It’s here! Carbon Run is now available via Amazon for Kindle and in print.

Carbon Run cover

Carbon Run is now available for Kindle and in print via Amazon.

I’m so excited to announce that Carbon Run is now available for purchase as an ebook or a print bookFor a limited time, the ebook version is priced at 99¢. It’s also available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

buy now button

It’s been a long journey from conception to release, and I’m thrilled with the result. If you have some thoughts to share about the novel, please consider writing a review on the Amazon page, on Goodreads, on your personal Facebook page, or on your blog. Reviews are critical to success of independent writers, such as myself.

Many thanks to everyone who helped me with this project, including my editor, John Paine, my cover artist, Christian Bentulan, my wife Edith, and the many readers who offered their honest and helpful opinions.

What’s next? I’m working on the release of the second full-length novel in the series, titled City of Ice and Dreams. Watch for announcements in the coming weeks!

News Release: Carbon Run set for release October 21, 2017

good news obi-wan

Good news about Joe’s book, Obi-Wan!

I sent out this news release today about the upcoming official release of Carbon Run. The release went mostly to media in the Seattle area. Do you know a reporter, producer, or blogger who might be interested? Send me a note, and I’ll follow up with him/her.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Follansbee, Contact page

SEATTLE AUTHOR TO RELEASE FIRST NOVEL IN DYSTOPIAN THRILLER SERIES

Seattle – Seattle-based author J.G. Follansbee has announced the upcoming release of the first novel in his new dystopian thriller series, Tales From A Warming Planet. The novel, Carbon Run, tells the story of a young woman, Anne Penn, whose father, Bill Penn, is accused of destroying an endangered species of birds. When Janine Kilel, a deputy inspector for the Bureau of Environment Security, comes to arrest Bill, he runs for his life, because in the 22nd century, destroying a species is a capital crime.

Carbon Run is speculative science fiction that imagines life in a world ravaged by climate change. The novel falls into the same category as Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2140, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake series, and Claire Vaye Watkins’ Gold Fame Citrus. Many critics call this style of sci-fi “climate fiction” or “eco-fiction.”

Writing about the first release in the series, The Mother Earth Insurgency: A Novelette, Pushcart nominee Joyce Yarrow said, “Like all gifted sci-fi writers, Follansbee extrapolates from the present to build an imaginative – and in this case action-packed – scenario for the future.”

The official release date of Carbon Run is October 21, 2017. The book will be available as an ebook and a print book on Amazon. An audiobook version is planned for release in 2018.

Two more novels in the series, City of Ice and Dreams, and Restoration, are scheduled for release in 2018. A collection of short stories is in development.

Author bio: J.G. Follansbee is the author of science fiction and speculative fiction novels set on an Earth and in a society transformed by climate change. A writer who publishes independently, Follansbee explores themes of survival, justice, and tolerance with strong female protagonists and antagonists. Mr. Follansbee supports meaningful clean energy and transportation policies that combat the damaging effects of climate change.

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Things are coming together. I’m really excited!

New giveaway: 38 free sci-fi ebooks, including Carbon Run!

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The Autumnal Equinox Sci-Fi Extravaganza ebook giveaway ends Oct. 8.

I’ve partnered with more than 30 amazing science fiction and fantasy authors to bring you the Autumnal Equinox Sci-Fi Extravaganza. You’ll find 38 free ebooks, all available for download today via Bookfunnel. Offer ends Oct. 8, 2017.

The giveaway includes the advance reader copy of Carbon Run, the first novel in my series, Tales From A Warming Planet.

This could be your last chance to read Carbon Run for free. The book goes on sale for Kindle on October 21, less than three weeks from now. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!

Goodreads members! Win a signed print copy of Carbon Run

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Enter to win a signed print copy of Carbon Run!

I’m excited to announce a Goodreads giveaway of 10 signed print copies of Carbon Run, the first novel in my Tales From A Warming Planet series. To enter, you need to be a Goodreads member. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Click here or the image below to enter. The book comes out on October. 21. I’m looking forward to seeing your entry!

Carbon Run cover

Tales From A Warming Planet: Carbon Run

Remember, the first story in my series, The Mother Earth Insurgency, is available now on Kindle for just 99¢.

The first one thousand words of The Mother Earth Insurgency

I’ve been thrilled with the response to my novelette, The Mother Earth Insurgency. It’s already got a 4.6 rating on Amazon! If you’re curious about the story, here’s the first one thousand words. If you like it, please consider purchasing the ebook for your Kindle. Thank you!

The rubber slug glanced off Nick Sorrows’ cheekbone, gashing the skin deep enough to make a scar certain. It stung, but he welcomed the laceration. The blood infiltrating the stubble on his jaw hid his intent and reduced the chance he might hesitate.

