Relaunching ASTEROIDS

I am relaunching ASTEROIDS.

Same story – but with a new subtitle; “Bridge to Nowhere” and new cover art.

ASTEROIDS was originally published in April 2019 with the subtitle, “Escape from the Arcadians.” The book garnered good reviews and I invested in several advertising and promotional activities, but sales did not gain any traction.

For example, ads on Goodreads had over 45,000 views but attracted only 5 clicks after four months.  Luckily, I paid only for the clicks. The advertisements feature the cover artwork and a few words.  It’s unfortunate, but the old cliché; people judge a book by its cover, seems to be true.

The old cover featured a guy on a motorcycle getting chased and the subtitle was, Escape from the Arcadians. This cover told potential readers all they needed to know.  A guy gets chased and he escapes. No need to know more.

I felt the cover and subtitle needed to build curiosity and so the reader would want to know more. I decided to use Bridge to Nowhere because the bridge plays a big part in the story.  The new cover features a bridge and some asteroids, but doesn’t say anything more.  

I tested the new artwork on Goodreads and received 5 clicks in a few days, so it appears this new cover art will get more attention.

Am I doing this just because I want more sale? Yes, of course! I spent five years working on this book. I can’t give up so easily. I know I shouldn’t expect too much from my first effort, but I want to give the book another chance to reach readers.

To me, this is all part of my learning process. I am learning how to write novels and hopefully, how to market them.

ASTEROIDS will be at BookExpo and BookCon!

 

Part of my efforts to generate awareness, interest and sales for ASTEROIDS is to promote the book at this years New York Book Expo and BookCon May 29- June 3.

Below is a quarter page advertisement in Publishers Weekly Book Expo Edition. The Book Expo edition will be given to 40,000 Book Expo attendees in addition to Publishers Weekly normal circulation.

ASTEROIDS will also be displayed in the BookLife section on the show floor.

Hopefully this will help generate sales to bookstores, libraries, and consumers.

 

BookLife Display at BookExpo and BookCon

People around the world are getting their copies

From Anaheim, California all the way to Singapore, people are excited to get their copies of ASTEROIDS!

I read on the sales report that a paperback was sold in Italy. Not bad for the first week of publication.

Thanks to everyone for their support. I hope everyone enjoys reading ASTEROIDS.

9.5 out of 10 from BookLife


I entered ASTEROIDS in the Publishers Weekly – BookLife Prize.Below is the critic’s report.

Publishers Weekly – BookLife Prize 2019 – Critic’s Report

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: “Asteroids: Escape from the Arcadians” is a well-plotted, fast-paced book. McCoy’s narrative style flows well between the various characters’ stories and holds the reader’s attention with dramatic tension and enough twists to keep one eagerly turning the pages.

Prose/Style: McCoy’s combination of everyday language and scientific jargon is extremely well-balanced. There isn’t a boring passage in the book. McCoy has a gift for creating images using minimal words.

Originality: Although asteroids hitting Earth is not a new story idea, McCoy manages to bring a fresh approach to his apocalyptic plot. From the futuristic weapons to the artificial atmosphere of New Arcadia to the vampire-like antagonist who gains immortality from the blood of children, to two characters’ use of Klingon as code, this story is full of unique ideas.

Character Development: The characters are realistic and believable in their actions and reactions. The hero, Rick, is a very likable and unlikely hero, an arc which McCoy carefully develops. The main villain, Colonel Cruikshank, is a dead-on representation of a sociopath bent on ruling the world at any cost. The supporting cast of characters is very diverse with little or no overlaps in either behavior or traits.

ASTEROID ‘to fly past Earth closer than the moon tomorrow,’ scientists warn

An asteroid discovered just eight days ago, the size of a double decker bus will give our planet a close shave tomorrow, astronomers have warned.

Only Eight days warning? What if the asteroid was not going to miss? What if it was a bit bigger and was going to wipe out your city? What would you do?

Earth will be entirely safe: the asteroid will fly past at a distance of 0.57 lunar distances, or 136,000 miles.

The asteroid was spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey, Arizona, on April 9, and is thought to be between 42-92 feet.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/asteroid-fly-past-earth-closer-moon-tomorrow-scientists-warn-184533339.html

How I created HARPOON in ASTEROIDS

NASA is planning an Asteroid Defense project called DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) – this is the closet device NASA has that is like the HARPOON device depicted in ASTEROIDS.

