A Novel by John Argo2014 Alternate Title:
Who Is John Argo? When I began publishing online in 1996, my first releases were a suspense novel (Neon Blue) and two science fiction novels (This Shoal of Space, Pioneers). I have generally released my genre fiction under the pseudonym John Argo. Argo was the fabled ship on which Jason and the Argonauts (lit. sailors on the Argo) went on mythological journeys across the Aegean Sea in the dawn centuries of Hellenic civilization. The sense of wonder seemed appropriate in 1996, when the Internet was still pristine and unsoiled by filth and terror before e-commerce and crime arrived. In that dawn age of the World Wide Web, Brian Callahan and I launched the world's first online novels that were proprietary (not public domain; hence flush Gutenberg); published online in HTML to be read online (not portable media like floppies or CDs); whole, not samples or teasers; not hypertext but industry standard novels. More info soon.
What Is Neon Blue? Neon Blue, a suspense novel, was the world's first truly online, proprietary novel according to the criteria in the above paragraph. We published it starting spring/summer 1996 on a website titled Neon Blue Fiction (see the heritage websites at the Clocktower Books Museum pages online).
New Haven/Connecticut Connection. The fictional heroine of this novel, Laurel 'Blue' Humboldt, is from West Haven, Connecticut. She is a young Special Agent working for the Drug Enforcement Agency in Manhattan, NY when she witnesses the assassination of a key awitness to cracking a drug ring. She is pulled into her first major case, which takes her first to a mythic town called Hamilton, Conn. (based on the shore towns of Clinton and Madison). From there, a trail of mystery, suspense, violence, and danger takes her across country to San Diego, California. Blue's character was inspired by the dramatic persona of Joan Jett in the 1987 movie Light of Day, with an all-star cast including Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future). Blue, an ambisexual rocker turned cop, struggles with her love life along the way. Will she fall for exotic San Diego detective Martha Yee, or handsome millionaire ex-model John Connor? There's no time to ponder, because a ruthless cartel razor slasher has killed one of her best friends, and is hot on her trail across the country. The novel was a best-seller in the early days at several online retailers (after spending some time in pre-commerce Web space) including the original Barnes and Noble site (discontinued for several years and eventually relauched well after 2000) as well as Rocket eBooks. The storyline was ahead of its time, but her sexual identy struggle seems more mainstream today. More info soon.
Published Online - Made History in 1996. Neon Blue made history in 1996. Read all about it at the Clocktower Books Museum.