He stumbled forward, eyes on his quarry, a single individual ahead of him in the angry crowd. A surge carried him toward the police cordon, each officers’ truncheon at the ready. He pressed his right hand to his bleeding check and his left hand on the backs and shoulders of other demonstrators to maintain his balance.

He was part of the seething mass, but not with it. He chanted the protest slogans, but he didn’t sing them as a true believer.

Buy now on Amazon!

He was part of the seething mass, but not with it. He chanted the protest slogans, but he didn’t sing them as a true believer. Nick was like the nano-bots that stalked free-floating cancer cells in the bloodstream. His target was Jon Janicks. Could he stop Janicks before his insurgents assassinated another green energy investor? Maybe Janicks was after a Great Basin solar farm, or one of the Santa Barbara tidal energy converters. Nick had to know. Continue reading

At last! The Mother Earth Insurgency is on sale now at Amazon.

Mother Earth Insurgency cover

The Mother Earth Insurgency, the first release in my Tales From A Warming Planet series, is available now on Amazon for only $0.99.

I’m happy to announce that The Mother Earth Insurgency, the first story in my series Tales From A Warming Planet, is now on sale exclusively at Amazon for 99¢. After nearly ten years of work on this series, it’s thrilling to see it out in the wild. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.

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If you were one of the lucky readers to download a free copy of The Mother Earth Insurgency over the past month or so, please consider writing a review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads. You’re under no obligation to do so, but reviews are very important to the success of independent writers, such as myself.

Also, I’m still on track to release Carbon Run, the first novel in the series, on October 21. Watch this space for information about an upcoming Goodreads Giveaway of the print book.

Thank you so much for your support!

Carbon Run cover reveal! And check out the novel’s official release date

Carbon Run cover

Tales From A Warming Planet: Carbon Run

I will release Carbon Run, the second story and the first novel in my series Tales From A Warming Planet, on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Woohoo! To celebrate, I’m giving you a sneak preview of the cover, created by Christian Bentulan. He’s done an amazing job.

At launch, the 327-page novel will be available in paperback and exclusively as a Kindle ebook. Here’s the description from the back cover:

What if your father had to run for his life? Carbon Run is an exciting thriller set in a dystopian world ravaged by climate change. Fossil fuels are banned, pirates smuggle oil, and governments erase citizens’ identities. Anne Penn dreamed of saving an endangered species of birds. When a fire destroys the birds’ last home, her beloved father Bill is accused of starting the blaze. Fanatic officer Janine Kilel comes to arrest Anne’s father, but Bill escapes, because in the 22nd century, destroying a species means execution. How will Anne find her father in a Russian city where the difference between good and evil is as murky as the choking smog?

Reminder: The first book in the series, The Mother Earth Insurgency, is still available as a free download from Instafreebie. The ebook features the first ten pages of chapter one in Carbon Run. However, the giveaway won’t last much longer. Soon, I’ll start selling it on Amazon, so don’t wait if you want it for free.

By the way, I’m also offering Insurgency as a free download in partnership with dozens of other independent writers. Our Thriller & Mystery Giveaway runs through September 9. Don’t miss out!

Thank you for your continued support of my work!

New free-ebook promotion starts today; Another ends 8/31

fantasy fiction giveaway

Download free stories from more than 90 indie authors. Ends September 2, 2017.

I’m partnering with a community of independent writers to promote each others’ work through Bookfunnel. More than 90 authors have joined to offer free stories, including my novelette, The Mother Earth Insurgency, for one week only. Click the image above or this Fantasy Fiction Giveaway link. You can download as many stories as like with no obligation. The promotion ends Saturday, September 2, 2017. Don’t wait!

I’m also part of a fabulous Bookfunnel promotion of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction called The End. More than 40 indie authors have joined together to bring you free stories about the aftermath of The End of The World. Click the image below or this link to download as many stories as you like. Again, there’s no obligation. The End ends Thursday, August 31, 2017.

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Download from Bookfunnel

Don’t miss out. Download these stories right now. And thank you for your ongoing support of my work and that of other independent writers!

Look for news of my first novel in the Tales From A Warming Planet series, Carbon Run. Launch is just around the corner!

Available now: Free, limited-time download of my first TFAWP story!

Mother Earth Insurgency cover

The Mother Earth Insurgency, the first release in my Tales From A Warming Planet series, is available for a limited time as a free download.

Today is the official launch of my new dystopian thriller series, Tales From A Warming Planet. I’m celebrating by offering a free novelette, The Mother Earth Insurgency. It’s available for a limited time only via Instafreebie and Bookfunnel. Set in the future when climate change has taken hold of our planet, The Mother Earth Insurgency tells the story of Nick Sorrows, an agent of the Bureau of Environmental Security.