When I needed a device to destroy an asteroid in the story, I searched the web and found a 160-page NASA research paper written by Dr. Bong Wie of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State, University. I read the entire paper and used what I learned to create the HARPOON. When I contacted Dr. Wie and asked him to review what I had written he was very helpful.

Here is a link to the research paper: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Bong_Wi_Final_Report.pdf

Here is a link to a news story about DART:                                                      https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/blogs/nasa-test-new-asteroid-deflection-weapon

It could really happen

Earth woefully unprepared for surprise comet or asteroid, Nasa scientist warns

Scientist recommended Nasa build an interceptor rocket, with periodic testing, alongside an observer spacecraft to stop catastrophic fireballs from hitting us

Above is a link to the news story I read that introduced me to Dr. Joe Nuth from NASA.
After reading this story I contacted Joe with my concept for how an asteroid storm could pummel Earth.
He told me my idea was impossible….but in the same response he shared a concept that could actually send a heavy asteroid bombardment to Earth.
I used his guidance to create the asteroid storm in ASTEROIDS.

Read ASTEROIDS Escape from the Arcadians to learn how Earth could be destroyed by space rocks.

The places in ASTEROIDS are REAL


One of the fun things about writing ASTEROIDS is that I used real places to help tell the story. The Bridge to Nowhere and Munday’s Hide-a-Way are key locations in the story. The Bridge to Nowhere is a real place. I’ve been there. The hide-a-way is nearby, but since its location is secret, it could be hard to find.

Other locations are real as well. There is a Burwell Nebraska and there is an old AT&T building out in the middle of the Mojave Desert that I used as the location for ‘Salvation.’


I hope readers will be interested and google the places. You can even follow Captain Kobalt chasing Rick through the desert turn by turn on a map.

While writing I always reminded myself that the book is entertainment, so I truly hope it is entertaining.

4.3 Stars on IndieReader

IndieReader just gave ASTEROIDS 4.3 Stars!

Here is the full review:

Verdict: ASTEROIDS: Escape from the Arcadians is an extremely immersive adventure with memorable characters, tons of high-tech flourishes, and, despite being a massive book, debut novelist Mike McCoy keeps things moving briskly.

4.3

Protagonist Rick Munday is an astrophysicist with a unique theory concerning asteroids. Unfortunately, his theories are all too true and the government is desperately trying to cover up the fact that a massive, civilization-crushing meteor storm is imminent. Essentially kidnapped by a government faction planning for its own survival in Utopian underground cities, Munday must escape, avoid the pursuit of a zealous military assassin, and travel across a disaster-ridden country to rejoin his family in California. While attempting this, he also does everything he can to expose the government’s plans and save as many people as possible.

Munday is a great hero, fully relatable with plenty of vulnerability, humanity, and resourcefulness. However, many of the secondary characters are just as vividly rendered. Particularly the egomaniac Colonel Cruikshank, who is the delightfully believable, but totally unhinged leader of the dystopian cities.

The fast-paced plot is a kaleidoscope of fun science fiction themes, beginning with the puzzle and reveal of the government conspiracy mixed with some well-handled astrophysics. Various doomsday prep scenarios are explored from the intricate details involved in creating a sustainable underground network of cities, to family-level shelters, down to individual cases. Also thrown into the mix is a vigorous online gaming virtual battle, political wrangling, high-risk space missions, multiple love stories, and some philosophical musings about who can and should be saved when helping too many could threaten the survival of everyone. Author Mike McCoy’s skill somehow keeps all these elements together in a compelling narrative.

The menace of the meteor strikes is starkly conveyed and the peril facing the various characters throughout feels real. This isn’t one of those books where millions die but improbably, all the characters we’re invested in miraculously survive. This allows the tension and suspense to remain high through most of the various plotlines.

ASTEROIDS: Escape from the Arcadians is a very good read, and especially impressive for a first-time novelist. Almost every aspect of the massive, multi-pronged plot held together very well, but I thought two of the somewhat minor plotlines could have benefited from more attention. The military assassin in pursuit of the hero story was compelling but the resolution seemed artificial. Likewise, the political betrayal that underpinned the secret cities narrative felt glossed over and too facile. Fortunately, these are minor flaws. In a book so loaded with fun, they are easy to overlook.

