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nonfiction by John T. Cullen

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1892 Gaslamp Era True Crime National Scandal Why did the Beautiful Stranger Die so Violently?

Clocktower Books, a San Diego Small Press, pioneering in online and e-book publishing, has released titles since 1996. Visit Galley City (mainstream fiction) or Galley City Nonfiction. John T. Cullen has authored over 40 novels plus poetry and shorts. His nonfiction spans History, Science, and many other topics of pressing interest: he knows how to pick them (a growing collection of fascinating articles by a free thinker & diligent researcher).

True Crime 1892 Gaslamp Era Mystery Thanksgiving Day 24 November 1892, the Beautiful Stranger checked into the luxury resort Hotel del Coronado under false I.D. and never checked out alive. She died of a gunshot to the head during a great sea storm. Her case became a national sensation and enduring ghost legend. Enigma solved at last: 2 books in one: Dead Move (nonfiction, scholarly analysis); Lethal Journey (fictional dramatization based on the analysis): Coronado Mystery.


Clocktower Books 1996 history's first real e-books online


CAROUSEL of Book Covers. Click below to visit Café Okay, my online bookshop. Refresh browser: see 50+ titles. Enjoy a good read.

Teenage Author

Teenage Poet

teenage poet - over 425 poems and one novel read free at Galley City link at Summer Planets

Teenage Novelist

teenage poet - over 425 poems and one novel read free at Galley City link at Summer Planets


Woman in the Sea

A DarkSF Novel by John Argo

DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of SF—The Best of the Best*

First SF HTML Novel online 1996: Published online in 1996, John Argo's novel tells the story of a young reporter named Zoë Calla, in a small California coastal town, who uncovers a plot to conquer the world. During the dinosaur age, an alien invasion fleet came to earth, but its ships burned up in orbit. One plunged into the sea, where its computer core is now starting to reassemble the ship and resume the invasion. Already it's got strange avatars living in Zoë's brain, and weird events happening across town—people are dying or falling into strange comas, and it's getting scary around San Tomas. More info at the book page on Amazon online. Written 1990 as Heartbreaker, retitled 1998 as This Shoal of Space, and in 2019 (Blade Runner Year) retitled Woman in the Sea.

A complex, imaginative tale set in a small California coastal town where the every-day touches hauntingly on the fabric of far space. A young reporter looking for her big break investigates mysterious zoo murders and stumbles upon an intergalactic invader in a virtual netherworld. Two men hover at the periphery—sinister Det. Vic Lara and handsome curator George Chatfield, each with his own terrible mysteries. The ending is not for the literal-minded—but by today, most people have seen "The Matrix" and other VR-empowered flicks and can deal with The White Stuff, The Cold Thing, and other concepts expanded upon here. This was one of the first virtual reality SF stories, written originally in 1990 and far ahead of its genre. It's a horror novel in the broad sense, and yet it never technically departs from the strictures of SF. Among the many novel concepts developed, which baffled early readers, was the idea of massively arrayed parallel computers (in this case, early laptop microprocessors). Huge fan base around the world with tech-savvy computer folks in the late 1990s for these and other John Argo novels.

Review: Tracy Eastgate, Under The Covers Reviews (circa 1998?) "Five Stars. Outstanding, A definite must read… a powerful book"—Tracy Eastgate, Under The Covers Reviews.

Ms. Eastgate contacted John Argo privately to say: "I want to pay you a compliment. Rarely does a book EVER get under my skin or in my subconcious enough to cause dreams of any sort, but I'll tell you what, by time this morning came, I wasn't sure I wanted to go back to sleep or not… lol… I actually had mild nightmares last night… I love it… this is an absolutely awesome book."—Tracy Eastgate, Under The Covers Reviews, in a letter to the author of this novel.

*What is DarkSF? John Argo defines DarkSF as 'The Dark Chocolate of Speculative Fiction.' It is not about shallow characters and juvenile story fare (scary, horror, blood, gore, or the like) but about the finest the SF genre has to offer. It is cinematic, rich, nuanced, atmospheric, even poetic at times. Think Blade Runner, Dark City, and other complex, sophisticated imaginative material. This of SF classics by Cordwainer Smith, Alice Sheldon ('James Tiptree, Jr.'), Chip Delaney, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, William Golding, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and other masters of the art. For thoughtful readers who want something better than the meat-cleaver sausage product of mass media.


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