of UP, DOWN, OUT, is defined through the experiences he explored in the comic. As he looks deeper in the comic, he discovers latent homoeroticism and is left with more questions than he started. Part Three of the novel, "Out," is Kerf's story of dealing with loss while coming to terms with his own awakening sexuality.

I took a chance on the formatting here on the site to publish a sample, "The Death of Little Pluck," so you could see the experimental approach in describing the result. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome!

I'm having the time of my life, no stress, nothing... 

Then, I wake to the horror that is... publishing!

Pitching my book, promoting it, sending email after email, posting, tweeting… Yes, I just can't get enough of feeling awkward, humbled, and struggling every step of the way.

Oh, joy!

Because I'm a writer, I'm a glutton for punishment. So, here's some more! I just updated the writing sample with the second chapter from UP, DOWN, NOW.

Nearly everything in the book flowed from that title. well, except for "The Continuing Misadventures of Gung Ho and Little Pluck." That came on a straight line from graffiti in Pompeii via Tijuana Bibles and South Park, but that story is for another update.

The first chapter, "To Your Scattered Mines, GO!" references the Riverworld series by Philip José Farmer, the first adult science fiction I ever read. The second, "Stranger in a Strange Room," is a reference to Robert Heinlein. I read Heinlein's mature works before his reading his YA (that is, his 'juvenile novels' were YA before there was YA).

Me square march 2013 C.J. Pitchford · Author · added over 1 year ago
First, the wind-up, now the pitch: UP, DOWN, OUT is the transgressive genderqueer sci-fi novel of KERF, an asteroid miner whose life is turned inside-out when he is rescued by the GALACTIC ORDER. But when he is captured by rebels of THE FREE opposition, his sexual identity forged by learning to read the comic, GUNG HO AND LITTLE PLUCK is turned inside-out as well.