ASTEROIDS: Escape from the Arcadians is an extremely immersive adventure with memorable characters, tons of high-tech flourishes, and, despite being a massive book, debut novelist Mike McCoy keeps things moving briskly.

~J.V. Bolkan for IndieReader

https://indiereader.com/2019/04/asteroids-escape-from-the-arcadians/

A meteor exploded over the Bering Sea with the energy of 10 atomic bombs.


 

If you’ve read ASTEROIDS, this news story from Popular Science might sound familiar……and we never saw it coming!

 

Scientists recently observed a meteor exploding over the Bering Sea with the energy of 10 atomic bombs. It’s officially the second largest fireball of its kind to occur this century, after the Chelyabinsk event in Russia six years ago, and the third largest impact in modern times since the Tunguska event in 1908.

And it happened without any warning whatsoever.

The meteor, about 10 meters long and weighing more than 1,500 tons, plunged into Earth’s atmosphere on December 18 at around noon local time, bearing down on the Bering Sea (sorry) between Russia and Alaska. The projectile was going about 72,000 miles per hour, at a steep seven-degree trajectory. It exploded into a fireball at a little less than 16 miles above the surface, with an impact energy of about 173 kilotons of TNT.

 

Some Military and civilian instruments spotted the explosion right away, with a number of monitoring stations around the world measuring the impact and its effects in real-time. That data came in many forms, including infrasound (low-frequency sound humans can’t really hear, released along with large bursts of energy), and electromagnetic radiation as infrared and visible light.

 

In spite of exhibiting such incredible power, fireballs this big and bright only happen two or three times a century. Although the event has only hit the news recently (NASA put the data around the meteor event up on its public website a little over a week ago), that doesn’t mean the scientific community has been unaware. Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Officer, explains that some of the sensors that picked up on the explosion are designed to look for signs of nuclear explosions to help enforce international treaties. “An explosion of this size is not often missed,” he says.

There would have been a bigger spotlight on the meteor if it happened over land—or worse, near a populated area. But instead, “it’s over the Bering Sea, pretty far north, and it didn’t have the high visibility of something like Chelyabinsk, or even the fireball that came in over Cuba,” says Kelly Fast, Program Manager in the Near Earth Object Observations Program at NASA. It’s just not something a human eyewitness would happen to catch.

 

Former astronaut Ed Lu, a co-founder of the planetary defense nonprofit B612 Foundation, is hesitant to speculate on what the effects might have been had the meteor come down in a more populous area, but he says our best frame of reference is the Chelyabinsk. That meteor was a bit bigger (about 20 meters across), and although it was moving away from the city of Chelyabinsk and was dozens of miles away, it broke tens of thousands of windows and even caused several buildings to collapse. An estimated 1,500 people needed medical treatment.

“It doesn’t have to be very big to cause a large explosion,” says Lu. Something that’s just several meters in diameter can still explode with 10 times the energy of the bomb that landed on Hiroshima.

Naturally, the event emphasizes the concern that a near-Earth object of some kind could devastate communities on the ground.

“It’s a reminder that the solar system does affect our lives,” says Lu. Although the vast majority of asteroid impacts are too small to worry about, there are always events like this which could threaten our safety. And like this rock, they can impact us without any warning. Back in December, nobody has a clue this object was headed straight for the surface of the planet. “You have to find them first before you can actually do something about them,” says Kelly. NASA and other institutions are pouring in many more resources to help us track these objects, but there are limits to that endeavor. “This object was far smaller than what we’re normally tasked to find,” says Johnson, who adds that the Planetary Defense Coordination Office is focused on identifying and tracking objects larger than 140 meters. Those are obviously much more dangerous to us than objects like the Bering Sea meteor, but events like Chelyabinsk remind us these small visitors can pack a mighty punch.

“We’ve been saying for a long time that we really need to map the trajectory of objects in the solar system, so we can know in advance—decades in advance, not weeks or hours—when something is going to hit,” says Lu. “That’s been our goal for a long time, and that continues to be our goal. Luck is not the best strategy for us.”

 

https://www.popsci.com/bering-sea-meteor-explosion-10-atomic-bombs?fbclid=IwAR2B9yaXPZXR49o5I49WaOrdxH1dZbD_LR79TMqkizHg1pKOg2tUDWiywrU