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Download from Instafreebie

Bookfunnel logo

Download from Bookfunnel

Nick infiltrates a terrorist organization opposed to corporate monopolization of wind and solar energy companies. Led by Jon Janicks, the Mother Earth Insurgency believes the takeovers harm the planet, and it’s planning a major action. Nick must stop Janicks before he kills thousands and destroys the tallest structure on the planet.

Instafreebie members can download it as an ebook. If you’re not a member, signup is easy, and costs nothing to join. Bookfunnel downloads include online support if you have trouble loading it into your reader.

Bundled with The Mother Earth Insurgency is a free sample of the first ten pages of Carbon Run, the first full-length novel in the series. Carbon Run will be released in the fall on Amazon as a print book and an ebook.

Please let me know what you think of the Mother Earth Insurgency and my Tales From A Warming Planet series.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me during this amazing journey, including my editor John Paine, my cover artist Christian Bentalan, the South Seattle Writers Meetup, and my wife, Edith Follansbee.

I plan to make The Mother Earth Insurgency available on Amazon in the fall. Watch for the cover reveal for Carbon Run in the next few days! Update: The giveaway of The Mother Earth Insurgency ends September 12.

Grow or die: What happens when a story’s protagonist doesn’t change?

Alexander Dreyman

Alexander Dreymon stars at Uhtred of Bebbanburg in The Last Kingdom. Image courtesy Carnival Film & Television.

Fishermen love a good fish story, especially the one that got away. I was hooked by the BBC America television series The Last Kingdom, but the hook is loosening and I may spit it out. Why? Because the writers made a huge narrative mistake.

Premiering in 2015, The Last Kingdom stars Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a dispossessed Saxon noble who fights, often reluctantly, for a united England envisioned by the ninth century king of Wessex, Alfred the Great. The series is based on novels by Bernard Cornwell, who counts the historical Uhtred as an ancestor.

I’m halfway through season two, but I’m fast losing interest. It’s too bad, because this historical drama dives deep into each of its characters, from the intelligent, fearless warrior Uhtred to the pious, visionary Alfred. Each of the series’ minor characters are multi-dimensional, all fully fleshed by uniformly good performances. With a forceful plot driven by internal court intrigue and external enemies—the Viking raiders that still frighten English children—The Last Kingdom presses all my buttons.

Possible spoilers ahead.

Unfortunately, the series stumbles badly in episode three, when Uhtred returns after an enemy in an allied camp has him seized and sold as a slave. After six months as a galley slave a la Charleton Heston in Ben Hur, Uhtred is broken in body and nearly in spirit.

The protagonist is the biblical Jonah after the whale vomits him out.

Herein lies the rub. One of the great joys of reading and watching fiction is seeing how a character changes over time. How do his experiences within the story change him? What does he learn? This mimics the normal growth of most people; I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago, due in part to my unique experiences as a worker, a husband, a parent, and as a writer. Good fiction compresses this universal process.

In The Last Kingdom, Uhtred goes through a horrific experience as a slave. Up to this point, the character of Uhtred is predictably immature and self-serving. By the time he returns, he has lost virtually all his dignity as a man and a nobleman, feels responsible for the death of a companion, and is nearly handed over to his ultimate enemies, the Danes. His recovery is slow and painful, physically and emotionally. He is the biblical Jonah after the whale vomits him out.

The experience poses fascinating questions, broad and narrow. What happens to your personality when abuse is routine and escape from captivity is out of reach? Will Uhtred understand how his womanizing hurts himself as well as the women he’s lost? Will he see that theft as a way of gaining wealth invites deadly retribution? How does this experience affect his view of life?

The answer: Not at all. A short time after his rescue from the slaver, Uhtred kills the man who orchestrated his betrayal. It’s a murder that shocks everyone, except Uhtred. Even if he hadn’t been sold into slavery, Uhtred might kill his enemy, because that’s what he does. It’s who he is. What’s more, he resumes his former life without offering the audience any reflections on his experience or more importantly, change in his behavior. No reference is made to the experience in succeeding episodes; Uhtred is the same warrior who fears nothing, chafes at his obligations, and acts almost entirely out of self-interest.

It’s hard to believe that a human being could go through six months of degradation without some damage that affects how he lives afterward. It’s a scenario for hopelessness, suggesting humans are forever trapped by their own prejudices and habits, and not even a daily brush with death can alter the course of a life. While one could argue this reflects real life, it makes for a disappointing narrative, because nothing emotionally substantive has changed after 11 episodes. A viewer could almost turn from liking Uhtred to not liking him, and perhaps abandoning him.

I have a few more episodes to go, and the producers could still redeem themselves with Uhtred showing that he is not the same man he was when he lost his family in the early episodes of season one. If he doesn’t, I’m not sure I’ll make the time to see how he fares in season three.

Netflix has yet to announce a season three for The Last Kingdom.