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DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of Science Fiction, says John Argo

Streamliners. John Argo's joyful if mysterious and phantasmagoric romp in a parallel universe. Riding across a leafy, autumnal 1930s parkway from the Empire City to Raritania, we reach a city of clocktowers. In it, darkly comic moguls and editors play among Art Deco stained glass and giant clockworks. Speed is the theme of streamliners, those designers of a lost civilization between world wars. Can Dr. Jeff Maxxon save Lexa Whiston from her evil uncle, kill Hitler in a parallel dimension, and return with Lexa to enjoy Aerodynamic Donuts 'Til Dawn? More info soon. Site under development.

Streamliners is atmospheric, intoxicating, jarring...a suspenseful Art Deco love story between young, handsome Professor Jeff Maxxon and lovely, jazzy Lexa Whiston, granddaughter of a ruthless zillionaire who owns half of Raritania and its clocktowers. It is a murder mystery, a time travel story, a plot to kill Hitler, and lots of other things besides. Windy, rainy, foggy Raritania with its neon lights and glowing skyline exists in a world parallel to our own, connected by a 1930s style parkway (an early U.S. highway) without on-ramp or exit signs. Follow the magic, find a hidden tunnel entrance, and take the drive to Raritania. It's a nice ride on a quaint, sunny stretch of unmarked concrete in an open roadster from the Empire City to the Clocktower City--an autumn highway swirling with leaves and dreams.

Welcome to Raritania, an Art Deco city of clocktowers in a world slightly parallel to ours. This novel of mystery, romance, and dark imagination is a DarkSF tour de force by John Argo.

You'll revel in an Art Deco world slightly out of time and out of joint, barely two hours' drive on a 1930s parkway whose entrances and exits lie hidden among the trees and neon signs of another world. Abandoned around 1995, forgotten, and rediscovered in 2015, this is the novel that lent its name to Clocktower Books (motto: "Exciting Reading for Avid Readers, Online Since 1996").

John Argo's Raritania lies in a parallel reality, a trifle askew, where it is usually night time (wreathed in fog, neon, and jazzy music). Raritania is a two-hour drive from the Empire or Gotham City (New York) in your time stream. Just take your open roadster whizzing along a dusky, autumn parkway amid whirling leaves and a faint aura of big band jazz. You'll see our City of Clocktowers on the horizon in no time (literally).

You may notice a few temporal ambiguities, amid considerable whimsy like a 1930ish diner called Aerodynamic Donuts since 1936. There's a horrible murder in which a lady is thrown into the giant, gleaming brown gears inside a clocktower. But there's a romantic love story (with an evil stepfather out to kill the beautiful chick, for a change, and handsome Jeff Maxxon out to rescue her). No such tale would be complete without a mission in parallel time streams to assassinate Adolf Hitler before he can do much harm. However, as we know, that happened in a parallel world, and didn't turn out so well in ours.

Donít be alarmed--all is well that ends well. Jeff and Lexa overcome all obstacles to find true love, and we enjoy (as the neon sign outside a famous Raritania corner diner reads): "Aerodynamic Donuts Since 1936!"

This introduction continues inside the book, along with a special epilog by the author. John Argo explains the evolution of Clocktower Books as an idea that sprang out of the city of clocktowers in this novel.


click to read free or buy - opens a new window Read Free at my online bookshop (Galley City dot com). You can read the first half free, with the option to buy the whole book (if you wish) for the mere cost of a cup of coffee. A cup of latte is gone in minutes, but the e-book is yours forever. Print editions also priced as low as overhead will permit. Enjoy a good read, tell your friends, leave a favorable review online, and post on social media. The author appreciates your kindness. Thank you!

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What is DarkSF? We like to say that DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of Science Fiction. DarkSF is not about gore or grue but about art and atmosphere. It is literary and poetic. Think of the artful genius of Ridley Scott's 1982 Blade Runner or Alex Proyas' 1998 Dark City or Julien Leclercq's 2007 Chrysalis, just to name three. The best SF is DarkSF because it tends to embrace sweeping themes in a rich broth of art and atmosphere. The list is long, and includes far more of world literature than our Puritanical society is allowed to think. Elements occur in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy, Defoe's 1719 Robinson Crusoe, and tales by many modern masters. We'll be publishing a special DarkSF website soon to celebrate.

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